Monday, August 3, 2009

Mysterious Syncronicity and the Popularity of Obituaries

The Flourishing Life of the Obit Desk

By Andrew Alexander
Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Did you catch the news about the golfer who died of a stroke? How about the librarian who checked out? Or the math teacher whose number was up?

They've heard them all on newspaper obituary desks."

So starts a Washington Post Post Mortem article today about the paper's obituary column. Mr. Alexander goes on to tell us that the obituary departments were at one time a starting point for novice reporters or the department to which they were sent when their careers foundered.

But today, obituaries are gaining increased audience and revenues. In the past six month's the Post's Obituary Web site have had almost three times as many pages as their popular "subsection" in the Metro section.

And while reporters once viewed the obit desk as the worst assignment, some now see working there as one of the best.

Always something interesting at the Post Mortem. Today's obituaries include the Boston DJ George Taylor Morris who started the urban legend about a mysterious synchronicity between Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and the movie classic "The Wizard of Oz." If you start them out at the same time "the lunatic is on the grass" line comes just when the Scarecrow begins dance near a green lawn. The line "got to keep the loonies on the path" comes just as Dorothy and the Scarecrow start down the Yellow Brick Road.

They've been cued up for you at the RollingStone if you want to have a look.

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