11 July 2005

Generic Obit-generator

Newly developed is this simple list of phrases for people writing obituaries, especially of former politicians:

- He was a great man/she was a great woman.
- H/She was a great Canadian.
- H/she was hard-working. Variation: H/she was a tireless worker.
- Politician: H/she worked on behalf of the people of his/her province/Canada. Vary location as appropriate; may be combined with "hard-working" quote from above.
- His/her death is a loss for [insert name of province here]/[Canada]. May combine both province and country for extra emphasis.
- H/she was committed to making the world/province/city/community a better place.
- We owe him/her a debt of gratitude. [the reason for the debt is irrelevant]

Now that you have seen this list, take a peak at this VOCM story, and the Premier's official statement, and the Prime Minister's statement on the death yesterday of former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Frank Moores.

While you're at it, here's the CBC web story. Click on the link to an audio clip of Brian Tobin, who apparently has been rehabilitated as a public commentator. Note a few things: the number of names Tobin drops particularly in the story about being on a military "jet" [If it was actually a jet at altitude and a door seal broke, odds are good we wouldn't be hearing any reminiscences from Tobin and all the other people on the plane]; the cell phone dingling in the background at one point; the reference to Tobin's previous life as a "journalist".

I have written a few of these things in my time and not every one was a gem. At least, I tried to make it appropriate to the person being remembered.