1. This is quite grim. Why are young people coming to him ‘a lot more frequently’? School shootings? Suicides due to internet trolling? Selfie accidents? The mind reels, and none of it pleasant. It’s a little callous to use this situation to make a little joke about the GR’s clothing, no?

  2. OK, so for good millennia Death has not bothered to update his look, but now, for this generation, he suddenly needs to be hip??

  3. Sir PTerry’s book, ‘Reaper Man’, discusses how DEATH tries to ‘understand’ humankind, by becoming one of them; it’s a theme that runs thru most of the DiscWorld books.

  4. “Why are young people coming to him ‘a lot more frequently’? ”

    I don’t know but today 1 in every 7 deaths is a millennial. Forty years ago it less than one tenth that.

    So you can’t deny the statement is true even if we don’t know the reason.

  5. I might be setting myself up for a giant “woosh!”, but 40 years ago there were no millennials… So yes, 0 < 1/10 of 1 in 7, but…
    As for "young people", we have steadily been decreasing the infant and child mortality rates, so that also cannot be true…

  6. I haven’t got much to say about the comic, but anent Bill’s title, I would like to point out that “little death” is something else.

    Several years ago, there was a French webcomic (published in English) about a young woman who became friends with Death and Little Death was also a character (as I said, it was French). All I really remember is that she worked in a flower shop and drove a VW Beetle (of the old sort).

  7. In fact, DemetriosX, there is still debate among theatre geeks over whether Sondheim had that meaning of la petite mort in mind when he wrote the song.

    On one hand, the song works very well without that meaning of the phrase. On the other hand, Sondheim’s always been one of Broadway’s most meticulous wordsmiths, and generally said precisely what he meant to say.

  8. Woozy, that’s just crazy enough to work!

    I just now checked with my theatre peeps and apparently he has gone on record claiming that when he write the song, he’d never heard of the more sexual meaning of the phrase.

    Which apparently still doesn’t settle the question as far as some people are concerned, but it does for me.

    (It does strike me as odd that he hadn’t heard of la petite mort when he wrote the song, since I had when the musical opened on Broadway when I was in my mid–teens, but c’est la vie)

  9. Georgia O’ Keeffe is on record claiming that her paintings of flowers are just paintings of flowers, and have no sexual meaning.

  10. And I believe CIDU Bill is on record claiming that the Arlo Page is about Arlo Guthrie and has no sexual meaning.

  11. I saw a better version of this comic just recently, but I can’t find it now, so here’s one of the myriad versions floating around the Internet:

  12. “So you can’t deny the statement is true even if we don’t know the reason.”

    I wasn’t denying it, I just thought it was a rather depressing set up for a joke about clothing.

  13. @ Andréa – Thanks for digging up the skeleton. No wonder I couldn’t find it by paging back, that HaLoLoween thread is nearly 40 days (and 40 nights) old. The reason I remembered seeing the comic “recently” is probably because I was revisiting CVS receipts.

  14. @larK: That was the one. Apparently it died and she abandoned her website in fear of the GDPR (which seems to be something of an overreaction).

    @Bill: I had no idea it was the title of a Sondheim song. But then I know nothing about musical theater beyond cultural osmosis and whatever soundtrack records my mother had and occasionally played in the 60s and early 70s.

  15. ” I would like to point out that “little death” is something else.”

    Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

    “As for “young people”, we have steadily been decreasing the infant and child mortality rates”

    The rate is down, but it’s now taken from a larger population, so the magnitude is still greater. 1/10 is a smaller rater than 1/5, but 1/10 of a million is still more than 1/5 of a thousand.

  16. Being retired – and having a photographic memory – gave me the time and impetus to keep looking, as I knew approximately where it was.

  17. woozy: It looks like Stan didn’t get that you were joking, either. And I wasn’t sure, either. So it might be your “joke telling device” that needs the calibration.

  18. xkcd was on about age effects vs cohort effects only this week

    Millennials get more joint replacements because cheaper and more effective procedures were developed for Boomers. When we were kids, people with bad hips or knees bought a cane. Now we buy titanium joints.

  19. When we are doing reenactments – whether I am Meryl or “Anne” – often the subject of life span arises. “Everyone died at 40” being a common topic. I have to explain that the average is much less than now, but it is a distorted number due to the large number of children died young. Once a child was 5 years old they had a decent chance at a life not much shorter than we were having in the 1950s for example. One’s economic circumstances also had a greater effect on the length of one’s life – the gentry had a better chance of living longer than the poor – or the slaves, although even they did not all die by 40. (I am not sure why 40 has became the magic number.) For some examples Meryl will mention George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (both of whom are also mentioned by Meryl as proof that “we” are not all short – by military records – 1″difference in height), John Adams and Ben Franklin. Anne will give a general knowledge of people who live into their 60s and 70s and even beyond. Her mother is her 80s (okay, that’s because my mom is the protoype for hers, but it is possible). Anne is currently holding her age in her mid 50s as my husband says that we look younger so we are holding in our 50s – which means that this year – 1775 – at “55” I was born in 1720. (The year we are doing is 1775, except for 2 events it is 1776.)

    We (meaning reenactors not Meryl and Anne as a we) are told that women died young due to having babies and also due to the dreaded death by cooking fire. While these deaths did occur, a woman dying from the cooking fire was rare enough to make the newspaper. Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, and Dolly Madison all outlived their first husbands so they were not all dying in childbirth either – just some- and again, one’s economic status affected same.

    By the way, according to something I heard on the radio last year was the first year that lifespan went down since the World Wars period and it is being attributed to drug deaths.

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