The following is a public service announcement from the Greater London chapter of the Committee to Restrict the Accidental Population.
At length, this unfortunate truth has thrust itself upon our attention:
There exists a crucial matter in life which our modern world has seen fit to disguise in euphemism, as if it were shameful and abnormal. Progressive and high-minded though we Britons are as a people, it cannot long escape notice how little attention a subject which, in ages gone by, was scarce neglected even in the press of war and famine.
As it is a vital part of life, we feel it our moral duty—nay, the true binding of honor—to bring back into the mainstream this most earnest of all topics which concern us, the men and women of this fair city.
We beg your indulgence. When needs must, frankness is a vice which may a virtue make.
The subject which concerns us is, of course, death.
In the barbaric childhood of the human race, death came as naturally to us as it does to the lower creatures on Weisman's ladder. And yet now, with the physicians rapidly advancing in treatments of the ailments of our race, and the other less fortunate events by which we are beset in this most recent and crowded generation, death has ceased to occupy its natural place as a central concern.
No longer do we dress the dead in their own homes; instead we cart them away to undertakers, to have them dressed and embalmed and made palatable for the tastes of the living. Up until the recent difficulties, we even did our best to protect our children from the passing of their beloved pets.
While we uphold the pinnacle of modern ethical thought is natural philosophy, we yet pretend to the next generation that death does not exist. For shame!
In the interest of correcting this social addlement, and alleviate the suffering caused by the recent troubles, we are pleased to present this layman's handbook to refresh the Queen's subjects on this most vital of endeavors.
While dying may seems like simplicity itself, accomplishing the task can oft beset one with unexpected difficulties. By the textbooks, one would expect that, as the body falters, one will eventually become too tired and decrepit to continue, and one might then lay down and sleep peacefully without ever knowing that they might never wake up.