Author Topic: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?  (Read 2674 times)

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LadyStormwing

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Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:04:31 PM »
Sadly, South African president and longtime humanitarian Nelson Mandela passed away a few days ago. The living US presidents, with the exceptions of George Bush Sr, attended the funeral. Since then, two pictures have surfaced from the ceremony. The first is one of United States President Barack Obama taking a cell phone "selfie" with the Prime Minister of Denmark. The second picture, which seems to be taken only moments later, shows First Lady Michelle Obama switching seats with her husband. In both photos, she has a very annoyed/disgusted look on her face.

I know different countries and cultures have different ways of memorializing the dead, but at the same time, I feel as though President Obama did a very lousy job representing America that day. To me, it was a rude, crass, and self-centered gesture. If I was sitting behind someone at a funeral and witnessed that sort of behavior, I admit I would have been tempted to say something- cell phones just don't seem to be an appropriate venue for funerals or other sol om occasions.

Your thoughts?

katycoo

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 11:17:53 PM »
It wasn't a funeral.  It was a celebratory memorial service.  It was an overal very large event that took place over several hours and while serious in its memorial aspect, it was by no means a solemn occasion.
I've no idea why Michelle obama might have looked annoyed.

Hillia

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 11:18:45 PM »
A photographer who was there defended the selfies, saying that the atmosphere was very much happy and celebratory rather than solemn; many people were talking and laughing, and the first lady was not disgusted or anything else but rather caught in an awkward moment.

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Lynnv

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 11:30:43 PM »
A photographer who was there defended the selfies, saying that the atmosphere was very much happy and celebratory rather than solemn; many people were talking and laughing, and the first lady was not disgusted or anything else but rather caught in an awkward moment.

POD. 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/photographer-behind-obama-selfie-speak-article-1.1544281

Having a lighter moment at a memorial (or even at a funeral) is hardly an offense of any sort.  At the last funeral (not a celebratory memorial) I attended, I laughed quite a bit, cried some, and even took a picture with a friend I hadn't seen in a really long time.  As long as they weren't making it impossible for others to hear whoever was speaking at the time or being disruptive, I don't see what the problem is.  And I certainly don't think it is rude, crass or self-centered to have a less than somber moment even at a somber event.
Lynn

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violinp

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 11:56:27 PM »
I laughed at my own grandmother's funeral, and that was supposed to be a somber event. I don't think a selfie was wise, given the fact that they knew that they themselves would be photographed and eviscerated by the media for not showing proper respect.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Aunt4God

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 12:04:39 AM »
I know a viewing isn't quite the same as the funeral, but most viewings I've been too have been just as quiet and solemn as the funeral.  Except my father's viewing.  That was a huge, loud, boisterous party, right there in the funeral home.  It was difficult to hear people over everybody talking.  It was absolutely great, and it was just what my father would have wanted.  His funeral the next day was also nowhere near as solemn or quiet as most funerals.  It wasn't as party-like as the viewing had been, but still different than most I've been to.  I think it all depends on the person and the actual event, whether it's a funeral or memorial service. 

cass2591

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Re: Funeral Standards: Did the rules change and I missed the memo?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 12:18:42 AM »
Locked. For those of you who might be perplexed as to why, read the rules.
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