A reader writes:
You should include another warning for the "Six Feet Under" clip. "Do not watch if you aren't prepared for an emotionally draining experience involving the death of loved ones and yourself." I watched the finale of the show, which ended on that clip, and was floored - moved to despairing tears. These few minutes capture the inevitability of death, both the point and pointlessness of life, and the crushing surprise and lingering despair caused by death for survivors. If they handed out Oscars and Emmys for scenes, this deserved both.
And I hadn't had any real exposure to the death of a loved one yet. I can't imagine how that clip might affect those who had. So, for their sakes, a warning for them would be a good thing.
Consider yourself warned. I got a pile of emails about it. I guess I lost friends in the plague years, and so I am more inured to the idea of death and life. In my C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb (not sure yet when it will air), he caught me off-guard. I was all prepared to go on and make an argument about conservatism and he asked me what it was like to be HIV-positive. Huh? No one has asked me that in years. But I realize that the spiritual journey I recount a little in my book would have been impossible without the confrontation with mortality that I bumped into when I was still in my twenties. Maybe it takes watching people's lives being shattered by illness to force you to lose a little religious certainty, and to grapple with the ineffable mystery of life more directly. So consider yourself unwarned. And watch the clip. It's TV at its best.