By Alexander T. Riley
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Extra info for Angel patriots : the crash of United Flight 93 and the myth of America
Understanding death as a cultural fact, as something that is not fully reducible to (though it is also inseparable from) a discussion of the science of biological organisms or an exercise in reasoning and logic, is so difficult that even some who have thought very hard indeed about it nonetheless fail to get fully to grips with it. 13 From his perspective, it is acknowledged that death may be ritualized differently in different cultures, but this fact is seen as an aside to the more fundamental investigation of the meaning of death in human life, which involves the work of logically cleansing the way we talk about it.
Gardner has been vocal in his praise especially of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in the San Francisco area, which provided him with temporary housing and other material resources when he was homeless. The film also fails to give us a sociological context for considering Gardner against the backdrop of the many thousands of others who were more or less in his same situation in America during the Reagan administration, occupying the same structural place and possessing the same skills and tenacity, who did not become millionaires, and who in many instances met dismal ends in lifelong poverty or prison.
B: Can you believe it, we had five deaths in the last twelve hours. A: How lovely. B: Well, see you tomorrow night. 11 The extramundane fact par excellence, the disappearance from the world of an entity that had previously existed in a conscious state, is by this kind of process made banal and unremarkable. And yet David Sudnow, the ethnographer who captured this conversation, shows in this study that even here, in the routine world of hospital death organization, some deaths remain exceptional and retain the power to break these frames.