Honest Obituaries

Apparently, whoever wrote this obituary for The Telegraph has never heard the maxims “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” or “Don’t speak ill of the dead.”

Joseph Msika, who died on August 4 aged 85, was vice-president of Zimbabwe and a central figure in his country’s headlong rush to ruin.

A foul-mouthed, embittered man, much given to swearing in public and delivering foam-flecked speeches, Msika was perhaps the only Zimbabwean who could outdo President Robert Mugabe when it came to verbal vitriol. The targets of his bile included journalists, farmers, all young Zimbabweans — who had allegedly failed to match his standards of patriotism and devotion — and white people in general.

I’m guessing a caucasian wrote the obit, which continues in this delicious manner for several more paragraphs.

via Margaret Soltan

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    You’ve already mentioned one Latin maxim in this post (De mortuis, etc.), I’ll mention another. O tempora o mores! We are living in graceless times.

  2. The same newspaper published a golf column last weekend where the author extended the issue of whether Asians are taking over Ladies golf to American golfers of Asian descent. A view that reeks of bigotry but the Telegraph had no problems publishing it.

    What was amusing about the column too was that its author came around to endorsing Michelle Wie’s selection to the US Solheim Cup team. Wie has a Korean Dad just like the other golfers the article’s author thought could bring future disaster to both US and European Ladies golf.

  3. Triumph says:

    The targets of his bile included journalists, farmers, all young Zimbabweans — who had allegedly failed to match his standards of patriotism and devotion — and white people in general.

    It sounds like a description of Hussein Obama.

  4. James Joyner says:

    It sounds like a description of Hussein Obama.

    The same joke occurred to me as well.

  5. John Burgess says:

    Obits in British papers have a long–I mean over 100 years long–history of frank comment. They’re not about gilding lilies or buffing up the departed for the entry exam at the Pearly Gates.

  6. One Fine Jay says:

    The British at large are actually a coarse people, a far cry from how they are depicted on our TV shows and movies. Their royalty, sure, but not the common folk.

  7. Triumph says:

    The British at large are actually a coarse people, a far cry from how they are depicted on our TV shows and movies. Their royalty, sure, but not the common folk.

    The royalty are worse–remember Prince Harry running around London dressed as a Nazi?

  8. One Fine Jay says:

    Triumph: you make a point. Even while giving Harry a pass at the Nazi chic, the Royals do have their own bouts of crass. I guess it’s a generational issue, not a nobility one.