Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

The Death of Common Sense – a witty obituary and indictment of our time

The Death of Common Sense – a witty obituary and indictment of our time

These days there seems to be an absolute dearth of common sense.  How many times have you caught yourself saying, “That’s crazy!” when some new regulation is announced, or politicians and economists declare their total faith in endless growth on a finite planet?

So I was amused and delighted this morning to come across an obituary to Common Sense. This version comes from BBC Stoke on Trent in England, whose Stuart George read out the obituary on the air in January last year.  Evidently his version is an adaptation of an American columnist, Lori Borgman’s obituary to common sense published some time ago. (Her version is much longer, more wordy and, in my humble opinion, not as witty.)

(Links to the BBC on-air version and Lori Borgman’s are at the end of the post.)

(Warning – it appears there’s an email version of this obituary on the internet that spreads a virus or malware.)


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm:

Life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults are in charge not children)

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of an 8 year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims,

Common sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common sense finally gave up the will to live, after a women failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common sense was preceded in death, by his parents, truth and trust

His wife, discretion

His daughter, Responsibility

His son, reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers

I know my rights

I want my rights

I want it now

I’m a victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on if not, join the majority and do nothing.


Stuart George reading his obituary to Common Sense on air on BBC Radio Stoke

Lori Borgman’s original “Death of Common Sense” published in 1998.


One comment on “The Death of Common Sense – a witty obituary and indictment of our time

  1. Madla K
    January 25, 2012

    Good to learn that the reporter sails at full speed on the fast flow of information, while prevented to be on his boat. Real joy to follow him.


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This entry was posted on January 17, 2012 by in Current Affairs, Life Skills and tagged , , , .
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