Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Since seeing that raw tweet put out by one major news organisation—since amended—announcing the death of Fidel Castro with the parenthetical instructions to update the number of US presidents he’s survived if George HW Bush were to perish first, I’ve been thinking about how the media keeps its reckoning for the dead in a very much animated manner, updated continuously for all persons of note. Sadly, this year has seen quite enough in those columns. Kottke takes a look at how another bulwark of journalism has been morbidly drafting and then revising Castro’s obituary for nearly six decades on a set recurring basis as well as every time intrigue or rumours began circulating—the Cuban leader having outlived not only several successive regimes but even print journalism, various formats of media storage and some of the industry’s other institutions.