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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yahoo, It's Time To Die

There's no use trying to deny it. Some day, you're gonna buy it*.

At least that's what Yahoo Japan Corp. thinks, with its new on-line death-planning service.

Because everybody is just dying to get into a cemetery, the respectful folks at Yahoo Ending have launched a portal on its search engine that can help people out with their questions like "Okay, my wife has just died (yay), what do I do with the body?" - though, in this case, it offers advice about funeral cost estimates, preparing a will, and how to find a cemetery, and not how to hide proof of guilt - though I suppose providing a funeral filled with awesomeness would help assuage one's guilt - buying that stairway to heaven.

"Hmmm… it sounds more like Yahoo Ending is more about 'preparation', rather than reaction," says Japan—It's A Wonderful Rife foreigner correspondent Andrew Joseph.

Known as shukatsu, which is not a breaded pork cutlet, but rather the 'art' of preparing for the end-of-life, Yahoo Japan has keenly noted that Japan has a pretty effing old population…

Okay… you're gonna die - since we all know that everyone will be so stressed out, that someone is going to fug things up, it's good that Yahoo will allow you to make your funeral arrangements in advance.

Have you ever wondered what a funeral in Tokyo might cost? Now you can find out.

Utilizing numbers taken from a 2013 survey from Kamakura Shinsho Ltd., Yahoo Ending will help you calculate how much a funeral will cost depending on such things as: number of mourners; funeral location (do not die in Tokyo unless you want to be dead and broke); catering costs; Buddhist Monk costs to perform the ceremony (I thought they were austere?!); funeral gifts - which I admit I am unsure if that is the deceased giving loot bags to the funeral goers like they were eight-year-olds at a laser-tag birthday party; and should you wish it, how much it'll cost for cosmetics and its application on you, the big stiff. 

One example found shows that for a funeral in Minato Ward of Tokyo:
- Mourners consisting of 31 to 70 people, including 20 relatives = ¥985,200 (~Cdn $10,450).

While this total includes gifts for guests (aha!), and catered food (doesn't anyone cook anymore?), if you wanted to have the Buddhist Monks perform the ceremony, you need to add in ¥150,000 (~ Cdn $1,590) which might make you wonder you didn't become a monk - oh yeah, you hate saffron colored robes and enjoyed some really good Japanese sex that is so perverse even the perverts cringe.

Where should we drive the stake? It's difficult, because he had no heart.
What will happen when you die and everyone finds out that Grandpa was a sukebi (pervy perv)?

That's where Yahoo Ending comes in.

This site will also deactivate your Yahoo account upon death, because no one needs to be bombarded by SPAM when you're dead. I'm pretty sure I would hate that.

How does it work?

Well, for ¥180 (~ Cdn $1.90) a month - plus tax (the only sure things in life are death and taxes), when the registered user croaks, Yahoo Ending will send out a prepared e-mail to a maximum of 200 of their closest contacts.

As well, according to the company website, Yahoo Ending will open up a Bulletin Board so all your friends and relatives and Nigerian royalty (love those guys!) can leave a fond sayonra - 'so long and thanks for all the fish!', as "proof that you existed after you depart."

Look… I'm all for trying to install a legacy… it's kind of why I had a kid, and do this writing stuff - I want to exist after I die - I want (electromagnetic pulse notwithstanding) to one day centuries from now have some galactic citizen to tap their head searching for 'information on the best blogger ever' and 47 pages later spot a minor reference to myself and this blog.

I'm unsure if I'll ever know if that happens, or even if I am aware if I will care because I'm playing table top hockey with Jimi Hendrix, but it would be nice to think that when we die, even if there is no representative heaven or hell, that what we did in life, I don't know… mattered.

So… I can dig it that Yahoo Ending would offer a Bulletin Board of deep thought… but unless said Bulletin Board has the proper tags or keywords, no one will ever search for you digitally. At least my blog and Twitter account has proper keywords #awesomeness.

I think we need to have our consciousness or our soul—which is apparently as difficult to find as a clitoris, according to some pundits, but not me, because I'm not that funny—digitized and placed within the Galactic Wide Web (I would have said Universal Wide Web, but we have to start thinking beyond just our own world, and we might as well not go crazy huge).

Okay… back to the Yahoo Ending, which by the way is an awesome name for something so very solemn in Japanese (and pretty much everyone's) culture. Not. Perhaps something witty the first time you hear it and then not so funny every time after... something like 'Yahoo Serious'? Sorry, mate - I did like Young Einstein.

Now here's something that really carries me home… Yahoo Ending—will shut down your Yahoo Japan account, delete images (thank-Buddha), delete videos, documents and files - such as blogs and social-networking sites… no one wants to be charged money to keep these things up and running long after one is dead.

The key for any of these things to happen, is that Yahoo Ending requires official confirmation of your death, for example. So when you die, all you have to do is send them a… Hey! You're not going to have time to send out a death notice to anyone, what with you busy with the funeral and being stiff and all that…

Hot Enough For Ya?
So… I guess that before you die, you need to make arrangements with either an institution or a friend or family member, to send Yahoo Ending a government-issued cremation certificate.

This is Japan, after all… cremation. I like that Yahoo Ending waits until the body is cremated… none of that accidentally coming back to life in a buried coffin crap for them.

Yahoo Japan says that it is looking to take this whole digital structured funeral preparation thing even farther, by possibly teaming up with credit card companies, so that once they get your cremation papers, they can forward it on to the credit card company to tell them to close your account…. that's nice… I suppose it also might allow them to quickly get in line to see if it can get any money owed it from the estate executor.

I once dated a woman who was an executrix… high heels, a whole lotta leather.*

By the way… while it seems cool that Yahoo Japan would help you plot your own funeral - mine is paid for by credit card - good luck getting that! - and will help you shut down all your webstuff… in my opinion you still need that one good friend to go into your home and, if necessary, steal your computer and smash it to smithereens - hopeful before they go through it themselves and see just how disgusting a sexual deviant you are.

Somewhere putting the fun back in funeral,
Andrew Joseph
* - both quotes taken from deep inside my brain and an episode of the great WKRP in Cincinnati television show. I have no idea why they popped into my mind.

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