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[DRAFT] Pickles in a Box

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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[DRAFT] Pickles in a Box

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:07 am

My region's eco-agenda this month is green burials (https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1254891) so I've knocked together this issue to push awareness, while trying to also make a suitably neutral issue.

Comments welcome.

SECOND:
TITLE:
Pickles in a Box

VALIDITY:
Maybe a consequence to A Grave Problem, maybe standalone issue
Protests legal.
Adult, maybe.

DESCRIPTION:
Among a significant proportion of @@PLURALDEMONYM@@, it is a common funeral custom for the dead to be embalmed and laid to rest in expensive bespoke coffins, to slow decomposition for funeral rites and to show respect to the deceased. However protestors against this practice have occupied @@CAPITAL@@'s largest graveyard, complaining about the ecological harm of this approach.


OPTION 1
"They're burying or burning chemical-soaked organic matter with vast amounts of hardwood, metal and concrete in a single-use application that will literally never again see the light of day," proclaims protest leader @@randomname@@, using your great grandfather's tombstone as a pedestal. "Legislate to require biodegradable and sustainable materials, and ban the use of funerary preservatives. In death, at least, let's limit the harm we're doing to the planet."

OUTCOME:
everybody is food for the worms sooner or later


OPTION 2
"Have some damn respect for the dead!" yells undertaker @@randomname@@ wrestling the protestor, and bodyslamming @@HIM(1)@@ into a memorial statue. "These disrespectful scum make me so angry! Who are they to interfere with the dignified and hygienic funeral customs that people choose for their loved ones? You should arrest these wretched troublemakers for desecrating of this place of peace!" @@HE(2)@@ delivers another kick to the stomach of the supine environmentalist.

OUTCOME:
buried treasure is everywhere


OPTION 3
"There's actually a great opportunity here," interjects Internal Revenue director @@randomname@@, emerging vampire-like from a nearby coffin. "We can charge a tariff to customers who have eco-unfriendly funerals, and give a small incentive payment to those who are maximally eco-friendly. Of course, we can tweak the thresholds for this regularly to make sure that the Treasury does well out of the deal. Doesn't that sound fangtas... uh... fantastic?"

OUTCOME:
the only certainties are death, taxes and death taxes


FIRST:
TITLE:
Pickles in a Box

VALIDITY:
Maybe a consequence to A Grave Problem, maybe standalone issue
Protests legal.
Adult, maybe.

DESCRIPTION:
Environmental protestors have occupied @@CAPITAL@@'s largest graveyard, in protest against the ecological impact of modern funeral customs


OPTION 1
"We're burying or burning chemical-soaked organic matter with vast amounts of hardwood, metal and concrete in a single-use application that will literally never again see the light of day," proclaims protest leader @@randomname@@, using your great grandfather's tombstone as a pedestal. "Legislate to require biodegradable and sustainable materials, and ban the use of funerary preservatives. In death, at least, let's limit the harm we're doing to the planet."

OUTCOME:
everybody is food for the worms sooner or later


OPTION 2
"Have some damn respect for the dead!" yells undertaker @@randomname@@ wrestling the protestor, and bodyslamming @@HIM(1)@@ into a memorial statue. "These disrespectful scum make me so angry! What's wrong with respect for the deceased? You should arrest these wretched troublemakers for desecrating of this place of peace!" @@HE(2)@@ delivers another kick to the stomach of the supine environmentalist.

OUTCOME:
buried treasure is everywhere


OPTION 3
"There's actually a great opportunity here," interjects Internal Revenue director @@randomname@@, emerging vampire-like from a nearby coffin. "We can charge a tariff to customers who have eco-unfriendly funerals, and give a small incentive payment to those who are maximally eco-friendly. Of course, we can tweak the thresholds for this regularly to make sure that the Treasury does well out of the deal. Doesn't that sound fangtas... uh... fantastic?"

OUTCOME:
the only certainties are death, taxes and death taxes
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:34 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Trotterdam
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Posts: 7836
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:16 pm

I think the interesting point here is that funeral customs vary widely by culture and religion, and some of them were far less environmentally-harmful than others to begin with.

Jewish funeral practices, for example, forbid embalming to begin with (you're just supposed to hurry up and bury the corpse before it starts decaying, rather than parade it around for days). Muslim practice is similar to the Jewish version. Hindus would just cremate their dead, which does have some environmental issues (releases smoke and carbon dioxide, doesn't return as many nutrients to the earth) but also contamination with preservatives and doesn't take up land (we covered that in #140), so on the balance it's more environmentally-friendly. Zoroastrians and Tibetan Buddhists just leave their corpses outside to be eaten by vultures.

In fact, it seems to mainly just be the Christians ruining it for everyone.

Actually, not even all of those. Some Eastern Orthodox Christian denominations ban embalming.

Now, of course, even if your nation isn't majority Christian (or whatever made-up religion will stand in for Christianity), the rights of Christian minorities to practice their religion would still be relevant. But it's still important to consider that it's not like embalming is something everyone would want to do to begin with, especially since even Christianity only allows embalming, rather than requiring it for religious reasons (the practice only really caught on in the 19th century, though motivated by the Christian tradition of viewing). On anything other than a Western/Christian nation or Ancient Egypt, this dilemma feels disappointingly simple-minded compared to the fascinating variety of funeral practices that actually exist.

And of course, you need commas here:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:hardwood, metal, and concrete
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:death, taxes, and death taxes

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Founded: Aug 28, 2015
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:33 pm

You got a good point there.

Validity wise, I could code to exclude Islam and Judaism, but it seems a shame to have western christian nations be the "default reality" for NS nations. There's a strong embalming tradition in some other nations too, such as in China, but you're right that this issue is unconsciously very western-centric.

Any ideas on the best way to approach that?

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:15 pm

I'm not sure. While "what funeral traditions does your nation have?" is an interesting question, it isn't necessarily something that the government needs to do something about, since unless there's some specific criticism of those practices (as the environmental concerns raised here), the answer is likely to be "whatever it says in the deceased's will". But, I guess, try to think of ways other funeral practices would draw criticism, so it's less "this specific thing is under attack, yay or nay?" and more "here's several options with pros and cons, which do you prefer?". Or at least, try to have more than one meaningful option for pro-environment nations, since right now you just have "pro-environment, anti-environment, compromise option with a dash of corruption".

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:14 am

So why do we embarm the dead?
Disclaimer: In-Character posts are NOT a reflection of the real world Australian government, any government departments, or any Australian states or territories. I have no authority over real world government decisions. This nation does not reflect my views, as I am trying to unlock banners
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:58 am

Australian rePublic wrote:So why do we embarm the dead?


Do you mean IRL or in the issue?

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:00 am

Trotterdam wrote:I'm not sure. While "what funeral traditions does your nation have?" is an interesting question, it isn't necessarily something that the government needs to do something about, since unless there's some specific criticism of those practices (as the environmental concerns raised here), the answer is likely to be "whatever it says in the deceased's will". But, I guess, try to think of ways other funeral practices would draw criticism, so it's less "this specific thing is under attack, yay or nay?" and more "here's several options with pros and cons, which do you prefer?". Or at least, try to have more than one meaningful option for pro-environment nations, since right now you just have "pro-environment, anti-environment, compromise option with a dash of corruption".


I might see if it can be reframed without losing the core premise. I could describe it as "a common funerary practice amongst a proportion of the @@DEMONYM@@ population" for example, which is ambiguous enough to be a noteworthy minority or the overwhelming majority.

It's less snappy, but could make it less western-centric.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:10 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:So why do we embarm the dead?


Do you mean IRL or in the issue?

Both
Disclaimer: In-Character posts are NOT a reflection of the real world Australian government, any government departments, or any Australian states or territories. I have no authority over real world government decisions. This nation does not reflect my views, as I am trying to unlock banners
From Sydney, NSW. From Greek ancestry. Orthodox Christian.
Why stylised as "rePublic"
16 Published Issues and 1 WA Resolution
Issue Ideas You Can Steal

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Candlewhisper Archive
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 19718
Founded: Aug 28, 2015
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:47 am

Oh right.

We embalm to slow decomposition, which allows for funerary viewing of the deceased over a longer time frame, makes storage of the deceased more hygienic, and makes the experience of dealing with the dead less viscerally unpleasant. Also, the law in many western nations requires that decomposition be slowed by undertakers on receipt of the deceased, but are generally flexible as to whether fridges or embalming or both are used.

In issue, I think it's summarised as "respect for the deceased". I could expand that, if you think it needs expanding, but I'm wary of increasing option lengths unless I have to.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:47 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Oh right.

We embalm to slow decomposition, which allows for funerary viewing of the deceased over a longer time frame, makes storage of the deceased more hygienic, and makes the experience of dealing with the dead less viscerally unpleasant. Also, the law in many western nations requires that decomposition be slowed by undertakers on receipt of the deceased, but are generally flexible as to whether fridges or embalming or both are used.

In issue, I think it's summarised as "respect for the deceased". I could expand that, if you think it needs expanding, but I'm wary of increasing option lengths unless I have to.

Ah, right thanks. Makes you wonder what they did before refrigeration. Yes, I think the issue needs to better explain
Disclaimer: In-Character posts are NOT a reflection of the real world Australian government, any government departments, or any Australian states or territories. I have no authority over real world government decisions. This nation does not reflect my views, as I am trying to unlock banners
From Sydney, NSW. From Greek ancestry. Orthodox Christian.
Why stylised as "rePublic"
16 Published Issues and 1 WA Resolution
Issue Ideas You Can Steal

User avatar
Candlewhisper Archive
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 19718
Founded: Aug 28, 2015
Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:29 am

Alright, draft 2 is now vague enough that it could be a minority or majority practice, and now has some explanation of why embalming takes place. That should help cover concerns raised so far.

Makes you wonder what they did before refrigeration.


In funerary terms, complained about the smell more. Of course, a lot of RL nations don't embalm or cool the dead now, they just accept that after death the body rots.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.


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