[insert a pause beat]
Wait… Stop the cremation!
Forty years—aye, and several more—ago,The Voice of Things (Thomas Hardy)
When I paced the headlands loosed from dull employ,
The waves huzza’d like a multitude below,
In the sway of an all-including joy
Blankly I walked there a double decade after,
When thwarts had flung their toils in front of me,
And I heard the waters waging in a long ironic laughter
At the lot of men, and all the vapoury
Things that be.
Wheeling change has set me again standing where
Once I heard the waves huzza at Lammas-tide;
but they supplicate now — like a congregation there
Who murmur the Confession — I outside,
The population of the Earth is over 7 billion in 2018 but, if we use 12,000 years ago as our arbitrary marker – the start of the neolithic age – the age of the homo sapiens, we estimate there have been over 50 billion human beings with around 14% still alive today, remarkably.
We’re still very much at the sharp end of human population, here in the 21st century, and given we could only record (let alone film) people over the past 100 years, the rest of our species must fade or be preserved as caricatures, grotesque versions of their living breathing source. Art and literature is a precious cargo, certainly, but it’s a different dialogue to firsthand record. These “Voices of the Dead” lists are simple scattergun selections from the vaults of the dead. We’ve tried to stick to significant diverse individuals who’re worth your time and deserve to be part of collective active recall.
“TEN Voices of the Dead”
(in no particular order)