Walt Disney and Ted Williams
Disney productions are one of the most memorable joys that people share throughout their childhood. As one of the leading entertainment business, these memories can be attributed to the co-founder known as Walter Elias Disney. Together, he and his brother, Roy Disney, created the multibillion dollar corporation today known as The Walt Disney Company ( Biography.com 2012). Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901. It was not until his creation of some of the most well known fictional characters today such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in the 1920’s did he strike his fame and fortune. Over the course of his lifetime, Walt Disney won 950 honors nationwide for the creation of Disney world, the longest running prime time television series (1954-1983), and the creation of an empire that instills beliefs of pursuing dreams (NY times 1996).
On December 15, 1996, Walt Disney died from lung cancer. Widespread urban legends about his death state that Walt Disney had his remains cryonically frozen “hoping that future generations would be able to discover a cure for his illness and revive him from cryonic suspension.” However, legal documents disprove this urban myth and state that his remains were cremated shortly after his death. Today his ashes remain locked in a marked vault at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale,California ( Seeing-Stars 2012).
Many believe that Walt Disney had his body cryonically frozen similar to this.
Cremation, the disposal of the body by fire, can be traced back to the early Stone Age most likely in Europe around 3000 BC evidenced through the early finds of decorative pottery urns (Everlife Memorials 2004). The practice of cremation was prominent and widely accepted in the Roman Empire from 27 B.C. to 395 A.D. In the late 19th century, the practice of cremation gained favor and the first crematory in the United States was built (Prothero 15). The fire produced during the procession was thought to be a purifying agent to the next world much like Van Genneps’s belief of rites of passage. Many believe burning the body prevents the spirit from returning and helps with the shortage of land issue. Modern practices of cremation differ from the early practices used in the Roman Empire. The earliest practice of cremation used the log pyre, in which the body is actually set on fire. Modern practices eliminate the body’s direct exposure to fire and instead expose the body to high heated temperatures until the remains turn to ashes (“Cremation 2011”).
Theodore Samuel Williams known for paving the way for players like Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and other current famous baseball players was born on August 18, 1918. Ted William’s list of achievements include two-time player of the year, playing in 18 all star games, named player of the decade and inducted into the Hall of fame in 1966. On July 5, 2002 Ted Williams passed away in Florida. He is remembered most for his contributions in the military and to” America’s favorite past-time,” baseball.
Williams asked to be cremated and have his ashes sprinkled within the Florida Keys. Instead, he was cryopreserved, or in short, “frozen.” Believers of cryopreservation argue that biomedicine will be able to one day revive them as medical advancements continue over the years. “The practice involves the concepts that believe since several living functions of the body are stored in the cell structures that they will be able to withstand the medical declaration of death (Romain 195).” Objections to cryonics include “it is ‘against nature’, and would change the very concept of death; no friends or family of the ‘freezee’ will be left alive when he is revived; the considerable expense involved for the freezee and the future society that will revive the environmental cost of maintaining suspension(Shaw 15). In several science-fiction movies and books this technology, it is commonly used before death to enable time-travel. As of today, we have not seen anyone revived who was cryo-preserved. Several of the premises of cryonics rely on the development of “future” technologies. The concept ties into the survival of the fittest mentality. The cell structures in the brain which encode long term memory and personality can only be preserved for future usage or revival with cryonic technology(Shaw 19). Opposition to cryonics immediately draws attention to the degree of relevancy of cryonic premises in modern society. Moreover, it relies heavily upon future technology. Ultimately cryonic preservation is just another way to pay homage or preservation for the “dead”.
This video shows the modern day arguments against cryonic and its’ process.
“Cremation.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2011): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
“Forest Lawn Glendale: Stars’ Graves.” SEEING STARS: The Ultimate Guide to Hollywood & Celebrities. Gary Wayne, 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. <http://www.seeing stars.com/buried2/forestlawnglendale.shtml>.
“The History of Cremation.” Everlife Memorials. Classic Memorials, 2004. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. <http://www.everlifememorials.com/v/urns/urns-history.htm>.
“Welcome to the Official Ted Williams Website.” Welcome to the Official Ted Williams Website. Green Diamond Sports, 2007. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <http://www.tedwilliams.com/>.
Prothero, Stephen R. Purified By Fire [Electronic Resource] : A History Of Cremation In America / Stephen Prothero. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2001., 2001. LC2, the library catalog. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
SHAW, DAVID. “Cryoethics: Seeking Life After Death.” Bioethics 23.9 (2009): 515-521. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
Winslow, Natalie. “Religion Compass.” Religion Compass. Worldpress.com, 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <http://religion-compass.com/2010/02/10/news-britain-approves-open-air-funeral-pyre/>.