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Culture

Looking at the Ancient Catholic Practice of Turning Human Bones into Art and Furniture

Everyone dies, but not everyone gets to be turned into a light fixture.

by Josh Androsky
01 August 2014, 5:00am

Everyone dies. Good morning! You are going to die. Hi, hello, we are all fucking ticking time-corpses. It sucks, but embracing that awful fact might make all this bullshit a little easier. We Americans barely confront death, instead marketing our entire culture to the enviable youth and their sweet, sweet, disposable income.

Megan Rosenbloom does just the opposite. She is a librarian who works with rare books, studies the history of medicine, and is the co-founder and director of Death Salon, which gathers writers, artists, and death professionals for public events and lectures around the world. She joined us and our two special guest comedians—Kyle Kinane (Conan, Drunk History, @midnight) and Chris Fairbanks (who is headlining our LA standup showcase ENTITLEMENT next Wednesday 8/6 at Los Globos in Silver Lake)—to chat about our untimely demise in the latest edition of the ENTITLEMENT podcast.

This chandelier at Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic purportedly includes at least one of every bone in the human body. Photo by Dr. Paul Koudounaris

She brought with her some amazing pictures of European charnel houses and ossuaries, featuring real human bones assembled into metal-as-fuck interior design. These photos were taken by the immensely talented Dr. Paul Koudounaris. You can find more exclusive photos of the world's ossuaries and charnel houses in his book, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses.

Recorded at historic EastWest Studios, in the same fucking room where Brian Wilson's sanity died during the recording of Pet Sounds.

PRODUCER: BRETT RADER

ENGINEER: CHRIS SOUSA

MUSIC: LA FONT

Follow Josh and Alison on Twitter.

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Tagged:
comedy
death
Czech Republic
Ghosts
Podcasts
Dying
Mortality
skeletons
Stuff
cremation
Alison Stevenson
Kyle Kinane
Entitlement
Josh Androsky
Sedlec Ossuary
Chris Fairbanks
Megan Rosenbloom
Death Salon
burial rituals
Ghost Hunting
turning human bones into furniture
cremations
being cremated