Earlier in the week I attended the Death Jam, organised by Els of Cookie Von Stir. This event is similar to her Deathless Death Cafes, in that there is cake and talk of death but with guest speakers and a slightly (only slightly!) more formal setting. I baked some death themed cakes to add to the collection of goodies being made by various attendees (I’ll be posting the recipe later in the week) and made my way to The Crypt at St Mary’s Parish Church in Islington.
The two guest speakers for this first event was Alom Shaha, author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook (a great read, highly recommended), science communicator and film maker and Peter Cave, philosopher, lecturer and fellow of The Royal Society of arts among other things.
After a quick introduction from Els, Alom kicked off the evening by reading a chapter from his book, a chapter that dealt with death and his rejection of god; the story of the death of his beloved mother at the age of 13. As Alom read and at some times faltered, I was teetering on the edge of tears, despite having read the book before and knowing what was coming. Once he had finished reading, nothing more needed to be said or asked.
Peter Cave stepped up next and lightened the mood with his power point presentation on philosophy and death. Funny and irreverent, his presentation certainly gave me food for thought and left me wanting to go away and read all of his books.
After the talks the chairs were cleared away so people could mingle, discuss death and eat copious amounts of home made treats*. There was a wide range of attendees, both young and old, curious and skeptical, religious and atheist; and it was a pleasure to stay and talk with them about their views and feelings on death and why we are here.
I very much look forward to the next Death Jam which I believe is on the 28th March, though I will post closer to the time when I know for sure. I highly recommend attending, as eating cake and discussing the macabre side of things are a fine and interesting way to spend an evening. The next Deathless Death Cafe (similar thing, minus the guest speakers) is at Pogo Cafe as usual and is being held on Thursday 28th February. That’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading.