Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

What a Way to Go!

Dixieland jazz bands wail at New Orleans funerals. Green activists are now clamoring to be buried in bio-degradable cardboard coffins. In Taiwan, another unusual funeral rite has become popular — strippers dancing for the dead, and consoling the living, by performing on movable Electric Flower Cars that join funeral processions en route to the graveyard.

This practice originated in rural districts of Taiwan, but has spurred more debate since appearing in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital. Marc L. Moscowitz has now documented the phenomenon in a film called Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan. He interviews academics, journalists, government officials and the strippers themselves to try to make sense of what’s at stake. Here is an excerpt.

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