Charlotte Hays

Geraldo Rivera’s infamous selfie—that’s a picture that one takes of themselves for those not up on the current lingo—revealed the nearly-nude 70-year-old celebrity looking lovingly into a bathroom mirror and should have been the ultimate herald that the end times are fast-approaching.

But civilization has since taken a turn for the worse. Yes, there are some things worse even than seeing Geraldo’s buff but aging torso. There’s the new trend, the funeral selfies, which acculturated blogger Melissa Langsam Braunstine termed “a new societal nadir.” Funeral selfies are when an attendant snaps a photo of him or herself, usually on a phone or another handheld electronic device, to capture their participation in the ceremony.

Move over ugly tattoos, which are meant to say “year of the pig” in Chinese but actually say, “I am a pig.” This is far more tasteless.

In noting the trend, CNBC quoted the caption of a selfie taken by a young woman dressed in black: "Love my hair today. Hate why I'm dressed up #funeral." A selfie featuring a pouty young woman in a pink bedroom displays a sign reading, "Keep Calm and Rock On" and bears the caption "depressing funeral selfie."

"My friend took a selfie at a funeral and didn’t realize his dead grandma was in the background," one tweeter ruefully observes, adding--in a rare display of good taste--"I can’t breathe.”

Well, neither could grandma, but surely the old girl didn’t deserve such a selfie-absorbed grandson.

I am kicking myself that I didn’t know about the funeral selfie before I sat down to write my new book When Did White Trash Become the New Normal: A Southern Lady Asks the Impertinent Question. The funeral selfie says everything that needs to be said about a lazy, self-centered society in decline. Why give grandma a passing farewell thought when you can pose for a picture of…your selfie?

Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.