If you wish to understand the state of aesthetics in modern Western civilization, the site of the Monument Builders of North America is all the education you need.
It is simultaneously depressing, horrifying, and hilarious, a kind of Doctor Strangelove of Web sites.
From it we also learn that the Funeral and Memorial Information Council has claimed “Have the talk of a lifetime” as a service mark for the pre-need-planning business. Evelyn Waugh could not have invented that slogan.
Nevertheless, the site does tell us that people still desperately want representational art for their cemetery monuments—an observation confirmed by our friend Father Pitt, who reports that there is not a single monument dealer in Allegheny County who does not have a gravestone shaped like a motorcycle prominently displayed in front of his shop.