Obituaries

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Wise One
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George Carlin is Dead

Postby Wise One » 2008 Jun 23 12:27

George Carlin was a wonderful person who made my life, and those of millions, better for the light of humor he shined on our foibles.

His own foibles and demons were a burden that shortened his life, but they seemed also to sharpen his intellect and wit. I had the pleasure of meeting him, and I witnessed first-hand over several days a truly incredible effort and discipline that he put into preparation for his every performance.

From one of his routines, I note that he did not "pass away", or "expire" like a magazine subscription, or merely have a "terminal episode" or a "negative patient care outcome" in the hospital.'

Yesterday, he died.

Damn.

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[youtube]h67k9eEw9AY[/youtube]
[youtube]MvgN5gCuLac[/youtube]
[youtube]BTyzTJTNhNk[/youtube]
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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George Carlin

Postby Wise One » 2008 Jun 24 09:58

On June 24, 2008, Jerry Seinfeld in the New York Times wrote:Dying Is Hard. Comedy Is Harder.

THE honest truth is, for a comedian, even death is just a premise to make jokes about. I know this because I was on the phone with George Carlin nine days ago and we were making some death jokes. We were talking about Tim Russert and Bo Diddley and George said: “I feel safe for a while. There will probably be a break before they come after the next one. I always like to fly on an airline right after they’ve had a crash. It improves your odds.”

I called him to compliment him on his most recent special on HBO. Seventy years old and he cranks out another hour of great new stuff. He was in a hotel room in Las Vegas getting ready for his show. He was a monster.

You could certainly say that George downright invented modern American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke and another comedian would say, “Carlin does it.” I’ve heard it my whole career: “Carlin does it,” “Carlin already did it,” “Carlin did it eight years ago.”

And he didn’t just “do” it. He worked over an idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian. He was like a train hobo with a chicken bone. When he was done there was nothing left for anybody.

But his brilliance fathered dozens of great comedians. I personally never cared about “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” or “FM & AM.” To me, everything he did just had this gleaming wonderful precision and originality.

I became obsessed with him in the ’60s. As a kid it seemed like the whole world was funny because of George Carlin. His performing voice, even laced with profanity, always sounded as if he were trying to amuse a child. It was like the naughtiest, most fun grown-up you ever met was reading you a bedtime story.

I know George didn’t believe in heaven or hell. Like death, they were just more comedy premises. And it just makes me even sadder to think that when I reach my own end, whatever tumbling cataclysmic vortex of existence I’m spinning through, in that moment I will still have to think, “Carlin already did it.”

Jerry Seinfeld is a writer and a comedian.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Randy Pausch is dead

Postby Wise One » 2008 Jul 25 21:12

Randy Pausch, a wonderful person, was a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and also taught at the University of Virginia. He died today.

After his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, he became world-famous for his "Last Lecture" at CMU, below.

[youtube]ji5_MqicxSo[/youtube]

He was proud of his lecture on Time Management, given at UVA's Darden School, below.

[youtube]oTugjssqOT0[/youtube]

In his final year, he had moved his family to Chesapeake, Virginia, where they now live.

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Wise One » 2009 Aug 10 08:50

Ben Sisario on August 10, 2009 in the New York Times wrote:Mike Seeger, Singer and Music Historian, Dies at 75

Mike Seeger, a singer and multi-instrumentalist who played an important role in the folk revival of the 1950s and ’60s, died on Friday at his home in Lexington, Va. He was 75.

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Photo by Jack Vartoogian: Mike Seeger in 2003.

The cause was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, said his wife, Alexia Smith.

Although a quieter voice on the national stage than his politically outspoken, older half-brother, Pete, Mike Seeger was a significant force in spreading the music of preindustrial America during an increasingly consumerist era. In 1958 he helped found the New Lost City Ramblers, whose repertory came from the 1920s and ’30s, and in his career he recorded or produced dozens of albums of what he called the “true vine” of American music, the mix of British and African traditions and topical storytelling that took root in the South.

Mr. Seeger’s dedication had a strong effect on the young Bob Dylan, who wrote fondly of him in his 2004 memoir, “Chronicles: Volume One.” Although only eight years his junior, Mr. Dylan called Mr. Seeger a father figure — for helping the under-age Mr. Dylan with his paperwork — and rhapsodized about him as the embodiment of a folk-star persona.

“Mike was unprecedented,” Mr. Dylan wrote, adding: “As for being a folk musician, he was the supreme archetype. He could push a stake through Dracula’s black heart. He was the romantic, egalitarian and revolutionary type all at once.”

But Mr. Seeger made his mark less as a star than as a careful, steady student of his beloved Southern music. He was born in New York to a prominent musical family. His father, Charles Seeger, was a well-known ethnomusicologist, and his mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, a composer and folk-song collector. Besides Pete, Mr. Seeger’s sister Peggy also became a noted singer.

The intellectual pursuit of folk music was part of Mike Seeger’s life from an early age. At 5 he made a recording of the old British folk ballad “Barbara Allen,” his wife said in an interview on Sunday.

Mr. Seeger played banjo, guitar, autoharp and other instruments, which he learned from old records and in some cases from the musicians who played on them. A dogged researcher, he sought out musicians who had been lost for decades and introduced them to an eager (and young) new audience. One was Dock Boggs, a banjo player from western Virginia whose records were prized by folklorists. Mr. Seeger brought him to the American Folk Festival in Asheville, N.C., in 1963.

Mr. Seeger’s most recent album was “Early Southern Guitar Sounds” (Smithsonian Folkways), in 2007, and he played autoharp on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Grammy Award-winning album “Raising Sand” (Rounder), also released in 2007. In his career Mr. Seeger was nominated for six Grammys.

In addition to his wife, his half-brother Pete, of Beacon, N.Y., and his sister Peggy, of Boston, Mr. Seeger is survived by three sons, Kim, of Tivoli, N.Y., Chris, of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Jeremy, of Belmont, Mass.; four stepchildren, Cory Foster of Ithaca, N.Y., Jenny Foster of Rockville, Md., Joel Foster of Silver Spring, Md., and Jesse Foster of Washington; another sister, Barbara Perfect of Henderson, Nev.; another half-brother, John Seeger of Bridgewater, Conn.; and 13 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

Another portrait.

And yet another photo, from the Library of Congress:
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"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2009 Aug 13 17:59

Les Paul is dead. His music and his technology (he invented the electric guitar and multi-track recording) will both live forever.

Here's a recording from one of Les Paul & Mary Ford's 1950's radio shows.

And there's a great video in this NYT obituary.

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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Aug 31 16:49

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On 8/27/2009, The Telegraph wrote:
Dunne died on Wednesday at the age of 83 at his home in Manhattan after a long struggle with bladder cancer, his son, the actor Griffin Dunne, told Vanity Fair magazine.

A former Hollywood producer who turned to writing after years of battling drug and alcohol abuse, Dunne wrote five best-selling novels that centred on scandal and crime in high society.

His first major piece for Vanity Fair appeared in March 1984 and offered a gripping first-person account of the trial of the man who murdered his 22-year-old daughter, Dominique, a crime that haunted Dunne throughout his life.

Dunne began to write regularly for Vanity Fair, documenting the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez, brothers who were convicted of the 1989 shotgun murders of their wealthy Beverly Hills parents after two trials broadcast live on cable television.

When OJ Simpson, a popular athlete turned TV star, was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend, Dunne secured a front-row seat to the so-called "Trial of the Century," filing monthly dispatches for the magazine and appearing regularly on TV as a commentator.

He wrote a novel, "Another City, Not My Own," published in 1997, based on his experiences during the Simpson case.

Dunne also wrote about the attempted-murder trial of socialite Claus von Bulow and the rape case against William Kennedy Smith, and was renowned for his profiles of the rich and famous, including actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Former congressman Gary Condit sued Dunne over his coverage of the disappearance of Washington, DC intern Chandra Levy, in which the writer implicated the lawmaker. The case was settled out of court with an apology to Condit from Dunne.

An immigrant from El Salvador, not Condit, was ultimately charged with Levy's slaying.

Dunne, who was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 29, 1925, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in World War Two, published a memoir, "The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name-Dropper," in 1999.

His best-known novels included "The Two Mrs Grenvilles," "People Like Us" and "An Inconvenient Woman."

The brother of author John Gregory Dunne and brother-in-law of writer Joan Didion, Dunne was married to Ellen Beatriz Griffin from 1954 to 1965.
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Sam
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Sam » 2009 Aug 31 17:14

The Last of the Kennedy Dynasty - to be canonized you need:

*cheated at Harvard
*Father got his four years in military reduced to 2 years
*cited numerous times for reckless driving in Va
*questionable about the Chappaquiddick incident

But to be fair was selected as one of the Ten best senators

yo bro, still scratching my head.
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Sep 16 17:21

[youtube]K2x_sp3Ehvk[/youtube]


To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
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Wise One
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Wise One » 2009 Sep 16 18:39

Loved him, and Jennifer before she lost her mind and got the nose job that ruined her looks.
(She's quoted as saying, "I went into surgery a celebrity, and came out anonymous.)

I'd forgotten this part of his. RIP
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Trend Setter
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Mary

Postby Trend Setter » 2009 Sep 16 22:33

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Wise One
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Henry Gibson

Postby Wise One » 2009 Sep 17 10:41

Henry Gibson (not Henrik Ibsen) was wonderful and versatile, from his "Laugh In" days, to "Boston Legal." I had the pleasure of meeting and working with him in his Malibu Colony beach house, on a public policy project we were both interested in.
Image Image
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Juggler
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Juggler » 2009 Sep 18 07:49

The reaper was busy this summer.

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Wise One
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William Saffire

Postby Wise One » 2009 Sep 28 13:15

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Although I often disagreed with him, man he could write.
William Safire on January 24, 2005 wrote:How to Read a Column

At last I am at liberty to vouchsafe to you the dozen rules in reading a political column.

1. Beware the pundit's device of using a quotation from a liberal opposition figure to make a conservative case, and vice versa. Righties love to quote John F. Kennedy on life's unfairness; lefties love to quote Ronald Reagan. Don't fall for gilding by association.

2. Never look for the story in the lede. Reporters are required to put what's happened up top, but the practiced pundit places a nugget of news, even a startling insight, halfway down the column, directed at the politiscenti. When pressed for time, the savvy reader starts there.

3. Do not be taken in by "insiderisms." Fledgling columnists, eager to impress readers with their grasp of journalistic jargon, are drawn to such arcane spellings as "lede." Where they lede, do not follow.

4. When infuriated by an outrageous column, do not be suckered into responding with an abusive e-mail. Pundits so targeted thumb through these red-faced electronic missives with delight, saying "Hah! Got to 'em."

5. Don't fall for the "snapper" device. To give an aimless harangue the illusion of shapeliness, some of us begin (forget "lede") with a historical allusion or revealing anecdote, then wander around for 600 words before concluding by harking back to an event or quotation in the opening graph. This stylistic circularity gives the reader a snappy sense of completion when the pundit has not figured out his argument's conclusion.

6. Be wary of admissions of minor error. One vituperator wrote recently that the Constitution's requirement for a president to be "natural born" would have barred Alexander Hamilton. Nitpickers pointed out that the Founders exempted themselves. And there were 16, not 20, second inaugural speeches. In piously making these corrections before departing, the pundit gets credit for accuracy while getting away with misjudgments too whopping to admit.

(Note: you are now halfway down the column. Start here.)

7. Watch for repayment of favors. Stewart Alsop jocularly advised a novice columnist: "Never compromise your journalistic integrity - except for a revealing anecdote." Example: a Nixon speechwriter told columnists that the president, at Camp David, boasted "I just shot 120," to which Henry Kissinger said brightly "Your golf game is improving, Mr. President," causing Nixon to growl "I was bowling, Henry." After columnists gobbled that up, the manipulative writer collected in the coin of friendlier treatment.

8. Cast aside any column about two subjects. It means the pundit chickened out on the hard decision about what to write about that day. When the two-topic writer strains to tie together chalk and cheese, turn instead to a pudding with a theme. (Three subjects, however, can give an essay the stability of an oaken barstool. Two's a crowd, but three's a gestalt.)

9. Cherchez la source. Ingest no column (or opinionated reporting labeled "analysis") without asking: Cui bono? And whenever you see the word "respected" in front of a name, narrow your eyes. You have never read "According to the disrespected (whomever)."

10. Resist swaydo-intellectual writing. Only the hifalutin trap themselves into "whomever" and only the tort bar uses the Latin for "who benefits?" Columnists who show off should surely shove off. (And avoid all asinine alliteration.)

11. Do not be suckered by the unexpected. Pundits sometimes slip a knuckleball into their series of curveballs: for variety's sake, they turn on comrades in ideological arms, inducing apostasy-admirers to gush "Ooh, that's so unpredictable." Such pushmi-pullyu advocacy is permissible for Clintonian liberals or libertarian conservatives but is too often the mark of the too-cute contrarian.

12. Scorn personal exchanges between columnists. Observers presuming to be participants in debate remove the reader from the reality of controversy; theirs is merely a photo of a painting of a statue, or a towel-throwing contest between fight managers. Insist on columns taking on only the truly powerful, and then only kicking 'em when they're up.

In bidding Catullus's ave atque vale to readers of this progenitor of all op-ed pages (see rule 10), is it fair for one who has enjoyed its freedom for three decades to spill its secrets? Of course it's unfair to reveal the Code. But punditry is as vibrant as political life itself, and as J.F.K. said, "life is unfair." (Rules 1 and 5.)
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 Jan 28 15:46

Bye J.D.

Thanks for the read of a lifetime!

J.D. Salinger


:tiphat:

AP writes:

Enraged by all the "phonies" who make "me so depressed I go crazy," Holden soon became American literature's most famous anti-hero since Huckleberry Finn. The novel's sales are astonishing — more than 60 million copies worldwide — and its impact incalculable. Decades after publication, the book remains a defining expression of that most American of dreams: to never grow up.
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Wise One » 2010 Jan 29 13:05

He was great. And weird. Maybe the two must go together.
ImageImageImage

Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon…I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake.
I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all… I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye.
Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.

PS. He would have liked this obituary.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Wise One » 2010 Mar 13 21:40

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 Mar 14 09:19

What a touching tribute. Makes one think about who will be left when we go and will their thoughts be anything as touching and heartfelt as Keith's thoughts of his father. To be someone's hero..............does it get any better than that?
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 Apr 11 12:05

Dixie Carter

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Goodbye, Julia Sugarbaker. Thanks for a million and one laughs.
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Obituaries

Postby Wise One » 2010 Apr 11 13:57

One classy lady ... I'll miss her. I haven't seen anything on the cause of death yet.
PS - Note added: endometrial cancer

And, oh, I have the highest respect for her hubby.
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fangz1956
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Re: Obituaries

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 May 11 07:48

The classiest of jazz icons has left the building...............

Goodbye Lena


:bath: :encore:

[youtube]QCG3kJtQBKo[/youtube]
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?