This Day in Death

9.25.16: Golf Legend Arnold Palmer – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:00 pm September 30, 2016

Palmer, seen here in the famous Masters Tournament Green Jacket. But the accolades didn’t stop there: In his decades-long career, Palmer won every bizarre golf trophy the game had to offer, including the Golden Teapot, the Accursed Moon Boot, and even the mythical Indigo Wifebeater. Oooh, I wasn’t even sure that last one was real!



As you probably haven’t noticed yet, we don’t do that many sports posts around here. Truthfully, I lost all my faith in sports when I found out that Tim Conway didn’t actually have his shins amputated for those Dorf On… movies. He was just standing in a hole! Commit to the craft or get the hell out of the sports-themed spoof film industry already, Conway!

But today we’re making a rare exception for legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, because I can respect a sport that encourages you to have other people carry your equipment so you don’t break a sweat/can maintain an air of superiority, which really emphasizes the psychological aspect of these kinds of things. After several years of failing health, Palmer passed away on Sunday due to complications caused by heart problems. He was 87 years old. Not “87 years young,” as your feisty grandpappy likes to say, because you know who doesn’t tack “young” onto the end of their age? Actual young people.

Palmer became one of the best known sports figures and, at 5-10, 175, a telegenic golfer who burst out of black-and-white television sets across the country in the late 1950s and into the 1960s and took the game to the masses.

“Arnold meant everything to golf. Are you kidding me?” Tiger Woods said . “I mean, without his charisma, without his personality in conjunction with TV — it was just the perfect symbiotic growth. You finally had someone who had this charisma, and they’re capturing it on TV for the very first time.

“Everyone got hooked to the game of golf via TV because of Arnold.”

So great was his fame that even Palmer’s name took on additional meaning. But having an “Arnold Palmer” means more than just masturbating to videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger working out in the 80s. It’s also the name of a drink consisting of three parts iced tea and one part lemonade. Notably, adding vodka to an Arnold Palmer makes it a John Daly, and adding a lime to a John Daly makes it awful. Limes are garbage.

 

Source: USA Today

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8.29.16: Gene Wilder – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:31 pm September 6, 2016

GENE_WILDERMan, John Cena always looks so weird when they have to put him a suit.

 

Gene Wilder, star of such beloved comedies as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, has passed away at the age of 83 due to complications related to Alzheimer’s. And now you all see what a lifetime of this comedy stuff will get you. Personally I’ve been ramping down the humor around here for some time in order to wean you guys off the stuff. Don’t worry; Stick with me and soon the most amusement you’ll be able to tolerate is nodding politely to Spalding Gray monologues before getting a good night’s rest.

Wilder made perhaps his most lasting impact as the titular star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film about a small-business owner who, apparently not giving any kind of a shit about the sanitary requirements of manufacturing consumables, let a bunch of filthy kids run roughshod through his candy factory with their sticky fingers just a-grabbin’ at everything within reach. They were literally swimming around in it at one point, that’s just gross. Unless the real villain of the film turns out to be Typhoid fever you’re just sending a bad message.

Notably, when velour hat enthusiast Tim Burton rebooted the film in 2005 to a somewhat more controversial reception, Wilder himself called it an “insult” and didn’t care for its darker tone. Far be it from me to jump to Burton’s crushed-velvet-ensconced aid, but if you wanna talk cynical Hollywood cash grabs it’s worth noting that Wilder’s film only got funding in exchange for the rights to create actual molar-raping, diabetes-baiting candy as a synergistic tie to the film. Say what you will about modern cinema, but at least nowadays we can go to the movies without anyone trying to convince us that gobs of sugar will fill the dull ache in our mortal souls. Nope, now science has proven that that can only be accomplished by the luxurious yet bold engineering of a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That’s Mercedes-Benz: The Best or Nothing!

Mr. Wilder’s rule for comedy was simple: Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. “I’m an actor, not a clown,” he said more than once.

With his haunted blue eyes and an empathy born of his own history of psychic distress, he aspired to touch audiences much as Charlie Chaplin had. The Chaplin film “City Lights,” he said, had “made the biggest impression on me as an actor; it was funny, then sad, then both at the same time.”

Hey, did you guys know Wilder was once married to fellow yukchucker Gilda Radner? As a public service announcement, I have to say I highly advise against that kind of thing. You don’t want to marry someone in the same profession as you; It just gets competitive and will likely speed up your already-assured divorce, and you really gotta stick together at least long enough to get on their insurance and have some stuff checked out. See, if you want a strong marriage, what you really need is a mate that does something complementary to what you do without it being too similar. Like let’s say you’re a professional bank robber. Well, see if you can’t find yourself a sleepy security guard to marry. Doomsday prepper? Meet Sam’s Club floor manager. Veterinary tech for an at-capacity animal shelter? Bam! Chef at a fledgling South Korean bistro. Hey, I know it’s not always pretty, but building a stronger society isn’t about aesthetics. It’s like I’ve been saying for years: It’s time to take love out of marriage. And out of our schools, too, come to think of it. When I send my hypothetical children to a public facility I don’t want them coming back with all sorts of twisted ideas about this “compassion” stuff in their heads. It’s against nature, it is!

 

Source: The NY Times

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7.26.16: Television Psychic Miss Cleo – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:42 pm August 5, 2016

MISS_CLEONow listen, I refuse to accept advice from people in puka shell necklaces. Sure, standing by my principles has gotten me into a lot of JNCO-centric scuffles, but as the saying goes, “I’d rather die on my feet than drag around a chain wallet like an asshole.”

 

There’s something about putting a camera in front of someone that makes us assume we’re not being lied to. A little sprinkling of that manufactured authenticity and you can convince us that politicians aren’t lizard people, or that Bear Grylls isn’t just hanging out by the interstate, or that David Duchovny is a real person and not a drowsy elephant seal that wandered onto the set.

Or take Youree Dell Harris, aka Miss Cleo, who conned countless Americans into ponying up for “psychic readings” just by sitting in front of a MacBook wallpaper and cobbling together the least-convincing Jamaican accent I’ve heard since I tried opening that jerk chicken restaurant in Cleveland. Honestly, lady; How hard would it have been to rent Cool Runnings one more time, just to be sure?

Of course, Harris’ whole act couldn’t have been any more transparent if she were sitting on top of a literal barrel of snake oil, but thanks to the vaseline-slathered magic of television, it worked. In fact, it worked for seven long years. And then it didn’t. And then she died. So, yeah… How you gonna fix this mess now, Television?

Harris’ run as a TV psychic was not without controversy. Access Resource Services, the company behind Psychic Readers Network, was hit with numerous lawsuits in 2001, and the following year the Federal Trade Commission charged the company’s owners with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices, in a case that was eventually settled.

After that well dried up, Harris took a series of bizarre gigs to make ends meet, including doing commercials in character for a used car dealership, hawking breakfast cereal, and voicing a character in one of those games that white people used to blame violent crime on until they heard about Muslims.

Harris’ post-fame struggles just go to show that, wherever you are financially, you never know what the future will bring. So, if you’re anything like me, you started saving for your midlife crisis in your early teens. If you haven’t done the same, you should really sit down with your loved ones and think about the specific, pathetic way in which you hope to refute your rapidly-approaching end of days and put together a realistic plan to make it happen. Perhaps you’re finally gonna open that bistro you were only ever half-hearted about to begin with, or maybe you’d like to own an unnecessarily loud motorcycle with which to broadcast to the neighbors, “Hey everyone! I’m still vital and useful to the world!” Whatever dumbass idea you want to see through in order to briefly convince yourself that maybe Death isn’t snickering at the meaninglessness of literally everything you’ve ever done, it’s a stupid dream that I can help you achieve. Just send away for my free informational pamphlet, So You’re Denying Your Irrelevance: The Delusional Fool’s Guide to Personal Finance. How can I afford to send it to you free of charge? Ha, well… let’s just say a certain blogger was really into stamp-collecting for, like, two weeks.



Source: The Wrap

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6.13.16: Michu Meszaros, the Guy in the Alf Costume – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:56 pm July 4, 2016

MICHU_MESZAROSYou know what I like about that Alf? Lost his family, his planet, everything he’s ever known, but still manages to have a good time in life. It’s really something we could all learn from, and that’s why I’m gonna keep sending season 1 DVDs to those Somali refugees until they get the message. Nobody ever found a new home by moping, Basheer Buzzkill!

 

Hey, remember pre-Pog-form Alf? If you’re too young to remember, or just spent too much time reading books like a fucking square, Alf was a crass yet lovable television alien that lived with a human family in the suburbs of California and had a big thing about eating cats. Alex Jones called it “an explosive documentary series the government doesn’t want you to see,” then gave four hours of airtime to a definitely sober Midwest farmer who saw some lights one time. That dude is about to blow this whole thing wide open!

Well, it turns out Alf was nothing more than a sub-Henson puppet all along, except during brief full-body shots, when his furry Melmacian corpse was worn like a damn Navajo skin-walker by wee little man Michu Meszaros, who died recently after falling into a coma.

The Hungarian-born Meszaros got his start as a circus entertainer, where he was billed as “the smallest man in the world.” This despite the fact that, at 2′ 9″, he was not only not the shortest man in the world, but Wiki editors didn’t even find his height notable enough to include him on its list of the shortest people. The whole thing is grossly inconsistent, and if there’s one thing that really gets me in a dander, it’s vertical impropriety. I wish I could say I was surprised, though: The little people community is always up to something shady, you just never noticed because your head wasn’t tilted down far enough.

A GoFundMe page was recently launched to help Meszaros with medical expenses, as he struggled with health issues up until his death, and funeral costs. The organizer of the page, Richard Leo LaMotte, wrote on his Facebook page that the actor had died.

You know, something I never understood about Alf is that he was given that name by the family he lived with, even though he already had a perfectly inconspicuous name; Gordon. Seems like a bit of a passive-aggressive move on the Tanners’ part, like they wanted to show that they could really take or leave being witness to the first proof of alien life. I don’t know what it was about sitcom families from that era housing inhuman, otherworldly guests and forcing them to fit into our societal norms, but we accepted that shit without question for way too long. Alf shoved a creature who knew how to fly spaceship into a Tommy Bahama shirt, Harry and the Hendersons had a sentient sasquatch agreeing to answer to a goofy pun name despite the fact that at any moment he could’ve made bone jewelry out of that whole family if he wanted to, and Small Wonder figured that throwing a 1920s school marm outfit on a robot should go far enough towards keeping the neighbors from blowing up their spot. Still, television writers didn’t get unforgivably lazy until Who’s the Boss? tried to convince me that anyone would voluntarily leave young children alone with an Italian. You know he’s just gonna try to bake them into a pizza pie, it’s all they know!

 

Source: Variety

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6.10.16: Gordie Howe – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:52 pm June 19, 2016

GORDIE_HOWESee, back in the day, nobody wore helmets because the science just wasn’t in on the health risks of massive head trauma yet. No, the scourge of the day was carpal tunnel brought on by excessive high-fiving/butt-patting. As you can see, you really had to protect those hands, presumably by sticking them inside of giant glazed hams.



As I’ve said many, many times before, here at the TDiD we do quite a lot of sports posts. It’d be hard to argue otherwise: After all, this is the third consecutive post about an athlete, fourth if you count Harambe the gorilla‘s short-lived career as Mexican wrestler El Apetito Niño (which I do!). I can’t help it, I just love everything about the high-octane world of sports. From the byzantine rules to the technical fouls to the constant stoppages in play to discuss minutia, it’s really just wall-to-wall, completely accessible action. Plus it’s given me a lot of useful tips for getting blood stains out of clothing.

So you can imagine my shock when I picked up my Sports Illustrated football phone and heard the news that hockey great Gordie Howe had passed away. Considered by many to be the greatest to ever play the game, Howe was known by such not-at-all grandiose nicknames as “The Legend,” “The Most,” “Mr. Everything,” and “Mr. Hockey.” Justified? Perhaps. But objectively those nicknames are terrible. I haven’t seen anything manage to be both so extravagant and so unimaginative at the same time since Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ha, just kidding, I never saw Avengers: Age of Ultron. But for real reals, how do you run with “The King of Hockey” and leave “The Howeitzer” on the table? Or what about celebrating Howe’s storied love of on-ice fisticuffs with, I don’t know… “Gordon Fightfoot”? This is why sports analysts almost never become poet laureates.

The Hockey Hall of Famer had had health struggles in recent years, suffering a stroke in 2014. A statement from the Howe family said he passed away peacefully Friday morning with his family by his side.

As a six-time league MVP, Howe arguably was one of the sport’s greatest players, scoring 801 goals in his 26 years in two stints in the National Hockey League.

Definitely great stats, and not to be indelicate, but this here is the TDiD’s 350th post, even more if you count all of those times I accidentally posted articles intended for my Men’s Rights Advocacy subreddit (which I do not!). It’s all nice and fine that old King Gordita there got his due, but your 350th post is the big one. Everyone knows you don’t go all limp when it comes to the semiseptcentennial celebration, yet I haven’t received a single congratulatory gift basket or congratulatory erotic cake, or even a congratulatory copyright infringement notice for all the header images I don’t pay for.

Now, I’m not being obtuse here. Of course no one would claim that writing a bunch of blog posts of inconsistent quality is an achievement on the level of a 4-decade career as the best hockeybro ever to play the game… and quite frankly that’s what’s wrong with America. I mean, come on! Look, who was there for you the day Prince died? All media outlets, sure, but who respected his audience enough to sit on that story and make sure it was the musician Prince and not Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, the newborn prince of Bhutan (who’s doing fine, by the way, you’re welcome)? Hell, I’m still vetting some sources on that, just to be sure. Meanwhile the lamestream media went whole hog with their assumptions, Anderson Cooper got to buy another sapphire-encrusted yacht, and the wheel of mediocrity continues to turn undisputed. I guess what I’m really trying to say is I need about $40 until the end of next week.




Source: CNN and The Hockey Writers (header image)

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6.6.16: Kimbo Slice – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:40 pm June 13, 2016

KIMBO_SLICEGranted, he was pretty intimidating, but you could put that durag on Fred Savage and I’d be just as scared. Wait, no, that’s not true.

 

As I’ve had to (ironically, at this point) disclaim many times, we don’t do many sports posts around here. Nope, I’ve sat through Over the Top, both Major Leagues, and all of those Karate Kid movies, and the evidence is clear; Sports dramatically raise your risk of exposure to dated buttrock soundtracks. Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Loggins Disease, Hagar Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV), or Bononucleosis.

Nonetheless, today we’re talking about the death of Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice, and not just because we share the same nickname. Of course, the difference is that he became known as “Slice” after leaving a large cut on an opponent’s face, whereas I got it because I once ate half the menu at the Cheesecake Factory to win a bet. The medics said I wouldn’t survive the night, although I think they underestimated just how high I’ve raised the tolerance threshold for abusing my body. It’s a special kind of discipline.

But back to people who aren’t me for a moment. Slice, a controversial figure in the worlds of MMA and boxing, died last week at the age of 42 due to heart failure resulting from a tumor on his liver. It’s a surprisingly early end to his life and career, but at least he’s in heaven punching angels now. Yeah, I feel I’ve pieced the jist of the Bible together pretty well over the years.

He played middle linebacker at Miami’s Palmetto High and showed the potential to play in college before Hurricane Andrew caused Palmetto High’s season to be cut short and his scholarship offers vanished. He flunked out of college at Bethune-Cookman University and was homeless for a brief time. He worked as a limo driver, strip-club bouncer and bodyguard before rising to fame through his viral street-fighting videos.

Ugh. Even for someone who lived as hard and fast as Slice did, 42 is still a depressingly young age to die. Life doesn’t even begin until 50, if the t-shirt section at Spencer Gifts is to be believed. As an athlete in your early 40s there are still so many ears left uncauliflowered, so many used mouthguards left to sell on eBay to recoup unsuccessful vanity record label losses, and at least one sad and misguided late-career comeback attempt. I was really looking forward to being let down by that in 10 years.

 

Sources: ESPN and Yell Magazine (header image)

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6.3.16: Muhammad Ali – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:40 pm June 6, 2016

SvA_fullAli and Superman, seen here settling a dispute over the most tasteful way to publicly wear too-short man trunks. I’m giving it to Ali on a technicality, since Supes is kinda cheating by wearing a unitard underneath. Show us them supergams or go back to Krypton, Kal-El!


As I’ve long since gotten sick of telling you people, I only do sports posts on this here laffy laff site when someone of great notability has passed. You see, most sports are simply too violent for me. I’m a humanitarian, and I can’t bring myself to witness people putting themselves through that kind of punishment for such trivial rewards as fame and fortune. Now watching street people fight each other for half of my Filet-O-Fish, well, that’s a beautiful display of survival skills. Maybe I’m just more interested in what really matters in this world.

Regardless of why your lapsed morals caused you to develop such an unquenchable bloodlust, you’ve no doubt marveled at the almost unbearably graphic facepunchery of storied boxman and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately, Ali passed away over the weekend due to a respiratory illness brought on by Parkinson’s Disease. While the odds of him triumphantly punching his way out of the grave and challenging Death to a rematch are slim, I advise keeping an eye on it for a few days anyway, as that would be wicked metal.

Crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC, Ali was noted for his pre- and post-fight talk and bold fight predictions just as much as his boxing skills inside the ring.

But he was also a civil rights campaigner and poet who transcended the bounds of sport, race and nationality.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, he once said: “As a man who never sold out his people. But if that’s too much, then just a good boxer.

“I won’t even mind if you don’t mention how pretty I was.”

In his later years, Ali’s struggle with Parkinson’s stripped him of both his mobility and his characteristic speech. It’s like he made some bizarre Faustian deal where he got to be great at two things and then had those two things taken away from him. You know, I don’t get why the devil feels like he has to pull that sneaky shit every time. You’re already getting an eternal soul, why add insult to injury with the whole “ironic loophole” thing? Let some poor schmuck enjoy 70 or so years of having the girthiest dong without any weird unforeseen complications, and then you get to hold complete dominion over him for literally all of the remaining time in existence. It’s already a pretty lopsided deal, and you’re trying to sweeten the pot? Pettiness does not look good on you, Prince of Darkness.


Source: BBC

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5.28.16: Harambe the Endangered Gorilla – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:07 pm May 31, 2016

HARAMBE

[Source: ibtimes]

Fun fact: The word ‘harambee’ is Swahili, and essentially means “to pull together in unity, as in a community.” If that makes you feel optimistic about the future of inter-species relations in the world, maybe stop reading here.

 

It’s another day in P.R. Hell for those giraffe-stranglers in the zoo industry, as a gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo was put down in a successful effort to rescue a three-year-old boy who had jumped into the pen. Witnesses say Harambe, an endangered western lowland gorilla, actually seemed to be taking care of the child when it first entered. I mean, like, in a paternal sense, not in the way a loan shark “takes care” of gambling debts. It’s a surprisingly gentle response from Harambe, although that kid probably didn’t have much money anyway.

Harambe supposedly only became aggressive when he heard the screams from the crowd, prompting authorities to resort to gunning down the animal. So basically a mother ape let her ape kid jump into the ape house, then a bunch of other apes started howling and freaked out another ape, and then some other apes with guns killed that ape to save the ape kid, and now a whole bunch of internet apes are fighting about it. When you really break it down it kinda just looks like nature doing that whole “circle of life” thing its always going on about.

Officials made the decision to shoot Harambe because the boy was in “imminent danger.” They feared a tranquilizer would take too long to kick in, and the dart may have agitated the gorilla.

“There was nobody getting that baby back from that gorilla — no one was taking him,” [witness Tangi] Hollifield said.

The killing has prompted a debate on whether keepers had to kill Harambe. Some point to past cases at zoos where officials had managed to retrieve people from gorillas without harming the primates.

An online petition seeking “justice for Harambe” through criminal charges has earned more than 162,000 signatures.

Obviously, this is a tragedy all around. No reasonable person wants to see anyone or anything die, but this gorilla needed to be put down. In fact, just to be safe, all gorillas need to be put down. As this horrific incident reminds us, they pose a legitimate threat to humanity’s most precious resource: Bamboo shoots. Did you know that, if left unchecked, the gorilla population will completely eliminate all bamboo by the year 4000? My annual backyard luau is gonna be a laughingstock without those tiki torches. And how is the cybernetic lobster body I will have downloaded my consciousness into supposed to make my kaeng tai pla? It’s, like, the premiere curry dish of southern Thailand! These dumb gorillas can’t even appreciate the subtle intermingling of eggplant and minced saba fish guts, what with their unsophisticated monkey palates and all. It’s like Jungle Jack Hanna always says; Gorillas are practically nature’s primates.

Speaking of intellectually-deficit societies, has anyone considered that maybe that kid was looking for a mercy kill when he realized he lived in Cincinnati? It’s generally accepted that, if you’re not out of Ohio by the time you’re three, pretty much the highest you can aim for is to be mopping up vomit in the diary aisle of the Dayton Piggly Wiggly until your heart explodes in your studio apartment at the end of a pointless and unfulfilling life. At least the gorilla thing would be suitably metal. That’s the kinda death you’re gonna wanna live to tell your grandkids about.

Whelp, that’s another controversial topic successfully skirted by pretending to be an idiot. I really can’t believe nobody’s called me out on this shit yet. A toast to the all-concealing veil of yellow journalism, may it never be torn asunder!

 

Source: CNN

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2.13.16: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:33 pm February 15, 2016
ANTONIN_SCALIA[via NY Daily News]
Politics aside, I simply won’t trust a man who wears a hat he clearly stole from a French philosophy student.

 

Big news in the law world (which is still Earth, I guess), as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away over the weekend. Let’s get the minimum required amount of backstory out of the way, Block Quote!

In 1986, after Chief Justice Warren Burger announced his intention to retire, Mr. Reagan nominated Judge Scalia to the Supreme Court. Though his conservative views were well known, he was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 98 to 0.

By the way, “conservative” pretty much means “Christian” in these contexts. That coded language is annoying, just say Christian. It’s kinda like when someone says “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual” when they’re actually trying to say “I’m just lazy.”

For a lot of Americans, Scalia’s most infamous moment was tipping the scales in favor of George W. Bush during the code red clusterfucking that was the 2000 election. Scalia halted a recount in Florida and, for the fourth goddamn time, a candidate won the popular vote but lost the election due to trailing in electoral votes. The controversy led to many citizens calling to do away with the electoral college altogether, a cause they doggedly pursued for a solid 6 weeks until new episodes of Will & Grace started airing again. In their defense, that Debra Messing is a treasure.

Obviously, the death of a Supreme Court Justice is a big deal, and will inevitably lead to a lot of heated emotions and complex discussion. Most of that discussion, of course, will be about the Court itself. Not as a judicial body, but rather the physical court. Just look at this snorefest:

SUPREME_COURT[via Bloomberg]

I know I’m supposed to stay impartial, but this is the sorriest thing I’ve ever seen. Ionic pilasters? Are you shitting me? I literally just threw up in my mouth, it’s disgusting. This is America, if you can’t spring for Corinthian capitals you might as well go back to deadlifting lintels onto trabeated systems in Croatia like an animal. And what’s with the two morose flags that appear to be on suicide watch? Shameful. Every surface should be flag, and every flag as proud and erect as a peacock’s spinal column. We’re talking about a Supreme Court, not some trailer trash appellate noise. Judge Joe Brown wouldn’t even air out his dirty robes in this place, and that guy got his law degree from one of those county fair games where you throw a ring around a water jug.

No, a truly Supreme Court should look like the second act of Total Recall mated with a Rubic’s Cube: Just an unrelenting visual assault of lights and colors and hydraulic arms and a mess of hanging tubes carrying unspecified glowing liquids to undisclosed locations for purposes that will never be made clear. Also, the bench should be a minimum of 20 feet above the ground, both to emphasize the Justices’ superior standing and to ensure visibility of the bald spots of anyone on the floor. I just don’t like people thinking they can Friar Tuck that mess without the world finding out.

And just to keep the mood light, how about if every session opens with the Justices banging their gavels to the drum solo from “In the Air Tonight”? Oh! And maybe a jumbotron to replay especially sick injunctions with cool 3D animations that speak to my youthful sensibilities. Basically anything to make the room feel more like a bowling alley in 1993 would be pretty sharp.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “James, you’re clearly a visionary for troubled times, but who’s gonna pay for all of this bombastery?” Well, for starters, I’m almost certain that’s not a real word. Secondly, don’t you worry, because a few tasteful sponsored LED banners should go a long way towards footing the bill. But before you start moaning about integrity and ethics understand that I’m talking really classy stuff, like, “Declare a writ of habeas delicious with Mountain Dew’s new Energizing Midnight Grape Kickstart!” Or has anyone considered renaming it the Taco Bell Taco Supreme Court? I’ve really been coming up with a lot of good ideas since I started wearing this “Make America Great Again” hat.

 

Source: The NY Times

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2.4.16: Earth, Wind & Fire Co-Creator Maurice White – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:54 am February 10, 2016

 MAURICE_WHITEGotta hand it to the guy: They told him a suit made out of pure ivory wouldn’t be comfortable, but he wouldn’t budge. Sometimes a man just has to feel like he’s encased inside a giant mastodon tusk.

 

Maurice White, co-founder of legendary funky, souly-type band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died after a protracted battle with Parkinson’s disease. Also dead: usage of the Oxford comma in band names. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t get any more soulful than proper grammar, and I, a white guy who was born in the 80s, would know a few things about soul.

The springy, elastic soul-pop of “Shining Star,” which White co-wrote, earned them their first Number One, and paved the way for hits like the joyful “Sing a Song,” the percussive and brassy “September,” their swinging cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and the robotic disco of “Let’s Groove.” Rolling Stone included the group’s sweetly smooth 1975 single, “That’s the Way of the World,” on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

It seems to me that after White’s death, coupled with the very recent deaths of musicians Glenn Frey, Jimmy Bain, David Bowie, Dan Hicks, Paul Kantner, and others, it’s officially time to bury (tee hee! Death pun!) the “they always die in 3s” hogwash you people won’t stop clogging up my social media with.

All of those deaths have occurred in just the first five or so weeks of the year. And those are just the musicians you, Joe and Jane Jockstrap of Mooseknuckle, Indiana, have heard about. It doesn’t include musicians who may be extraordinarily famous in genres or parts of the world you don’t think about, or exceptionally-talented yet largely unknown musicians, or the huge contingent of notable non-musician deaths. Do you really think the giant space lizard that decides who lives and dies is catering its decisions to what you specifically know about? Nothing revolves around you, and I’m here to add some Galileo-level perspective to your myopic diet of selfie soufflés and… I don’t know, hashtag hashbrowns, maybe. I’ll come back to this part some other time.

What you’re really experiencing is a phenomenon known as apophenia. Simply put, your brain is forcing you to see nonexistent patterns, even if it requires tossing out evidence that disagrees with said patterns, because accepting the reality that shit just kinda happens without any kind of grand scheme is too existentially terrifying for your brain to process. The human brain: Just pretty much doing whatever for five million years.

So what’s the harm in holding up bullshit statistics if they make you feel more comfortable about the inevitable black sprawl of total inconsequence that is your death? Well, for starters that comfort is dishonest, and therefore evasive. You haven’t made peace with your mortality, and are actually actively denying it by denying how arbitrary death is. Secondly, since notable people die literally every day, deciding which three “count” is a shitty and judgemental thing to do. That kind of distinction should only be left to qualified and astonishingly square-jawed deathbloggers ahem hem.

And that’s how one little change in your life can make you a better, less cynical person. Next time I’ll explain how you can help enforce local parking ordinances by stealing hubcaps from parked ambulances. Hey, that spot is metered, big shot!

 

Source: Rolling Stone

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