This Day in Death

11.28.12: Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:54 pm November 29, 2012

Did you know that ZZ Top’s name is actually Billy Gibbons’ tribute to Zig Ziglar and his landmark motivational guide Over the Top? As always, please do not look up anything I write here.


Zig Ziglar, the man responsible for keeping Dweezil Zappa from being the last entry in my personal list of celebrities with disproportionally silly names, is dead today after suffering from a bout of pneumonia. Ziglar spent decades preaching the power of positive thinking in books like Over the Top, which actually has next to nothing to do with arm wrestling so don’t even waste your money. Learning effective time-management techniques isn’t gonna untear this tendon, Ziglar.

The Crayon-eaters over at USA Today managed to tap out the following before, presumably, spending the afternoon working on a half-page pie chart about iPhones:

Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham, Ziglar’s friend and pastor, said Ziglar “truly was filled with faith.”

“He was positive. He was hopeful. You just never heard negativity from Zig Ziglar,” Graham said. “It wasn’t just something he did on a platform. This was who he was. This is how he lived his life. And he helped so many people.”

You know, we get a lot of cheap laughs out of cynicism around here, but it’s honestly hard not to feel a little inspired by Ziglar’s work/the money he made. That’s why I’ve finally penned the revealing book on personal accountability that you guys have been begging me to write for years. Here’s the cover, so that you know what you’re looking for while browsing Amazon or the smoldering ditch that used to be your local Borders.



I know what you’re thinking, and I agree, but my publisher said they had to Photoshop that towel onto me for legal reasons. It’s goddamn bullshit if you ask me; Kids gotta learn about this stuff eventually. On the plus side, I managed to trim it down to a lean 800 pages by removing all that deadwood about hanging out with the Dalai Lama. We need excitement if we’re gonna move paper in 2012, hippy!


Source: USA Today

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11.24.12: Hector “Macho” Camacho – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:42 am November 28, 2012

Camacho, seen here arriving at his mother’s funeral… in style!


Well, I guess you can add “sitting in a car” to the list of shit that will get you killed in Puerto Rico, because that’s what took out famed boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho last week. Other recent entries include not holding an elevator door, failure to lock after popping, “talking some stuff,” wearing red, NOT wearing red, looking in the principal direction of a cholo located with 500 meters, and crying at the end of The Notebook. That’s… that’s a rough list.

Hector Camacho, a boxer known for his lightning-quick hands and flamboyant personality who emerged from a delinquent childhood in New York’s Spanish Harlem to become a world champion in three weight classes, died Saturday in San Juan, P.R., four days after after being shot while sitting in a parked car. He was 50.

His death was reported by Dr. Ernesto Torres, the director of the Centro Médico trauma center in Puerto Rico, who said Camacho had a heart attack and died a short time later after being taken off life support. He was declared brain dead on Thursday.

Oh! His last name rhymes with “macho!” Ha, I get that now. That’s pretty good.

As a teenager Camacho was a brawler, a serial shoplifter, an admitted drug user and a car thief, and he never put that part of his nature behind him. He was arrested numerous times on charges including domestic abuse, possession of a controlled substance, burglary and trying to take an M-16 rifle through customs. This year he turned himself in after a warrant charged him with beating one of his sons. A trial was pending at his death.

Eek. It’s like he was trying to undo all of the positive moral associations with the spitcurl that Superman worked so hard to establish. It’s a potent sociological trick, and the same reason that I wear a Hitler mustache while volunteering at the soup kitchen. Change is all about baby steps, you know.


Source: The New York Times

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11.23.12: Larry Hagman – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:08 am November 26, 2012

You know, the Wiki entry for I Dream of Jeannie specifically lists which episodes offer a glimpse of Barbara Eden’s navel. And that’s today’s web tip for tech saavy men in their 60s.


Larry Hagman, perhaps best known as the villainous J.R. of television drama Dallas, is dead today following complications related to throat cancer. In the 1960s Hagman portrayed Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, which, along with Bewitched, was part of the television industry’s campaign to bring awareness to the then-current epidemic of hot magical entities marrying suburban white guys and refusing to use their powers to help the world in any damn way whatsoever. I mean, they never explicitly stated that as their goal, but I’m good at sussing out subtext. That’s how I figured out that Newhart was actually set inside Dick Loudon’s diseased brain while he was being treated in a mental hospital after going on a killing spree through the midwest. Television used to get pretty dark before Janet Reno came to town.

In 1980, [Dallas] became a mega-hit with the “Who Shot J.R.?” plot line that left Americans guessing who pulled the trigger.

The answer came on November 21, 1980, in an episode dubbed “Who Done It?.” More than 350 million viewers tuned in around the world to find out Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.’s wife, shot him.

Jesus, spoiler alert, CNN. I guess I’ll be throwing away that 32-year old VHS tape that I was totally gonna get around to watching this weekend. Time just kinda got away from me is all.


Source: CNN

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11.19.12: New Hampshire Senator Warren B. Rudman – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:17 pm November 21, 2012

Here’s a fun fact: Due to a clerical error, the Ottawa Senators hockey team is also required to function as Canada’s governing congressional body.


Former senator from New Hampshire Warren B. Rudman is dead today, and though it may be the wrong time to bring it up, I feel this may be my only chance for a while to mention that my favorite kamasutra position is “suspended congress.” And, yes, there’s plenty more sweet talk where that came from, single ladies of America. *wink*

Mr. Rudman was among the first members of Congress to speak out about the rising federal debt, which he believed was a threat to bankrupt the country. Alarmed by an annual deficit that had reached a record $200 billion in 1985 under Reagan — the annual figure now exceeds $1 trillion — Mr. Rudman joined Sens. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) and Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) as principal sponsors of the ­Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budg­et Act of 1985.

The act, often shortened to Gramm-Rudman, called for a balanced federal budget within six years and was the first substantive effort by Congress in modern times to compel reductions in the federal deficit.

Sorry, I know I’m supposed to say something clever here, but fiscal responsibility is a sore subject for me ever since my business, the Phunky Phresh Kardboard Kompany, went under. We specialized in selling sheets of cardboard to inner city breakdancers at an outrageously fly markup. For one brief, glorious summer it really looked like the Crystal Pepsi would be flowing like water, but somehow something just went wrong. I’ve spent hours trying to explain to my investors what happened, but really I think it just came down to bad marketing. And the fact that it was 2009.

Source: The Washington Post

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11.8.12: Lucille Bliss, the Voice of Smurfette – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:36 pm November 20, 2012

Bliss, seen here with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Prince Charming’s “friend” Greg. Listen, Cindy’s a nice beard and all but just be yourself already. It’s been 60 years! Nobody has a problem with that anymore!

Cartoon voice actor Lucille Bliss is dead today at the age of 96, which is a good age to stop doing much of anything anyway, so good timing there. Bliss is perhaps best known for voicing the first female Smurf, the meticulously-named Smurfette. Seriously, they just called her Smurfette and everybody figured that was solid enough. Don’t try to tell me no one went home early that day.

Throughout her career, Bliss was met with plenty of rejection. She lost her job as Elroy Jetson, she told interviewers, when she wouldn’t work under a stage name that would hide the fact that she was a grown woman playing a little boy, which is a common scenario in cartoons.

“Life as a voice actress is tough,” she once said. “It’s not an easy career.”

“Yeah, that’s really tough. Now excuse me while I spend the next 20 minutes trying to dislodge a tube sock from a public school toilet for $10 an hour while kids throw quarters at me,” said people who actually have to work. Sorry, but it’s hard to sympathize with how difficult a career path must be if you can turn down good work on the grounds of it not bringing you name recognition. Hell, I’ll never know my mailman’s name, and he’s brought me years of joy in the form of pizza coupons and that lifetime subscription to Miniature Donkey Talk. Let’s be honest, voice acting is a pretty sweet gig, all things considered. There are only two jobs that require virtually nothing more than functioning throat muscles, and voice actors don’t have anything on Colombian sex workers. Those ladies really have to give it 110% every day.


Source: The LA Times

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11.8.12: Electronic Music Composer Pete Namlook – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:42 pm November 19, 2012

Is that Photoshopped?

German electronic music pioneer/real-life Dieter from “Sprockets” Pete Namlook is dead today of “unspecified causes,” which is strange to me because I thought all German artists just died from existential torment. Hazard of the job, man, hazard of the job.

The man born Peter Kuhlmann (“Namlook” is his name pronounced backwards) was an incredibly prolific artist from the ’90s on, releasing some 130 albums over the course of his career. These included numerous collaborations with artists like Richie Hawtin, Uwe Schmidt (as Atom Hart), Biosphere and Move D among many others. He also ran his own label, FAX +49-69/450464 (often known simply as Fax), which released more than 100 CDs and records in its first year of operation.

Jesus, that is postmortem Tupac levels of output. You see that, Jack Gilbert? Maybe if you would’ve spent less time carefully describing boobs and more time mainlining Ecstasy at the Electric Daisy Festival you’d have secured enough residuals to allow your loved ones to, I don’t know, purchase a boat on which to live out the rest of their days in nautical luxury. I have a lot of good life ideas.

Annnnd now the German ravers hate me, too. Bring it on, schlechter verlierer; I’ll see your glowsticks from a mile away.

Source: Resident Advisor

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11.11.12: Poet Jack Gilbert – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:06 pm November 16, 2012

Poets do it with their diction.


Whenever my body’s death sense tingles in iambic pentameter I know that either a.) a poet has just died, or b.) my body is trying to impress some liberal arts chick. Probably one with purple hair who spells her name all crazy, like Krysteena or Jessicka or something. Give it up, man. You’re never even coming close to that.

Today it’s the former, as poet Jack Gilbert has passed away at the age of 87. Oh, what’s that? You’ve never heard of Jack Gilbert? Maybe that’s because he stone cold didn’t give a single hearty fuck about, you know, doing much of anything:

Famous for eschewing fame, he did not go to writers’ conferences or cocktail parties, gave readings sporadically and did not publish a great deal, either. His output over a half-century included a mere five slim volumes; his “Collected Poems,” which [Gilbert’s publisher Alfred A.] Knopf brought out earlier this year, squeezed the entire oeuvre into 400 pages.

That 400 pages becomes even less impressive when you realize that half of those pages were just Gilbert doodling pictures of dinosaurs and calling John Updike a pussy. Maybe he should’ve used a bigger font, which worked pretty smoothly on some of my dumber English professors. I like to think that Mr. Cortada eventually realized that that Times New Roman was actually 12.4 point, and the resultant shame at his failure to catch it in time was the cause of his descent into alcoholism and subsequent firing. I dunno, I guess I just like to dream.

Also, I’d like to point out that I originally had a joke about how that picture up there was taken just moments after Gilbert went down on an elderly Erica Jong, but then decided to hide it down here for us to enjoy after all the stuffed shirts left following the block quote. I’m getting really good at internetting.


Source: The New York Times

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11.9.12: The Delfonics’ Major Harris – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:15 pm November 14, 2012

Alright, fine: MAYBE he wore it better than me, but I just can’t abide such a dangerous amount of hat canting. Someone could get hurt!


Major Harris, who sang with the Delfonics in the early 70s before striking out on a solo career, died last week. Unfortunately, all I can think about now is how different my life would’ve turned out if my legal first name was Major. So authoritative! I would’ve even settled for Corporal. Man… right now I’d probably be riding across the desert plains with my laser rifle in the back seat and my Russian girlfriend/superspy/international supermodel at my side, fighting injustice in towns where the law has packed up and snuck out when no one was looking. We’d live and die by our wits and gusto, our days filled with the misty-eyed gratitude of simple local townsfolk, our nights with the kind of passionate lovemaking that would make Odysseus and Penelope look like a Four Loko-fueled Craigslist hookup in Atlantic City. Instead I’m stuck with this stupid blue-collar ‘James’ situation, and as a result my life is only, like, 85% of that. It’s fucking bullshit, man.


Source: The Huffington Post

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11.8.12: Oldest Living Baseball Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:07 pm November 12, 2012

Well, it’s no commemorative 9/11 coin advertised on Comedy Central at 3 am, but it’s still a pretty classy gesture, I guess.


As you all know, I don’t do many sports posts around here. I decided in 1996 that it was in my best interest to stay away from that whole arena after I lost $15,000 betting against the TuneSquad in Space Jam. My bookie kept telling me, “It’s just a movie, not an actual sporting event. The ending is predetermined, and they’re not gonna let the team with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan lose.” What can I say; I really thought the Monstars were hungrier.

But today former president of the American League and oldest living baseball Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail is dead. Is “oldest living Hall of Famer” really much of an honor? It’s like being the fattest astronaut. Anway, I won’t lie about this: I was pretty disinterested until I got to the following.

Despite his placid demeanor, Lee MacPhail was probably best remembered for being at the center of a baseball storm: the pine-tar dispute of July 1983. In a game between the Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium, an umpire disallowed a go-ahead home run by George Brett of the Royals with two outs in the ninth inning, ruling that Brett had too much pine tar on his bat.

“Too much pine tar on his bat” is the greatest euphemism for excessive masturbation that I’ve ever heard. After that the article really loses steam. I’ve always said that sports reporting needs to cater more to the mindset of prepubescent boys/pantsless bloggers and the fact that “excessive masturbation” is now logged into my search history just proves my point.


Source: The New York Times

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10.21.12: Animator Run Wrake – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:28 am November 9, 2012

When you’re a genius you get to do the kinda stuff that got the rest of us reported to our 8th grade school counselors. I’m fine, Mr. Haney, I’m just expressing myself.

Run Wrake, aside from being a name that seems to exist solely to mock every tongue in Japan, was the animator responsible for the Deadjournalized insanity you see above. Unfortunately, Wrake died last month and I was too busy putting the finishing touches on my Tom Synder costume to cover it until now. He was America’s second-favorite Late Late Show host, you don’t phone that kinda shit in.

Run Wrake was, quite simply, one of the most strikingly original creative minds of recent years. His work was immediately recognizable as his own, his personality burning through even in his commercial work. And it saddens me to say he ‘was’ because Wrake passed away Sunday after losing a battle with cancer. He was only 47.

So, alright, I didn’t wanna have to say this, but… are we just gonna sleep on this whole cancer thing now? The silent treatment doesn’t appear to be doing much good, considering that cancer is still killing approximately every person who ever lived ever. Once the name of your disease can be plugged into any sentence that needs a more colorful way to say “shitty thing that destroys anything even mildly good” it might be time to stop playing grabass in the lab and get some work done. I’m doing my part by boiling the issue down to an insulting oversimplification, which should make it a pretty easy cure now. Scientists, man. Pfft!


Source: Twitchfilm

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