This Day in Death

11.5.12: Composer Elliott Carter – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 12:43 pm November 7, 2012

Hey, you know what’s a really good song? “Saturday in the Park.” Man, that song is catchy. I think it’s the horns that really do it for me, but honestly the whole thing is just great. People should write more songs like that one. I think people would like that. Anyway, this guy is dead.


Composer and old man who gives out pennies on Halloween Elliott Carter is dead today, making this the second musician I’m covering this week after Blaque’s Natina Reed. Great, now it’s gonna be even harder for me to tell them apart.

Most composers’ biographies bear out the adage that geniuses are born, not made. With Carter the reverse was true. There was no revelation in early childhood of unusual gifts, to be eagerly seized on by the world. What distinguishes Carter’s early years is not precocious musicality but precocious maturity and unshakeable self-belief.

The next 15 years [after college] were ones of slow maturing, revealed in a trying-out of various idioms that to the world must have seemed oddly tentative. In retrospect, these years take on an awesome quality of self-possessed, unhurried progress toward a goal whose essence was glimpsed, but for which the technical means were as yet lacking.

See? Elliott was a late bloomer and everyone called him a goddamn genius. Suddenly a guy in his late 20s who wrote a rock opera about his cat doesn’t seem like someone to be ashamed to be seen in public with anymore. SO GET OFF MY BACK, MOM! I just haven’t hit my creative stride yet!


Source: The Guardian

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10.26.12: Blaque’s Natina Reed – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:15 am November 6, 2012

Pfft. That’s not even a real chastity belt. I am so sick of black people co-opting overtly-Christian European Renaissance culture. Get your own thing!


I obviously don’t need to tell you guys this, but I’m a big fan of 90s female R&B music. From that one crazy chick who burned down her house to that lady in the plane who was in that movie, I’ve always treated the genre with the respect and dignity that it commands. Or at least a few minutes of doing the Butterfly.

And solemnly Butterfly we shall, as we mourn the passing of Natina Reed of Blaque fame. MTV probably has something to say about it, but I suggest sticking to their blog unless you’re willing to wade through an 18-hour Inbetweeners marathon in the hopes that they’ll eventually take Kurt Loder out of cryogenic sleep to derisively break the news to you.

Reed was struck and killed late Friday while walking across Lawrenceville Highway near Hamilton Road, which is just north of Lilburn, a Georgia suburb north of Atlanta. The driver of the vehicle contacted police to report the accident. Rescue response performed CPR on the artist/songwriter at the scene before she was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m.

“The driver who hit her is not being charged,” Ritter told MTV News. “It was an accident, that’s all it is. It was not a hit and run.”

See? It was just an accident. It happens, people make mistakes. The best thing we can do is try to learn from them and just move on. It’s how I learned that the Holocaust Museum doesn’t make a great first date destination. In my defense, I had assumed the name was ironic.

Source: MTV News

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11.2.12: “A Many-Splendored Thing” Author Han Suyin – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:02 am November 5, 2012

Well, I guess being in love is kinda cool, if you’re into that whole “mutual affection that makes us both better people” thing. It’s no “rudderless loner floundering in a sea of his own endless misery,” but I’m not gonna judge what anybody wants to do in the privacy of their own home.


Chinese author and physician Han Suyin, best known as the author of “A Many-Splendored Thing,” has passed away at the age of 95. And by ‘passed away,’ I mean she died. I’m not gonna start getting flowery about this.

She became an international literary sensation with “A Many-Splendoured Thing,” published in 1952 when she was a widow raising a daughter and working at a Hong Kong clinic.

The book was based on her romance with Ian Morrison, a married war correspondent who in 1950 became one of the first journalists killed in the Korean War. The tale of forbidden love, likened by reviewers to “Romeo and Juliet,” was also politically topical, mixing revolution and romance with news making headlines in Hong Kong, China and Korea.

Suyin fell out of favor in the late 1970s, when an investigatory commission declared that love was not a many splendoured thing and, in actuality, was a horrid, 5th dimensional succubus bent on the emotional and psychological destruction of all humankind, most likely because it had developed a taste for the sorrow of the innocent and could no longer survive without it. Suyin was found to be a willing accomplice during the ensuing trial and was excommunicated from all civilized society, sentenced to live with the unruly nutria people that dwell inside the earth’s molten core. The drained husk of what was once Love was sold to the GE corporation in 1981, who successfully commoditized and diluted it into an airborne toxin which has since entered the planet’s atmosphere. The resultant effect has been one of bland pleasantness that gradually gives way to a barely perceptible existential malaise, which should explain why you’ve had that constant sucking feeling in your soul for the past few decades. I’m kinda surprised you didn’t hear about that, it was all over the news.  Let this be a reminder to make some time to pick up the paper a little more often, you know? Staying informed is its own reward.

Source: The Washington Post

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