This Day in Death

10.27.13: Lou Reed – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:46 pm October 28, 2013

LOU_REEDThey say if you can remove his leather jacket he loses all of his powers.


Lou Reed, rock icon/older kid pressuring you into smoking, passed away yesterday at the age of 71. Reed will be buried in a small, private ceremony, after which Lady Gaga will wear him as a hat. Ugh. Sorry, I really didn’t like that joke but my SEO guy thought it was hilarious, and he’s been saying my references need to be a lot more “twerking” lately. He drives a Honda Fit and seems really smart.

Reed’s 60s output with The Velvet Underground is often cited as the origins of punk rock, glam rock, noise rock, and, what the hell, let’s just throw zydeco in there as well since nobody ever fact-checks me. Plus, I heard he and David Bowie once totally rubbed their boners together right in front of everyone at Studio 54, but keeping that one an urban legend really adds to its mystique.

With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn.

With only a few years of rock & roll on the books at the time, The Velvet Underground managed to get in early and filth the whole operation up good and well with songs openly declaring a love for heroin and blowjobs (although if you do both at the same time they cancel each other out). Up to that point if you had a loving ode to butt sex you had to disguise that shit with a bunch of goddamn nonsense words just to get some airplay, and generations of young gay men grew up just plumb not knowing what the hell to do back there. A lot of people got unnecessarily hurt, is what I’m saying. If anything, Reed’s filthification of rock was a public service we should all be thankful for. I mean, not thankful enough to sit through Lulu or anything, but thankful nonetheless.



Source: Rolling Stone


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10.18.13: Coach Bum Phillips – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 12:00 am October 24, 2013

BUM_PHILLIPSPictured: Tasteful sophistication, Texas-style! I bet you anything he’s curing jerky under that hat.


You all should know by now that I don’t do many posts about sports. The main reason being that if I wanted to read about young men getting the hell beat out of them by entire swarms of pigpiling jocks I can refer back to my LiveJournal from 7th grade. Ha! Childhood trauma!

Point is, you’re gonna have a real hard time convincing me to give a wet one about sports. So, in order to keep myself amused while you read this block quote about former Oilers coach Bum Phillips’ death, I’m just gonna imagine what popular athletes would be named if they were depicted as loveable animal characters in a Saturday morning cartoon show. So far I’ve got Mike Bison, Donovan McCrabb, Patrick Earwig, Shrew Brees, and Tiger Woods. That last one was… less than imaginative.

Bum Phillips, the homespun Texan who was caricatured as a cowboy but possessed a keen football mind that built the Houston Oilers into one of the National Football League’s leading teams of the late 1970s, died Friday at his ranch in Goliad, Tex. He was 90.

God, it’s a good thing Phillips was from Texas or I’d have nothing to make fun of here. In fact, I’m kinda having the opposite problem: I’m not sure if I should mock the whole “Boss-Hog-crossed-with-a-gay-Eskimo” style he’s rocking in the banner there, or the fact that Texas has some of the worst literacy problems in the country, or that Texas gave up significant portions of their land in a desperate plea to be admitted into the U.S., or the fact that nobody in Texas will be able to respond to any of this because the only guy in the state who knows how to “do computers” keeps his Netscape Navigator locked firmly onto shady bestiality sites. In the end, the best course is probably just to- Oh! Kareem Abdul-Jaguar! This is a fun game.


Source: The NY Times

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10.10.13: Astronaut Scott Carpenter – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:30 am October 17, 2013

SCOTT_CARPENTERHey! I took the same yearbook photo! The nurple purpling was totally worth it.


Scott Carpenter, one of America’s original seven astronauts, died on Thursday at the age of 88. Carpenter was considered a relatively minor figure, but he still led a pretty sweet life, largely due to the NASA fun package all astronauts get upon reentry. I actually have one right here that I picked up from Neil Armstrong’s estate sale. Turns out he got in pretty deep with some sharks once the Tang residuals went dry so I picked this baby up for a song. Let’s see, there’s this “Astronauts Do it at Mach 30” bumper sticker, which seems a little braggy, but whatever. There’s a certificate good for having one U.S. state renamed (Armstrong’s rejected bid for “Assachusetts” poses more questions than it answers), a VHS copy of Apollo 13 signed by Clint Howard, and a tasteful nude photo of former NASA administrator James E. Webb. The whole thing is rounded out with some pretty great ‘Buy 1, Get 1’ pizza coupons, and that’s a savings that really adds up if you host a lot of casual parties. Just because you’ve been outside of Earth’s gravitational field doesn’t mean you have to pay sky-high prices.

Some NASA officials found fault with his performance.

“He was completely ignoring our request to check his instruments,” Christopher Kraft, the flight director, wrote in his memoir “Flight: My Life in Mission Control” (2001). “I swore an oath that Scott Carpenter would never again fly in space. He didn’t.”

Yeah, regardless of what those Van Damme movies had you believing, playing by your own rules in the real world just ends up getting your ass put on latrine duty, forgotten by history until some blogger with questionable social skills takes your life’s achievements out of context for a few cheap laughs. Just fly right and listen to authority already. Speaking of which, I found out you guys are wearing those “I <3 Cops” shirts ironically, so let’s go ahead and just knock that off, too, please.

Source: NY Times

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10.4.13: Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:52 am October 8, 2013

General Vo Nguyen Giap shakes villagers handsUh oh. This looks like it’s gonna get really morally grey very quickly. I’ll be treading lightly, because I really don’t need a repeat of the shitstorm I got for suggesting that Mr. Rogers could’ve been the actual Unabomber. *I* was just pointing out that they’ve never been seen together, *you guys* turned it into a whole ‘thing.’


Well, since my keyboard just attempted to slit its own throat, I have to imagine that today’s death is Vietnamese general Võ Nguyên Giáp. Annnnd now my character map is on fire, lovely. Look, I’m not that ethnocentric, but my computer definitely longs for the carefree posts about John Qwerty choking on a banana peel.

Prior to Hồ Chí Minh appointing him to general, Giáp was actually a propaganda writer with zero military training, because apparently Vietnamese generals get their jobs from wandering into the wrong room like a character in a Looney Tunes short. Only, instead of hilarious, light-hearted hijinks and slapstick antics involving mistaken identity, Giáp changed the course of world history. Counterpoint: Elmer Fudd did a lot to draw attention to the plight of hunters with Down’s Syndrome.

In late 1967, wanting to draw the Americans away from the coast so he could attack South Vietnam’s cities, Giap began building up his forces around an isolated U.S. base at Khe Sanh. The Americans reinforced their position and were besieged for 75 days.

Hey, you remember that line in “Born in the U.S.A.” about having a “brother at Khe Sanh/fighting off the Vietcong”? Yeah, the Vietcong were never at Khe Sanh. It’s a pretty minor error, but it’s useful for weeding out which of the people you meet at parties are getting all of their data from pop culture incidentals. So shut the hell up, Dennis, you don’t know things!

Source: The LA Times

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10.1.13: Author Tom Clancy – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:58 am October 3, 2013

TOM_CLANCY“And where the hell is my damn ‘World’s Greatest Middle-Aged Man Who Looks Like a Pedophile But Isn’t a Pedophile’ mug, Linda?!”


Techno-espionage author Tom Clancy is dead today at the conspiratorially symmetrical age of 66. Those in the know are keeping mum about Clancy’s cause of death, but if it turns out to be related to him wearing his sunglasses at night I think Cory Hart’s got a pretty solid pillar for his eyewear safety campaign.The man has a lot of hours in the day to fill, it seems.

Mr. Clancy’s debut book, “The Hunt for Red October,” was frequently cited as one of the greatest genre novels ever written. With the book’s publication in 1984, Mr. Clancy introduced a new kind of potboiler: an espionage thriller dense with technical details about weaponry, submarines and intelligence agencies.

Yeah, I don’t get this at all. We had to cut out 35 chapters from Moby Dick because people can’t handle a little outdated science about whaling, yet everyone’s eager to trudge through 200 pages of jargon copy-and-pasted from a Mark 46 torpedo manual?

But a lack of boring, left-wing, liberal shit like character development or narrative structure wasn’t gonna stop Clancy’s fans, and the man played to his audience by frantically churning out content with the precision and care of a chocolate factory in a Lucy episode. In fact, the man could write a book in just the time it took to put his name on it. That’s because, in many cases, that was all he did:

Clancy has branded several lines of books with his name that are written by other, acknowledged authors following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy’s works […]

These are sometimes referred to by fans as “apostrophe” books; Clancy did not initially acknowledge that these series were being authored by others, only thanking the actual authors in the headnotes for their “invaluable contribution to the manuscript.” [source]

Now, before you guys call me a hypocrite for pointing that out, I’d like to stress that this is nothing like me stamping Plan B’s name onto my line of multivitamins. There’s currently no class action suit pending against Tom Clancy, that’s one difference right there.

Source: The NY Times

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