This Day in Death

3.27.12: Cancer – DEAD! Kind of! Maybe Eventually. Not Really.

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:31 am March 28, 2012

For those of you who feel my jokes lack subtlety, please note that this is a colon cancer cell. See? That’s why you read the captions, too.


Few diseases have ruled the block as thoroughly or for as long as cancer, although its got a bit of an edge on everything else seeing as how it can attack, you know… any goddamn part of your body at any goddamn time. Take your pick; skin, bones, heart, lungs… If you get any enjoyment out of it, Death can find a way to sprinkle some cancer on it. It’s like the Creole seasoning of diseases.

But cancer’s day in the sun may be coming to a close, according to some nerds at Gizmodo. Take it away, poindexters:

An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science explains that a new treatment—based on an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells—helps persuade the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. To date, it’s been shown to shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice.

Well, awesome. This all seems pretty conclusive. So when can I expect to be able to run down to CVS and bitch that they only have the grape-flavored chewable cancer pills, when everybody knows that tasting grape is only slightly better than having cancer to begin with? A year? Year and a half?

Sadly, it will be some time before such a drug makes it to clinical practice. But with the researchers having just received a $20 million grant to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests, you can expect progress to be as quick as possible.

So, yeah, this is never happening. Throw it on the pile of amazing breakthroughs science has come up with that rich people will make absolutely certain we never see, like solar cars or robot servants or a toaster that can toast both sides of the bread evenly JUST FUCKING ONCE. Seriously, that is bullshit. I pay my taxes, at least those owed to bodies whose authority I recognize. Stop shooting my breakfast in the foot, America. Really, you could make a pretty solid case that I’m the only actual victim in all of this cancer stuff.


Source: Gizmodo


1.10.16: David Bowie – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:00 pm January 13, 2016



Jesus Christ, just make out already you two, am I right?! Oh wait. Nevermind.


Legendary glam rocker David Bowie passed away on Sunday after struggling with cancer for the past year and a half. Bowie had kept his illness secret and, to most of the world, continued to live a normal spaceman-like existence until he finally just up and died in private. You know, like how a damn housecat dies, just keeping everyone in the dark until you come home one day and find a tiny corpse hidden away somewhere lying next to its own lung. It’s why I always immediately check all the closets and behind the couch whenever I go into a stranger’s home.

Perhaps even moreso than his music, Bowie was known for his relentlessly shifting personas, I assume for tax evasion purposes. Look, I don’t know about “cool” things, alright? I own stock in Dell computers, I eat plain celery for lunch like three times a week, and up until a few months ago I thought an “early Bowie” was some kind of morning sex thing. I’m just not equipped to give you any kind of insight that the scarf-mavens at Pitchfork haven’t already.

Normally in ha-ha gridlocks like these I just mock people more successful than me by looking at their insincere grief tweets. But the Twitter response has been surprisingly rational, largely lacking in the characteristic mangled syntax and thinly-veiled self-promotion I’ve come to expect (okay, exploit) ’round those parts. Even Cher toned down her usual nonsensical garblings, and decoding her tweets used to be the intellectual equivalent of trying to drive one of those cars that simulates being drunk. I mean, what the hell happened here? Where’s the self-righteous contrarianism? Where’s the pandering? Where’s the shameless one-upmanship?  I’m kinda strapped for content, and that’s not a good sign for the first post of the year.

Hang on… New year… 2016…. That means that the internet as we commonly think of it is almost 27 years old. Did the internet just become an adult? Is that why it finally took down all of those Chuck Norris posters? Wow. I guess it’s time we all grow up a little, meaning it’s probably time to end this blog. Look, I know it’s sad, but we can’t be afraid to change and grow and embrace new standards of personal behavior and maybe try ethnic food someday as long as it’s not all weird looking. No, guys. I think 2016 is gonna be different. Bold, thoughtful, mature. I can’t hang around doing hacky boner jokes anymore in this new, homeowning internet. Let’s just end things by checking in with the Washington Post for a glimpse of how we’ll be viewing content in this brave new world.


Oh shit! False alarm, everybody, false alarm! We’re still stupid, see you next time!

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12.28.15: Motörhead Frontman Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:11 pm December 30, 2015
Classic Rock Roll Of Honour Awards 2011 In London - Musician Portraits[via Inside Pulse]

That’s right, his actual last name from birth was Kilmister. Sometimes things just happen that way, like when it turned out the guy from Smash Mouth’s last name was Van Douchebro. It’s Dutch. 


Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead frontman and evil version of the cop from the Village People, has died only two days after being diagnosed with cancer. No word on how the cancer is doing, probably because it wasn’t famous. Typical.

Over his 44-year career with Motörhead and precursor Hawkwind, Lemmy endured shifting band lineups, accusations of Nazi affiliation, and three lawsuits from his own liver. Despite mounting health problems, he kept on touring and performing right until his death, with many fans wondering each time they saw Motörhead if it would be his last show. I know the feeling: As a cocksure blogger who lives life a quarter paragraph at a time, people are always worried that each sick gerund I recklessly type may be spelling out the end of this autobio I call life. But the joke’s on them, because you can’t actually die from loneliness. Only from diseases facilitated by loneliness.

Rolling Stone has a nice writeup, but I don’t suggest reading it, as Lemmy’s controversial paraphernalia collection caused the comments section to devolve into accusations of Nazism almost immediately. Just bad form. It’s customary to wait for the coolest commenter to declare that he was “First!,” followed by easing into things with a couple of unsettling posts about Obama, and only then to go screaming full-tilt into the Hitler stuff. It may seem silly to you, but if we don’t respect the proud traditions of the internet we’ll never be able to benefit from its wisdom. Its stupid, dangerously racist wisdom.

Kilmister boasted that he had drank a bottle of Jack Daniel’s every day since he turned 30, although he admittedly gave up booze in 2013 as his health started to catch up to his hard living. “I suddenly realized I was waking up in pools of other people’s vomit, and I had no recollection of them,” Kilmister told Rolling Stone in January 2014. “That’s a bit much. I’m not saying don’t have fun, don’t snort the occasional line – but don’t make it your life.”

If you didn’t do the math yourself (and I know you didn’t do the math because I’m the only one who would, so stop playin’), at an approximate rate of $18.99 per bottle, that’s $6,931.35 a year, adjusted for inflation but before taxes, because I assume Lemmy wrote that shit right the hell off. After 38 years that would come to $263,391.30 blown on a carcinogen whose entire function is to try to murder you to the best of its ability. And it’s not just Lemmy, as the average American spends roughly 1% of their income on alcohol. Good job, dumbasses: You essentially just blew your retirement savings to hire a steady stream of tiny Mel Gibsons to punch you from the inside of your body for the rest of your life.


Source: Rolling Stone

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8.17.15: Yvonne Craig, TV’s Batgirl – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:25 pm August 23, 2015

YVONNE_CRAIGThere, American Dental Association: I just did in 15 seconds what you guys have spent 150 years trying to do. Pfft, dentists! Truly the podiatrists of the medical world.

Actress and reason I hit puberty 14 years before I was conceived Yvonne Craig has died of breast cancer at the age of 78. Best known as Batgirl in the ’60s Batman tv show, Craig was added to the series in the third and final season to boost ratings and de-sausage the crimefighting sausage fest that was going on in the Batcave. Hey, you know who I feel bad for? People trying to put together a literal sausage fest. It must be impossible to get funding for that anymore. I mean I like a good sausage as much as anybody, but I’d definitely never go to one. No way, I hear those places are total sausage fests, bro.

Craig also had a memorable guest spot on Star Trek as the green-skinned alien Marta. Typical Hollywood: Would rather cover a white woman in paint than just hire a green actor to begin with. And don’t even get me started on how disenfranchised translucent Americans are in show business. It’s like they’re invisible or something.

Her numerous TV credits besides “Batman” included “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Kojak,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Mod Squad,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “Love, American Style” and “Emergency!”


“She had been able to do this with joy and much laughter and she wouldn’t have changed a thing,” Ms. Craig’s family said. “Well, maybe one thing, and that would have been not to get cancer.”

Was that a burn on the recently deceased? Is there supposed to be a rimshot there or something? I’m not really offended morally, just professionally. Look, grieving family: I went to school for years to understand how to use autocorrect. Don’t try to horn in on my niche unless you’re looking for some serious trubble.


Source: The NY Times

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6.27.14: Bobby Womack – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:24 pm July 2, 2014

BOBBY_WOMACKSo, to review: Heart-shaped soundhole on your guitar = clever and tastefully sexual. Goatse-inspired soundhole on your guitar = crass and unromantic. Do I have that pretty much right, emcee at the Our Lady of Hope open mic night?


Singer/songwriter Bobby Womack died on Friday and I’m kinda at a loss for anything to add, seeing as how wrestler/poet the Iron Sheik’s already written pretty much the most beautiful Twitter eulogy Womack could’ve asked for:

Sheik is, of course, referring to the fabled “Black Note,” an extremely low pitch hidden within the music of soul singers of Womack’s caliber. Legend goes that just the rich, low tone alone can impregnate a woman orally. Uh, sorry: aurally.

Womack experienced a number of hills and troughs throughout his seven-decade career, but went out on a high note with his final completed album, 2012’s well-received The Bravest Man in the Universe. Rolling Stone listed it as one of the 50 best albums of the year, although that’s actually kinda odd, since they only awarded it three and a half stars out of five in their review. Now, I’m no regional mathlete, but that translates to roughly 70%, which is generally considered to be somewheres around a C- (or, if you will, an Alabama A). This leads me to assume that either the collective staff of Rolling Stone only listened to about 51 albums in 2012, or that they’ve been completely sucked up into a vortex of their own cultural irrelevance. That’s Rolling Stone Magazine: “We don’t even like the things we do like!”

After the death of his brother, Harry, in 1974, Womack’s career stalled, but was revived in 1981 with the R&B hit “If You Think You’re Lonely Now.” Throughout most of the Eighties, the singer struggled with drug addiction, eventually checking himself into a rehabilitation center for treatment. A series of health problems would follow, including diabetes, pneumonia, colon cancer and the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease[.]

Jesus, I didn’t even know a single person could have all of those things. Did he live inside a Petri dish or something? Did his doctor even consider upping his dosage of handwashing “Happy Birthday”s to three? I mean, that’s a potential malpractice suit right there. What a depressing mess this has turned into. You know what, let’s just check in on the Iron Sheik again:

Ha! You tell ’em, Sheik! I bet Satan is mighty pissed off right about now, although it’s probably pretty hard to tell the difference one way or the other.


Source: Rolling Stone

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12.18.13: Chicago DJ Larry Lujack – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:17 am December 22, 2013

 LARRY_LUJACKLujack, back center, poses for a picture with the “This is Why We’re Not in a Visual Industry” players. Not sure how an attractive lady ended up in the mix. See, this is why I’m against Affirmative Action, it really throws off the chemistry of a group like that.


Chicago radio legend Larry Lujack, considered the precursor to the modern shock jocks that have kept us so thoroughly entertained with a steady stream of fart-centric hilarity lo these last couple decades, died on Wednesday of esophageal cancer. This after the Chicago Tribune corrected its originally reported cause of death, which was “the pungent, creeping atrophying of all things related to radio, as the final desperate vestiges of a once relevant industry shambles, vacant-eyed and culturally impotent, towards the spiraling oblivion of total and complete obsolescence.” Good call on the rewrite, Tribune. That shit got pretty dark, even by Chicago standards.

That’s right, we’re mocking radio today: The medium of choice for people who desperately need to know what the roads looks like in the morning but would rather wait through a Twofer Tuesday Doubleshot of Van Halen classics instead of checking their phone. Because traffic and weather on the 8s after an ad for discount carpet treatment is the real information superhighway!

[Lujack and co-host Tommy Edwards] started doing their signature bit, “Animal Stories,” at WLS in the late 1970s. “Uncle Lar” would read offbeat news about animals to his sidekick, “little snot-nosed Tommy,” who would be hearing them for the first time. Their spontaneous chemistry made the live bits a hit with listeners, and an enduring chapter in Chicago radio history.

Despite what unscrupulous bloggers like me from earlier in this post like to imply, Lujack didn’t really engage in the crass put-em-on-the-glassisms of later shock jocks, usually opting to pull out of a tailspin before things got particularly tasteless. He even half-joked that he’d like to personally buy back every copy of his autobiography Superjock, largely because he found the vulgar language embarrassing in retrospect. Of course, that’d be borderline impossible. Lujack would’ve had better luck just trying to remove the offensive bits from future printings, like they did with all the racist stuff in Huckleberry Finn. Or the time Gabriel Garcia Marquez had to rewrite part of One Hundred Years of Solitude after he erroneously implied that the Muisca people were conquered by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada in 1536, when every backwoods, inbred hick knows that the Spanish Empire didn’t make their way to Colombia’s Cordillera Oriental until 1537. Ha! See you on the shortbus, Marquez, you clueless dolt! Also, I heard that the second printing of the Bible took out a whole passage about Job calling God an “ass bucket.” In that light it really looks like he was bringing shit on himself if you ask me.

Source: The Chicago Tribune

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7.28.13: Eileen Brennan – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:25 pm August 5, 2013

 EILEEN_BRENNANA lady sergeant? Huh. That must’ve been pretty groundbreaking, like Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, or that video of the owl that successfully mated with a duck. Viva la progress!


So it looks like comedic actress Eileen Brennan died last week of bladder cancer. God, this is getting time consuming. If I’d known that so many people died, like, *all* the time, I would’ve just stuck with my original plan for this website; Cataloging Love Is… comics in order of inspirational power.

Among Brennan’s most notable roles were her parts in Private Benjamin, Clue, and The Sting, in which she starred opposite Paul Newman. Oh, Newman… Now THERE’S a guy who could fill out a wifebeater! It looks like today’s Vin Diesels could still learn a thing or two from Old Hollywood after all.

But stories of career achievements don’t pay the hosting mafia I’m in deep with, so here’s a concentrated double-shot of the kind of horrific tragedy you vultures come here for:

In 1982, Brennan was involved in a horrific accident, struck by a car as she exited a restaurant with “Benjamin” co-star Goldie Hawn. She suffered broken bones in her face, an eyeball pulled from its socket and two broken legs. Even after recovering physically — a process that took years — she suffered from an addiction to painkillers and entered the Betty Ford Clinic in 1984.

A few years later Brennan would contract (and beat) breast cancer as well. And then, I dunno, her soul was stolen by a troll or something. Jesus, this lady really earned her peace. It’s a stark contrast to my plan of swallowing this cyanide pill at the first whiff of physical illness. I once had that bastard on my tongue because my leg was asleep slightly longer than I was comfortable with.

Source: CNN

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6.16.13: Second City Co-Founder Bernie Sahlins – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:26 pm July 1, 2013

BERNARD_SAHLINSSahlins poses with lighthearted 70s comedy troupe Zanytown, whose playful skewering of societal norms inadvertently resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of more than 400 legal immigrants. It’s a pretty funny story, I’ll tell you guys about it another time.


Over its 54-year history Chicago’s Second City theater has given birth to countless brilliant and talented comedic legends, as well as Rachel Dratch. It’s become a comedy lynchpin, like pushing a diabetic down a staircase. It’s just something all us comedy folk go through at some point. Sadly, Bernie Sahlins, co-founder of the theater, died last month of pancreatic cancer. You know, they say the best humor comes from real life, so if cancer gets your sides all asplittin’, congratulations: You’re not actually a cruel human being with no sense of empathy, you’re a cruel comedy visionary with no sense of empathy.

“This was still the Beat generation, and we started out to found a coffee house where we idlers, including the actors whom we had with for years, could loll around and put the world in its proper place.”

But The Second City caught on within months of opening, despite some early money problems and other issues, and it became instrumental in the growth and development of improvisational and sketch comedy.

“Improv.” We in the industry just call it “improv,” as we don’t have time for a bunch of extra syllables nobody’s gonna read anyway. Improv combines the visual thrill of watching people knock on doors that aren’t there with the narrative cohesion of just flat-out making shit up on the spot. It’s like watching a five-year old trying to get out of trouble for knocking over a houseplant. I mean, sure, I don’t preplan anything around here either, but that’s because of good old sturdy, tried and true American laziness, not some kind of postmodern experimental fartsniffing. Way too heady, if you ask me. What was the problem with slurs against the Irish and a simple spinning bowtie? That was comedy everyone could get behind. Except the Irish, I guess.

Source: Variety

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6.9.13: Author Iain M. Banks – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:00 am June 18, 2013

IAIN_BANKSSeriously, man? The *same* gloves? Just throw your clothes away after wearing them once, like a normal person. This looks like some sort of Howie Mandel-esque OCD issue, and if there’s one thing me and my inexplicably skyrocketing wardrobe budget know, it’s dangerous sociological habits.


Sad news for people who own books that aren’t just hollowed-out decoys used to hide drug paraphernalia, as Scottish author Iain Banks died last week of gall bladder cancer. In 1987, after publishing several mainstream fiction books, Banks began writing darkly comedic sci-fi novels under the name Iain M. Banks. The decision was made after his publisher told him that Not Terry Pratchett wasn’t a viable pseudonym. Alright, sorry, I guess I shouldn’t mock him. Dude could afford a superfluous ‘I’ in his first name, he must’ve been doing *something* right.

Banks announced his illness on his website on 3 April, writing “I am officially Very Poorly” . With trademark black humour, he said he had asked his partner Adele “if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow”.

Man, European writers sure love their clever wordplay. It always comes off so haughty and judgmental. I bet a guy like Banks wouldn’t even be interested in hearing about all of the Limp Bizkit songs that I ghostwrote, but if you put the third verse of “Nookie” up against any random passage from Catch-22 you’d have your work cut out for you trying to figure out which was which.


Source: The Guardian

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5.31.13: Jean Stapleton, Star of “All in the Family” – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:42 am June 3, 2013


JEAN_STAPLETONStapleton, seen here signing away her power of attorney to a half-eaten egg salad sandwich. Wherever you find your happiness, lady.


Jean Stapleton, best known for portraying hot grandma Edith Bunker on All in the Family, died of natural causes over the weekend. Like many of you, my parents claimed Stapleton’s image on television as my legal guardian so as to allow them ample enough time to secure the finest ethers that state-issued welfare checks could buy. Together we learned a lot of great lessons about loving your fellow man and knowing the proper time to stifle oneself. Stapleton also served as inspiration for my pee-wee football team, The Doting Dingbats. Oh, what’s that? Your parents didn’t leave you with a good-natured fictional stand-in? Well, I guess some of us just grew up in more caring homes than others. That’s probably why there are so many socially maladjusted weirdos out there nowadays.

“All in the Family” was one of television’s most popular shows as it broke ground while tackling a host of social issues such as racism, sexuality, life and death. Edith Bunker, played by Stapleton, for instance revealed that she had breast cancer on the show, a rare occurrence at the time.

All in the Family also introduced the world to everyone’s favorite air force piloting, jazz keyboard playing, high school out-dropping, unmarried loner Sherman Hemsley. There’s really not anything I didn’t love about that show. Well, the pilot episode where Archie was originally a Grand Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan might’ve been a little excessive, but you gotta give the writers some time to fine tune these things.

Source: CNN


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