This Day in Death

1.27.14: Folk Singer and Activist Pete Seeger – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:43 am January 29, 2014

PETE_SEEGERIf you were looking for Waldo, he’s between the crate of white guilt and the guy who’s only using drugs “to enhance the experience.”

Well hello there, fellow traveler! I was just spending some time with my old banjo, Fretsy Ross, singing some of our favorite non-copyright-protected songs of yore in honor of the death of folk legend Pete Seeger. You know, all the classics; the one about the guy who loved his hammer. That other one about wanting to have a hammer. And who could forget all those ones about using a hammer to murder the woman who done her man wrong? Really, a surprising amount of aggression for folk songs, when you think about it.

Yessir, in all the time that ol’ Fretsy and I been together I suppose we’ve seen some pretty monumental changes in this country of ours. We’ve watched people lose faith in their leaders and find it in anonymous internet hate mobs. We’ve seen me learning how to do the Dougie only two years too late. We’ve seen racism end like 40 goddamn times. And yet, despite all that, it seems like only yesterday when I accidentally whittled her into life after misreading a set of especially tricky IKEA end table instructions. In reality, of course, it was almost three and half weeks ago. I have to say, I’ve aged much better than she has.

Seeger, a singer-songwriter, was a major figure in the history of American folk music; he helped forge ties between the genre and political activisim. His work in political folk predated the socially charged folk that became popular in the 1950s and 1960s—he sang for the labor movement in the 1940s before joining civil rights and anti-war movements in later decades. He adapted his own version of “We Shall Overcome”, for example, and turned it into an important song in the civil rights era.

Seeger was also the guy who reportedly threatened to take a hatchet to Bob Dylan’s power supply during the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. The legend goes that Seeger wasn’t cottoning to Dylan’s newfangled hard-rockin’ ways and was protesting what he perceived to be blasphemy against traditional folk music. However, in later years Seeger would claim he actually enjoyed Dylan’s performance and was simply unhappy with the distorted quality of the audio coming over the PA system. Oh, sure, and I cry myself to sleep every night because tears are a good facial moisturizer, not because I’m trapped inside this persona I’ve created and am now forever tormented by my inability to connect with people on any kind of loving or sincere level! Ha! SORROW’D!

…God, I’m barely even human anymore.


Source: Pitchfork

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1.11.13: Reddit Creator Aaron Swartz – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:43 pm January 22, 2013

 AARON_SWARTZAnti-SOPA rallies are a great place to pick up some of that legendary C++ programmer tail.


Reddit creator Aaron Swartz committed suicide earlier this month, which is one of the harder things for me to make stupid jokes about. Oh! Unless he did it by jumping into a pile of razor blades and Jarts! I could totally make some jokes about that! Wait, no. No, that’s definitely not how he did it. Alright then: Tragedy it remains.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Reddit, I’d first like to say “get out of my blog, mom! God!” For the rest of you, Reddit is the exciting new way to share pictures of your balls with strangers. Before Reddit I usually just faxed them to random numbers, like some kind of uncivilized animal. The worst part of that is you rarely ever get sincere feedback that way. How do you expect me to improve this stuff if you’re not even gonna be thoughtful enough to tell me where I need work? We were a lot less considerate in 2004.

He was a Harvard University fellow studying ethics when he was charged in 2011 with stealing nearly 5 million articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He faced 13 felony charges, including wire fraud, computer fraud and unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer. Prosecutors said he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.

Swartz’s advocacy for free information, of course, got twisted into some kind of weird justification to the Cool Ranchified basement dwellers of the internet that they should be allowed to just take whatever the hell they want because freedom.

Look, there’s definitely a legit discussion to be had about free information, but if you use that as an excuse to just flat-out take shit that costs people money to produce, and then try to frame it like you’re some counterculture revolutionary or impoverished victim of capitalism, I cannot emphasize enough how little you contribute to the world. I don’t care what that poster you read at Hot Topic said, that’s just stupid. At least exercise a *little* restraint. Who really needs to Bit Torrent all nine seasons of Night Court anyway? Everybody knows that shit was unwatchable after the 6th.


Source: The LA Times

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10.22.12: Actor and Activist Russell Means – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:15 pm October 24, 2012

A wristwatch? Oh, I’m sorry, Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Rev. Katsuzo Sawada, I thought your belief structure was all about *avoiding* the trappings of materialism, not selling your eternal soul to the Timex corporation. I guess I was mistaken.

Native American activist Russell Means, who spent four decades fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples, is dead today at the age of 72. So watch out, flea markets and swap meets of Wasatch County, Utah; Whitey’s coming for whatever you’ve got left. Unless it’s just a bunch of those dreamcatcher things. Nobody wants those.

Means was also an actor, a musician and a writer, because the proud Oglala Sioux people used every part of the corporate media distribution system. (I like that because it’s kinda both a compliment and an insult.)

Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2011, and given only a short time to live, Means used native treatments and remedies and opted out of chemotherapy and radiation. He died on his ranch this week and is survived by his wife, Pearl Daniels, and his nine children.

Points for sticking to his beliefs, even when it may’ve cost him his life. It’s kinda like when you said you weren’t gonna get married until gay marriage was legalized everywhere, except that Means didn’t pussy out at 27 because someone called him a spinster.

Source: The Nation

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