This Day in Death

02.10.12: This Blog – ALIVE!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:39 am January 11, 2012

As I travel this great country of ours, giving motivational speeches at Girl Scout rallies and Chipotle openings, there’s one question I hear again and again from today’s youth: When are you going to start a blog about dead people? The answer has finally emerged, a resounding; “Today, I guess.”

So here we are, at the dawn of a new era of dick jokes and trolling for hate mail. Unfortunately a lot of people died in the preceding weeks while I was meticulously planning out this blog with my army of stuffed animal consultants (they’re paid in hugs and positive self-esteem!). So, in order to quickly get up to speed, I’m going to take a cue from your sister’s first semester in college and burn through as many guys (and probably a few girls) as I can as quickly as possible and then forget about them entirely.

Joe Paterno – DEAD! Died of lung cancer on January 22. There is literally nothing less exciting than football and if Fox keeps pushing that CGI robot doing the fucking Superbowl Shuffle on us I’m pretty sure someone’s gonna snap and strangle Rupert Murdoch with piano wire. Pointlessness of the game aside, Paterno’s death was notable because there aren’t a lot of guys who would willingly be as astoundingly immoral as he was. So, if you were hoping to rape some underage boys and wanted someone to catch you but never say anything about it the pool of people who would be up to helping you out with that just got significantly shallower.

Etta James – DEAD! Died of leukemia on January 20. Well, this was one’s actually kind of a bummer. She had a hell of a voice and a great musical presence, plus she openly shittalked Beyonce. My unwillingness to figure out how to put that pretentious little squiggle on the end of Beyonce’s name should tell you everything you need to know about which side I’m taking on that one. You’re not a French filmmaker in the 50s, spell your name like a sensible person.

Ben Gazzara – DEAD! Died of pancreatic cancer on February 3. If you’re a hipster under the age of 40 you probably only know Gazzara as The Big Lebowski’s Jackie Treehorn. Conversely, if you’re a hipster over the age of 40, what the hell is wrong with you, man? No one cares about your Sonic Youth acetates! Oh, speaking of which…

Mike Kelley – DEAD! Found dead of apparent suicide on January 31. Arguably artist Mike Kelley’s most known work is the cover of Sonic Youth’s Dirty. It’s probably a great cover, full of interesting themes and lovingly composed with a lot of-

Hmm. Well, alright. In fairness, though, Dirty was released in 1992. In the early 90s any album cover that didn’t feature the members of Color Me Badd giving you their ‘O’ faces was a sound aesthetic decision.

Don Cornelius – DEAD! Found dead on February 1, from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot would. I’m not formally advocating suicide, but if you’re old and enfeebled anyway that’s not a bad idea; I’m pretty sure by killing yourself you bypass the lengthy post-mortem paperwork process and can just sneak into Heaven when St. Peter’s on his smoke break. We theologians call it God’s Loophole. Also, and this may not be the right time to bring it up, but if this means that the name ‘Don Cornelius’ is now up for grabs I’d like to call dibs. That is one sweet moniker, and definitely a step up from when I took Dabney Coleman’s name.

Anyway, Cornelius developed the classic musical variety show Soul Train and hosted it for 23 years. When I think about that it always reminds me of the episode of Futurama where Slurms MacKenzie was forced to party for decades on end. That was a really good episode. Did you guys know there are cryptograms written in an alien language hidden in that show that you can decode? Oh, and that Nibbler’s shadow is visible in the first episode, even though he wasn’t actually introduced until way later? Yeah. That show’s awesome. So, to review: Don Cornelius, creator of Futurama, is dead. Good start to the blog, James.


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