This Day in Death

7.19.14: James Garner – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 7:19 am August 3, 2014

JAMES_GARNERHey, I had that issue! Yeah, I used to wrap it around my Princess Di fanzines in middle school. Made a solid spitball shield as well, if I recall. Anyway, she was the People’s Princess, you know.

 

Sad news as actor James Garner has passed away due to a massive heart attack. But you know what’s still alive? My love of spicy salsa music. The rhythm’s gonna getcha!

You probably know Garner best from his work on The Rockford Files, the Files being the worst football team the Rockford, Illinois school district ever founded (Ha, I misunderstood the concept!). He also starred in Maverick, which I never saw but have to assume was about a guy named Johnny Maverick traveling the country obeying local laws and ordinances. When did you get so on the nose, television?

He was fiercely independent, challenging the studios on both “Maverick” and “Rockford” when he felt he wasn’t being treated fairly. He sued studios twice and won both times.

Garner was also a longtime political activist. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and frequently donated to Democratic candidates and liberal causes.

Ah, the Democrats; Endearingly clueless at first, then infuriatingly bumbling for years to come. Really the Steve Urkels of American politics. Actually, I believe they used all of those donations to buy a sweet new slogan in ’76:

DEMOCRATS

Sorry, but if you really wanna make a difference, grassroots efforts are the only place where your good intentions might not be ground down into a gritty paste by the bootheel of political corruption. For instance, you could donate to my lawsuit against Target for willfully selling me this “My Swag is Ill” t-shirt. It turns out that it grossly misrepresents the nature of my swag, and they failed to inform me of this at the time of purchase. That’s definitely on them.


Source: CNN

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4.8.14: The Ultimate Warrior – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:01 am April 25, 2014

ULTIMATE_WARRIORFull disclosure: I accidentally merged my “Ultimate Warrior” folder with my “Tan Mom” folder, so I cannot in good conscious swear to the appropriateness of today’s image.

 

At this point I really shouldn’t need to remind you that I don’t like to bother with sports posts around here. Sorry, but if I cared that much about stats and scores I’d be paying a lot closer attention to where I fall in my family’s power rankings. I called bullshit on that noise two years ago when I only made fifth seed.

But considering that professional wrestling is technically only a sport in the same way that Power Wheels are technically cars, I’m gonna let it slide. Besides, it’s not often I get to break out the “bicep tassels” tag. So, it’s with broken hearts and breakable folding chairs that we mourn the death of James Hellwig, a.k.a. the Ultimate Warrior. Oh man! And we were so close to making “queer” into a verb!

“WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” a statement read.

Warrior, born James Brian Hellwig, legally changed his name in 1993. The cause of his death was not mentioned.

Wait, he legally changed his name to Warrior? That’s a little grandiose, isn’t it? Honestly, I’m a little skeptical of this whole motif. I mean, come on… Ultimate Warrior? As in, like, the A-one, top warrior of them all? And it’s a guy with a chest slathered in Vicks VapoRub and hair like somebody put a Barbie doll in the dryer? That’s our most ultimate of warriors? …Well, alright then. Far be it from me to argue these kinds of points with a guy who must’ve owned literal crates of singlet deodorizer. I guess you can just step the hell off, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, all of Sparta, and untold thousands of samurai; It looks like you’ve all been out-warriored by a guy who had his face painted neon like he was at a nine-year-old’s birthday party. You’re just gonna have to duke it out for the title of Penultimate Warrior, or possibly Ultimate Utility Combatant. Either one would still look pretty sweet spelled out in rhinestones on the back of a bathrobe, though.

Source: ABC News

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2.25.14: Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucía – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:05 pm March 5, 2014

PACO_DE_LUCIAOh man, it is simply impossible to look bad in pastel. It’s that court artist gravitas that makes every day feel as magical as your first felony arraignment hearing. [Source]

 

Rough news for the cajon industry, as Flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucía has passed away of a heart attack while in Cancun. I know everyone loves that place, but if Mexico is so great why are their travel destinations luring in our spiciest musical icons and attacking their circulatory systems? I mean, who could resist? With their gently-swaying banyan trees, incessant tropical storms, and occasional limestone quarries, you’d be foolish not to go. And then suddenly, BAM! Cardiac arrest while you’re eating a papaya. Hey, I bet that’s what happened to Rico Suave! You expect me to believe it’s just a coincidence that we haven’t heard from that guy in over 20 years? The place is clearly a paradisaical deathtrap, and it’s time to do something about it. Man, this must be what all those rednecks were getting themselves up in such a dander about. I say build the wall already, whoever’s currently the president! I swear, that man/woman/robot/shape-shifting alien lizard/super-intelligent baby is never getting my vote again.

Introduced to music by his father, a singer of gypsy origin, he became famous for dazzling audiences with his rapid flamenco rhythms and finger work.

“The gypsies are better since they listen to music from birth. If I had not been born into my father’s house I would be nobody. I don’t believe in spontaneous genius,” de Lucia once said.

De Lucia’s beloved flamenco guitar style involved a lot of percussive techniques and cordobès hats but few to no sweet-ass dive bombs or killer squealies. Plus, I bet he couldn’t even play the “Eruption” solo right. It’s not even that hard. I would’ve gotten it right on, like, the first try if my dad didn’t show up early to pick me up from Guitar Center. YOU SAID I COULD STAY TIL SIX!

 

Source: DW

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8.31.13: Sir David Frost – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:42 am September 4, 2013

DAVID_FROSTHey, guess who I never knew had been knighted: Bill Gates. Of course, it was rescinded following the release of Windows Vista, but for three glorious months that man got free luxury shampooing at any car wash in the greater Yorkshire area.

 

Journalist, comedian and author Sir David Frost is dead this week after suffering a heart attack while on a cruise ship, proving what I’ve always said: Shuffleboard is entirely too stimulating. All those disks sliding every which way, who wouldn’t get a bit of a contact high?

Frost is perhaps best known for his 1977 series of interviews with former President Richard Nixon, which became increasingly contentious and, on the final day of taping, actually devolved into a hand-tied knife fight, a la the “Beat It” music video. Unfortunately television stations in the UK chose not to air that part and instead opted for a marathon of British comedy series A Right Cracking Dobber. It was no What’s All This, Then?, but it had its moments.

There are plenty of talk show hosts today who are quick witted and convivial, and there are still a few who do long, serious interviews about world affairs with statesmen, not just starlets.

Mr. Frost did it all, on both sides of the ocean, and made it seem effortless.

A true talent and a sad loss. But this does, however, bump me up the list of most esteemed living journalists who also tell jokes (or at least manufacture a joke-like paste in blog form). You’re next in my sights, Stewart, Colbert, and whoever’s currently hosting Weekend Update! Wait, it’s not Bobby Moynihan, is it? I really don’t know what to do about that guy’s face anymore. Stop making me think I saw John Belushi out of my periphery, kid!

 

Source: The NY Times

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8.16.13: Controversial French Lawyer Jacques Vergès – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 11:12 pm August 24, 2013

PORTRAITS D'AVOCATSSo we’re sticking with the Sith Lord look for our legal professionals for the foreseeable future, huh? Fine, but I guarantee that once the Right Honorable Triple H passes the bar you better believe those sleeves are coming right the hell off.

 

Jacques Vergès died last week and don’t even pretend like you knew who he was. Because you didn’t. Shit, neither did I. In fact, I already had to rewrite this post from scratch because I wasted 300 words under the assumption that he was Jacques Cousteau. Threw away a lot of good jokes about azimuth compasses, you guys really missed out.

No, this Jacques was a controversial lawyer who made a career out of defending Nazi war criminals and other unsavory types. And not like in the way that your girlfriend defends all those Jennifer Aniston movies and embarrasses you in front of your friends. We’re talking high-stakes “in a court of law” defending. Vergès once even claimed he would’ve defended Hitler himself. Got any last words, you soulless bastard?

“When you treat the accused as a monster, you give up trying to understand what happened. And if you don’t try to understand what happened, you deprive yourself of any reflection on how to stop that thing happening elsewhere. If the Americans had reflected on the moral defeat that torture represented for the French army in Algeria, what has gone on at Abu Ghraib would certainly never have happened.”

Ha! I— Hmm… Well shit. This just got really morally complex, like laughing at a clown funeral. I hate when that happens. Today’s modern villains, they can never be bothered to twirl the occasional mustache to let us know which side of the fence they fall on. Listen, this isn’t a damn Peckinpah movie, someone just tell me who I’m supposed to root for already. I’m a busy man and these Bagel Bites aren’t gonna lodge themselves into my arteries. Bah!

 

Source: The Guardian

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6.19.13: James Gandolfini – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:09 am June 20, 2013

kinopoisk.ruJust for the record, the fact that Tough Guy Actors Playing with Farm Animals still isn’t a show on Animal Planet is the reason I’m disappointed in America. James Gandolfini counting baby ducks! Vin Diesel helping a momma sheep give birth! We could be watching an alpaca getting a bath from The Rock right NOW, what is wrong with you people!?

 

James Gandolfini, whose name I have no reason not to assume means “son of Gandolf” in Elvish, died suddenly yesterday of a possible heart attack at the age of 51. For six seasons Gandolfini starred in HBO’s The Sopranos, which, for those of you who never watched, predates Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Arrested Development as one of the first ever television shows to make your coworkers get all uppity with you for not watching. Get off my back, Linda! I’m not watching some stupid show about a bunch of dumbass opera singers, I’m a goddamn man.

Mr. Gandolfini, who had studied the Meisner technique of acting for two years, said that he used it to focus his anger and incorporate it into his performances. In an interview for the television series “Inside the Actors Studio,” Mr. Gandolfini said he would deliberately hit himself on the head or stay up all night to evoke the desired reaction.

If you are tired, every single thing that somebody does makes you mad, Mr. Gandolfini said in the interview. “Drink six cups of coffee. Or just walk around with a rock in your shoe. It’s silly, but it works.”

Or try writing a deathblog that nobody reads unless they want to bitch at you for being insensitive about the sax player from Men at Work dying under objectively bizarre circumstances. That shit feels like having splinters in your bloodstream 24 hours a day. Or so I’m told. By my less successful deathblogger friends. At our meetings. That we have. Regularly.



Source: The NY Times

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5.18.13: Russian Director Aleksei Balabanov – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:29 pm May 28, 2013

ALEKSEI_BALABANOV“The title kinda sounds like someone saying ‘boner’ with a Boston accent, so I liked it pretty good.” -Leonard Maltin (quoted from memory)

 

Grizzly Russian film director Aleksei Balabanov is dead today due to complications related to being a grizzly Russian film director. It seems like it catches up with all of them eventually.

I have to admit, it’d be really hard to talk about his films without having actually, you know… seen any of them. It’d be like reviewing unicorn porn or bathing daily, it’s just something I have no frame of reference for. So I could either spend a couple of hours doing some research, or I could just drop in a block quote and then go watch videos of dogs saying “I love you” on command. Maybe if Balabanov’s movies had a few more affectionate puppies and a little less existential dread this wouldn’t be such an easy decision for me. Just sayin.

In 16 films, Mr. Balabanov offered a world of hit men, shamelessly corrupt officials and corpses upon corpses in a cinematic pastiche reminiscent of the work of Quentin Tarantino in artistic achievement and exuberantly brash taste. In his 2005 film, “Blind Man’s Bluff,” a pair of hit men steal five kilos of heroin from their boss during Russia’s “Wild West” 1990s, when anything-goes-capitalism was sweeping away Communism. They then exchange their leather jackets for dark suits and jobs in the Kremlin bureaucracy.

For those considering a vacation/forced expatriation, Russia falls into that sweet spot of places that are total hellholes, but are still better than all those weird Middle Eastern countries that are cool with dating 12-year olds. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh, and they eat cold tomato soup for, like, every single meal. Really! It’s blood red hue and icy temperature are even represented in the colors of their flag. It’s pretty messed up. I dunno, I wouldn’t go. I heard Lee Harvey Oswald used to live there, if that makes any difference for you.

 

Source: The NY Times

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2.11.13: Heart Attack Grill Mascot John Alleman – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:01 pm February 14, 2013

JOHN_ALLEMANWait wait wait WAIT… So you’re telling me you can make atrociously indulgent dietary decisions but not necessarily end up fat? Looks like we’ve been lied to by the Health Gestapo yet AGAIN.

 

If you’re anything like John Alleman, you enjoy subtlety. Calling a place that serves burgers so unhealthy that a committee of physicians is demanding its license be suspended the Heart Attack Grill is a move so gentle it would make Garrison Keillor himself slightly flush. That’s kinda a big deal for him.

So its no wonder that Alleman was so enamored with the place, eating there so often that he was considered the restaurant’s unofficial mascot. I’ll let you guess how that eventually turned out. Yeah, you don’t get on this blog for making solid lifestyle choices. You get on it via crushing inevitability, poor health decisions, and/or petty bribery. I’m really trying to lean hard on that last one in 2013, though.

Last week, Alleman, 54, suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, where he remained on life support until he passed away this morning.

According to restaurant owner “Doctor Jon” Basso, Alleman would visit the Heart Attack Grill on a daily basis, and often stood outside for hours trying to convince others to enter.

“I told him if you keep eating like this, it’s going to kill ya,” Basso told the Las Vegas Sun. “He’d say, ‘I just love your place, Jon.’ He’s the only person I know who was probably at the restaurant more than I.”

That’s right; Alleman disregarded Basso’s advice, even though he was both the owner *and* a doctor, albeit one of those quotation mark doctors like you meet at flea markets and county fairs. I can sympathize, though; Both Alleman and myself are badass rebels who live and die by our own rules, feeling the wind in our hair and only sleeping with the lights on when it’s super dark outside.

 

Source: Gawker

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11.28.12: Astrophysicist Steven Rawlings – DEAD AFTER SUFFERING A TOTAL MENTAL BREAKDOWN AND THEN BEING HEADLOCKED BY A SIKH AND WTF, MAN?!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:45 am December 5, 2012

 There are three things I’m not gonna mock for cheap hahas here: People with mental illnesses, astrophysicists, and Buff Love from the Fat Boys. You’ve earned your peace, big guy.

 

Okay, this one is gonna get real dark real fast, and that actually makes for a surprisingly tough job for me. What can I say, I like my work like I like my women: Easy. And usually Asian.

Professor Steven Rawlings, an eminent astrophysicist, suffered a fatal heart attack after being pinned to the ground in self defence by his oldest friend and fellow Oxford academic Dr Devinderjit Sivia.

He described his friend as confused and agitated and explained how he suddenly walked towards him shouting: “I’m going to kill you.”

“Suddenly he swung around without warning and punched me in the face, his clenched fists hit me in the face.

“He was screaming ‘you’re going to die, you’re going to die’,” Dr Sivia told the inquest.

Okay, in fairness, the odds suggest that Dr. Sivia WILL die at some point. That’s just basic statistics. So you could make the case that Rawlings wasn’t so much mentally disturbed as he was just very foreward-thinking. They wanted to kill Galileo for the same thing, and that guy ended up on the $100 bill.

Giving evidence at the inquest Professor Rawlings’ wife Linda, 50, said he had initially suffered mental health “side effects” 15-years ago after taking the controversial anti-malaria drug Lariam during a holiday to Kenya.

See, this is why I don’t travel. That, and the TSA has a thing about getting on a plane wearing a fully-stocked bandoleer, even though I politely explained to them that it’s strictly for fashion. The only crime that’s been committed here is being TOO style-conscious, Security Inspector Davidson!

As the pair struggled, Dr Sivia managed to restrain him in a headlock, holding him for around 20 minutes until eventually he uttered the phrase “goodbye cruel world” and went limp.

Dr Sivia told the inquest he initially thought Professor Rawlings was playing dead and believed “goodbye cruel world” was a reference to a Pink Floyd song they had been listening to earlier in the day.

“I thought this might be a ploy to get me to release him because it was so melodramatic,” he told the inquest.

Absolutely nothing about this makes sense and it’s really starting to feel like one of those Saved By the Bell episodes where the gang breaks a vase and keep making their situation exponentially worse by lying about it and eventually they learn the value of honesty. Except, in this case, they murdered a guy. I mean, maybe that happened at some point, I never really got into that College Years bullshit. It’s time to stop scheming, Zack! This is your future! GodDAMMIT.

But when he realised he was not getting up he then emailed the professor’s wife to apologise for killing him.

Mrs Rawlings said: “At 2230 I got an email from Devinder saying, ‘I’m terribly sorry but I’ve killed him, sorry Devinder’.

Dude! An email! That was the level of urgency the evening’s events had merited. Apparently accidental murder isn’t Skype-worthy. Why does nobody involved in this thing act like a human being? This whole debacle is one precocious teenage conspiracy theorist away from being a Don DeLillo short story.

 

Source: The Telegraph

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11.24.12: Hector “Macho” Camacho – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:42 am November 28, 2012

Camacho, seen here arriving at his mother’s funeral… in style!

 

Well, I guess you can add “sitting in a car” to the list of shit that will get you killed in Puerto Rico, because that’s what took out famed boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho last week. Other recent entries include not holding an elevator door, failure to lock after popping, “talking some stuff,” wearing red, NOT wearing red, looking in the principal direction of a cholo located with 500 meters, and crying at the end of The Notebook. That’s… that’s a rough list.

Hector Camacho, a boxer known for his lightning-quick hands and flamboyant personality who emerged from a delinquent childhood in New York’s Spanish Harlem to become a world champion in three weight classes, died Saturday in San Juan, P.R., four days after after being shot while sitting in a parked car. He was 50.

His death was reported by Dr. Ernesto Torres, the director of the Centro Médico trauma center in Puerto Rico, who said Camacho had a heart attack and died a short time later after being taken off life support. He was declared brain dead on Thursday.

Oh! His last name rhymes with “macho!” Ha, I get that now. That’s pretty good.

As a teenager Camacho was a brawler, a serial shoplifter, an admitted drug user and a car thief, and he never put that part of his nature behind him. He was arrested numerous times on charges including domestic abuse, possession of a controlled substance, burglary and trying to take an M-16 rifle through customs. This year he turned himself in after a warrant charged him with beating one of his sons. A trial was pending at his death.

Eek. It’s like he was trying to undo all of the positive moral associations with the spitcurl that Superman worked so hard to establish. It’s a potent sociological trick, and the same reason that I wear a Hitler mustache while volunteering at the soup kitchen. Change is all about baby steps, you know.

 

Source: The New York Times

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