This Day in Death

1.10.16: David Bowie – DEAD!

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

DAVID_BOWIE

[via mickjagger.com]

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.

PENN_CHAPO

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

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8.11.14: Robin Williams – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:12 pm August 14, 2014

ROBIN_WILLIAMSWilliams in his breakout role in Mork & Mindy, the show that put rainbow suspenders on the map. Yeah, the map of Dorksylvania! NERD SLAM!

 

 

Beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his home on Monday. Evidence suggests that his struggle with depression had driven him to commit suicide. It’s going to be to tough to make jokes about the tragic loss of such an esteemed figure without being offensive, but luckily I was born a lillywhite coward so I’m just gonna not even try. Hey, I’m just honoring my heritage. Either respect the beliefs of my yellow-bellied forefathers or you might find yourself the victim of a terse, anonymous comment on your YouTube channel some day.

But I guess we still need to find something to do around here… Hey, it looks like NJ.com was able to find the one Jersey resident whose hands weren’t completely slathered in bronzer and let him use the community Lenovo to gather a bunch of celebrity Tweets, so let’s just mock those instead. I appreciate the legwork, guys. Your greasy state is alright.

OH IS RICHARD LEWIS JEWISH? YOU’D THINK HE’D ALLUDE TO IT SOMEWHERE!

Frankly I’m flabbergasted. Maybe this was some kind of personal in-joke between him and Williams, but that wouldn’t explain the hundreds of retweets. I’m gonna assume we collectively didn’t wanna look anti-Semitic, so we just kinda wrote Lewis a blank check on this one and told ourselves this made some kind of sense. This is really more our bad than his.

CHERCAP2

Those of you who are both longtime readers and don’t suffer from memory loss due to crippling Benzodiazapine addictions (which my click traffic Venn diagram tells me consists solely of one Gary Lepinksi of Cincinnati, Ohio. Way to keep your engine clean, Gar!) will note that this isn’t the first time Cher has blindly tripped over profundity following a respected celebrity’s death. Still, I almost kind of get what she thinks she’s saying this time. Do you have a follow-up Tweet that’s a bit more… Lennie Small-esque, we’ll say?

CHERCAP3

Eh, I still kinda understand. When I read Cher’s Tweets I wanna be legitimately concerned that I may be having an aneurism. Deeper!!

CHERCAP1

Theeere it is. Sorry, but Cher’s Twitter feed is an endless source of both amusement and shocking ineptitude for me. It’s like a fountain that only spouts schadenfreude. Truly, it give Great. But tread carefully! It can also, for those who don’t exercise caution, Take All.

Source: NJ.com and Twitter

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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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6.15.14 – Casey Kasem – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:53 am June 18, 2014

CASEY_KASEMOOOH NOOO NO NO; If you’re a cartoon dog functioning at a level that involves standing up for photo ops and rudimentary vocal ability then you’re anthropomorphized enough to get a real job and contribute to society right alongside us humans and our crushed spirits. No more of this laid back, best-of-both-worlds Marmaduke shit. Hell, Goofy has Down syndrome but even he manages to put a vest on himself every morning. At least he’s trying.

 

Legendary voice actor and American Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem passed away on Sunday amidst antagonism between family members pertaining to his hospice care. Kasem’s death had been a slow and painful ordeal, only slightly worse than trying to convince America that Imagine Dragons is a legitimate musical force every damn week. I don’t know what kind of substance is running in Seacrest’s veins that gives him the strength to power through that particular shame with his creepy rictus intact, but if it’s human blood I’ll eat my oversized novelty hat.

His voice was familiar to fans who tuned in weekly to hear him count down the nation’s most popular songs, a tradition that he continued with Casey’s Top 40, American Top 20 and American Top 10.

“Hosting various versions of my countdown program has kept me extremely busy, and I loved every minute of it,” he said upon his retirement in 2009.

Kasem seemed like a pretty nice guy and the story of his death has been a particularly sad one, so I figured we’d just look at some insincere tweets, I’d probably microwave this gas station burrito that’s been sitting around for a while, and we’d all pack it in for an early yet productive day. Then I found this:

 

 

Now, at first this struck me as the usual “Even in grief, I can’t go 140 characters without talking about myself” celeb tweet that we’ve poked with a stick before, but something just seemed extra obnoxious about Osmond here. Maybe it’s the painfully earnest profile picture suggesting a total lack of self-awareness, I don’t know. At any rate, I decided to follow the rabbit hole down a little further.

Donny Osmond’s Twitter account is a perfect example of why I hate Twitter. (Speaking of which, make sure to follow the TDiD’s new Twitter account! Social media experts agree: It’s pointlessly superfluous.) I realize that, at its core, the stupid thing is just an image management tool for celebrities, but Jesus Christ at least pretend you’re giving me something akin to a meaningful content handjob. Instead, just about every single tweet is The Donfather either vainly reposting a stranger’s compliment about him or touting what he believes to be his revolutionary new phone app. Since I’m extremely suggestible, I downloaded said app, and… it’s nothing. It’s literally nothing but samples of the cover songs on his new album with a couple of lines written about each. Also known as what we used to call a web site. You know, back in the Oughties.

So what the hell? Chicago Sun-Times, what have you got for me?

“The record company thought I was nuts to allow two minutes’ worth of sampling, but I told them, if they like what they hear, they’ll want to buy the album,” Osmond said. “And the app asks for absolutely no permissions; I have no interest in invading people’s cell phones like the rest of the apps out there that invade your phone with permissions. And it absolutely had to be a free app. I’m a HUGE tech geek, so I designed it to be easy to use, extremely simple in design. I turned it over to an engineer for the code and we went through a few incarnations and it’s finally out.”

You see, cynics? The Wizard of Os isn’t gonna give you the snowjob: You get those samples of/blurbs about other peoples’ songs for FREE. Yes, I’m sure he’s taking a serious hit by letting us be advertised to, absolutely free of charge and without swearing NSA loyalty oaths, but that’s why they call him Silicon Valley Don. I mean, like, just now I called him that. Technically, that counts.

But don’t take my word for it; Just look at this review from noted person who totally exists Jamie Heiker, who reminds us that “Donny has always been on the cutting edge of music and technology.” That must be all kinds of true. Would you expect anything less forward-thinking from a man who once owned a technicolor dreamcoat? And who can forget his annual one-man expeditions to the Internet to sandblast all of the accumulated YouPorn grime from its tubes, or his current work with controversial noise-rock poster boys Death Grips?

DEATHGRIPSDONNYOSMOND

So there you go. Donny Osmond officially considers himself to be on the bleeding edge of technological innovation. You guys caused all this, what with your Tweeting about how you’re synching your Pinterest to your Tumblr or whatever the hell. Now even Donny Osmond knows what an app is and I have to maintain a Twitter account, because the internet is terrible. Oh, and Casey Kasem is dead, too. It’s really just piling on at that point.



Source: People

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2.2.13: Philip Seymour Hoffman – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:28 am February 3, 2014

PHILIP_SEYMOUR_HOFFMANSigh. Someday I’ll win a real award, too. Until then, stealing spelling bee participation ribbons from fourth-graders will just have to do.

 

Philip Seymour Hoffman, considered one of the most talented actors of his generation, was found dead in his apartment yesterday after a suspected drug overdose.

Hoffman was a legit actor whose presence had an actual, measurable effect on the quality of the final product, and that’s entirely too rare. It’s downright bizarre how much credit and attention we give to actors considering how little they tend to contribute to Hollywood films beyond name recognition and Us Weekly Smoochability ratings. Excluding your Michael Caines and your Meryl Streepses and your Daniel Day-Lewi, most actors are pretty much just expected to not fall asleep on camera and they’re rewarded with riches on par with gifts brought to Egyptian gods. There are dozens of people who put more sweat and blood into any given production than your stars ever will; there are screenwriters to write the dialogue, directors to explain how to deliver it, and cue cards stapled to some poor stagehand’s face if Jennifer Aniston is too consumed with her acai berry cleanse to bother learning her lines. Costume, make-up, lighting, and audio departments take care of the rest on set. Editors will cut it together. Marketing will find a way to convince the public that they haven’t already seen this same claptrap a thousand times before. And, hell, you can probably just tie an actor’s torso to a wooden stake like you’re trying to keep a tomato plant from sagging if they can’t even grasp that “don’t fall asleep” thing. If Megan Fox somehow becomes self-aware and decides she can no longer in good conscience appear in a movie about ninja turtles from outer space, positively none of the film’s already-shaky integrity is compromised. Michael Bay just cracks open the clamshell packing on another Blandly Attractive Lady, plugs her into the circuit board, America collectively eats another Choco Taco for lunch, and exactly nothing changes.

But, uh, yeah. Hoffman kept it proper.

[…] he won in the best actor category for “Capote” (2005). As the eccentrically sociable, brilliantly probing and unflappably gay author of “In Cold Blood,“ Mr. Hoffman flawlessly affected the real-life Truman Capote’s distinctly nasal, high-pitched voice and the naturally fey drama of his presence. Writing in The Times, A. O. Scott described the film as being about a writer’s relationship with his work.

Well, it’s time to do what we always do when I’m too squeamish to make fun of a respected figure who died tragically; make fun of celebrities who barely understand computers *or* grammar by checking out some insincere tweets:

CARREY_TWEET

Jim Carrey and the Pure Moods album cover he inexplicably uses as his avatar start things out on a pretty classy note, actually. Then he realizes he’s gone 11 words without referencing himself and proceeds to throw some vague existential tortured artist bullshit out there to make sure people realize that he only did Mr. Popper’s Penguins to draw attention to the very real threat of interspecies choreography mishaps. He wraps everything up with an emoticon of… I’m guessing a snooty French waiter with a stye in his right eye.

WHOOPI_TWEET

I have no idea why Whoopi Goldberg thinks that putting dashes between words turns them into links, but it’s kinda adorable. Still, nobody hits random keys with less linguistic cohesion than Cher:

CHER_TWEET

Holy God, Cher. What alien language am I even looking at? How does a person survive the kind of seismic muscle spasm that produced this gibberish without severe nerve damage? This one has the works; sentence fragments! Lack of proper spacing! Letters and numbers replacing words! Random capitalization! Pointless emoticons! Missing apostrophes! Arbitrary line breaks like she thinks she’s E.E. goddamn Cummings! And for some reason a picture of a birthday cake following the kind of meaningless and irrelevant faux-profound simile that makes Jim Carrey’s new age pablum look like the Tao of Hank Hill. I’m tappin’ out, Cher. You done broke my brainbits.

 

Source: The NY Times (Tweets collected by E Online)

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3.5.13: William Moody, aka Paul Bearer – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 10:28 pm March 7, 2013

PAUL_BEARERTim Burton’s WWE needs more Helena Bonham-Carter.

 

It’s time to spritz some Febreze onto your mourning singlet, because William “Paul Bearer” Moody, professional wrestling’s resident mortician and The Undertaker’s manager, is dead. Wait, why would you hire a mortician to manage your career? That seems like a conflict of interest. The late night talk show monologues would practically write themselves. I mean, I appreciate his wanting to keep a consistent theme going, but this just seems like a poorly executed professional decision from the normally thoughtful Undertaker. It’s like when I found out that Bret “Hitman” Hart wasn’t filing quarterly, despite the tax breaks he’d get as an independently contracted assassin. Jesus, man! You’re just causing undue tax season stress if you’re filing annually based on a 1099-MISC! The 1040-ES is made for you! Goddammit… It really hurts to find out your childhood heroes weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer,” the wrestling organization said on its website.

“Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years,” the site said.

For his spooky character, Moody wore pasty makeup, carried an urn and spoke in a high-pitched wail. He made his last television appearance for WWE in April 2012, the organization said.

Alright, let’s stick our fists into the disgusting hopper that is the microblogosphere and see if we can pull out a new entry for our series of insincere tweets of mourning:

HOGAN_TWEETOkay, I’m prepared to assume that the lack of proper spacing after the commas is just general ignorance. He’s not a damn 4th grade English teacher, I’m letting that slide. Things don’t really get questionable until the end, when the Hulkster must’ve realized he was running dangerously short on characters and sure as shit wasn’t gonna burn *two* tweets on a guy he’s not entirely sure wasn’t just a ‘roid rage hallucination, so he just starts deleting words and punctuation altogether. What’s really interesting, though, is that he made sure to set two characters aside so that he could include his initials, despite the fact that his twitter handle is already @HulkHogan, the name on his profile is Hulk Hogan, and there’s a picture of Hulk Hogan staring right at you. Because there’s a time to grieve, and then there’s a time to grow your brand, brother.


Source: Yahoo!

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9.3.12: Michael Clarke Duncan – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:59 am September 4, 2012

My biggest regret is that we never got to witness a cage match between Duncan and Aaron Neville for title of Most Gigantic Black Guy with a Surprisingly Tender Personality. I don’t have a lot of regrets.

 

Actor and sentient mountain of flesh Michael Clark Duncan died yesterday at the age of 54, the result of a heart attack he suffered in July. Nonetheless, his heart will be repurposed in 2013 as a cost-efficient replacement for the Hoover Dam’s hydropower plant generators. The guy was big as shit, if hyperbole and repetition hasn’t made that clear yet.

Duncan seemed like a good guy, and I’m not just saying that because I legitimately fear his ghost returning to beat me up in my sleep if I say otherwise, but I have to admit I was never terribly impressed by his range as an actor. Did you ever notice that he played a large black man in, like, every movie he was in? I mean, come on, shake it up a bit. Daniel Day Lewis once underwent extensive surgery that enabled him to spend months as an eight-year old Hispanic girl, all as preparation for a non-speaking background role in one scene of “Rain Man.” He won every single Oscar that year, including the shitty ones for sound mixing that they don’t air.

However, if there’s a silver lining here it’s that I get to add to my collection of insincere tweets from celebrities:

His co-star Mercedes Masohn tweeted: “Today is a sad day. Michael Clark Duncan passed away this morning. Known for his moving performance in The Green Mile. RIP MCD. You’ll b missed.”

Interesting creative decisions here. She’s got the “b” instead of “be,” but opted to spell “you’ll” correctly. All in all a pretty lopsided effort. Honestly, I expected more from a woman named after a luxury automobile.

One of his co-stars in [“In the Hive”] was Vivica A. Fox.

“My heart is shocked and saddened!! RIP Micheal Clark Duncan. U were the most gentle giant and the most gracious of a man! U wont b 4gotten! ” she tweeted.

Annnnd Fox shows us how it’s done. Really well-crafted delivery here. You’ve got the poor syntax with that whole “most gracious of a man” wreck, total lack of apostrophes, not one but THREE instances of a single letter standing in for a not much longer word, and even the controversial use of a number replacing a series of letters. That last move can come off a little showy, but she makes it work. Was mentioning her own heart tastelessly ironic or just borderline retarded? We’ll be debating it for ages, which is the hallmark of great art. Mmm! I will be kissing my fingers to this one for the rest of the week.

I kinda think it would be a good idea if, when an actor tries to buy a computer or a smart phone, we just sell them a Lite-Brite instead. Most would never be able to tell the difference anyway and then they wouldn’t be out there roaming the internet unsupervised, substituting numbers for letters and posting videos about how hard their unbelievably amazing lives are. Sigh. Seeing that video just makes me regret not saving the money I made during my tenure in Menudo. Turns out it doesn’t matter how young your spirit is, they kick you out at 20 anyway.



Source: CNN

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4.26.12: The Killers’ Saxophonist Tommy Marth – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:30 am April 27, 2012

Play “Blue Sky Mine”!

 

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for rock saxophonists. I mean, moreso than usual. First that guy from Men at Work was found dead in his Melbourne home, possibly murdered, probably by a wallaby. And now Tommy Marth, saxophone player for The Killers, has apparently taken his own life. I dunno, I was into saxophonist deaths before they got all watered down. All these guys are just trying to imitate Clarence Clemons’ death, God rest his skronkin’ soul.

For those of you who weren’t getting star tattoos on your wrists a decade ago, The Killers were among the nouniest of the post-2000 ‘The Nouns’ band jizzsplosion, a monstrous trend that fooled us all into thinking that what was essentially a manufactured boy band made up of the sons of rich white men was an authentic modern-day resurrection of rock music, a genre created by poor black men. After that black people stopped inventing cool things just so that we couldn’t take them anymore. Come on, guys! Just give us something new already. All we’ve come up with so far is the Keytar, and it’s really not as much fun as we’re pretending it is.

The band took to their Twitter account and maxed out the character limit to deliver an almost error-free condolence, because that’s apparently the new way for musicians to say they’re filled with sadness, but not quite a whole paragraph worth of it.

Last night we lost our friend Thomas Marth. Our prayers are with his family.There’s a light missing in Las Vegas tonight. Travel well, Tommy

Maybe I’m just a thousand years old (full disclosure: I am a thousand years old), but Twitter is such a shitty way to express any genuine emotion and it just comes off as insincere when people use it to announce something as supposedly important as the death of a friend and collaborator. And I’m not just saying so because I’m pissed that someone already stole my idea for a Twitter name. I really should’ve jumped on that *before* they brought Pac back, but really, who saw that coming?

 

Source: Pop Crush (looks pretty hardcore to me)

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4.15.12: Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees – HANGING ON!

Filed under: Hanging On —James @ 8:44 am April 16, 2012

Robin is the cool-looking one.

 

According to, uh, Catholic Online (because it was the first search result and research is hard), Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has fallen into a coma after a bout of pneumonia and is reportedly near death. So get ready to delete those two Whitney Houston songs you frantically downloaded in February and replace them with “To Love Somebody” and “I Started a Joke.” Pretending to give a shit must be exhausting.

The development comes as little surprise: Gibb has been in failing health for the past few years, including suffering from a twisted bowel, which is behind only Pink Sock Disease on my list of shamefully humorous yet bizarre illnesses that I had previously assumed were just made up to justify the continued production of ER. I really need to stop making so many lists.

Alright, Block Quote: Give me something to fill out this post so I don’t have to resort to the weak “Stayin’ Alive” joke everyone on Facebook is gonna be patting themselves on the back for making next week.

News of Gibb’s condition elicited a flood of support on social network sites and in the music community.

Rocker Peter Frampton tweeted “My positive thoughts go out to Robin Gibb and all of the Gibb family. I am wishing you the best and hope for a quick recovery. Much love 2 U.”

“Much love 2 U?” Jesus, Frampton, is Prince writing your tweets for you? It’s nice to see that you treat a fellow musician’s imminent death with the same solemn dignity that a fourteen-year-old girl injects into a one-handed text message. Make a damn effort and type that shit out. You’re already on thin ice for Blues Brothers 2000. If movies could feel shame that thing would’ve committed seppuku on opening night.

 



Source: Catholic Online

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