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 Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016

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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016   Tue May 23, 2017 10:50 am


We lost a lot of our shining stars back in 2016.  (Of course, we lose a lot of our shining stars every year, it seems, but that's not the point....)

I remember when I read the Actuarial strip frpm xkcd, it got me thinking about Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, James Earl Jones, David Prowse and all the rest, realizing how they're getting up there in years and wondering which one we were going to lose next.  "James Earl Jones will probably be next," I thought.  "Black men tend to die a bit younger than everyone else does for some reason, and women tend to outlive men by a pretty large margin, so Carrie Fisher will probably be the last one from A New Hope's cast to go."

How wrong I was.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Carrie Fisher's death led to Debbie Reynold's death in rapid succession.  I guess you really can die from a broken heart.  Sad

David Bowie's loss was another kick in the teeth for me.  He had some pretty rough roots, but he certainly got the last laugh on the thug who whacked him in the head when he a kid (which is how Bowie got his unique gaze with the permanently dilated eye); David Bowie has been a household name for years, and that thug has been lost to obscurity.


It's pretty obvious why Bowie was destined to become famous:  The man was magic in everything he did, and he had a certain magnetism to him.  Hell, he could make a trucker question his own sexuality!  But then Bowie got the Big C.  He was dying, he knew it and, like a true artist, he composed and performed his swan song "Lazarus" as a poignant farewell.  Sad


Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder were a couple more kicks in the teeth, naturally.  Willy Wonka and Hans Gruber/The Metatron/Severus Snape will not be forgotten any time soon.

I'm glad that John Glenn got to live for so many years, but it still stings a bit to lose such a legendary astronaut.  We just lost Neil Armstrong four or five years ago, and though his achievement may have eclipsed Glenn's own (as orbiting Earth, though a remarkable task, still pales before the peril of landing on the moon), astronauts like Glenn did pave the way for astronauts like Armstrong.  And it'll be a dark day when we finally lose Buzz Aldrin (who is famed not only for the moon landing but for defending it from conspiracy nutjobs as well).

Comic book artist Steve Dillon was another figure of note for me; I have the entire collection of the Preacher comic books in paperback, and he drew most of it.


Abe Vigoda...yeah, I watched some of his sitcoms when I was coming up, and he was great in The Godfather.  But what got my attention was the time when some goofball erroneously reported that he had died, and that became a running joke for all the years since.  Vigoda even referred to it in a comedy sketch or two.  Sometimes, I would check on abevigoda.com (which was created at some point during all the hooplah about Vigoda's fake death).  It was in my Favorites, so sometimes I'd visit the site, and his status was always "Alive".  And then January 26, 2016 came around, Vigoda died for real this time, and the website changed his status to "Dead".  And it'll never say "Alive" again.  Sad

And one death which received little attention was Michael Massee, felled by stomach cancer in the October of 2016.  But I paid attention (even though I was about a month late in hearing the news).  One of Massee's more well-known roles was that of the violent, drug-addicted thug Funboy in The Crow.  But that movie also earned him his claim to infamy: He was the actor who accidentally shot and killed Brandon Lee while the cast and crew were filming the home invasion scene.  Though no charges were brought against Massee, the emotional trauma of killing Lee compelled Massee to quit acting for a year or two, and he was still reluctant to speak about that tragedy for the rest of his life.

And on a more lighthearted note, even though Stormin' Norman passed on four years ago (and thus didn't make this list), a bunch of people finally chipped in last year to get rid of the cheap, flat, simple Government headstone and give Schwarzkopf the glorious headstone that he deserves.

So which deaths in 2016 touched you the hardest?
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PostSubject: Re: Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016   Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:42 am

...and now Adam "Batman" West is no longer with us...him and Mary Tyler Moore, Chuck Berry, the best James Bond ever (yes, I like Roger Moore's Bond more than I like Sean Connery's Bond, so sue me), that one sheriff who helped James Bond out in a few movies, Private Hudson from Aliens, Perry Mason's legal secretary, Judge Wapner, Chancellor Sutler from V for Vendetta, the guy who gave us The Silence of the Lambs, Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days, Captain Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica series, Cuba Gooding Junior's Dad, the kindly old guy that Robin Tunney beat the crap out of in Niagara Niagara (more popularly known as "that old guy who probably starred in every Quentin Tarantino movie imaginable"), one of the gals who sang that "We are Family" song that my Aunt Kris couldn't help but play every time our family got together for Christmas, the world's second-oldest living person on record (117 years old...wow), Angela Landsbury's little brother, a horse, a killer whale and a bunch of musicians and pro athletes that I know nothing about.

Crap. Adam West is dead.

Has the Methuselah Foundation cracked the formula for the Everlasting Youth Serum yet? bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016   Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:24 am

I need to add one more sad death to your list.  My grandmother passed away in November 2016.  Granted she was close to 100 when she passed away and had been fading for at least a few years before then.  That didn't make her death any easier to handle.  She was a kind grandma that always had cookies ready when we I came to visit.  Most of all I will remember spending most of my summers as a young boy with her in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
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PostSubject: Re: Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016   Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:26 am

If we could trap time in a bottle, right?  Sad

But you feel sorrow over your grandmother's death because you cared for her and loved her, which tells me that she was a piece of your life and you were a piece of hers.  In contrast, my grandmother died almost three years back, but the relationship between her and me died back when I was just a boy.  Grandma Ginny was the awful kind of person who played favorites with her children and grandchildren, and she made no secret of it.  For whatever reason, she despised my mother (who also happened to be her first and oldest child) ever since Mom was a little girl, she outright hated my father, and that ill feeling passed down to my siblings and me as well.  On the other hand, Aunt Kris is a narcissistic scumbag and an alcoholic who never has a kind word to say to anyone, yet Grandma Ginny always adored her and doted over her and her kids.  And that's why Christmas would come around and Grandma would give Cousin Jen (Kris' daughter) snazzy electronic keyboards and such, even though Jen was already banging convicted felons when she was 17, and that's why Grandma gave my sister Laura socks and me a crappy bookmark.

(Aunt Kris was the one who wrote the eulogy on that Find a Grave memorial page.  It shows, doesn't it?  Grandma Ginny was her mother, poker buddy, bingo buddy, casino buddy and drinking buddy.  What more could a lush like Kris ask for?)

So Mom still loved the old bag even after everything that Grandma Ginny had done to her (including kicking Mom out of her house when Mom was just 15 years old), but I wasn't nearly as forgiving.  So Mom broke the news that Grandma Ginny had gotten her ticket off the planet, and I had to spare Mom's feelings by faking being sad because my sentiments were more along the lines of "Oh, Grandma's dead?  Okay, whatever.  Hey, I'm running to the hardware store.  Want anything?"

It's pretty messed up to feel like that about a grandparent, and I realize that.  But Grandma Ginny made that bed and she could very well lie down in it.  I'm not a heartless person; I wasn't here in Texas when Grandpa Everett (my Dad's Dad) passed on, so I missed his funeral, and I loved the crazy old coot and missed all the times when I visited him, his house and his workshop, and I could watch him tinker on stuff in his workshop for hours and I learned quite a bit about tinkering and repair from him and Dad, and sorely regretted that I couldn't have spent more time with Grandma Everett.

But Grandma Ginny wasn't anything like Grandpa Everett.  I just never could find it in me to love someone who never showed any sign of wanting me to love them.

So I have to envy you in that regard, old friend.  Don't be sad that your Grandma died.  Be happy that she lived and shared that life with you for as long as she humanly could.  And be content that the world gave you a far better grandmother than the one I got.

Also, a death in 2016 that got overlooked in that video was Martin Croker, a prolific voice actor who — among other cartoon characters — gave us Doctor Weird and his poor, beleaguered lab assistant Steve in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force series.



Happy trails, Doctor Weird.  You really knew how to kick off an episode!  Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Death Sucks: A Look Back at 2016   Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:01 am

And I was tuned in yesterday evening when they announced that Tom Petty had been taken off of life support following a massive heart attack earlier that morning.  Even though no one was sure if he was still alive two hours after that, the whole situation sounded pretty bleak to me.

Then this morning's news reports confirmed that I was right.  Tom Petty didn't make it through the night.


I guess that Mary Jane has indeed had her last dance.  Sad
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