I am not celebrating the death of Andrew Breitbart. I do object to his elevation in death, however. If you read the Huffington Post today, everyone from Arianna herself to the staff at Media Matters is expressing sadness at his passing. By this time tomorrow, his martyrdom will be incorporated into the right-wing canon and everyone will forget he was a serial fabricator. Continue reading →
I’m not Canadian, and though I’ve recently tried to get a little bit more abreast of Canadian politics and culture (starting with the wonderful Canada! How does it work?, by Canadian extraordinaire Michelle Dean, at The Awl), I will confess that I had only the vaguest notion of who Jack Layton was before he died of cancer this week at age 61.
Who he was, was leader of the opposition New Democratic Party, but by all accounts, Jack Layton was also much more than that. I’m only beginning to learn, but I’ve learned enough to wish that I could have voted for him, and that he might still be alive and well up north of me, making the world a better, more loving place.
I say “loving” because my internet friend corkingiron tells me that Mr. Layton apparently advised the men with whom he worked to use words like “love” and “compassion” and “nurture” more often, and the barrage of quotes that Mr. Layton’s admirers are now sending around the internet feature the word “love” quite a lot. Love — in politics. Now that is a concept to bring tears of gratitude to my eyes.
Elizabeth Edwards was a tough, smart, and funny cookie, as illustrated by her appearance on The Colbert Report two years ago. I specifically remember watching this episode back in 2008. Remember when gas prices were skyrocketing? Those were heady times. In the intro to the show, Stephen did a hilarious bit about a “four shortage” at gas stations. Later, while interviewing Elizabeth, Colbert, per the yoozsh, tried to rattle her. To his (visible) surprise, she nailed him by referencing his bit on the “four shortage.” It was brilliant to watch because not many interviewees are quick enough to hang tough with Le Colbert the way she did.
I’m too busy for life, but I can’t let the passing of Philadelphia-native Solomon Burke go unrecognized. He died yesterday in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (insert weed joke here). He was 70. He influenced a lot of soul singers who become way more famous: Isaac Hayes, Barry White, etc. Check out his wiki entry. (I’m busy, y’all! Dang!)
You may think you don’t know who the hell he is, but if you’ve ever seen Dirty Dancing, and own the soundtracks (yeah, there was Dirty Dancing and MOAR Dirty Dancing! DUH!), then you actually do know who the hell he is:
Hot DAMN, I love that movie, but I swear I will stab any who makes any joke involving babies and corners.
[video of Burke singing Cry to Me at a jazz festival in Spain, after the jump] Continue reading →
Dennis Hopper succumbed to prostate cancer today. He was 74. I know it’s wrong, because Dennis was in so many great movies, but the first thing I think of when I hear his name is “Pop quiz, hot shot…there’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below fifty, it blows up. What do you do?”
Gary Coleman: Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Grim Reaper?
Dang. I heard yesterday that Gary was in the hospital as a result of an injury, but ding dang, y’all! He done died! He was only 42. Sure, calling him “sookie sookie” material might be a tall order, but he was my doppelganger and a tiny part of my childhood.
Lena Horne, singer, actress, Cotton Club, Broadway and Hollywood film star, and civil rights activist passed away this weekend. She was 92.
This is not Lena Horne. As a commenter pointed out, it's Dorothy Dandridge. But I really like the picture, so it stays!
[I know this isn't Lena Horne! Long story. -ed.]
Lena was considered the most beautiful woman in the world before Julia Roberts came along and stripped all meaning from the word with her horse teeth. Plus, Lena was black during an era when that just wasn’t cool: