Skip to main content

The departed

The news of Elizabeth Taylor's death this week was rather sad, even though she had largely slipped from our cultural consciousness.  She was THE biggest star around when I was a kid, and my parents both always raved about how she was amazingly beautiful and extremely talented.  As I've gotten older and seen more of her work (particularly her earlier motion pictures) I tend to agree.


And somewhere along the line that led me to think of others from movies, music and books who are now deceased.  Just last night my wife and I watched "The Dark Knight," the second in what's presumed to be a trilogy of reality-oriented Batman films crafted by the talented director Christopher Nolan.  The film features an Academy Award winning performance by the late Heath Ledger as Batman's archvillain the Joker, and his portrayal of a psychopathic criminal is stunning at the same time as it's so chilling.  Ledger died very young, of course, but he left behind some interesting and memorable work.


Along with that, for the past several weeks I've been thinking about Kurt Vonnegut, the legendary novelist, writer, sometime artist and humanist who left us in 2007.  I was helping my son and a friend install some drywall in my son's nearly-renovated kitchen and the friend was cutting a hole to accommodate a ceiling light fixture.  I observed that he had cut in the general shape of an asterisk (* for those keeping score at home) and remarked that it looked quite a bit like Vonnegut's own rendering of an asshole from "Breakfast of Champions."  Brought down the house!


Then my son reminded me that I dragged him with me to see Vonnegut lecture many years ago when he visited Lexington for some sort of charity fundraising event, but upon reflection, my son says that he thought he was a pretty neat old guy.  And just a couple of days ago I saw a car with a bumper sticker with a phrase that looked familiar.  I got closer at the next traffic light and was able to read it and confirm my suspicion.  Here's what it said:


"The good Earth — we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy."


--Kurt Vonnegut


As he would have written in one of his books, "and so it goes."


I'm sure I could go on, but if you're in the mood to do so, think about the Beatles who have died, about John Wayne's greatest movies, about how the news just wasn't the same without Chet Huntley, about what a shame it was that James Dean lived long enough only to make a handful of movies, and on and on and on.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…