For the week of 9/23/09
Straight from the Swede
A shared 2009 obituary
This year has brought us a lot of new celebrities (Hello H1N1 flu), but has also taken away an awful lot of them. Some might be famous only to people over sixty years old, or people who care about things like social theorists, but then there are all the important people who died too!
From the deaths of classic actors like Ricardo Montalban and James Whitmore early on in the year to the recent conversion of Patrick Swayze into an actual ghost, this year has seen a lot of goodbyes, and yells of “KHAAAAN” have mixed with fans of Michael Jackson killing themselves because now that comeback tour is definitely canceled (although you can still milk the corpse by releasing every song your company has the rights to on a new compilation).
And now, while Michael Jackson and Patrick Swayze are having dance-offs in the afterworld, us mere still-mortals are left here pondering who's next and enjoying the amazing work all these people did. O, rather, we would, but Pulitzer-prize winning John Updike hasn't actually written anything I feel compelled to watch, and Dirty Dancing is a total chickflick, Star Trek was never my thing, and frankly, I haven't really enjoyed Michael Jackson since the 80's or possibly early 90's, and Charlie's Angels? I mean, seriously? Still you have to hand it to these people who somehow achieved a, if not eternal, then at least really long, legacy and who's work will be respected for its contributions to the world. I mean, artists for generations will be grabbing their crotches while making high-pitched yells and star in music videos that will hopefully once again start to feature skeletons and singers turning into werewolves.
Meanwhile, all the actors are bound to be mentioned once all their stuff gets remade within the next two years or so. Shawshank Redemption, with Whitmore as Brooks Halten, was fifteen years ago, the remake of that has to be long overdue, despite the movie still being near perfect and not feeling antiquated at all, because, you know, it was only a decade and a half ago.
And of course, Patrick Swayze might have etched himself into the minds of a younger generation who enjoy strange movies featuring guys in bunny suits from the future as a preachy pedophile, although last I checked people were still watching Dirty Dancing and Red Dawn remains something of a cult classic.
An entire nation has a bunch of reporters looking up to Walter Cronkite, the man who always seemed solid as a rock and had a journalism school named after him, and any time stock footage of important historical events will be shown, Cronkite's voice will likely be played, such is the impact the dude had on the world, always getting the really interesting moments except maybe 9/11.
The point is, yeah, people kicked the bucket, but they did it after making things that somehow live on, even if Bea Arthur, who passed away back in April, might strike people as terrifying, especially after seeing the Star Wars Holiday Special. After all, we still fondly remember John Lennon, and all he did was sing about world peace and holding people's hands, without crotchgrabbing and stuff.
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