Archive for the 'R.I.P.' Category

Football Season is Over

Devotees of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson‘s manic genius are all too aware of the title’s significance as one of the final banal observations of a shooting star burning out and falling to earth.

Here’s an excerpt from that 2003 interview with Tim Russert:

Now go read RossK’s dedication… with the right kind of eyes, if possible.

(July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005:  Selah.)

So long Hitch

The world just got a little duller and a lot less literate.

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011.

Working out, Hitch-style.



Here’s To The Crazy One

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

(graphic from EhMac)

Adieu, le bon Jack

Agree with him ideologically or not, Jack Layton was clearly no ordinary politician, and the week following his passing has been no ordinary week.  The widespread emotional outpouring in response to his death has been, dare I say it?  Unprecedented?  I certainly can’t recall anything quite like it.

Of all the memorials to Jack Layton, planned or improvised, to me the most touching is the now-famous chalk memorial in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto:

Not just because it was such a spontaneously creative outpouring of grief, respect and even love for the guy.  But because one night the sky cried it all away, and then within 24 hours:

… tenacious Torontonians had stubbornly brought it back.  It was an act in such synchronicity with Layton’s determinedly optimistic spirit, I found it really moving.

I wonder if what we saw this past week says something about what we really want.

Niagara Falls to go Orange

The “Great Orange Wave” that made such profound changes to the Canadian political landscape last May apparently didn’t recede permanently into the electoral ocean.  Since Jack Layton’s passing on Monday, everything’s been coming up


And then there was the CN Tower.  Now it’s Niagara Falls:

Niagara Falls will join the CN Tower in going orange in honour of Jack Layton.

Tony Baldinelli of the Niagara Parks Commission says they received phone calls and emails requesting the falls be turned orange for Layton, who died Monday of cancer.

There were also requests on Facebook.

Baldinelli says the request was approved by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board.

The falls will be illuminated in orange at various times on Saturday night.

Holy Great, no, MASSIVE Orange Wave, Batman!

Jack would get a kick out of it: not so much because these things are being done out of respect for his memory, but because he would have appreciated the quirky creativity and enthusiasm and sense of fun that memorializing him has inspired in the many Canadians who admired and respected and even loved him.  These were, after all, some of the qualities that characterized Layton himself.  Even those who were ideologically opposed to him recognized that, which is why the outpouring of grief over his death seemed to transcend politics.

A few wet towels will probably gripe that it’s over-the-top, tacky, tooooo too much.  An orange Niagara Falls!?  AIIIEEEE!!!  Let the red-faced, pearl-clutching, hair-pulling outrage begin!

But so what?  It’s fun.  The only thing more fun would be if Christie Blatchford had booked a weekend vacay to get away from the sea of hate mail she says she’s drowning in, destination: oh, somewhere close, you know… like Niagara Falls.

Oh no

The NDP loses a beloved leader who took his party to new heights, the “Little Guy” loses a tenacious and constant defender, and Canada loses a politician of extremely rare integrity:

Jack Layton, who earlier this year led his party to an unexpected victory over the Liberals to become the official opposition party for the first time in its 50-year history, died Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

You can express your condolences at the NDP website.

UPDATE:  Written 2 days ago, Jack Layton’s last letter to Canadians.

RIP “Billy”

"What the hell is wrong with freedom? That's what it's all about."

Dennis Hopper, gone.

(h/t Willy)

RIP, Senator Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy tedken__opt1passed away tonight:

Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.

The man known as the “liberal lion of the Senate” had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the Kennedy family said in a statement. “He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”

Truly the end of an era, especially for those of us who can still remember hearing the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

American progressives, you know how best to honour this man.  Get it done.

GOP: Epic burger with fail fries

Talk about your slippery slope.  According to a recent Gallup poll, between 2001 and 2009 GOP support has been slip-sliding away in every demographic except (surprise) weekly churchgoers:

GOP Losses Span Nearly All Demographic Groups_1242834547423 copy

That “Culture War” thing is really working out well for them, no?

Bea Arthur

With Rock Hudson, singing about drugs in a way that would be unimaginable in today’s Zero Tolerance world:

A controversial moment from Maude (cue SHRIEEEEKs)

And a couple of decades later, in a Sex And The City parody:

RIP, dear lady.

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