Showing 1 - 10 of 79 posts found matching keyword: death
Tuesday 6 July 2021
Last month Ned "Otis" Beatty died. This month it's director Richard Donner. Twenty Twenty-One is proving to be a bad year for people associated with Superman: The Movie.
Should we start a pool on who's going to be August's victim? As you might expect from a 43-year-old movie, there really aren't too many principal cast and crew left. Long retired Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor) is 91. Valerie Perrine (Ms. Teschmacher), 77, has been fighting Parkinson's for years. The longest odds go to Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen), a comparatively sprightly 64.
Somewhere behind the camera, executive producer Ilya Salkind is 73 and editor Stuart Baird is 74. Only one of the five credited screenwriters, Robert Benton survives at 88. And who wants to live in a world without John Williams in it? He's 89.
Fortunately, all three of the Kyrptonian villains from the opening scenes of Superman: The Movie are still stalking the Earth. Terrance Stamp (General Zod) is 82, Jack O'Halloran (Non) is 78, and Sara Douglas (Ursa) is barely older than Jimmy Olsen at 68. One would hope they get to keep terrorizing Planet Houston for years to come.
I don't mean to be callous. It would be nice if someone could fly around the world fast enough to reverse the flow of time and stave off death. But that sort of thing can only happen in the movies.
Monday 14 June 2021
Good help is getting increasingly harder to find.
Saturday 5 June 2021
That PSA was published in 1949, when the USA had a population around 150 million and 25 million registered cars. For comparison, today there are about 350 million Americans (+133%) with 287 million registered vehicles (+1048%) resulting in over 42,000 traffic fatalities (+30%). Obviously, roads have gotten a lot safer in the past 3/4 century, and I think we all know why.
Thank you, Superman!
Friday 26 February 2021
From the God Is Dead Department:
You may recall that when the cosmos needed him, Red Bee was resurrected from the grave to join the heroes in the fight against the evil gods manipulating all of time and space.
The heroes won that fight ('natch), and the universe was reset into its previous state, which in comic books really means multiple universes. In the aftermath of the fight, we got a peek at several of those alternate realities, including one that looked reasonably familiar to fans of super heroes active during World War II.
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, 2021
That's a lot of heroes! If you squint, you may be able to make out one fellow in particular wearing a red top with pink blousy sleeves. Here, I'll zoom in for you.
In this reality, the Earth is threatened by Surtur, a Norse demigod destined to set the world on fire. That would be bad, so once again, the Red Bee flies into action against the sort of menace that would be a difficult slog for a whole team of gods, much less a part-time lawyer with a trained bee.
It goes about as well as you might expect.
His not to reason why, his but to do and die.
Poor Bee. No respect in any universe.
Monday 14 December 2020
From the Dearly Departed Department:
I bet you'd thought I'd forgotten about the Red Bee, hadn't you? That happens with dead people. Life goes on without them.
Sometimes, that really bugs them.
Thirteen years after the story of his death was finally told, Richard "The Red Bee" Raleigh had dinner with Starman and several other long deceased heroes in the great superhero home in the sky.
Starman #37, December 1997
In the afterlife, where time has no meaning, you don't get closure.
It is worth noting that we don't ever see the Red Bee's bee, Michael. I assume he lived a long, happy life, died well adjusted, and went to bee heaven.
Fortunately, this wasn't the last we'd see of the the Red Bee. I'll be back with that story soon.
Wednesday 2 December 2020
2020 killed my dog.
July beat cancer for the first time in 2016 after having her toe amputated. She beat it a second time when she had a portion of her ear removed in 2019. This past July, she had a mammary tumor removed. Three times seems to be the limit.
In late October, she got wobbly in the legs. We crossed our fingers that it was a spinal problem. She initially responded to treatment, but she took a turn for the worse about two weeks ago when she lost even the ability to stand with assistance. It was downhill from there.
So long as she was lucid and had an appetite, I felt it was my duty to support her however I could — I couldn't justify killing my dog simply because she had become inconvenient. But I realized late last night that we had probably reached the end of the line. (I'll save the gory details except to say that cancer can be a real bitch.) I had her euthanized this afternoon, and she died in my arms.
For the better part of the past decade, July had been my shadow. Her sister, Victoria, wanted to be near me; July *needed* to be near me. She followed me everywhere and complained to whoever would listen when she couldn't see me. I can't blame her. Who else was she going to get to take her for walkies or hand her a slice of pizza?
I already feel like I'm missing something when I walk into a room and don't hear the tappa-tappa of toenails trailing behind me. I keep looking for baby, and she's not there anymore and never will be again. That will take some getting used to.
Thanks to Kelley for bringing her into my life and thanks to Mom for being a substitute Walter when necessary over the years. Thanks to her vet, Jeff, for helping me keep her around as long as we did. (Fourteen years is a good, long life for a standard poodle!) And especially thanks to July for doing your best to make 2020 bearable for as long as you could.
I loved my girls.
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Sunday 8 November 2020
2020 has done it again. Alex Trebek has died from pancreatic cancer at age 80.
In the year 2014 BC (Before COVID), Trebek appeared on the final episode of The Colbert Report to reassure its departing host:
"So I guess I’ll be gone forever?" Colbert asked.
"No, Stephen," answered Trebek. "We'll always be there for the American people, whenever they need us the most."
May he live forever in reruns.
Saturday 12 September 2020
Clarke County, Georgia, home to a particular Classic City, has seen their overall number of COVID-19 cases double for three straight weeks. In their infinite wisdom, the Powers That Be at the University of Georgia have responded to that news... by deciding to allow tailgating at UGA football games. Ye gods.
In similar news closer to home, Newnan High School had to cancel a football game this past weekend because the team they were scheduled to play — from the next county over — came down with COVID-19 cases on their team. Newnan promises to refund all ticket sales. Eventually.
So far, no one I am aware of has died as a consequence of getting COVID at a football game, but football season has just started. If we get to December and that number is still zero, I'll be happy to say that I am a panicky little Chicken Little who has badly overreacted to some unprecedented circumstances.
In the meantime, the total COVID-19 death toll for the United States through the first eight months of 2020 stands just under 200k with that number expected to double by the end of the year. Rah, rah! Exponential growth.
Are you ready for some football?
Wednesday 6 May 2020
As a self-proclaimed Dolphins' fan (is there any other kind?), I feel compelled to note the passing of Don Shula, the greatest coach in franchise (and NFL) history.
Shula was still coaching the team when I first became a fan, and I think at the time, I sort of expected him to always be the coach, at least until he no longer could. He was only the second coach in franchise history, and he did go on to coach for 26 years. There have been 11 coaches in the 25 years since he retired, which sort of tells you everything you need to know about the state of the franchise.
Not only was he a great coach, he was a damn fine actor, too.
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)
COVID-19, murder hornets, and now Don Shula? Man, 2020 continues to find new ways to suck.
Monday 4 May 2020
As I type this, the United States has 1.188 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68,276 deaths. More Americans have already died in the past 2 months from COVID-19 than died in the entire Vietnam War. And it's not over yet. By the time you read this, those numbers will be worse.
A quick computation of those figures reveals a current mortality rate of nearly 6%. If you've been paying attention (what else have you got to do?), you may remember that back at the beginning of March, the World Health Organization was estimating a 3.4% mortality rate — an estimate our wise president chose to call "a false number" in a live television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He objected to the WHO number not because it was too low, but because it was much, much to high. "I would say the number is way under one percent," said the president.
(Footnote for future historians: That comment was made on March 4. A month later, April 14, Trump withdrew funding to the WHO claiming that they failed to report the true danger of the virus back in January. Quote: "The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain that and share information in a timely and transparent fashion." By that logic, I guess we should stop funding the current American president, too.)
Testing continues to be a problem, so we can't really be sure that the 1,188,122 number I referenced above is the true extent of the contamination. If we assume that the actual mortality rate is closer to 3.4% previously observed in other countries, it would mean that over 2 million Americans currently have or have had the disease. That's over a million hidden, untreated, pandemic-spreading cases. Sure seems like someone should be thinking twice about opening those shopping malls, Governor Kemp.
Also unreported in all those grim details is another victim of COVID-19. Specifically, I'm talking about my flattop.
I haven't seen a barber in over a decade, but in an act of solidarity with coronavirus-positive Tom Hanks (and maybe a little laziness), I decided to go ahead and trim my hair down to the scalp. Does it make me look more bald or less?
These days, the fact that I'm alive and well enough to worry about such things feels like an accomplishment.
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