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Archive for 'Obituary'

How Not To Be A Wanker

Then again, a colossal jerk is dead.

Life’s like a mayonnaise soda

There’s apocryphal of wry that the Velvet Underground’s first album only sold a few thousand copies but almost everyone who bought one formed a band. It may as well be true. There is a very short list, in truth, of iconic innovators in modern popular music and, though rarely popular himself, Lou Reed was certainly [...]

Guide to Writing the Filet of the Crime – Or Any – Genre

Never open a book with the weather.
Avoid prologues.
Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said.”
Keep your exclamation points under control!
Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
Same for places and things.
Leave out the parts readers [...]

RIP Dennis Farina

Dead at 69.
He was the star of the TV series “Crime Story,” which ran briefly in the 1980s. It wasn’t a great show (it started in Chicago, moved to Las Vegas, and then kind of fell apart), but as I noted some years ago, it had the coolest opening sequence in television history. And it [...]

RIP James Gandolfini

Dead of a heart attack at 51.
I watched only the first season of “The Sopranos,” but it was enough to appreciate what a fine actor he was.

Akiva Orr 1931-2013: An Obituary

There are two types of anti-Zionist: those who can do little more than regurgitate stock phrases: “racist,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansers,” “colonial settlers,” “Nazis,” etc., or plagiarise the work of others and those who have something interesting to say. It is because Akiva Orr fell into the latter camp, together with the fact that I had [...]

RIP Daniel Inouye

Daniel Inouye, a pro-labor, pro-Israel Democrat who represented Hawaii in the US Senate for nearly 50 years, has died at the age of 88.
Inouye was was one of only three veterans of World War II remaining in Congress. When his fellow Hawaii senator, Daniel Akaka, retires at the end of the year, there will be [...]

On Hobsbawm, Hitchens, and Double Standards

When Christopher Hitchens died, this blog published panegyrics. This was not the case when Eric Hobsbawn died. Alan A of this blog determined that Hobsbawn was “wicked” (subsequently changed) and wrote a post largely consisting of an extract of a review of one of Hobsbawm’s books by Hitchens.
Regular readers of this blog will be aware [...]

Neil Armstrong

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

Vidal Sassoon

Vidal Sassoon, the legendary anti-fascist, has died:
Born in Britain to Sephardi Jewish parents from Greece and Spain, his father abandoned the family when he was a young child and Mr Sassoon spent seven years living at the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Orphanage in Lauderdale Road, Maida Vale.
After starting as an apprentice hairdresser [...]