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David Rakoff, 1964-2012
August 10, 2012 7:28 AM   Subscribe

David Rakoff, essayist and humorist, died on August 9th. Huffington post obituary; The Awl obituary. If you're not familiar with his writing, a good place to start might be listening to any of of his appearances on This American Life.
posted by Greg Nog (136 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Loved his piece on being in a store window.

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posted by drezdn at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by obloquy at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2012


Well, shit.

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You might also check out the Oscar-winning short film The New Tenants, written by and starring Rakoff. Part 1 Part 2
posted by Madamina at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 7:35 AM on August 10, 2012


Terrible news. He will be missed.

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posted by mattbucher at 7:36 AM on August 10, 2012


My introduction to David Rakoff was his 2007 segment on TAL, wherein he recounts his experiment to watch 29 hours of television in a week, finding joy in The Daily Show ("I would drink Jon Stewart's bathwater.")

He'd been ill for many years, recounting his battle with cancer both on TAL and in print. In May of this year, his segment was the sweetest of the TAL live show. He danced.

Damn. Just ... damn.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:36 AM on August 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


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posted by Rock Steady at 7:36 AM on August 10, 2012


I saw him in the This American Life broadcast this spring ("Stiff as a Board, Light as a Feather"), and he looked incredibly weak. His distinctive voice didn't sound like his voice, either. But he could dance, goddammit.

He was lovely and didn't deserve to die like this.

The Dr. Seuss / Gregor Samsa correspondance.
posted by maudlin at 7:37 AM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ah fuck this.

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posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2012


Such a great loss...Loved him on TAL

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posted by ShawnString at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2012


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Thank you for so many laughs, good sir.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:39 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by donajo at 7:39 AM on August 10, 2012


Aw, man...

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posted by zombieflanders at 7:40 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by gauche at 7:40 AM on August 10, 2012


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This is such sad news. I will miss listening to wonderful stories.
posted by haplesschild at 7:41 AM on August 10, 2012


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A terrible loss.
posted by xingcat at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2012


RIP David. You were a marvelous writer, and, according to those who knew you, a marvelous person.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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A huge loss. I always loved hearing him on This American Life.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:44 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Sys Rq at 7:44 AM on August 10, 2012


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very sad
posted by Fezboy! at 7:44 AM on August 10, 2012


I remember the Testosterone episode and how he had more than any of the men, and the guy who played basketball was upset because he wanted to be the most manly of public radio. He was upset that Rakoff didn't even know what ESPN sportscenter was and still had more testosterone.

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posted by discopolo at 7:46 AM on August 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh no!
posted by chococat at 7:47 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Dr. Zira at 7:47 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Beardman at 7:48 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:48 AM on August 10, 2012


The Waiting (NY Times, but I think the link should work here).
In truth, after close to three years into my current illness — a rather tenacious sarcoma around the area of my left collarbone — I try not to invest too much importance in the casual words of others, mostly to let them off the hook. With the exception of the wildly unprofessional X-ray technician in 1988 who, spying my radiation-strafed lungs (a result of the primitive treatment for my first bout of cancer, and the likely cause of my present sarcoma), asked how long I’d had AIDS, caregivers seem trained to keep their language and voices neutral, for just this reason: it’s an unfair burden on them when so many of us who are sick are looking for signs or unstated reasons to hope during the waiting.

And there will always be waiting. It begins immediately. Unless your presenting problem is a headache and you show up at the hospital with a knife sticking out of your skull, tests will always have to be done and then results will have to be delivered. Biopsies must be frozen, sliced, dyed and analyzed. If a culture has to be grown, then you have to bide your time while cell division takes its course. Disparate hospital departments, if not entirely disparate hospitals, cities or states will have to find and speak to one another, leaving you with nothing but a lump, inexplicable bruising, months of unexplained fatigue, your own imagination or, heaven forbid, the Internet to occupy your mind. Those weeks before diagnosis can be among the most torturous times. There is a reason you’re called a patient once the plastic bracelet goes on.
posted by maudlin at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


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posted by Danf at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Bwithh at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:52 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by mwhybark at 7:53 AM on August 10, 2012


Let's not forget his wonderful depiction of Christmas Freud either.

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posted by cotterpin at 7:53 AM on August 10, 2012


maudlin: "The Waiting (NY Times, but I think the link should work here). "

I hadn't seen that essay. Thanks so much for linking to it. Very powerful.

He's left us far, far too soon. :(

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posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2012


Rakoff on The Real Housewives of Orange County reality series all-day marathon:

And yet nothing happens. It's like watching paint dry. Stupid, shallow, fake-breasted, Republican paint.

Even though his take on illness hits me on a personal and emotional level, I'm just going to try to remember him based on that as well.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2012


Oh no. TAL won't be the same without him. :(

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posted by kmz at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Bummus at 8:02 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by From Bklyn at 8:03 AM on August 10, 2012


Dammit.

In memory of the man and his work:

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posted by MonkeyToes at 8:03 AM on August 10, 2012


Such a distinct literary voice. This is just so sad.

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posted by sonascope at 8:03 AM on August 10, 2012


Terrible, terrible.

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posted by fiercecupcake at 8:05 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by CaptainCaseous at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2012


He had a singular voice. I knew of his health issues, but this makes me... I don't know what. He will be missed.
posted by readery at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2012


Really very sad. I can't imagine being sick since 1988. I hope he found peace.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM on August 10, 2012


Just horrible. The last TAL piece I heard him narrate was about dancing after the loss of the use of his arm. I'll carry that poignant mental image of him gracefully waltzing across a stage for years to come.

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posted by missmobtown at 8:09 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The craft that consumed me

The last paragraph....
Calamity might be central to their creation, but the fact that I settled on the graphite eggs only proves that there are no accidents. These wounded soldiers are really the only logical things I could be making right now. In the last year-and-a-half, I have been in surgery four times, with more likely still to come. What choice do I have, really, than to mend, resurface and buff these marred specimens back to some sort of life, and to hope to see in their patched and valiant surfaces something like beauty?

posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


My First New York.

David Rakoff in April 2011, fed up with positive thinking (video interview with Q's Jian Ghomeshi).
posted by maudlin at 8:13 AM on August 10, 2012


Oh no. I have tears in my eyes over this total stranger whose writing I so loved. What a shame.

This interview
on Fresh Air was excellent.
posted by nevercalm at 8:22 AM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by ndfine at 8:22 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by purpleclover at 8:23 AM on August 10, 2012


"I would drink Jon Stewart's bathwater."

When I started hearing this last night, I watched his old Daily show interviews. He had excellent chemistry with Stewart.
2001
2006
2010

I will miss his voice, and most recently on TAL, I loved his wedding toast. Also, an obituary and personal remembrance from Metafilter's own ed.
posted by gladly at 8:26 AM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Terrible news.

I read Fraud in my freshman dorm room and I think I laughed so hard I peed a little.
posted by robstercraw at 8:28 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great New York moment: I once answered an ad on craigslist for a ticket to a Broadway show -- a few minutes later David Rakoff's name popped up in my inbox. I was a huge admirer of his work but tried to play it cool when I called him up to discuss meeting to exchange cash for tickets. We settled on a spot in Union Square. He began to describe himself but I told him I knew what he looked like and he chuckled. We met, I bought his ticket, we shook hands.
David Rakoff: great writer, hilarious reader, all-around genius and a responsible craigslist user.
posted by West of House at 8:30 AM on August 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


He was a lovely man and will be terribly missed.
posted by Aquifer at 8:31 AM on August 10, 2012


David's Denim, Wallets, Linocuts, &c.
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by bananafish at 8:34 AM on August 10, 2012


Oh no. This is terrible. Such a brilliant, distinctive voice. I'm so sad to hear this. I was just listening to his Dr. Seuss Corresponds with Gregor Samsa bit the other day, and was thinking of how I could never get tired of him. Very, very, very sad.

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posted by scody at 8:35 AM on August 10, 2012


Incredibly sad.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2012


Oh no, I can't believe I didn't hear about this until now.

Loved his books. Very sad that we won't be hearing from him anymore.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:39 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by parmanparman at 8:40 AM on August 10, 2012


What a loss.

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posted by apricot at 8:41 AM on August 10, 2012


I can barely type, I'm so devastated by this. It appears I'm far from the only one. An outpour of mourning and condolences has engulfed the Internet, with Dan Savage, Katha Pollit, and Chris Hayes among the many friends and colleagues that have expressed their heartbreak. He was such a beautiful writer, and his voice and humor helped me through some very trying times. I can't believe he is gone.. He was so young. I just can't believe it.
posted by JLovebomb at 8:45 AM on August 10, 2012


zarq's link to the Tumblr of Rakoff's arts and crafts is wonderful. All that art, all that joy, and so many, many gifts for his friends. (Archive link).
posted by maudlin at 8:47 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dammit, cancer.

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posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:47 AM on August 10, 2012


dammit dammit dammit the crying at work I'm now fighting against doing is something Rakoff could've written something hilarious and heartbreaking about and now he's not around to do it dammit dammit

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posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:47 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by madred at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2012


Rakoff was funnier than he had any right to be, I am crying.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:06 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by amelliferae at 9:08 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:13 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Betelgeuse at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2012


David Rakoff always had the most perfect cat-as-human voice. If cats could talk they would sound just like David, with his gentle, occasional "I'm so bored" tone.

Every time I heard him on the radio I would inadvertently picture a giant talking cat. I my mind he's been a giant kitty sitting on the windowsill in a bed and breakfast, and a smug kitty who has the highest testosterone rate, a kitty giving the stink-eye to 5000 chickens. This even extends to his written work, where I picture a cat sewing a pair of jeans alone in his apartment.

I'll miss my favorite kitty correspondent.
posted by Alison at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2012 [28 favorites]


I will really miss his voice.

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posted by functionequalsform at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2012


I am very, very. very bummed out by this. His essays were fucking HYSTERICAL-- one of the few writers that could make me laugh out loud and piss myself in mirth from sheer genius of phrasing. If you only know him from TAL, get copies of Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable.
SAD
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posted by Capybara at 9:28 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by bongo_x at 9:28 AM on August 10, 2012


David Rakoff on Wiretap claiming that "that alcohol makes him so charming that he even gets drunk before job interviews" is one of the best things I've ever heard.

Devastating.

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posted by NoEatingdogs at 9:33 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


He was such a pleasure to listen to. Unlike the rest of us, who speak by dropping a solid line of words, one after the other, on the hard ground, Rakoff's voice butterflied along from phrase to phrase, each in its turn, occasionally resting on one for a little while longer, drawing attention to a particularly sweet or incongruous moment.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:34 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd always been happy to hear his name on TAL, but had never gotten around to reading his books. I will fix that this weekend.

So unfair.

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posted by Lyn Never at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


About six or seven years back, I was living with my roommate, an old friend who, at the time, was working as an underling at a film company. One day, I was talking about this hilarious story about fasting that David Rakoff had done for This American Life, and my roommate was like, "Wait, David Rakoff? I know that guy!" As it turned out, his boss, Alison Maclean, was friends with Rakoff. Of course, I got hella giddy, all schoolgirl-with-chin-on-knuckles, all "OH MY GOODNESS WHAT IS HE LIKE IS HE SUPER COOL"

My roommate was like, "Yeah, he's, like, one of the nicest dudes I've ever met. Like, I'm basically just doing reception at the office when he calls or stops by, I'm just some little nobody, there's no reason for him to pay any attention to me, but he's always really friendly, and says hi if I see him on the street, and asks about what I've been up to, remembering things I said the last time I talked to him, even if that was months prior. Just a super nice, really thoughtful dude. Why, his writing's good too?"

Anyway, for the company's Christmas party, my friend had a plus-one, and his girlfriend was out of town, so he asked if I wanted to go with him. "It's open bar!" he said, and I said "ah niiiice okay," and then he added, "Also I think DAVID RAKOFF's going to be there!" and I said "OH FUCKING BALLS YES"

So I went to the christmas party, and at some point, my friend introduces me to Rakoff, and we chat, and thank the various gods, I was apparently able to come across like a totally normal guy because not only did I refrain from pushing my head against his chest and whispering "you're the best you're the bessssst," I was actually pleasant enough to make him chuckle. That night, as I went home, I kept thinking, "YEAH, I MADE DAVID RAKOFF LAUGH" and silently pumping my fist.

Anyway, a few days later, my roommate comes back from work, and is like, "Oh, I ran into David Rakoff again today! He said it was good to meet you at the Christmas Party, and that he thought you were handsome." And I was like "WHAT THE FUCK THAT IS AWESOME"

I was beaming about that for like a week afterward, and many decades from now, I will likely still be beaming about it, like getting straight-up Baby Jane about it, like telling my great-grandkids "Oh I wasn't always this shambling husk of skin, I used to be so pretty even David Rakoff thought so," and they'll ask "Who's David Rakoff?" and rather than force them to read his essays or listen to his wonderful radio segments, I'll probably just opt to shriek in fury and fly at them with gnarled talons outstretched
posted by Greg Nog at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2012 [63 favorites]


That sucks. I liked that guy....
posted by ph00dz at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by trillian at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2012


I am very sad about this. What a wonderful talent.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:58 AM on August 10, 2012


While dial hopping many years ago, I stumbled across this hilarious monologue, and was simultaneously introduced to two of my favorite things, This American Life and David Rakoff.

A terribly sad loss of an incredible talent.

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posted by marsha56 at 10:00 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A favorite moment: Listening to a poem he'd written about an awkward office Christmas party while watching snow fall.

Thank you, sir. Also, fuck cancer.

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posted by koucha at 10:07 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by montag2k at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2012


This is a tough one. I so valued his ability to keep the darkness of his outlook from ever becoming glib and to know the difference between familiarity with bleakness and facile cynicism. It's enormously hard to do. Such a loss.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:12 AM on August 10, 2012


Just this last Thursday my family and I listened to David's latest TAL piece while riding in the car. All I kept thinking was: what an amazing mind/spirit/intellect this man is. His passing is such terrible news.
posted by Mr.Me at 10:15 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by kprincehouse at 10:17 AM on August 10, 2012


Wow, I am really sad about this. Rakoff was someone I looked up to -- a Canadian guy who moved to New York City and became part of the intelligentsia with his witty, dark, but never hopeless essays. I often thought about his essay on becoming an American and his father talking about eating "grass soup" when things got rough and.. sigh. Fuck cancer indeed.
posted by jess at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2012


How the news reached me: I was laying in bed checking Facebook on my phone and I saw an odd status update from John Hodgman in which he said goodbye to David Rakoff and thanked him for the creamed spinach recipe, and I was bleary-eyed enough that it took a couple of extra seconds to sink in, that he wasn't wishing David bon voyage on, like, a world cruise or something... and then I remembered (for like the hundredth time this week) that my friend Ruth's birthday is next Wednesday, but she's dead (cancer, last December), and I was like Ruth goddamnit I was going to go get super drunk in your honor, not give you a whole essayist, you gotta be kidding me. That is so uncool. Give him back, you already have Nora Ephron.

Sigh. Fuck you, cancer. Fuck you so hard.

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posted by palomar at 10:33 AM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


I joined Team Rakoff, whose activities revolved mainly around group showers, the minute I realized his surname really did rhyme with JACKOFF and he was pretty much OK with that.
posted by joeclark at 10:37 AM on August 10, 2012


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posted by gyusan at 10:38 AM on August 10, 2012


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This is terrible. I knew Rakoff was sick, but had no idea it would be this soon.

David's voice, in retrospect, was one of the few that only annoyed me when it hit too close to home, when I realized his introspective, often sad laments about the state of the world were so proximate to mine. In the times I was in a better mood, of course, David's writing would soar in my estimation and I would realize that, like the best of his peers, he was so perfectly able to capture the emotions involved in seeing the culture and reflecting upon it. We don't have enough people in the world like that.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ira Glass has posted a few words on the TAL website.
posted by haplesschild at 11:15 AM on August 10, 2012


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His most recent piece for the TAL live show was moving, and I hope it's not too weird of me to say that it was almost a eulogy for himself.

Then again, I almost feel as if that's the way it was intended.
posted by Eyeveex at 11:40 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


A gifted, hilarious, and deeply cynical man. What a loss. Our world is a bit dimmer in his absence.
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posted by conradjones at 11:44 AM on August 10, 2012


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It's a total bummer that he's gone.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:52 AM on August 10, 2012


Damn- I'm so sad about this. Tonight I'll start in again, at the beginning, with Fraud and relisten, for the fiftieth time, to his rendition of the banter in Double Indemnity that appeared in an interview on Fresh Air, the one I just can't delete from my iPod. It's a scream. Such a talented fellow and such an awful loss.

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posted by but no cigar at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Flannery Culp at 12:03 PM on August 10, 2012


"That is how David Rakoff changed my life: he made me want to be the kind of person who thought to buy a new friend a bag of doughnuts, and then actually went and bought them the bag of doughnuts. I'm doing so-so at it." -- Former TAL producer Jane Marie.
posted by rewil at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was sad when I heard the news this morning. I have admired David Rakoff's work ever since I heard "Who's Canadian?" He had a wonderful way with words, and a lovely, sweet, idiosyncratic voice. He struck me as someone I would have liked to meet in real life.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:25 PM on August 10, 2012


Oh hell. I am a big fan of his - it was his pieces that helped initially draw me into TAL, and from there I sought out his non-TAL works both audio and in print. I don't even know if I can name a favorite, though the bit he did on watching reality TV for the first time is a classic.

Fuck.
posted by item at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by clavicle at 12:43 PM on August 10, 2012


Ouch. This is awful.

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posted by thivaia at 12:56 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Cash4Lead at 1:24 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


*

I think my fave was the first thing I ever heard from him, The Canadians for TAL. I remember thinking that I had to hear what his name was at the end of the segment, and was thrilled when he came out with his first collection of stories.

So sad, and ironic bc he spun comedy gold out of his Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma piece for TAL when he thought he had survived it, but it came back with a vengeance. Ever since I heard that piece more than a decade ago, I think of Rakoff every time I hear "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."
posted by honey badger at 1:36 PM on August 10, 2012


dammit
posted by snowymorninblues at 1:46 PM on August 10, 2012


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God dammit. He was my favorite of the TAL regulars.
posted by grapesaresour at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2012


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His Christmas poem for the This American Life 2005 Christmas Spectacular is my favorite segment ever. He was amazingly gifted in translating the things that most people could never possible know, understand, or even begin to articulate. link
posted by mochapickle at 2:04 PM on August 10, 2012


NPR (and Metafilter's own) MonkeySee just tweeted that TAL has put up the previously mentioned Rakoff piece from the spring live show.
posted by phearlez at 2:05 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by oneironaut at 2:20 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by andrewraff at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2012


How awful. He was such a perceptive writer, and I always loved that sly voice of his. Years ago TAL did a segment based on a poem that David Sedaris wrote, about a bunch of animals having a court trial. Rakoff provided the voice of a lawyer cat, and I remember thinking that he had the most perfect cat voice ever.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:43 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by BrashTech at 3:12 PM on August 10, 2012


i listened to Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace from the Frenemies TAL (starts at 53:52) more times than i can count, just for what it elucidated about forgiveness. thank you David. RIP.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 3:37 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:23 PM on August 10, 2012


On the This American Life website they have in his bio:

His next book, a novel written in rhyme, will be out in 2013.
posted by bukvich at 6:14 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by drworm at 7:41 PM on August 10, 2012


I frankly cried when I heard this news. Rakoff's work really touched me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:17 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


wow. a true loss. wow. guys like that are why you want to live...just to see what they produce, to get their take on us homo sapiens.

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posted by skepticallypleased at 10:10 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by gingerbeer at 10:14 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Nickel Pickle at 10:32 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by desuetude at 11:26 PM on August 10, 2012


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posted by Farce_First at 4:36 AM on August 11, 2012


Very sad. MeFites might not know that he also had a brother, Simon, who is a standup comedian and comic writer. Very funny, too, though in a different way than David.
posted by anothermug at 8:22 AM on August 11, 2012


This man gave the funniest, most entertaining live reading/q&a I've ever been witness to. Incredibly talented and hilarious writer. Such a loss.

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posted by DZack at 10:45 AM on August 11, 2012


I'm feeling really devastated by this. Even when I heard his last TAL segment and he sounded really sick, I didn't think he was dying, just that he was exaggerating for dark-comic effect. His voice was so unique, and so true. Not ready to watch the video segment yet - really not ready to cry.

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posted by Mchelly at 1:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Stoatfarm at 8:30 PM on August 11, 2012


Oh no.

Oh no this is really pretty terrible. :(
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:35 PM on August 12, 2012


I've just been camping in the dust for a few days -- something Rakoff would not do -- and found this out by seeing it on a Fresh Air podcast blurb, which seems oddly appropriate.

When I had heard he was sick I immediately thought "he'll get better." I admire his writing so much that I leapt straight to denial.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:23 PM on August 12, 2012


Not ready to watch the video segment yet - really not ready to cry.

Yeah, the video made me cry, so perhaps better to wait. He was so...just human and alive and aware and just living and facing his death. I can't in my wildest dreams imagine having the composure he had during this. It's so sad. Truly, fuck cancer.
posted by nevercalm at 7:45 AM on August 13, 2012


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posted by Lutoslawski at 10:35 AM on August 13, 2012


This American Life will be all David Rakoff stories this week.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:29 AM on August 16, 2012


Oh man. I've been hunkered down this week and was just listening to the middle of the All-Rakoff TAL when I realized that meant he was dead.

Rest in peace, may flights of hunky angels see you to your rest.

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posted by benzenedream at 10:03 PM on August 18, 2012


I've finally watched the TAL live show video--it is truly lovely and moving. I don't think there is a way to watch it and not cry.

This past weekend, Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap show had a tribute to David Rakoff (contains the piece NoEatingdogs mentioned about how alcohol before job interviews makes him more charming):
After the tragic loss of writer and friend David Rakoff, we revisit some of our favourite moments from his WireTap performances over the years: Irwin the ice cream man, Ian the belligerent drunk, and his unforgettable Dr Seuss.
downloadable mp3 here
streaming here

(Episode page contains links to more David Rakoff pieces.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thanks so much for adding that to the thread, hurdy gurdy girl!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:20 PM on August 20, 2012


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posted by edbles at 5:58 PM on August 20, 2012


I've only listened to his piece at the TAL live show where he dances, but it was the best collection of thoughts I've ever heard about death and aging.
posted by edbles at 5:59 PM on August 20, 2012


This American Life will be all David Rakoff stories this week.

I just finished listening to this. A great selection of many of his best work for TAL with heartfelt, moving intros from Ira Glass.
posted by marsha56 at 10:53 PM on August 20, 2012


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