Lewis R. Binford
, one of the most influential American archaeologists of the last half-century and an early advocate of a more scientific approach to investigating ancient cultures, died on April 11 at his home in Kirksville, Mo. He was 79. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Apr 23, 2011 -
Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself
"Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone." - Clay Hunt died March 31 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The article states he had been dealing with "survivors guilt" and frustrated by a difficult disability claim process from wounds received in Iraq.
posted by randomkeystrike
on Apr 22, 2011 -
Comedian Mike DeStefano
has died of a heart attack at 44. DeStefano told wrenching tales from his life as a recovering drug addict, like the MOTH monologue in the title link, which begins with a very bad day he had while caring for his wife as she was dying of AIDS (NSFW language). [more inside]
posted by itstheclamsname
on Mar 8, 2011 -
RIP Jay Landesman founder and editor of Neurotica
; publisher of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Marshall McLuhan.
A St Louis native he founded the Gaslight Square's Crystal Palace
Woody Allen, Alan Arkin, Phyllis Diller, Barbra Streisand, the Smothers Brothers, Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Elaine May and where the Beat Musical The Nervous Set
written with his wife Fran, was first produced.
In the sixties he and Fran moved to London and he became artistic director at an failing nightclub which later went on to became the famed Middle Earth
(after his departure).
He then became the salesman for Macrobiotic wholesalers
Good afternoon, this is Stan Stunning of Harmony Foods, have you heard of us, no?, well, tell me, do you get young people coming into your shop asking for things like miso, tamari, brown rice and aduki beans?
In the Seventies he started Polytantra Press publishing Elizabeth Smart
and Hancocks last half hour
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 27, 2011 -
Dwayne McDuffie has died
. If you recognize the name, odds are you already know his resume, but here goes: founder of Milestone Media, creator of Static, executive producer of Justice League Unlimited
, writer of many comics and perhaps the most visible advocate of minority engagement in comic books
. Details are non-existent at this point, but McDuffie was said to appear healthy and happy within the last week at appearances for the just-released All-Star Superman
posted by Etrigan
on Feb 22, 2011 -
"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease
has died at age 64
. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube
, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 9, 2011 -
"All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."
Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin
's 'life was about seeing.
In the literal sense, he was an optometrist. In a more figurative sense, through the lens of his camera, he saw things and people that were often ignored — the poor, the oppressed, the "forgotten ones
," as he called them.' "A librarian in Buffalo's Communist Party, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
in 1957, and was named "Buffalo's Top Red" in the Buffalo Evening News. Losing business and facing intense social persecution, Rogovin turned to photography in order to create images that conveyed his desire for a more equal and just society, and to give voice to others who were persecuted, who were invisible to most."
Mr. Rogovin died on January 18th at his home in Buffalo
at the age of 101
. Previously on Metafilter [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 21, 2011 -
GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's
16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay
harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint
with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jan 19, 2011 -
passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says
that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer."
Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach
, a prayer for healing.
posted by kdern
on Jan 9, 2011 -
British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died
at the age of 64, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A renowned veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company (he held the leading roles in both The Tempest
and 2009's King Lear
among others), Postlethwaite is perhaps best known worldwide for his roles in The Usual Suspects
), The Constant Gardener
and The Lost World: Jurassic Park
. Steven Spielberg supposedly described him as "the best actor in the world", although Postlethwaite himself often denied this
posted by fight or flight
on Jan 3, 2011 -
19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie
. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 29, 2010 -
Irvin Kershner isn't a household name. Often incorrectly billed as Irving, Ervin, or Irwin, the director's filmography includes such films as the uninspiring sequel Robocop 2
, the subpar "unofficial" James Bond film Never Say Never Again
, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey
, which, according to Kershner's site
has in recent years become a cult film, but whose cult status is hardly evident elsewhere on the internet. So why should we care that Irvin Kershner has just died at age 78
? Kershner directed the best of the Star Wars movies, and one of the best "second act" films ever, The Empire Strikes Back
. Just before he died, Kershner spoke with Vanity Fair about the film
, 30 years after its release in 1980.
posted by ocherdraco
on Nov 29, 2010 -
Jack Levine, Realist Artist, Dies at 95. Mr. Levine burst onto the American art scene in 1937 with a scathing triple portrait remarkable for its bravura brushwork and gleeful vitriol. Titled “The Feast of Pure Reason,” it depicted a police officer, a capitalist and a politician seated at a table, their bloated faces oozing malice and evil intent. His painting Cain and Abel hangs in the Vatican. Upon his discharge from service he painted Welcome Home, a lampoon of the arrogance of military power; years later the painting would engender political controversy when it was included in a show of art in Moscow, and along with works by other American artists, raised suspicions in the House Un-American Activities Committee of pro-Communist sympathies. You can see some of The Complete Graphic Work of Jack Levine (1984) via Google books. Online gallery.
posted by chavenet
on Nov 9, 2010 -