The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014) is an article about a 24-year old Chinese assembly line worker and poet who committed suicide last month. He worked for the electronics manufacturer which makes products for a range of companies, including Sony, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Nintendo. The post includes Chinese originals and English translations of Xu Lizhi's poems. His death and poetry have garnered much attention, such as these blogposts from The Wall Street Journal and The London Review of Books.
Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old. Tom was one half of Click and Clack (The Tappet Brothers) on NPR's popular Car Talk. [more inside]
Joan Quigley has passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87. Brought on as an advisor in response to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, she had been in contact with the First Lady up to three times a day via private lines set up for her at the White House and Camp David. The President is said to have asked his wife "What does Joan say?" habitually. Donald Regan, Chief of Staff in the Reagan White House, wrote that "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with (Quigley)". She was an astrologer.
Tim Hauser, founder of the jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, has died at the age of 72. [more inside]
Gough Whitlam, the progressive Labor prime minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. [more inside]
The great Geoffrey Holder died on Sunday at the age of 84 Mr. Holder was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on August 1st, 1930 and danced with his brother Boscoe’s dance troupe as a child. He arrived in New York in 1952 at the invitation of the legendary choreographer, Agnes de Mille and, to pay his fare, he sold 20 of his paintings. [more inside]
Christopher Hogwood, conductor, scholar, musician and champion of historically informed performance, died on September 24 at the age of 73. [more inside]
R.I.P., the Vincent Price of podcasts Lawrence Santoro (old but useful site), writer, director, and actor, passed this July. But he might be best known for his work as a podcaster, most notably through his Tales to Terrify. [more inside]
Douglas E. Smith, creator of the classic 8-bit computer game Lode Runner, which got a second life as one of HudsonSoft's most iconic Famicom titles in Japan, has died at the age of 57. [more inside]
Known to one generation as Bartlett in The Great Escape and to another generation as John Hammond in Jurassic Park (plus many roles in between), actor Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.
Robin Wiliams famous for his impressions, role as Genie in Aladdin, standup comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other comedy roles has died at the age of 63.
Menahem Golan has died at the age of 85. The name may mean very little to you at first glance, but for those of us who lived through the 1980's, he was a very big part of it. Here's an interview with the late producer and a bit more about his legacy.
On a visit to Smithville, Texas, in 2012, the blogger behind My Big Gay Ears found himself talking with a local artist about paper dolls. The artist turned out to be Tom Tierney, a major force in reviving the tradition of drawing famous people in their skivvies (or swimsuits) and providing them with a 2-D wardrobe. He died last month at his home in Smithville (NYT obituary), leaving behind a memorable and varied body of work. [more inside]
Legendary experimental filmmaker Harun Farocki, whose films and installations critiqued institutions of power and explored complicated relationships with the image, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. [more inside]
Originally published in 1962 as a short story in the Saturday Review, under the title "From a Teacher’s Wastebasket", Up the Down Staircase stands as the seminal novel of the American public school system. Its author, Bel Kaufman, died this week at age 103. Turned into a movie in 1967, the book and its author have an impact on teachers decades on.
Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. In his time with the Generals, Mr. Klotz lost at least 14,000 games, or 15,000, or, according to some estimates, more than 20,000. “That sounds about right,” Mr. Klotz would shrug whenever someone tried to calculate the number. “I don’t count the losses,” he told the Washington City Paper in 2007. “It’s easier to keep track of the wins.” Mr. Klotz won six games, his biographer concluded. Or maybe it was four. Possibly just two. But definitely, beyond the shadow of any doubt, his team won one game for sure.
James Garner, star of two classic television shows ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files") and a wide slate of films including "The Great Escape", "The Americanization of Emily" and "Victor/Victoria", has died at the age of 86.
Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014) was a renowned Polish ‘poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, satirist and translator.’ Reckoned by Seamus Heaney as ‘one of the great European poets of the 20th century,’ he died in April at the age of 92: Guardian obituary; NYT obituary. [more inside]
Charlie Haden, one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time, is going home Here is Charlie, singing the old ballad Wayfaring Stranger - a fitting song for this occasion. Previously (somewhat repetitive, for background [more inside]
Bob Abrahamian was a Chicago DJ, record collector, and chronicler of Chicago's soul history whose death in June at age 35 shocked soul music lovers around the world. The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Guarino says: "He left behind tens of thousands of 45-rpm records, but to those who knew him, it was the generous spirit in evangelizing the music that made the greatest impact." His work lives on on the site for his radio show, Sitting in the Park, which features exclusive music from and extensive interviews with 60s and 70s Chicago soul musicians. [more inside]
BBC: Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, has died. The 88-year-old suffered a heart attack on Saturday and had been in an induced coma in Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital. Real Madrid confirmed the news, saying Di Stefano, their honorary president, died at 17:15 CET (16:15 BST). The forward won five straight European Cups, scoring in each final between 1956 and 1960. Tim Vickery Article on Di Stefano.
The New York Times reports the death of Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mellon heir and noted financial backer of conservative organizations and publications such as the Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, following his battle with cancer. Scaife is perhaps best known for funding a staggering number of anti-Clinton projects in the 1990s that set the stage for the Whitewater investigation, efforts which won him derision from some quarters and approbation from others. [more inside]
Bobby Womack--one of the last surviving soul greats from the Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding generation--has died. Nicknamed "The Preacher" for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, Womack never had the success of contemporaries like Marvin Gaye, Al Green or Otis Redding. For a good part of his career, he was better known as a songwriter and session musician. [more inside]
Charlie Barsotti, one of the great cartoonists, passed away. Charlie drew close to fourteen hundred cartoons for The New Yorker over the years, beginning in the nineteen-sixties and continuing right through last week’s issue.
Many more here. Previously.
Many more here. Previously.
Gerry Goffin, lyricist for many of the songs that those of us over 50 grew up on, passed away Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, at age 75. [more inside]
Casey Kasem, the resonant voice of Top 40 radio and a vocal fixture on cartoon programs for the past 40 years, has died, according to his daughter. He was 82. [more inside]
Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on [March 1] in Paris. He was 91. NYTimes Obit [more inside]
Ann B. Davis, known as Schultzie from the Bob Cummings Show, and even better known as Alice from The Brady Bunch, has died. TV Land Remembers Davis.
Knowlton Nash, former long-time host of CBC's flagship news program The National, died yesterday, aged 86. [more inside]
Camille Lepage, a 26 year old photojournalist who dedicated her burgeoning career to reporting what the media seemed to ignore, was killed Tuesday while on assignment documenting the conflict in Central African Republic. As well as some amazing photography from her most recent work in CAR, Lepage worked in South Sudan on stories about young men drawn into the war, birth in a refugee camp, and less formal photography on instagram.
Swiss media report that HR Giger, famous for his dark and iconic Alien design, has died. He leaves behind a large body of work, much of it displayed in his own museum.
Author, environmentalist, and activist Farley Mowat, OC, died Tuesday at his home in Port Hope, Ontario, six days short of his 93rd birthday. [more inside]
Flickr user Harvezt brings you The Dark Side of the Covers, which recreates 33 rock album covers as seen from the OPPPOSITE direction. Some of the covers are iconic, others are obscure, some of the interpretations are simple and obvious, others are creative and... interesting. (And some are NSFW, but then, some of the original covers were NSFW).
Beloved British writer Sue Townsend, best known as the creator of the Adrian Mole books has died aged 68. Townsend's creation was unleashed on the world in 1982 with his last literary outing in 2011's Aidrian Mole's Royal Wedding. While Mole remains her best known creation (and made the jump to TV) she was also a playwrite, had written other novels [more inside]
Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez died on March 31st 2014 at age 67 from heart failure. She was arrested and charged with one year imprisonment in 1996 for "publishing false information with the intention to harm" after publishing a report on abuses of migrant workers in detention camps in Malaysia, and was acquitted in 2008 after multiple delays due to losses of important files. She received a Right Livelihood Award in 2005 for her human rights and migrant advocacy work. She is remembered by activists in Malaysia and overseas, politicians, and international media. [more inside]
Mickey Rooney the former child star, who made his stage debut at the age of 18 months and was in show business for over 8 decades, died Sunday, aged 93. He was known for his relationship with MGM where he played such roles as Andy Hardy and starred in several pictures with Judy Garland. For a period of two years, he was considered the top star in Hollywood. [more inside]
Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing. "He is the only writer ever to win the National Book Award for nonfiction and fiction, but it’s not just the writing: Born into the East Coast establishment, Matthiessen ran from it, and in the running became a novelist, a C.I.A. agent, a founder of The Paris Review, author of more than 30 books, a naturalist, an activist and a master in one of the most respected lineages in Zen. As early as 1978, he was already being referred to, in a review in The New York Times, as a 'throwback,' because he has always seemed to be of a different, earlier era, with universal, spiritual and essentially timeless concerns." Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86.
"At that point when you say who were the people who stayed to the last, at that point I still had with me in Saigon, a couple of pretty determined and brawny types with whom I was able to get on the Embassy fence and we physically were lifting these people across. And we had a couple of military officers in the crowd with whom we had a deal that if they pick out of the crowd the people that we want, then in the end we will lift them in and they can go too. Well we did that. We made deals like that with the police all through the day. We were able to move people through the city of Saigon by making deals with police officers and saying, "Put your families in among these people and when we safely put them on the plane or safely put them on the bus then we are going to take you too. That worked very well." -- On Monday, The Washington Post published the obituary of Tom Polgar, the last CIA head of station in Vietnam and linked to his memories of the years he spend in Vietnam and the final evacuation of Saigon, written in 2013 for the Pushing on blog, which is largely dedicated to the War on Vietnam and the fall of Saigon.
Ever wonder where the "House" in "House Music" comes from? In 1977, a young DJ named Frankie Knuckles started DJing at a club called the Warehouse in Chicago, bringing the new style of continuously mixing dance records with him, and perfecting it, just as cheap electronic drum machines enabled anyone to put together a dance record in their basement. All the people whose minds were being blown by the new music went to the local record stores to demand "Warehouse Music", and the world of music was changed forever. Frankie Knuckles died today, leaving a legacy that started in the '70s and carries on to the Grammy-winning success of acts like Daft Punk today.
It would be hard to find two more disparate and distinctive genres than the playful TV adventure shows of the 1960's and the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's. Yet they both owe a great deal to the same man: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who not only had a hand in the "Batman" TV show but also penned "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor", died today at the age of 91.
Legendary old school tabletop RPG artist David Trampier (mentioned previously a few times on the blue) created some of the most striking iconic art which helped define the look of 1st edition Advanced D&D. He grew disillusioned with the business in the late eighties and cut off all contact with his former employers (ceasing cashing royalty checks), disappearing with such finality that Dragon Magazine assumed he was dead. By chance, some fifteen years later he appeared in a local news story in Carbondale, Illinois where he was working as a taxi driver. He politely but firmly rejected all invitations to step back into his previous career. This week he passed away at the age of 59. [more inside]
James Rebhorn, an actor often playing a man in a suit, Dies at 65 after a 12-year struggle with skin cancer.
Mr. Rebhorn had memorable supporting roles in major films and worked consistently in television and theater. He appeared in more than 50 films, including “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “Cold Mountain.”He penned his own obituary which can be read here.
Gary Burger, lead singer and guitarist for seminal proto-punk band The Monks, passed away early Friday morning after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 71. [more inside]
Acknowledged to be one of the few British politicians who became more left-wing after having actually served in government, former veteran left-wing campaigner Tony Benn has died at home aged 88. Tony was a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years, and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. His legacy can be seen in postage, in the powerful five questions, the speeches he gave, and his diaries.
Hal Douglas, who for many of us was THE voice of movie trailers in the 1990's, has passed away at age 89. The Guardian pays tribute with a half dozen of his best trailers. And then, of course, there's the legendary trailer for "Comedian".