Andy Rooney passed away at the age of 92
November 5, 2011 6:21 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:23 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by Mooski at 6:24 AM on November 5, 2011


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"We'll be back next week with another edition of 60 minutes."
posted by modernserf at 6:26 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by caution live frogs at 6:28 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by lordrunningclam at 6:29 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by pemberkins at 6:30 AM on November 5, 2011


Yes, Andy, I occasionally did notice. Thanks.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:30 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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also: [beavis] funk dat! [/beavis]
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:31 AM on November 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


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Say what you will about Mr. Rooney, but he had every cranky old man's dream job.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:32 AM on November 5, 2011 [57 favorites]


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Having seen a couple of centenarians pass through the OR during my career, I have to say that there is no such thing as minor surgery in a 92 year old. 60 minutes (indeed all TV news) will not be the same without him and his generation of journalists.
posted by TedW at 6:33 AM on November 5, 2011 [6 favorites]




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posted by Rock Steady at 6:36 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by shakespeherian at 6:36 AM on November 5, 2011


Aww... I liked Andy. After an hour of watching what was often the worst part of our globe, it was nice to have Andy bring a smile at the end.
posted by HuronBob at 6:37 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what I never understood about periods? Why don't more people call them full stops?

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posted by moviehawk at 6:39 AM on November 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


Aw man! Well that sucks.

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posted by cashman at 6:39 AM on November 5, 2011


Maybe this is mean for an obit thread, but I never liked him after the cranky piece he did on Kurt Cobain's death. No . from me for the guy.
posted by Maisie at 6:40 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maisie, we can always pause to reflect with sadness on someone's death, even if we didn't approve of every single thing they did in life.
posted by Dasein at 6:41 AM on November 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


In the 80s, my dad was a loyal 60 Minutes viewer, but as a child I hated 60 Minutes. It was so boring. There was always some show on NBC or ABC I wanted to watch instead, but dad would use his veto power to keep 60 Minutes on the family TV. So I would fume for most of it...until Andy Rooney's segment came on. Then all of us would crowd around the room as Andy did his schtick, and that boring show was suddenly funny for five minutes at the end. (It also helped that Andy bore a very strong resemblance to my grandfather.)

Thanks, Andy, for the laughs. I always liked Andy's segments; haters can suck it.

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posted by zardoz at 6:43 AM on November 5, 2011 [21 favorites]


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posted by tommasz at 6:43 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:45 AM on November 5, 2011


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incandescentman and I had an obsession with Andy in high school - a mixture of disbelief (at the style of humour) and envy (for the sweet gig). I haven't watched him in the twenty intervening years, but I'll always have a fondess for old curmudgeons, and he was a master of the genre. Thanks for everything, Mr Rooney.
posted by Chichibio at 6:46 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by drezdn at 6:47 AM on November 5, 2011


I rarely watch 60 Minutes anymore but one has to honor the passing of such a long-standing cultural icon.

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posted by fuse theorem at 6:47 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very sad, and there is nobody out there that could possible take his place. That being said, he follows Charles Shultz in retiring just before the end.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:50 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, Andy, I occasionally did notice.

CBS's obituary says that out of the thousands of questions he asked on 60 Minutes, none of them ever began: "Did you ever...?" People think of Rooney as someone who was constantly asking "Did you ever notice...?" just because Joe Piscopo said this while doing an impression of Rooney on Saturday Night Live.

Another thing from that obit, which isn't in the NYT's:
Rooney was also mistakenly connected to racism when a politically charged essay highly insensitive to minorities was written in his style and passed off as his on the internet in 2003. . . . The racism charge angered and hurt Rooney deeply, especially because as a young soldier in the early 1940s, he got himself arrested in Florida for refusing to leave the seat he had chosen among blacks in the back of an Army bus.
posted by John Cohen at 6:50 AM on November 5, 2011 [58 favorites]


RIP.

"Andy Rooney was a respected correspondent for Stars and Stripes during World War II. He reported from virtually every theater of the war, and was a member of the "Writing 69th," the group of courageous correspondents that accompanied American crews on bombing missions over Europe."

How it Feels to Bomb Germany: "Before we were very deep into Germany deadly black puffs began to appear around us. It seemed as though they were "air mines" that were touched off as we came to them. A puff would appear to our right and then in quick succession a row of five more black splotches flowered out, each one closer as they caught up to us.

Lt. Casey zigged, and the puffs appeared in the tracks of our zag. He was one jump ahead of the flak. All but once he was one jump ahead."

posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:51 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


The lovable curmudgeon made me laugh and, more than I probably even realize, said things that were either on the tip of my tongue or still formulating in my head. But of course he said it better than I ever could and with a flair that made more than just a grumpy old man with a platform. I miss him already.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:51 AM on November 5, 2011


I think the only fitting thing to do now is write a thoughtful 3 - 5 minute monologue on why and how much this bothers me - and then narrate it it from my office - RIP Andy... and

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posted by h0p3y at 6:52 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Renoroc at 6:53 AM on November 5, 2011


I look forward to the dream where he will tell me to get off his afterlawn.

I have not watched him in years, but I will probably always remember him, which is the best tribute a television personality can hope for, I suppose.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:54 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm really glad Andy got a proper sendoff on 60 Minutes with a nice retrospective of his career that he could participate in. The interview with him was wonderful and a great insight into the man without spoiling any of the public persona. It made me feel like I understood him just a bit better, which makes his passing a bit more personal and sad.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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His segments always made me happy, and I looked forward to them.
posted by oneironaut at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2011


i love bananas All but once he was one jump ahead

very nice and appropos
posted by victors at 7:02 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by disclaimer at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by hippybear at 7:09 AM on November 5, 2011


You ever notice how old people who've worked all their lives end up dying soon after they retire?
posted by Meatbomb at 7:09 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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I hope his celestial lawn is kept clear.
posted by chavenet at 7:10 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


In that last interview he did when he left 60 minutes, I was struck by how quickly spoke and how young his voice sounded for a guy of 92. RIP Andy.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:11 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by pearlybob at 7:14 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by dismas at 7:15 AM on November 5, 2011


My grandparents loved Andy Rooney. We're losing the generation that went through and whose worldview was shaped by WWII.

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posted by artlung at 7:16 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by geekyguy at 7:17 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by localroger at 7:17 AM on November 5, 2011


Didja ever wonder about candles in wind? Who the heck brings candles out into the wind anyway. I sure wouldn't. I've got this EverReady flashlight in my desk drawer. I've had it since 1986 and it seems to work just fine. A lot of people use LED flashlights these days, but I just don't think they're bright enough. The flashlights, I mean. The LED flashlight bulbs never burn out, they say. It's true, I suppose. My flashlight's bulb has burned out a couple times, and I guess it'll probably burn out again.

Before my legend ever does.

Good night.

tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick
posted by planetkyoto at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2011 [31 favorites]


I hope he finds new things to complain about in Heaven.
posted by Trurl at 7:19 AM on November 5, 2011


"I'd be more willing to accept religion—even if I didn't believe it—if I thought it made people nicer to each other, but I don't think it does.”
I think he occasionally got it right, and certain sentiments just sounded better in his voice.
posted by heyho at 7:21 AM on November 5, 2011 [27 favorites]


60 Minutes was part of my ritual Sunday growing up. The day started with Sunday school, then church. After came a lunch that Mom had started the night before, finished in the few minutes after arriving home. Then an afternoon of maybe homework and mostly napping. Around 6pm, local channel 61 would play episodes of classic Star Trek.

Then it was time for 60 Minutes. I looked forward most to the segments with Ed Bradley, but the Andy Rooney coda was always welcome. There was something about that acerbic outlook that struck me as incredibly wise and knowing, at least from my little kid point of view. I liked him and his sense of snarky humor so much that when I saw one of his books in the drug store, I begged my Mom to buy it for me. And she did. It was through the photos in that book that I got a first glimpse of a city life that sank deep and hooked me.

Time started passing him by a few years back, as more and more things just didn't align with his post-WWII worldview. But he was an institution, a kind of bitter sage that we needed through the late 70s and greedy 80s.

I'm grateful to have known him through the living room television. May he RIP.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:26 AM on November 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anil Dash's Thank You, Andy is a beautiful and concise appreciation for what made Rooney unique.
posted by artlung at 7:28 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah yes - Ali G interviews Rooney. Classic.
posted by symbioid at 7:30 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


As I get older, I find myself more and more channeling my inner Rooney. As well as battling the exploding eyebrows.

I'm getting off your lawn now, Andy.


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posted by Thorzdad at 7:31 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by dbiedny at 7:36 AM on November 5, 2011


From Anil Dash's obit:

'Rooney's writing was grounded firmly in his serious practice of journalism. He was justifiably proud of having reported for the Stars and Stripes during World War II, and the lengthy testimonials he offered to the bravery and achievements of the soldiers he covered were my first exposure to the accomplishments of those soldiers, long before they were named the "Greatest Generation".

Those experiences in the military undoubtedly influenced his work on what, to me, was his most important topic for his work: racism. Even as far back as the 1940s, Rooney was arrested for choosing to sit, and insisting on remaining, in the back of the bus with the black soldiers he served alongside. That legacy continued at the height of the early civil rights movement, when he won an Emmy for his writing on the notable CBS special "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed".
'

Oh dang. I didn't know that. Thanks Mr. Rooney.

(And that's for linking artlung! I never would have seen that.)
posted by anitanita at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


While his passing is sad, and he brought much joy, he also caused some serious distress to blacks and gays, and the decision to return him to "60 Minutes" may have had just a bit to do with ratings.
posted by Stoatfarm at 7:42 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did I pass away? I thought I had died. Don't you hate it when people won't just say what they mean?

If the truth just will not do, don't tell people I've passed away. You make it sound like I was just a lot of gas. But I'm still here and meatier than ever. Not that I am completely gasless. If you find me not within the month, you shall nose me going up the stairs.

No, if you need a euphemism, tell people that that I'm pushing up daisies. Daisies are nice. What could be nicer than helping the daisies come up? See you in the spring. With the daisies.
posted by pracowity at 7:46 AM on November 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


i once found a book of his essays once. couldn't read it without the ticking watch and the fluffy eyebrows.

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posted by lester at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by box at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2011


No doubt complaining about heaven.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:48 AM on November 5, 2011


Another writer (I forget who) said something like, Andy Rooney is that kid in class that was so proud of bringing something lame to show and tell, something only he could appreciate, but he does it week after week.

I can't think of the last segment he's done that I enjoyed. I think he because an institution and they let him pipe it in for a couple decades.

I really looked forward to his segment when I was a kid though. It was the only part of 60 Minutes that wasn't boring to me then.

The interview he did with Ali G is one of TV's most surreal moments.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:50 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Until I chose an essay of his from one of his books, I totally sucked in the high school speech "Humorous Interpretation" category. Thanks to his sometimes unintentionally hilarious prose and a kind Judge whose notes and advice helped me capture the wry humor in Andy's writing, I won a lot of Firsts and advanced as far as Regionals but couldn't make that date or perhaps I could have gone to State with it.

Disagreed with the guy a lot, but also found joy in the fact that he could poke fun at his own curmudgeon-ness. If only Paul Harvey had taken a drink from Rooney's bitter cup, he would have been better for it.

Here's a full stop to you, Andy. So long, and thanks for all the cranky!

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posted by kuppajava at 7:50 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


he brought much joy

Yeah, but the vitamin bottles are still 3/4 full of giant cotton balls.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by nj_subgenius at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2011


caused some serious distress to blacks and gays

Don't you mean "kinda irritated a few people"? Save phrases like "serious distress" for, you know, actual serious distress.

An old man being slightly insensitive in a phone interview isn't causing anyone distress of any kind.
posted by chronkite at 8:08 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know he and Columbo are in heaven right now with a back and forth of: You ever notice? Just one more thing. And Patrick MacGoohan is going to break down and confess.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by lampshade at 8:15 AM on November 5, 2011


Don't you mean "kinda irritated a few people"?

No, I most certainly did not. Neither did, it would appear, Randy Shilts in this response to Rooney's apology.
posted by Stoatfarm at 8:18 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 8:22 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2011


We never watched 60 Minutes; I stumbled onto a collection of his little essays--transcripts? not sure--and tore through it. No small part of this was that they were ideally sized for bathroom reading.

Ah, hell.

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posted by everichon at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2011


Ah yes - Ali G interviews Rooney. Classic.

It's been posted twice now in this thread (symbioid had it first). I'd never seen this Ali interview before & I've almost expired with hysterics - do yourself a favor & watch it. Also, it's not a bad tribute - in its own way - to what made Rooney special.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:44 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by ambrosia at 8:46 AM on November 5, 2011


The Final Andy Rooney Game. ( Previously: 1, 2 )
posted by clearly at 8:48 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would post a dot, but then we'd have to wonder why posting the dot is appropriate at all when one can easily just type something in commemoration of the deceased. You know, in my day, people didn't just post dots when someone died, they wrote something. They wrote obituaries which covered the entirety of that individual's life and truly showed appreciation for what was accomplished and what will be missed. Sometimes the obituaries were short and accompanied by photographs of the deceased, and sometimes those photographs were of them when they were many decades younger. When I go, I hope people don't just post a dot, but I guess I won't be around to have a say in it.


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posted by Atreides at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


You know, in my day, people didn't just post dots when someone died, they wrote something.

This has been covered many times already here, but just to reiterate... the "." is seen by some as bearing the same symbolism as the stones which the Jews put on the graves of those they honor.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2011


I think Atreides was doing an Andy-Rooney-like version of the dot.

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posted by roll truck roll at 9:00 AM on November 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


You know, in my day, people didn't just post dots when someone died, they wrote something.

We had telegraphs back then. We said 'STOP'.


STOP
posted by mazola at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2011


Somewhere in Heaven, I hope Kurt Cobain is treating Andy to a Nirvana concert that lasts for eternity.
posted by cjets at 9:22 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by emilycardigan at 9:22 AM on November 5, 2011


Back in the days of general stores and Floyd the barber, we actually understood playful satire. Why, I remember as a young boy, whittling an entire parody of a Petrarchian sonnet with nothing but an old birch branch and my scouting knife. These days, with the Farks and the CollegeHumors and the 4chans, I feel that satire gets lost on people too used to simple entertainment like a picture of a cat with a poorly-edited sentence underneath it. And who's going to bring it back? The MTV and those big-shot Hollywood producers? I don't think so.

...and why has farina gotten so hard?
posted by griphus at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ber at 9:29 AM on November 5, 2011


I'll miss the old crank. Rest in peace, Andy.
posted by Scoo at 9:41 AM on November 5, 2011


Neither did, it would appear, Randy Shilts

John Rechy, but the point is well-made.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:45 AM on November 5, 2011


he also caused some serious distress to blacks and gays, and the decision to return him to "60 Minutes" may have had just a bit to do with ratings.

The allegations of racism have to stop. As noted several times in this thread, he was once arrested for making a point about civil rights. And the reporter from The Advocate never offered any evidence that the quote was real.

from the article you linked to:
...Mr. Rooney denied having made some of the remarks in The Advocate. But the writer who interviewed Mr. Rooney for The Advocate, Chris Bull, said the quotations were accurate. He said he had not recorded the telephone interview.
It's "he said/he said" and the quote's pretty elaborate for not being recorded. Could be real, could be fabricated, but most of us believe in the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." Tellingly, Rooney didn't deny making the remarks about gays, and gave an eloquent, sincere-sounding apology fully admitting that he was wrong and shortsighted to think the way that he did.

But yeah, I'll bet that gay people in the early 90s were seriously distressed to hear that an old man had ugly preconceived notions about them. I have really mixed feelings about Andy Rooney-- the schtick was pretty labored and gratuitous for as long as I've been alive. However, he was a valuable contributor to the journalism of World War II, and he occasionally made social commentary about my country's pretensions and myopia that needed to be said and he said them well.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


“I probably haven’t said anything here that you didn’t already know or have already thought,” he declared in his final “60 Minutes” essay — his 1097th — on Oct. 2, 2011. “That’s what a writer does.”

Not to be disrespectful, but that's really not what a writer does.
posted by orange swan at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by bjgeiger at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2011


So long to my favorite whiny curmudgeon and thanks for all the words. :(
posted by Lynsey at 10:04 AM on November 5, 2011


I'll bet that gay people in the early 90s were seriously distressed to hear that an old man had ugly preconceived notions about them.

On TV. That's the difference, getting payment and airtime to express those views. To millions of people, over a one-way communication mechanism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:05 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Brodiggitty at 10:06 AM on November 5, 2011


I'll bet that gay people in the early 90s were seriously distressed to hear that an old man had ugly preconceived notions about them.

On TV. That's the difference, getting payment and airtime to express those views. To millions of people, over a one-way communication mechanism.


To be fair, the early 90s were a time when it was pretty common to see ugly views expressed toward gay people in all manner of media.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by luckynerd at 10:14 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by trip and a half at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2011


• RIP, sir.
posted by bz at 10:36 AM on November 5, 2011


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posted by Lutoslawski at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2011


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I liked the cranky old goat.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:08 AM on November 5, 2011


To be fair, the early 90s were a time when it was pretty common to see ugly views expressed toward gay people in all manner of media.

One of the consequences of making bigoted statements is you don't get to disavow them when it is less socially acceptable. I'm not saying Rooney's legacy should be defined by this, I just hate this defense. The compassionate heart errs on the side of respecting others.

acknowledging the controversy over what he may actually have said or believed, no one gets a pass just because they're old
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:09 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 AM on November 5, 2011


One of the consequences of making bigoted statements is you don't get to disavow them when it is less socially acceptable. I'm not saying Rooney's legacy should be defined by this, I just hate this defense. The compassionate heart errs on the side of respecting others.

Yes, but what about the intervening ~20 years and the ability of a human to grow and change and gain more evolved states of mind?

If there's one thing I don't see very often on MetaFilter, it's acknowledge that people who made statements in the past no longer hold the same views in the present.

I can't speak for Rooney or what he felt about gay people at the end of his life, but knowing that there were times in the past when the prevailing attitude toward X was one thing and that in the present it's another and perhaps people who said one thing in the past don't feel the same way now is part of having an enlightened viewpoint toward history and humanity.
posted by hippybear at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by DreamerFi at 12:07 PM on November 5, 2011


Having seen a couple of centenarians pass through the OR during my career, I have to say that there is no such thing as minor surgery in a 92 year old.

I would bet that his retirement was driven by having to schedule a surgery that had a high likelihood of complications.
posted by rhizome at 12:10 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by double bubble at 12:13 PM on November 5, 2011




Pvt A. Rooney, Aug 1942
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


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posted by LobsterMitten at 12:50 PM on November 5, 2011


You know what I hate about obituary threads?

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posted by Mcable at 1:05 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by 4ster at 1:14 PM on November 5, 2011


My two favorite Andy Rooney videos:

Andy Rooney on landing at Utah Beach after D-Day.

Andy Rooney gets cranky when he's interviewed by Sacha Baron Cohen (in character as Ali G).
posted by sharkfu at 1:17 PM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seeing his obit on TV this morning, I found myself smiling at the end of the clip which was him speaking on his final segment.

The sound was off. And I found myself smiling. Maybe crusty is the way to go.
posted by goalyeehah at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2011


Rooney was the source of some pretty great laughter for me, both with his segments and with the myriad imitations of his segment. I am sorry he's gone.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2011


Like zardoz, I loved watching Andy Rooney when I was a little kid.
posted by straight at 2:26 PM on November 5, 2011


Yikes! AR had aged 20 years since I saw him...20 years ago.
posted by telstar at 2:52 PM on November 5, 2011


Never a 60 Minutes fan, but I did enjoy one time, while passing by a TV somewhere, when I heard AR say that one thing you could always be sure of with vacation spots — you’d never see anyone there who looked anything like the people in the tourist brochures.
posted by LeLiLo at 2:55 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by snsranch at 3:38 PM on November 5, 2011


Now there was a gentleman who knew how to write an essay.

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posted by By The Grace of God at 3:42 PM on November 5, 2011


At least 25 years ago, maybe more, I read or watched a piece by Andy Rooney in which he criticized the Beatles for "confusing obscurity with depth." Being a massive Beatles fan, of course, I immediately decided that Andy Rooney was dead to me. However, as someone who has spent a good chunk of my career in the art world (and specifically having to deal with contemporary art and artists), I have lost track of the number of times I have had cause to criticize some project on the grounds that it "confuses obscurity with depth." So for that pithy insight alone, Andy Rooney will never be fully dead to me after all.
posted by scody at 3:46 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's to you, Andy.

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posted by arcticseal at 4:39 PM on November 5, 2011


Roughly 15 years ago, I waited on Andy Rooney in a bookstore. We didn't have the book he wanted in stock. He was very polite about it, but I couldn't shake the fear that I'd turn on the TV and see his heavy browed visage saying "Don't ya just hate it when these idiot clerks cant find your book?"

I'll still miss him. RIP.
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I regret that my time with Mr. Rooney was shorter than it could have been. Now I can regret that it won't be longer. Rest in peace, Andy.

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posted by faceonmars at 5:31 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by SLC Mom at 6:07 PM on November 5, 2011


Just think, without him, there would be no Seinfeld.

R.I.P.
posted by Eideteker at 6:42 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by ooklala at 7:22 PM on November 5, 2011


Thank you for being a rare voice of reason and level-headed sanity in this ridiculous world. With my utmost respect, R.I.P.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:26 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by dopeypanda at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2011


"You know what I hate about being dead?"
posted by klangklangston at 8:22 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by liza at 9:17 PM on November 5, 2011


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posted by jrochest at 9:17 PM on November 5, 2011


Thanks for being damned good at what you did for a very long time, Andy. I will miss you very much.

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posted by bearwife at 11:01 PM on November 5, 2011


From page 150 of Years of Minutes by Andy Rooney:
Every December around Christmas, CBS News used to broadcast an hour long review of the past year. They were fun and satisfying to make because there was so much material available. I was assigned to do the year 1989 and it led to one of the most unpleasant incidents of my long career in television. It'll end up in my obituary and I hate the thought almost as much as the thought of dying.
He knew what people who didn't know the full story were going to say about him when he wrote those lines over 7 years ago. He pretty clearly never held the racists beliefs attributed to him by the writer for the Advocate. It seems highly unlikely that a writer who had no recording device in 1990 would be the only person to ever get him "on the record" saying something racist and this one-time event in one of the longest careers in the public eye would be exposed in an interview with a gay writer for a gay paper angry about Rooney's insensitivity about AIDS. Given everything else in Rooney's history of civil rights reporting and African American solidarity, I can't think of anything more suspect.

As for the insensitivity about AIDS, you might want to look back to not what people thought of homosexuality in December 1989, but what most people knew about AIDS. I was a teenager in the 80's and I remember for a long time it was being called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency). The CDC had been calling it 4H disease because it was affecting only homosexuals, hemophiliacs, Haitians, and heroin addicts. Most people I knew still thought of AIDS as primarily a homosexual disease. And honestly, even today, about 75% of the people in the US living with AIDS are men and about 90% of those men got AIDS via male-to-male sexual contact, injection drug use, or both.

So he was being an insensitive jerk and should have made the distinction between unprotected sex and safe sex (and admitted it afterward), but he was expressing a truth (of sorts). In 1989, it was dangerous to have gay sex. Every gay man I knew at the time certainly lived in fear of getting a disease that was killing his friends and lovers in droves and for which there was no viable treatment.

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posted by Cassford at 11:28 PM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


"You know what bugs me the most about being dead? They lock you in a little box, even though you can't really go anywhere anyway."
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:06 AM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was never a real Andy Rooney fan, but I caught one of his 60 Minutes bits in the late 90s. In it, he went ahead and sorted out all the nuts in a can of Planters mixed nuts and counted them to see what the proportion was. He was (obviously) disappointed in the peanut to filbert/cashew/etc. ratio and the fact that a lot of the nuts came in pieces. And then he said something along the lines of we the viewers probably regarding this activity as a waste of time, then this: "Well, what did you do last weekend that was so important?"

And now thanks to the internet I see that I actually slightly misremembered the quote. Regardless, it's always stuck with me.

RIP, sir.
posted by cog_nate at 7:07 AM on November 6, 2011


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posted by Anitanola at 11:30 AM on November 6, 2011


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posted by Not The Stig at 12:45 PM on November 6, 2011


He taught me that cars can safely be judged based on nothing more than two sounds: The beep of the horn, and the slam of the door.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was in college in the early-mid 90s I complained to my mom about how boring the approximately 5-hour drive back home was, which I had to make several times per year. I like music well enough, but on long drives I prefer something more engaging and this was before the days of ubiquitous mp3 players that one could load up with podcasts and the majority of the drive was through sparsely populated areas with limited radio reception.

She was nice enough to buy me a couple of books on tape to make the drive more tolerable, one of which was a collection of Andy Rooney essays. I wish I had the opportunity to thank Rooney for how much more enjoyable his funny, often insightful essays, read in that distinctive Andy Rooney style, made my drive. Definitely more entertaining than the Tony Robbins motivational tape she got me as well.
posted by The Gooch at 8:59 PM on November 6, 2011


This is on Peter Norvig's quote file:

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done."

- Andy Rooney
posted by bukvich at 7:06 AM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Boston's NPR station did a piece on him this morning. They mentioned that he was the father of a local public TV host, Emily Rooney and then they ran a piece of tape when she interviewed him, asking what he thought about people calling him a curmudgeon. He replied that he didn't much care for it, and anyway H.L. Mencken really owned that word. I liked him a lot more after hearing that.

I also admire that he said his pacificst views were turned about when he was among the first jounalists into Buchenwald: for a guy who made a schtick of railing against the tide of change, it's good to know that his mind was really more flexible than that.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:28 AM on November 7, 2011


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I fondly remember watching his 60 minutes pieces as a kid-it was something my mom and I shared when we were in a period where we weren't sharing too much. And some of his pieces stick with me to this day-his mother dying, John Lennon's death, "Mr. Rooney goes to Washington" (At the GSA: "There go my taxes...not democracy or freedom or a battleship or anything...just a box of stuff.") I'm sorry that he said the things he said about gay people, and I hope that he learned why he was wrong, as it seemed he did. But that's not how I will remember him.

I'm reading his WWII memoir, My War, right now. It's almost impossible to read without hearing his voice.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:15 PM on November 7, 2011


Going to let go of my grudge, Andy, for the Kurt misunderstanding. In Morley Safer's interview of you on Sixty Minutes' tribute, you referred to autograph-seekers as "idiots" and said you refused when approached. Maybe underneath that grouchiness you had a tinge of empathy for people whose personalities were not suited for complete loss of anonymity.


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posted by quietalittlewild at 2:49 AM on November 8, 2011


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