Heaven Just Got Tired of Waiting for Art
January 18, 2007 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Doesn't Art Buchwald deserve an ObitFilter thread? Since we discussed his grave condition 11 months ago and the surprising postponement of his date with death... He had actually resumed writing: "Since I hadn't had any practice dying, I had to learn the hard way." His last column featured one of his trademark conversations with a fictitious government source, and before that he commented on some VIP Christmas Cards. (More recent Art here)
posted by wendell (27 comments total)
He does, and I was going to do it, but my only previous post was an ObitFilter of some guy named Haughey and all I got was a kick in the shins for my troubles.

Oh, and

posted by Sk4n at 2:05 PM on January 18, 2007

ObitFilter sucks.

posted by nathancaswell at 2:12 PM on January 18, 2007

As long as he only dies once I am fine with it.
posted by The Deej at 2:17 PM on January 18, 2007

RIP, Mr. Buchwald, they broke the mold with you.
posted by dbiedny at 2:19 PM on January 18, 2007

"Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died"

click the video link on the left side
posted by jourman2 at 2:25 PM on January 18, 2007

And so we come full circle.
posted by cortex at 2:28 PM on January 18, 2007

He was on 'The Diane Rehm Show' just a couple months ago and was great. I believe that show was discussed here before, but if you're curious, NPR archives will have it.

RIP, Art.
posted by glycolized at 2:31 PM on January 18, 2007

I've no problem with ObitFilter as long as they make good FPPs in of themselves. This is borderline, but at least not a SLPOCOP.

Actually on topic, Art was a pretty interesting fellow. I haven't read a whole lot of his stuff, but the world is a little less rich without him. I admire his decision not to go on dialysis, and to just life out his allotted time. I don't begrudge anyone who fights for their very last breath by whatever means, but I secretly think a purposeful life, and death, holds so much more dignity.
posted by edgeways at 2:43 PM on January 18, 2007

I miss you already Artie, rest in peace.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:52 PM on January 18, 2007

I heard the tail-end of his interview on On Point with Tom Ashbrook a few weeks ago. He sounded pretty out of it, and the connection kept cutting out. I remember wondering what would happen if he just keeled over while on the air.

posted by granted at 3:10 PM on January 18, 2007

I thought the NYT video (link above) was interesting on a couple levels - it gave some great insight into Art's life, but the medium is also intriguing. Is this the start of a "last word / final word / death video" industry?

"We've asked people how they want to be remembererd and recorded their thoughts. We're giving them, and you, the last word."

Is this going to become a 21st century Western version of Japanese Death Poems? In a few years will everyone have their own obit video? Will there be a YouTube or aggregator site for these things?

We can find the last meals of deathrow inmates on the web...when do you think we'll start seeing a mass of self-produced obit videos?
posted by joshuajcohen at 3:11 PM on January 18, 2007

Sorry, more Japanese Death Poems already covered here on MeFi.
posted by joshuajcohen at 3:13 PM on January 18, 2007

posted by Ironmouth at 3:18 PM on January 18, 2007

"President Bush keeps referring to the discovery of Iraq's missiles as `the tip of the iceberg.'

There are some, not many, who feel that if weapons are the tip of the iceberg, then Mr. Bush is the captain of the Titanic.'

_From "Beating Around the Bush."

"Every two years I put out a new book and then make a tour of the talk shows plugging it. I can't do it any more because this year it's impossible for someone who is not really weird to get on TV."

_ From "Talk Shows, Writing the Book," The Washington Post, October 5, 1989.
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on January 18, 2007

Art Buchwald on bicycling:

"Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him." ~Art Buchwald, "How Un-American Can You Get?," Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966.

That, ladies and gents, deserves a FFP right there.
posted by fixedgear at 4:33 PM on January 18, 2007

I posted about his condition 11 months ago, precisely because his decision to go into hospice, and publically discuss his reasons for doing so gave me a chance to do his "anti-obit." He knew his end was near, and he made choices that favored quality of life over quantity of life, which I fully support, and hope to be able to do myself. And in the face of a grave condition, and the end of his life, he was maintaining his terriffic sense of humor, and still making us think and laugh.

In most obit threads around here, we pause a moment to remember some person's public persona or deeds. Maybe we can pause a moment in appreciation of a guy who, while he still could, remembered all of us, his readers, friends and family, and wanted to say "Goodbye" gracefully, with a smile on his face, and did.
posted by paulsc at 5:25 PM on January 18, 2007

Thanks for the vintage Art quotes, amberglow and especially fixedgear, you are no longer dead to me. If we could get a few more choice ones I haven't seen before, I'd be a real happy poster...

Here are a few I have seen...

“If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.”

“You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it.” [explains why the 'fake news' is more accurate than the 'real news']

"Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."
posted by wendell at 5:36 PM on January 18, 2007

He was a funny and classy guy. Our Blue Heaven, a recent example of his grace, on the passing of his friend Bill Styron.
posted by caddis at 5:41 PM on January 18, 2007

Buchwald was rumored and reported to have a very short lived affair with American actress Marilyn Monroe. The affair is said to have only lasted a few weeks, and it was said that Buchwald introduced Marilyn to Judaism (to which she later converted).

From the NY times obit: It was an amiable and wry brand of wit that sprung from a man who had been reared in foster homes and an orphan asylum and who had decided, when he was 6 or 7, that his life was so awful that he should make a living making everybody laugh, even if he did not always laugh along with them. He had at least two serious bouts of depression in his middle years and regarded himself as occasionally suicidal.

Rest in peace.
posted by nickyskye at 5:51 PM on January 18, 2007

"He can't be dead! Nobody told ME about it!"

Godspeed, Art.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:25 PM on January 18, 2007

As a Masshole, there was something especially cool about his "Fuggit, I'm off to the Vineyard!" approach.

Hope I make it that long, with that much success and that sort of attitude. Goodnight and good luck, Mr. Buchwald...
posted by rollbiz at 7:52 PM on January 18, 2007

I had Buchwald in the Rotten Dead Pool.
posted by flatlander at 9:51 PM on January 18, 2007


Well done, Marine! Thanx for the laffs.
posted by pax digita at 6:56 AM on January 19, 2007

Goodbye, My Friends
posted by kirkaracha at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2007

posted by Skygazer at 7:33 PM on January 19, 2007

posted by donfactor at 11:34 PM on January 19, 2007

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