Obit


Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71

Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71 | The Underwire from Wired.com

Just after I hit the publish button, I saw this page and I nearly cried. And then I laughed. Please click the link for the quick bio and a YouTube performance clip of “Seven Words” which holds up to this day (except that fart and turd are now OK to say on TV).

My parents gave me the FM/AM and Class Clown LPs when I was 16. I was going through a profanity phase at the time and they listened to these albums with me and said that if I wanted to use this language, I have to be as creative and interesting as George Carlin. I wasn’t up to it.

George, I love you and I hope you get to say everything you want to the big guy (if he exists and we know he probably doesn’t).

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Robert Rauschenberg, Titan of American Art, Is Dead at 82 – New York Times

I know, why do I keep blogging obituaries? I only pick people I think are interesting or important to me. Rauschenberg is important — to me. His work has always fascinated and intrigued me and sometimes repelled me. Painter, printmaker, sculptor, and photographer – he did it all and combined it all. He broke rules right and left and I loved him for it. Break the boundries, blur the lines and accept accidents and inspirations.

“I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop,” he said in an interview in the giant studio on Captiva in 2000. “At the time that I am bored or understand — I use those words interchangeably — another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore.”

He added: “Anything you do will be an abuse of somebody else’s aesthetics. I think you’re born an artist or not. I couldn’t have learned it. And I hope I never do because knowing more only encourages your limitations.

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Paul Scofield, Oscar-winning actor, has died – Times Online

Sorry to have another obit but this is an actor I’ve always admired from when I first saw A Man For All Seasons to Martin Chuzzlewit and The Crucible.

Scofield’s presence was described as “monumental but reassuring” and his voice compared variously to a Rolls-Royce being started up and a sound rumbling up from an antique crypt.In his private life he avoided both the limelight and the party circuit, preferring instead to walk, ride and cycle around the area where he lived in Balcombe, West Sussex.He also savoured the wind and rain in his holiday home on a Scottish island. As the headlines once put it, he was “a very private actor”.

My kind of actor, my kind of person.

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Film director Anthony Minghella has died, aged 54 – Times Online

This is so sad – Anthony Minghella is too young to be dead. He is responsible for two of my favorite films — Truly, Madly, Deeply and The English Patient. His film credits are not many but they reflect the quality he achieved. Such a loss. Here is a link to the London Times obituary.

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Marcel Marceau, mime artist, dies aged 84 – Times Online

The mime artist was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His father, Charles, a butcher who sang baritone, introduced his son to the world of music and theatre at an early age. The boy adored the silent film stars of the era: Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers.

When the Germans marched into eastern France, he and his family were given just hours to pack their bags. He fled to southwest France and changed his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins. In 1944, Marceau’s father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died.

There are several articles out today but I like this one. The quote in the title is great. The New York Times article mentions that he had a role in the classic french film “Les Enfants du Paradis” (The Children of Paradise) with another acclaimed mime, Jean-Louis Barrault. It is an excellent film – rent it if you can. He also had a speaking role in Mel Brooks “Silent Movie.”

What amazes me most is the length of his career – over 60 years. The picture above is from 2005!

“I want to be a man who will represent as an active witness my time, and who wants to say, without words, my feelings about the world.”

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Anita Roddick, the green queen who inspired millions, dies – Times Online

I’ve taken to reading the London Times online lately. I like the different point-of-view from across the pond. I was very sorry to read that Dame Anita Roddick died this week. The Body Shop is one of my favorite places and one of the few cosmetic lines that I can wear (I’m allergic to many) and that I can support morally.

Dame Anita, who once said she did not want to die rich, also immersed herself in international issues such as Third World debt and human rights. With this commercialism led by conscience, she brought “eco-friendly” products to the British public.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen last night described her as a “true champion of the oppressed and persecuted” who had “shared her brilliance and energy with us to marvellous effect”. She added: “Fundamentally she was an activist, someone who always understood the importance of people standing up for human rights.”

I does surprise me that she sold the company to L’Oreal last year. I hope The Body Shop will continue it’s tradition of fair trade and environmental responsibility.

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Wood’s Tea founder dies

Burlington Free Press.com | Living

Rusty Jacobs, founder of the folk group Wood’s Tea Company, died Wednesday at his home in South Burlington. He was 56. The cause of death is pending, said band member and friend Howard Wooden.

Jacobs moved to Burlington to attend the University of Vermont and settled here. He was a rock ‘ n’ roll musician who became enamored of the Chieftans, a traditional Irish group and, influenced by their music, turned to traditional music in his own playing, Wooden said.

“Rusty was a master pennywhistle player and great rhythm guitar player,” Wooden said. “More than that, he was a personality. He had an engaging, soft soul. He was a gentle and peaceful man, and that came through on stage.”

Wood’s Tea Company is my brother’s band. I had the pleasure of meeting Rusty several times at gigs and at my brother’s home. He was a sweet man with a sparkling eye. I can hardly believe this news is true. Please read the linked article to learn more about this wonderful person.

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