Death has soaked this year to the bone,
leaving me wide-eyed,
I beg with my palms,
but this year was a hyena,
killing for joy rather than
It took my starman, it took my space princess,
it took my American dream
and just when I was beginning to feel
there was nothing left in me to take
Carrie Fisher took my heart
out to the stars somewhere
far, far away
leaving the rest of my body on Earth,
Dear Mom and Dad,
It’s been years since you both left this mortal plane, and while I am not suffering the ongoing level of distress that my sister still is, it’s rare that more than a day or two passes that I do not think of one or the other of you. What I miss most is just being able to call you up and tell you about some silly, inconsequential thing that happened during the day—or bitch about work, or ask for a recipe, or any of the dozens of other things that had become second nature for all of us when you were alive that are now gone forever. I also miss being able to share the big things with you and miss receiving your wisdom and reassurances in the face of uncertain futures.
And yes, I even miss those occasional “What were you thinking?” and the subsequent reprimands as you tried to steer me away from making some very poor decisions.
I’m sorry that you missed my wedding, although I’m reasonably certain Mom knew and approved of where things were heading; it was shortly after she met Ben and sensed that I’d finally met “the one,” that she was able to finally let go and move on to whatever it is that comes after this life. And Dad…you missed it by only a few months, but ironically it was spurred in no small part by your own passing. “After all the horrible things that have happened this year,” Ben said, “we need something positive to happen.”
On the other hand, I’m glad you’re not still here to see what is happening in this country today. You taught me me tolerance and acceptance of everyone as I was growing up (proving that when you wholeheartedly accepted me when the time came) and I think you would be appalled at the level of intolerance rising in our communities. Having lived through—and fought during—the last World War and witnessing the rise and fall of the Third Reich, I’m sure klaxons would be ringing for you every time that Cheeto-faced baboon took to the podium. Perhaps if more of your generation were still alive to remind us of the horrors of fascism, we might not be facing its possible resurgence now.
In case you’ve forgotten…
- Natalie Cole, R&B singer and daughter of music legend Nat “King” Cole, died New Year’s Eve at age 65 from heart failure caused by lung disease.
- Craig Strickland, rising country singer and frontman for Backroad Anthem, was found dead at 29 years old on Jan. 4 after going missing during a duck hunting trip in extreme weather.
- Angus Scrimm, best known for playing the Tall Man villain in Phantasm and its horror sequels, died Jan. 9 at 89.
- David Bowie died Jan. 10, two days after his 69th birthday, after an 18-month secret battle with cancer. The music legend was well-known for his fashion, movie roles, Ziggy Stardust and hit songs like “Space Oddity,” “Fame” and “Let’s Dance.”
- Alan Rickman, Harry Potter actor and Die Hard villain, died of cancer at 69 on Jan. 14.
- Dan Haggerty, Grizzly Adams actor and ’70s star best-known for his beard and rugged looks, died of cancer at 74 on Jan. 15.
- Glenn Frey, The Eagles guitarist and co-founder, died at 67 on Jan. 18. Frey co-wrote hits like “Hotel California” with Don Henley.
- Jimmy Bain, former Dio and Rainbow bassist, died at 68 over the weekend of Jan. 22-24.
- Abe Vigoda, character actor in The Godfather and Barney Miller, died at 94 on Jan. 26.
- Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane co-founder and guitarist, died at 74 on Jan. 28.
- Maurice White, a founding member of disco-funk group Earth, Wind & Fire, died Feb. 3 at 74.
- Vanity, an ’80s singer-actress and Prince protege also known as Denise Katrina Matthews, died Feb. 15 at 57.
- Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, died Feb. 19 at age 89.
- Sonny James, country singer behind hits like “Young Love,” died Feb. 22 at age 87.
- George Kennedy, tough-guy character actor best known for Cool Hand Luke and the Naked Gun movies, died Feb. 28 at 91.
- Keith Emerson, co-founder and keyboardist of the progressive-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died March 11 at 71.
- Frank Sinatra Jr., singer and son of Ol’ Blue Eyes, died March 16 of cardiac arrest at 72.
- Steve Young, outlaw country singer best known for “Seven Bridges Road,” died March 17 at 73.
- Joe Garagiola, former baseball broadcaster and Today show host, died March 23 at 90.
- Garry Shandling, comedian and The Larry Sanders Show star, died March 24 at 66.
- Earl Hamner Jr., The Waltons creator and Twilight Zone writer, died March 24 at 92.
- Patty Duke, Oscar and Emmy-winning actress, former child star and mother of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin, died March 29 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at 69.
- Gato Barbieri, Grammy-winning Latin jazz musician and “Last Tango in Paris” composer, died April 2 at 83.
- Leon Haywood, ’70s soul singer best known for “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” (sampled by Dr. Dre for “Nothin’ But a G Thang”), died April 5 at 74.
- Merle Haggard, country music legend who had more than 30 No. 1 hits, died April 6 on his 79th birthday.
- David Gest, a producer, Michael Jackson collaborator, reality TV star and ex-husband of Liza Minelli, died April 12 at 62.
- Doris Roberts, Emmy-winning actress on Everybody Loves Raymond, died April 18 at 90.
- Prince, music legend behind hits “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Batdance,” “1999,” “Kiss” and others, died April 21 at 57.
- William Schallert, Patty Duke’s TV dad and actors’ union leader died May 8 at 93.
- Morley Safer, CBS News correspondent, died at 84 on May 19, days after retiring from “60 Minutes.”
- Muhammad Ali, the boxing legend born Cassius Clay, died June 3 at 74 after a long battle with Parksinson’s disease.
- Janet Waldo, who voiced Judy Jetson on The Jetsons and Josie on Josie and the Pussycats, died June 12 at 96.
- Ann Morgan Guilbert, The Nanny and The Dick Van Dyke Show actress who also appeared on Seinfeld and Life in Pieces, died June 14 at 87.
- Garry Marshall, legendary writer, director and actor whose credits include Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Pretty Woman, died July 19 at 81.
- Miss Cleo, the famed TV psychic born Youree Harris, died July 26 at age 54 after a cancer battle.
- Jerry Doyle, Babylon 5 actor best known for playing Chief Warrant Officer Michael Garibaldi, died July 27 at 60.
- Kenny Baker, Star Wars actor who played R2-D2, died Aug. 13 at 81.
- John McLaughlin, political commentator and host of The McLaughlin Group, died Aug. 16 at 89.
- Arthur Hiller, director of Love Story, The Out-of-Towners and See No Evil Hear No Evil, died Aug. 17 at 92.
- Gene Wilder, comedy legend who starred in classic movies like Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, died Aug. 28 at age 83.
- Alexis Arquette, transgender activist and The Wedding Singer actress, died Sept. 11 at 47.
- Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playwright, died Sept. 16 at 88.
- Arnold Palmer, golf legend known as “The King,” died Sept. 25 at 87.
- Neville Marriner, British conductor behind Oscar-winning Amadeus soundtrack, died Oct. 2 at 92.
- Pete Burns, Dead Or Alive singer best known for 1985 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” died Oct. 23 after a massive cardiac arrest at 57.
- Bobby Vee, ’60s teen idol who replaced Buddy Holly and helped Bob Dylan get his start, died Oct. 24 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease at 73.
- Michael Massee, 24 and Se7en actor best known for accidentally killing The Crow co-star Brandon Lee when a prop gun was improperly loaded, died Oct. 26 at 61.
- Janet Reno, first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, died Nov. 7 at 78 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
- Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter behind ‘Hallelujah,’ died Nov. 7 at 82.
- Robert Vaughn, Oscar-nominated actor who starred on TV’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., died Nov. 11 at 83.
- Leon Russell, influential singer-songwriter and all-star collaborator, died Nov. 13 at 74.
- David Mancuso, DJ and New York nightlife pioneer who popularized breaking new music in clubs via a “record pool,” died Nov. 14 at 72.
- Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour anchor and vice presidential debate moderator, died Nov. 14 at 61 after a battle with cancer.
- Sharon Jones, Grammy-nominated soul singer with The Dap-Kings, died Nov. 18 at 60 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
- Florence Henderson, beloved Brady Bunch mom, died Nov. 24 at 82.
- Greg Lake, co-founder of progressive rock bands Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, died Dec. 7 at 69.
- John Glenn, last surviving Mercury 7 astronaut, senator, and old-fashioned America hero, died Dec. 8 at 95.
- Alan Thicke, actor best known for his starring role in Growing Pains, died Dec. 13 at 69.
- Bernard Fox, Welsh actor remembered for his portrayal of Doctor Bombay on TV’s Bewitched, died Dec. 14 at 89.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian-American actress and socialite of many husbands, died Dec. 18 at 99.
- George Michael, singer-songwriter and founding member of the group Wham, died Dec. 25 at 53.
- Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, died Dec. 24 at 96.
- Carrie Fisher, forever known the around the world as Princess Leia from Star Wars, died from cardiac arrest Dec. 27 at 60.
- Debbie Reynolds, actress and mother to Carrie Fisher, died after suffering a third stroke, Dec. 28 at 84.
- William Christopher, actor best known for his portrayal of Father Murphy on MASH, died Dec. 31 at 84.
- American Democracy. Not dead yet, but was removed from life-support on Dec. 19 after having been dealt a life-threatening blow Nov. 8th.
And yet Trump, Pence, his smarmy cacophony of Deplorables, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson and countless other “christian” douches live on, proving beyond all doubt there is no god.
“I happen to think that the singular evil of our time is prejudice. It is from this evil that all other evils grow and multiply. In almost everything I’ve written there is a thread of this: a man’s seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.” ~ Rod Serling
“He’s gonna make ‘murika great again!”
…even with as much as I hate snow, the idea of this (i.e. living in the middle of nowhere, away from all the insanity) is looking better and better.
I doubt I’m alone in this…
From Noah Michelson:
Last night, after word spread that pop star George Michael died at the age of 53, I sent out several tweets honoring the man who meant a lot to me as a queer young man who came out in the late ‘90s. My first tweet instructed those unfamiliar with Michael (and the brilliance of what he created) to seek out his music. This was my second tweet:
I suggest we all find a public bathroom wherever we are and go and have sex in it with a stranger tonight to properly honor George Michael.
— noah michelson (@noahmichelson) December 26, 2016
I was referencing Michael’s well-publicized history with cruising for sex in public places (he was arrested by an undercover policeman in a Beverly Hills men’s room in 1998 and again 10 years later in London). While I was being cheeky in a way that I thought he would appreciate in the big Wembley Stadium in the sky, I also meant it. It was my way of paying tribute to how open, outspoken and unapologetic he was about who he was (once he came out in 1998), his sexuality and looking for gay sex in what could be referred to as non-traditional locales.
But shit soon hit the fan. People who thought I was being “disrespectful” and “tacky” and “tasteless” flooded my Twitter mentions. A few people commented “too soon.” Others couldn’t believe that this was the only aspect of his life that I had chosen to concentrate on (which means they obviously didn’t read my aforementioned tweet). How dare I! One person called me “the 2016 of people” (which is actually kind of amazing) and another promised to “piss on my grave” when I died (I mean… don’t threaten my corpse with a good time, right?).
I tried to explain that as a queer, sex-positive man, this part of Michael’s life―these moments of queer sexuality and his sex life that were made very public―helped to reorganize and shape how I saw and embraced my own sexuality, which was nothing short of a miracle considering the homophobic and sex-negative culture we live in.
My tweet wasn’t a joke and it wasn’t rude or disrespectful. If you read it that way you’re implying that gay sex―public or otherwise―is shameful. I don’t and neither did Michael.
- me growing up: I don’t understand how an empire like Rome with so many resources and such a clear advantage could tear itself apart, or how the Germans in the 1930s could allow the Nazis to rise to power. It just seems so unlikely. Did they not see what was going on?
- me watching the 2016 election cycle: Oh.
Goddamn you all to hell, 2016!
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has taken an important—although admittedly symbolic—step against the incoming Trump administration by unanimously passing a resolution reaffirming The City’s commitment to LGBTQ rights, religious freedoms, and racial, social, and economic justice—values completely at risk under the incoming Trump administration.
Here’s the full text:
WHEREAS, On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate-we build bridges, not walls; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we will never back down on women’s rights, whether in healthcare, the workplace, or any other area threatened by a man who treats women as obstacles to be demeaned or objects to be assaulted. And just as important, we will ensure our young girls grow up with role models who show them they can be or do anything; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That there will be no conversion therapy, no withdrawal of rights in San Francisco. We began hosting gay weddings twelve years ago, and we are not stopping now. And to all the LGBTQ people all over the country who feel scared, bullied, or alone: You matter. You are seen; you are loved; and San Francisco will never stop fighting for you; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we still believe in this nation’s founding principle of religious freedom. We do not ban people for their faith. And the only lists we keep are on invitations to come pray together; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, even if they may not in the White House. And guided by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, we will continue reforming our police department and rebuilding trust between police and communities of color so all citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That climate change is not a hoax, or a plot by the Chinese. In this city, surrounded by water on three sides, science matters. And we will continue our work on CleanPower, Zero Waste, and everything else we are doing to protect future generations; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we have been providing universal health care in this city for nearly a decade, and if the new administration follows through on its callous promise to revoke health insurance from 20 million people, San Franciscans will be protected; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we are the birthplace of the United Nations, a city made stronger by the thousands of international visitors we welcome every day. We will remain committed to internationalism and to our friends and allies around the world-whether the administration in Washington is or not; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That San Francisco will remain a Transit First city and will continue building Muni and BART systems we can all rely upon, whether this administration follows through on its platform to eliminate federal transit funding or not; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That California is the sixth largest economy in the world. The Bay Area is the innovation capital of the country. We will not be bullied by threats to revoke our federal funding, nor will we sacrifice our values or members of our community for your dollar; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we condemn all hate crimes and hate speech perpetrated in this election’s wake. That although the United States will soon have a President who has demonstrated a lack of respect for the values we hold in the highest regard in San Francisco, it cannot change who we are, and it will never change our values. We argue, we campaign, we debate vigorously within San Francisco, but on these points we are 100 percent united. We will fight discrimination and recklessness in all its forms. We are one City. And we will move forward together.
Resist…be like San Francisco.
Via Random Thoughts…
I don’t care what your politics are. I don’t care if you liked the man or not. He has always been a positive force for change in our country. We as a people can keep the positive force going. Smile more, laugh, love, and most importantly… tell some wickedly awful dad jokes!
"Merry Christmas everybody!…Celebrating the holidays in the White House over these past eight years has been a true privilege. We’ve been able to welcome over half a million guests, our outstanding pastry chefs have baked 200,000 holiday cookies, and Barack has treated the American people to countless dad jokes. Although a few got a Frosty reception." —President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama celebrating their final holiday season at the White House. Join them in supporting America’s service members at JoiningForces.gov.
Posted by The Obama White House on Saturday, December 24, 2016
December 24, 1968 – The astronauts of Apollo 8 were the first humans to behold the Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon. (NASA)
That quote, in case you’re not familiar with it, comes from Douglas Adams’ seminal Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was attributed to the dolphins as they were teleporting themselves off the Earth in advance of the Vogon’s demolition armada and seems especially fitting considering today’s tweet from the Unstable Orange Shitgibbon:
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Never in my life have I been so gripped with fear for the future as I am now—and not just for me and my loved ones, but for this entire fucking planet. While I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was born only a couple years before it happened so I have no conscious memory of the events, but in the years that followed I did grow up learning the laughable Duck-and-Cover routine and living under the specter of Russian nukes raining down from the skies at any moment.
It wasn’t until the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union that I—and no doubt the rest of humanity—was able to breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Cold War was over and a general understanding grew that because of mutually assured destruction, nuclear weapons would never be used in another war.
But then, sometime over the last twenty or so years, humanity started going collectively batshit insane and now, thanks to the cheeto-faced fuckmuppet and the powder keg that all of civilization seems to have become over the last several years, that’s no longer a given. As I half-jokingly said during the primaries, “If Trump is elected and has the nuclear launch codes, all it’s going to take is one foreign leader to diss him on Twitter and it’s GAME OVER.”
It’s no longer a joke.
Never mind the loss of civil liberties and societal progress we’ve made over the past 50 years that a Trump “presidency” brings to this country. I’m starting to worry about the annihilation of all life on earth because that unqualified, mangled apricot hellbeast with a hair-trigger temper has the intellect, emotional maturity and self-restraint of a toddler. I mean he is still whining about not winning the popular vote! I have never seen a more sore group of winners than that fucktrumpet and his vulgar, ignorant minions in my entire life.
I only pray that when the bombs start falling, I—and my loved ones—are at or near ground zero. I want it to be over in a flash; to be incinerated before the pain signals even reach my brain. The alternative—to die a slow, painful death over the days or weeks that follow is something I don’t even want to contemplate. And the absolute last thing I want to do is to “survive” a nuclear war and witness the downfall of civilization.
I’m seriously starting to wonder if this is the reason the Universe is not teeming with interplanetary explorers knocking at our door. Perhaps 99.99999% of all sentient life that arises in this universe cyclically destroys itself each and every time it’s on the verge of becoming a spacefaring species and there are only a handful that survive their perpetual childhood and mature, wandering the blackness of space encountering nothing but the burnt-out cinders of millions of civilizations that weren’t as lucky as they.
Alternately, perhaps it will take a near-civilization-ending event to force humanity to finally grow up, put aside our infantile beliefs in invisible sky fairies and finally come to realize we’re all in this together and no one’s going to save us but ourselves. As Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” and it seems more true now than ever.
Looking to the Star Trek universe, it must be remembered that their society arose only from the ashes of a nuclear war—although to be honest I doubt humanity will recover as quickly as it did in the Trek timeline unless the next war is a very limited one—something I find extremely unlikely in today’s climate of supercharged hate and intolerance.
The sense of dread so many of us are feeling is not hyperbole. It’s not sour grapes because our
guy girl lost. Hell, I’ve been voting all my adult life and there have been only a handful of elections when the candidate I voted for actually won. I’ve had to suffer through bad president after bad president—Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II—doing what they could do to fight progress and set the clock back to some mythic “Ozzie and Harriet” time in America that never even existed. But Trump’s treasonous ascendancy to the presidency and the fact that he is now surrounding himself with people who are without exception the absolute antithesis of the posts they are filling is NOT business as usual. This is not normal! It is not just a case of “good presidents come and go.” For the first time in our history, we are about to have someone at the helm of this country who has the capability of causing an extinction level planetary event and no one seems to care or understand except a few of us acting as modern day Cassandras screaming into the darkness. Unless his own party—or the opposition finally grows a spine—and stands up, says No Donnie, you can’t nuke [insert country of your choice]! and takes away his goddamned Twitter, I’m not holding out hope the United States will not be recognizable—much less have another presidential election when he can be removed from office—in four years.
I can think of worse ways to spend the longest night of the year…