I'm not yet at the age where I scan the obituaries looking for my name - or the names of those people that my failing memory still recalls - so I'm not given to marking the passing of each new celeb who drops off their pedestal. But this does seem something of a watershed year for death (and ties in with my immortality post).
You know, when television was in its relative infancy we would have been treated to a Katharine Hepburn special, a Bob Hope special, a Death Wish festival.. hell, we probably would have got one or two old episodes of Beverley Hillbillies to commemorate the passing of Buddy Ebsen. Now that we're into more rigid formatting (can't miss any of the twenty billion home repair/auction shows or bachelor/survivor/stupido programs that fill scheduling these days)those days are gone and it's left to the evening news to give us a brief rundown of a life richly lived.
It's interesting that Bob Hope and Leni Riefenstahl both pegged it at 100+ in the same year as they represent two of the greatest propogandists for their respective sides. To me, Leni was the greater artist.
I'll probably talk more about 100 year olds at a future time.
And what inspired all this morbid musing? Why the passing of The Man In Black o'course. (I've long had his website bookmarked but its being hit by some seriously heavy traffic at the moment). Now we'll all have to wear black; this is the death that really hit me. Johnny Cash represents a bridge for me and my parents' generation and, I suspect, for generations on either side. He was universally respected in a way that Charley Pride or the Butthole Surfers could never be.
It is further tribute to Cash that there was a LOT of articles about him before he died. It was kind of spooky opening up the IT liftout and seeing 'pages Johnny Cash has bookmarked'. It was published around the time he died.