November 10th, 2007


Fashionably Late

Norman Mailer died today. Don’t worry – I come neither to bury Norman nor to praise him. I can’t say much at all about him in light of the fact that I’ve read exactly zero of his books. I’ve read a few of his magazine articles and seen him interviewed on TV, but that’s about it. So why not let the poor man rest in peace? Why mention him at all in this journal?

It’s like this – hearing of his death set my mind spinning back to the past 2+ years of writing in this space and it inspired me to review the various tributes I’ve recorded here. Let’s see – I’ve written tributes, serious or otherwise, to Richard Pryor, Marcel Marceau, Ingmar Bergman, Robert Wise, David Lean, Robert Altman, Don Ho, Stanley Kubrick, Dennis Weaver, Chris Tilger (ex-boss), Kathy (friend), Beatrice (acquaintance), Tick-Tock (cat), Brownie (also cat), my mother (close relative), and The Berghoff.

Yes, the list is weighted heavily towards actors and directors. Connect the dots.

Then I thought of Garrison Keillor’s line from the film A Prairie Home Companion – “I’m at an age where if I started to do them, I’d do nothing but eulogies.” Mr. Keillor is 17 years my senior, but the point is still a good one.

My point is this – I think it’s time for me to stop waiting for people to die in order to give myself permission to talk about how wonderful they are. So sometime before Thanksgiving, I will give thanks in this space for some of the living individuals who make this world a wonderful place. I may even tell some of them to their faces (just call me impetuous).
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