Saturday, May 04, 2013

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

People are dying all the time. This cycle of life-death-life continues on and on, without discrimination, without considering other timelines, other events, other factors involved. Death occurs on it’s own terms and doesn’t deal with any kind of bargaining, hiding, outrunning or outsmarting. Like many of you, I learned about the passing of Slayer’s metal god guitarist Jeff Hanneman last Thursday. Slayer was a staple metal band that I grew up with and they also helped me through some of those teenage rough patches I experienced growing up. I am especially saddened about his passing after hearing his cause of untimely demise—it seems like a poison spider bite gave him a flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis. That somehow led to liver failure 2 days ago and as a result Jeff has left this plane of existence.

I really enjoy Slayer’s music, specifically Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss. Their other work is great too, but the three albums I mentioned in the preceding sentenence really had an impact on my teen development, they served as a part of my daily routine for quite a few years.  

I saw Slayer in concert one year, I can’t remember what year but I’m willing to bet it was late 80’s. It was one of those “Clash of the Titans” or some such named tour—there were four headlining powerhouses. I’m willing to bet the bands I also saw in at the same event were Testament, Anthrax and Megadeth. I remember it was a totally badass concert and I was really impressed by the energy and showmanship they displayed. I knew so much of their material and I remember singing along with every song with the exception of when I was in the pit.

When I was trying to find out more information about Jeff Hanneman’s death, I stumbled across a Huffington Post article that discussed all of the people who have died so far in 2013. Let me tell you it’s quite a lot. It’s like a perpetual thing that is occurring all of the time, this ending of individual existences. About 105 people die each minute and it’s a given that a certain percentage of them will be celebrities. It's mind blowing to even consider! 

On a funny aside, when I was trying to find out what the death or mortality rate was, I had a bunch of funny google suggestions populate:

So many new things to think about. 

Curious, I continued reading the Huffington Post article about other celebrities who have died so far in 2013 and guess who else died? This guy!

Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels' hidden fortress...chrklsjsjkl** gasp** 
I can’t believe it. If you had told me his name, I’d have no idea who you were talking about. But seeing his picture--as the Death Star Admiral who mocks Darth Vader, I get a little misty eyed and feel a sort of detached sadness as if I just learned a distant relative died.

Heh...look how Grand Moff Tarkin just sits there trying to nonchalantly play it off like he knew Vader was going to do that all along and isn't some kind of mechanical powerhouse loose cannon. 

So now I know who Richard LeParmentier is and some of the details that surrounded his life. I’m not clear on how he died and all that I can find is that he was visiting family in Texas and died suddenly. Maybe it was the force choke catching up with him!

One of the other things I learned is that he was married to Sarah Douglas for a few years in the early 1980’s. Who is Sarah Douglas you ask? 

So this is planet Houston.
I think she is pretty cool and follow her on Twitter.
Richard LeParmentier was also in Octopussy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit in some role that was less than starring. He really doesn’t stand out to me as being especially remarkable (outside of his Star Wars gig, which was pretty awesome) but I am glad that he got some work. I hope he was happy when he passed away.

I also learned that Pauline Phillips, who was also known as “Dear Abby,” passed away earlier this year after “a long battle with Alzheimer’s.” Reading that makes me think there was a lot of time spent entertaining inane conversation and unusual activities. I wonder if she was giving our wacky advice around the time she started displaying symptoms. 

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