Saturday, December 29, 2012

'Tis Only a Flesh Wound

It is an annual year end ritual to remember those in the popular culture that we lost during the year.  “Lost” isn’t the correct word of course, unless we really lost the person like Amelia Earhart or something.  We look back at those whose lives touched ours through music, sports, religion or politics.  Reviewing this year’s list had me wondering about the 2013 list.  Surely it’s not too soon to speculate.  (And I will stop calling you ‘Shirley’).

Here are those we didn’t lose in 2012 – surprisingly.

Fidel Castro

Apparently smoking, drinking and dictatorship can be good for your health.  He has been in power in Cuba since 1959.  Eisenhower was President.  He has survived through Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and soon Clinton II.  Either his longevity is an outlier or clean living is overrated.

Betty White

She starred on a show called Golden Girls about a bunch of elderly women that premiered over 27 years ago.  I am happy for her new-found popularity, but c’mon.  You have to be surprised that she’s still with us and hoping like me for a few more years, too.  

Kirk Douglas

At 96, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying that his number should have already been called.  I did see him on a talk program this year and while he was tough to understand (he suffered a stroke a few years ago), he seemed chipper and lucid, which puts him ahead of me on many a morning over the holidays.

Nancy Reagan

For someone who was such an oversized personality during the 1980s, she has certainly shrunk in physical stature since those days.  If she weighs 80 pounds I’d be shocked.  Not that Fox News needs a reason for a Reagan tribute/retrospective, but her passing will fill a month of programming on that network. 

Gary Busey/Nick Nolte

I’m not sure that they are two different people, so I include them together on my list.  Both made careers personifying the hard driving, ‘you-only-live-once’ lifestyle and I would have thought that this would have been the year for a sad People magazine cover story about their reckless lives and how they spent their final days.

John Madden

Speaking of oversized personalities, Madden is oversized everything.  He is no health nut, that’s for sure.  I think 2013 does not bode well for him, especially since his current game release is Madden 13.  Not exactly a lucky number.

Muhammad Ali

It’s been 16 years since his shaky appearance at the Atlanta Olympics and his condition hasn’t improved.  That he has not attempted a comeback to the heavyweight ring in a few years (like all of his peers it seems) should be a clue that his days are numbered even though he is not that old.  If you haven’t watched the fight footage of the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman, you should.  Fastest hands I’ve ever seen.  

Lindsay Lohan

Every day she survives is a gift to her from God.  Drinking, drugs, elective surgeries, sexual indiscretions, car accidents – and that’s just last week.  If the wild lifestyle doesn’t get her, the paparazzi will.

Someone who starred in The Breakfast Club or St. Elmo’s Fire

Just playing the percentages with that one.

Keith Richards

He has been on this list since 1966 and will probably still be on the list in December 2013.  Rock on.

Honorable Mention


They are still hanging on by a thread but on life support.  Let’s pray they go quietly in my sleep.

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