Bless Me Now With Your Fierce Tears XI

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Unionist

Lagatta, I'm so very sorry, I have no words. I'll bet Renzo knew how loved he was and by how many people. Thank you for loving him and being such a faithful friend throughout his life.

lagatta

Yes, he was a stray kitten. He was also exactly the same age as skdadl's oldest cats.

quizzical

lagatta my heart to yours. thank you for sharing his life and now his passing.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm really sorry to hear this.

It's a wee blessing for him that he got to leave on his own terms -- same as how he arrived, IIRC -- and that's a very cat-appropriate way to do things.  But he's also left you to do the heavy-lifting, so stay strong, even during the unwelcome quiet.

Aristotleded24

Oh dear lagatta, I am so sorry to hear this. 20 years is a long time to have a pet.Cry

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I am so deeply sorry to hear of this, lagatta.  I've lost a few furry children myself over the years.  It never gets easier. 

It's nice that he left this world in such a peaceful way, though, at home and near you and the things he knew and loved.

He is free and at peace now, if that helps at all.

 

lagatta

We took the little body to a vet clinic on Beaubien nearby. It is appropriately grey and chilly here today.

I threw out his litter box, which was older than he was, so I'm sure nobody will pick it up to use it. Today is garbage day. I stuck a chair where the litter box was. I have an almost full box of cat litter, but that is going to the downstairs neighbour who went to the clinic with me. And the bag of dry "senior" cat food is going to a "cat lady" who cares for strays.

Caissa

My condolences, Lagatta.

Unionist
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Maybe Heph and Renzo are sharing some quality time with a laser pointer somewhere.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Now I'm imagining Hephaestion chasing a red dot up the wall.  Or what's a heaven for?

How are you holding up, Lagatta?  It's perfectly OK to say "like shit".

lagatta

Not to mention skdadl and whichever of her bunch have shed the mortal coil.

Like shit, but revising a translation since the wee hours.

 

josh

Gordie Howe.

6079_Smith_W
6079_Smith_W

Elie Wiesel

lagatta

I know serious scholars of the Nazi genocide who have deep reservations about Elie Wiesel's account.

Moreover, he was an uncritical cheerleader for the Israeli government, including its serious misdeeds against Palestinians and Lebanese. Who bore no responsibility for the horrors Nazi Germany and its allies and supporters (including King Edward and Henry Ford) inflicted on the Jewish people - and on the Roma people.

I was weirded out by commentators saying he was the first to tell the story of survivors - Primo Levi, an infinitely better writer, was among many who did so just after the war. It is true that most people didn't want to listen.

Obviously, every survivor who dies of old age means the horrific events are that much more distant from contemporary life, though. :(

6079_Smith_W

Yes, all true.

Not that I think a person's shortcomings should be off-limits; I think it is fair and worth noting, even.

But I have to say I was expecting to get the response regarding Bill Harkus or Richard Wolfe.

 

6079_Smith_W

Bill Harkus

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/another-man-charged-after-furby-s...

Quote:

Violence caught up to Bill Harcus more than two decades after he became notorious as the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Manitoba.

Harcus, 45, who had legally changed his name to James Edsel Tucker, died early Thursday after being stabbed in an apartment on Furby Street.

Lots of talk about this on FB, most of it quite understandably pointing out his past leadership of Manitoba's KKK. I didn't know him, but I met him a couple of times after he had left, and was surprised to hear about his past. While I don't think anyone deserves a medal for stopping being a hatemonger, and he did hide and change his name, rather than using his experience to actively fight racism, I do have friends who are mourning him and remembering the fact that he had changed his life around, and seriously regretted his past. He died trying to help someone  by stepping into an attempted robbery. 

 

lagatta

Yes, but I'm not familiar with them. I have colleagues (historians) who have worked extensively on Nazism and other genocides.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

So Long, Marianne

Quote:
Leonard Cohen penned a poignant final letter to his dying muse Marianne Ihlen, a longtime friend of hers revealed on Canadian radio.

Ihlen, whom Cohen wrote about in So Long, Marianne and Bird on a Wire, died in Norway on 29 July, aged 81.

“It took only two hours and in came this beautiful letter from Leonard to Marianne. We brought it to her the next day and she was fully conscious and she was so happy that he had already written something for her,” Mollestad said.

Mollestad, a documentary maker, read Cohen’s letter to her before she died. “It said well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.

“And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.”

...................................................

Leonard Cohen wrote:
Poetry is just the evidence of your life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Buh Bye John McLaughlin

McLaughlin was a conservative talk show host, known for his curt "Buh bye!" at show's end, on The McLaughlin Group. I used to enjoy watching these conservatives wail away on each other. mercilessly, partly because they were so good at viciously attacking each other's "weaknesses" and partly because every horrid thing they said about each other was true.

Buh, bye!

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/gene-wilder-obit-1.3740168]Willy Wonka now runs the Chocolate Factory in the sky:[/url]

Quote:
Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Mel Brooks comedies such as The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, is dead at 83, his family says.

Wilder's nephew said Monday that the actor and writer died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Conn., from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement that Wilder was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, but kept the condition private so as not to disappoint fans.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

aww,  fuyck. I salute you, Gene Wilder, wherever you are.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I will always be grateful to Gene Wilder for this moment of transendence and hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ-uV72pQKI

When the movie came out, I was ten or eleven.  I was a short, fat kid who liked to read and was totally uncoordinated(I couldn't run and bounce a ball at the same time. The teasing was relentless.  The sense of self was through the floor.) I realized later that this song helped keep me going.  It said "don't give up.  You have value and strength and there is something within you that matters.  Hang in there and life will get better...you can help MAKE it better".  I think this song, in some way, kept a lot of people like me going and maybe it still does.

Thank you Gene.  Dance with Gilda forever now.

bekayne

I'm in pain, I'm wet...and I'm still hysterical!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzwFOh_m7wA

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Thank you Gene.  Dance with Gilda forever now.

He was truly wonderful.

Also remember that he was married to Karen Boyer for 25 years - they married a few years after Gilda died. I'm sure there was something there, too. ;)

bekayne

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask. The 25 second silent take.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B94lP-fZyLk

Image result for gene wilder sheep silent take

 

mark_alfred

Here's a really good interview with Gene Wilder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezfVc5MGmIU

Great comedian.  And a nice decent guy.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Timebandit wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Thank you Gene.  Dance with Gilda forever now.

He was truly wonderful.

Also remember that he was married to Karen Boyer for 25 years - they married a few years after Gilda died. I'm sure there was something there, too. ;)

No disrespect to Ms. Boyer intended(and I offer my condolences to her as well)..  It's just that the pathos of Gilda Radner's early death is still so deep. From what I heard, even though he was happy in that next marriage, he never quite got over the first loss.   

Unionist
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fred Hellerman, the last surviving member of the blacklisted folk legends The Weavers:

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fred-hellerman-member-of-weavers-folk-group-...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Darren Seals, antiracist and antiviolence activist in Ferguson, MO...found dead with a gunshot wound in a burning car, at age 29.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/07/us/darren-seals-ferguson-activist-found-de...

bekayne
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Alexis Arquette, trans woman, actress and activist:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/11/entertainment/alexis-arquette-obit/index.html

6079_Smith_W
6079_Smith_W

Trịnh Thị Ngọ

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/04/hanoi-hannah-vietnam-war-p...

Very interesting interview on As It Happens last night about how, despite the fact her propaganda was rather wooden, she reported events back in the U.S. that soldiers were not able to hear on regular armed forces radio.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.3790820

 

sherpa-finn

I had not heard of Oscar Brand's passing ... at 96 a life well lived.

I have strong, clear memories of him hosting a folk music show on TV through the 60s. And of course, coming from Woody Guthrie / Pete Seeger roots, his politics were solid.  But he also had a musical sense of humour as I recall....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LhCzNXgBZE

The NY Times article buries the fact that Brand was Canadian born (Winnipeg), and spent many years here, - highlighting his Guiness world record for longevity on the radio (NY based).  It was news to me that Brand was engaged in starting up Sesame Street - and was supposedly teh inspiration for "Oscar the Grouch. 

For anyone so inclined, Michael Enright did a nice interview with Brand five years back. http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1832497802

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

"Port Huron Statement" author, Chicago Seven, defendant and lifelong activist Tom Hayden:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tom-hayden-dead-anti-war-activist_us...

quizzical

Cry

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

"Dance me to the end of love."

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), Canadian literary and music icon, has passed away.

Leonard Cohen Facebook page wrote:
It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.

A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.

En Francais ...

Quote:
C’est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous annonçons que le poète, auteur-compositeur et artiste légendaire, Leonard Cohen est décédé.

Le monde de la musique a perdu un de ses visionnaires les plus prolifiques et vénérés.

Une cérémonie aura lieu à Los Angeles dans les prochains jours.  La famille souhaite vivre le deuil en toute intimité.

 

lagatta

I was going to give Lenny his own thread, as a Great Montrealer and so many other things.

First fucking Trump, then this. I'm in tears.

Dance me to the end of love.

Suzanne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o6zMPLcXZ8

Suzanne by Pauline Julien, another dear departed Montréalaise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxefS7Aao-U

I remember wanting to write a comparative lit essay about Juan Gelman and Leonard Cohen, as Jewish poets from the Pale in Catholic nations at opposite ends of America, by the great rivers that open up to seas, in Catholic, Latin nations. First Gelman died on me, then Cohen. Drat.

We'll think of The Partisan, and Partisans I've known. A few are still alive...

Yes, Cohen could be a self-centred macho prick at times, but he lived long enough to outgrow that, as some never do.

Unionist

My heart broke tonight, even though many said this was coming. And he just published his first album in ages.

He knew it was coming also.

Quote:
If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

There's a lover in the story
But the story's still the same
There's a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it's written in the scriptures
And it's not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They're lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

May you live forever!

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Now Leonard and Marianne are on an eternal Greek island of the cosmos. 

sherpa-finn

For those who haven't seen it, - here is an excerpt of a letter that Cohen sent to his long-ago lover Marianne this past summer, shortly before she died. As Unionist noted above, - he knew his own time was drawing near. 

sherpa-finn

For those who only know Cohen as an old guy, - here is a link to a droll little documentary the NFB did on him back in 1965. 

One day at school (in the late '60s), my High School English Teacher lead us out of class down the corridor to a special AV room, where he then showed us this film. For me, it was a revelation: it was the first time in my life that I saw a living, breathing artist who actually came from my own town.

Why, - I knew those very streets and parks and buildings! The poetry, the humour, the insight - that could happen HERE?

Here's to you, Mr Cohen. And to Donald Brittain and the NFB. And to that teacher, whose name I have long since forgotten.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/ladies_and_gentlemen_mr_leonard_cohen/

PS. Don't think they could show that film in school today - too many cigarettes!

nicky

When I was in St Petersburg about 8 years ago I went to the Anna Akhmatova museum in her old apartment in the Fontanka House. I signed the guestbook and flipped back through the pages looking for English comments. There was Leonard’s signature and a note about his poetic connection with her. I wish I could remember the words.

 When I was back in St Petersburg three months ago I found a new “Greatest Hits” double album, probably pirated, that I had never seen. The clerk’s eyes lit up when I was buying it and I said without thinking, “He’s my countryman.”

 

lagatta

I've read elsewhere that he was buried in Montréal, privately. How did they manage that, given how quickly Jews - and Muslims - are supposed to be buried after death?

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

I've read elsewhere that he was buried in Montréal, privately. How did they manage that, given how quickly Jews - and Muslims - are supposed to be buried after death?

Can't speak for Muslims, but Jews... well, we have spent our whole existence messing with God, and God messes with us. It's a complex relationship. My mother told me she cursed God after the war, for letting her whole family be murdered - but she continued to pray to God in later years. I asked her to explain the apparent contradiction, but she would just shrug her shoulders and change the subject.

Leonard embodied that dynamic too, no?

Quote:
If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game.

I mean, how messed up is that?

Anyway, thanks sherpa-finn and everyone, but I don't think I can read this thread any more. Tears risk short-circuiting my keyboard. What the hell is wrong with me.

ETA: Ok, lagatta, I finally read your post a little more carefully. Even if Leonard died on Monday (as his message board suggests), what leads you to believe he was buried later than Tuesday (which even a pretty strict orthodox reading would allow, or even later, if there were practical problems justifying delay, etc.)? I haven't seen anything about that yet.

lagatta

I spent hours crying, drinking wine and eating flatbread I'd made with olives and cheese. But in a way it was a catharthis and got my mind off the idiocy in the great republic to the south and the repercussions here (environmental for one thing) and throughout the world.

Yes, Unionist, that is among the great themes in Jewish literature the world over, or at least those parts where Jews live. Primo Levi was a scientist, and an atheist, but after surviving Auschwitz made efforts to keep kosher and celebrate the key holidays just because those bastards had tried so hard to kill him for being Jewish (he was also a partisan, and arrested for that. The fascists turned him over to the Nazis as a Jew).

Does Orthodoxy allow burial the next day? I guess they'd have to if the person died late in the evening.

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Does Orthodoxy allow burial the next day? I guess they'd have to if the person died late in the evening.

Yes of course it does. I'm referring to "Orthodox" in the normal North American meaning (as distinguished from Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, etc.). I grew up in that "Orthodox" tradition. I have actually never heard of a burial happening on the same day as a death.

I'm not talking about ultra-Orthodox Haredi cultists. They don't allow anyone anything ever.

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