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Marc Mason is a freelance writer based in Tempe, AZ.

Friday, September 12, 2003  
”Death is everywhere…there are flies on the windscreen…”

Wow. I was hoping to get away from depression topics this week, but for fuck’s sake! The 9/11 anniversary yesterday rolled in, and then today the entertainment world was rocked by the losses of Johnny Cash and the eternal John Ritter.

Herein, I shall share a few thoughts about death:

  • 9/11 Thing that pisses me off the most: the victims being used as propaganda fodder. Folks, no matter how much the Bush Administration tries to claim that those poor souls died for your freedom, it’s bullshit. The people who died in those tragedies died for someone else’s radical philosophy and their hatred. They died because there are millions of people who loathe the American way of life. But they did not die because they put on a uniform and went out and advanced our way of life (the Pentagon victims not withstanding). Dressing up insanity in any cloth is still insanity, whether it’s the government or Al-Qaeda. The 9/11 dead are in the afterlife because they had freedom. There’s a difference.

  • Johnny Cash: He was 71 years old, and he still looked like a man you just didn’t want to fuck with in a bar fight. He was still making relevant and interesting music as well. We could all take more than a bit away from Cash’s full and rich life.

  • John Ritter: This is the one that was a real gut punch for me. Ritter wasn’t even outwardly ill, he just collapsed on the set of his latest sitcom. Six days shy of 55-years old. Christ. Ritter helped define a generation of television comedy for me. He was a consummate professional who always seemed to be able to find a laugh in a script, even if there wasn’t one. Yes, Three’s Company launched him to mega-stardom, and rightfully so; the show had plenty of jiggle, but it was our ability to love Jack Tripper and follow him into the most absurd situations possible that kept it on the air. Later efforts such as Hooperman and Hearts Afire weren’t as huge, but they began to show us that Ritter’s talents were varied and mighty indeed. But it wasn’t until people began taking chances on him in drama, whether his excellent work in Sling Blade or his disturbingly creepy turn as a villain on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, that Ritter really began to get the respect he should have been accorded his entire career. Entertainment is lessened without him.

I’d love to give you a brilliant closing today, but I’m out of words. And I’m tired and talking and thinking about death.


2:38 PM

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