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A Tribute

So much amazing talent in the Arts & Entertainment industry has been lost this year. So much so that it seems 2016 is on some kind of sick, twisted Vengeance Quest to see just how many beloved celebrities it can strip away from us.

I’ve half-jokingly urged the remaining celebrities to change their identities and cease being famous until after January 1 just to increase their chances of survival. 2016 has been similar to one huge, terrible disaster movie.

It was bad enough that David Bowie was the first to go, just two days after his birthday and the release of his self-created epitaph (Blackstar). But then just four short days later, Alan Rickman passes away as well. RIP, Professor Snape. I know he has had many, many other roles, but that is probably the one he will be remembered for by the current generation of movie-goers.

Both of them were 69 years old, as were many of the others who passed this year. I feel like a (non-sexual) 69-Club has been established in 2016 to complement the 27-Club began in 1969 by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones…I wonder if there’s some deeper cosmic meaning to that…

But Bowie isn’t the only loss to the musical world. 2016 saw the passing of Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane) eighteen days later. Prince, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael all passed away this year as well. They are sorely missed by all of us who love music.

In the realm of television and movies a seemingly large number of great talent has passed as well. The 27-Club was joined by Anton Yelchin on June 19 due to an auto accident. I considered his death to be a particularly great loss to the A&E world. Not only because he was so young, but because he’d already racked up a number of excellent movie credits and it would have been a wonder to see where his career took him.

While scrolling slowly through my Facebook feed the other day I saw a picture of Stan Lee before I saw the entire post and shouted out loud “DAMMIT, 2016!” Then I saw it was only a Happy Birthday post. A wise commenter in that thread urged us all to keep eyes on Stan so he isn’t done in by the curse that is 2016.

The man in the ALF costume which so many of my generation tuned in to see died as well. Out of nostalgia I will marathon the show at some point early in 2017. I’ve already been marathoning Bowie’s albums, and unintentionally, Yelchin’s movies. Turns out he was in way more movies than I had originally thought.

Zsa Zsa Gabor of Green Acres, Alan Thicke of Growing Pains, and two literary giants: Umberto Eco and Harper Lee all left us in 2016 as well.

And as I finish writing this, a poet of the beat generation has shuffled loose the mortal coil. RIP David Meltzer.

I can’t draw to save my life, but if I could, I would draw a scene showing Lou Reed, Freddie Mercury, and all the other amazing musicions who have passed welcoming Bowie, Kantner, and Cohen to the Great Gig in the Sky…

Dear 2016, you may die in a fire now. K THX BAI.

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