Sic Transit Frank Buckles – 1901 – 2011

Frank Buckles, the last US veteran of World War One and one of only three surviving veterans of that war worldwide, has died at the age of 110. That’s sad, but something less of a surprise than living to 110.

I don’t have too much to say about Buckles. I never met the man, I’ve never seen any interviews with him, and pretty much everything I know about him, I learned by reading his Wikipedia article. But I will say this about the veterans of that war: we need to recognize them better. We have something that is, more or less, a national memorial in, of all places, Kansas City, and that’s fine, but we should have one in DC. There’s efforts afoot to make the DC memorial into the national one, and I’d support that, if we expand and improve it.

Beyond that, we need a better understanding as a people as to what World War One was and why it was the most important event of the 20th century, and arguably one of the most important events in the last thousand years. World War One expanded the use of aeroplanes in combat, expanded the use of radio, was the first major war captured on motion picture film, was the first war moved by the internal combustion engine and was the war that introduced the tank. It was a war that killed so many people the survivors were referred to as “The Lost Generation”.

It also led directly to World War Two. Had the central powers been treated better by the allies, Germany wouldn’t have had some of the problems they had, and it’s unlikely Hitler would have risen to power. Had the war not happened, the Russian Revolution might have been delayed another decade, and we could have been spared Stalin. The war still effects us now, since a lot of the Middle Eastern countries were carved out of what was left of the Ottoman Empire.

So if you drink, raise a glass today to Frank Buckles and the millions of other men who fought and died in that horrible war. Take a moment to remember them, their sacrifice, that war and to hope that nothing like it ever happens again.


Sic Transit Leslie Nielsen – 1926 – 2010

Surely he will be missed.

Leslie Nielsen, formerly known as a great leading man and of late known mostly for slapstick comedy, has died at the age of 84.

Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He took up acting as a young man and spent much of his life living in various places in Canada before finally moving to the USA. Here he began appearing in several movies and TV programs, eventually becoming a leading man and staring in the excellent sci-fi film Forbidden Planet.

As time moved on, Nielsen’s career began to stagnate, but it was revived in 1980 when he starred in a a little-known comedy film that changed his career path forever. From that movie he went on to the role of Frank Drebbin in Police Squad! and The Naked Gun.

His career sadly peaked during the early 1990’s. He made an ill-advised Dracula spoof with Mel Brooks (who was really phoning it in), and appeared in several other “spoof” films, none of which captured the magic of his first spoof roles.

Nielsen’s death came from complications of pneumonia. While not really a great and towering talent, the man was good at what he did, and he will indeed be missed.

Sic Transit Teddy Kennedy – 1932 – 2009

I'm making damn sure this picture is positioned well to the left of center.

I'm making damn sure this picture is positioned well to the left of center.

Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy has died. He was the brother of Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy and the senior Senator from Massachusetts.

Kennedy was a controversial character at times. Like all the more notable Kennedys he’s had his problems, but no one can doubt that he was a dedicated, hard-working man who did his best by his state and his country.

He was the last of the great Kennedy figures; the Tier One Kennedys, if you will. Like Robert before him he tried for the Presidency and unlike John he didn’t succeed. He was a hell of a Senator, though, and will be missed.

Ok, That’s Enough, Now!

Now who will take care of her pussy?

Now who will take care of her pussy?

Celebs are just dropping like flies these days, eh? First Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays.

Now in round two of Celebrity Die-Off, we have Harve Presnell, Karl Malden and Mollie Sugden! What a horrible last couple weeks it’s been to be famous.

If nothing else, at least this should put to rest the stupid notion that celebrity deaths always occur in threes!

Sic Transit Billy Mays (1958 – 2009)


Hi, Billy Mays here for Oxi-Heaven!

Are you tired of afterlives that promise you everything, but deliver nothing? Then try new Oxi-Heaven! It gets your halos brighter than bright, with harps that sound like the voices of angels!

Call now and as a special offer, we’ll give you Oxi-Purgatory absolutely free with your order, but you gotta call now!

(we’ll miss you, Billy! Pitchmen was great and fascinating!)

Sic Transit Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)

The King (of pop) is dead.

The King (of pop) is dead.

Michael Jackson has died (thus managing to steal the limelight from Farrah Fawcett). The former King of Pop apparently had a massive heart attack and died in a hospital after being briefly revived.

Jackson was, to put it mildly, someone who was the subject of much controversy through his life. He had some very odd personal habits and was accused (and found not guilty), of child molestation. His family has been the subject of much strangeness as well.

I was never really that into Michael Jackson’s music, but it was hard to ignore growing up during the 1980’s and 1990’s. He did sing some really great songs, like the “Thriller” and “Billie Jean”. He was an amazing entertainer.

In the long run, we’ll forget all about his bizarre habits and the possible child molestation. We’ll focus instead on the music he made, and ultimately, that’s what’s most important.