Haunted by troubling memories, he spent the last years of his life trying to beat a debilitating drug addiction and pouring out his heart to anyone who would listen. The people who knew him in those years open up about the demons that he battled to the end.
RIP Elliott…You’re still missed as much as you were 10 years ago.
So far, the human race has eliminated just one disease in history: smallpox. But it’s on the cusp of adding a second virus — polio — to that list.
One special man in Somalia was at the battlefront of both eradication efforts. He died unexpectedly last week at age 59 of a sudden illness.
Ali Maow Maalin was the last member of the general public to catch smallpox — worldwide. And he spent the past decade working to end polio in Somalia.
World health leaders called Maalin “an inspiration.” Even in the weeks before his death, he was leading anti-polio campaigns in some of the most unstable parts of Somalia.
Maalin’s fight against polio began in 1977. Jimmy Carter had just been elected U.S. president. Apple Computer had just incorporated in California. And the world was on the verge of wiping out smallpox. Decades of vaccination efforts had pushed the virus into one last corner of the world: Somalia.
Maalin, then a hospital cook near Mogadishu, caught smallpox while driving an infected family to a clinic. He was careful not to spread the disease to anyone. And about three years later, Somalia — and the world — were declared free of smallpox.
Photo courtesy of the World Health Organization.
-The Monkees, ‘Daydream Believer’
I used to sing this to Ezra sometimes while I would hold him. I always screwed up the verses, and he seemed generally bewildered but fine with me singing this.
I first heard ‘South of Heaven’ somewhere around 2002 and, like most of my most significant music discoveries, it came to me via the college radio station where I volunteered, WUOG in Athens, Ga. One late-night DJ had an affinity for ridiculously over-the-top power metal like Blind Guardian and Rhapsody and willfully ignored the then-burgeoning, slow-moving post-metal scene stemming from Isis and . But one night, the opening clarion call to “South of Heaven” rang from my dorm room, sounding like one of the records I’d listened to in a year-long classical phase as a kid. On top of it squealed harmonics that bent like hot iron, ponderous and foreboding. I barely let the song reach the chorus before I called the station.
‘WHAT. IS. THIS?’
‘It’s Slayer.’ Click. The exasperated expletive was implied.
Lars Gotrich on the late Jeff Hanneman, the Slayer guitarist who channeled darkness into the sound of a band that exemplifies pain (via nprmusic)
Rest in Metal, Jeff.
We’ll see you at the movies, Roger.
Magnolia Electric Co. - Hard To Love A Man
RIP Jason Molina. Thank you for making beautiful music and getting me through the heartaches of 2004-2009. If you don’t know, listen.
Dr. C. Everett Koop, who was widely regarded as the most influential surgeon general in American history and played a crucial role in changing public attitudes about smoking, died on Monday at his home in Hanover, N.H. He was 96.
…Dr. Koop issued emphatic warnings about the dangers of smoking, and he almost single-handedly pushed the government into taking a more aggressive stand against AIDS. And despite his steadfast moral opposition to abortion, he refused to use his office as a pulpit from which to preach against it.
These stands led many liberals who had bitterly opposed his nomination to praise him, and many conservatives who had supported his appointment to vilify him. Conservative politicians representing tobacco-growing states were among his harshest critics, and many Americans, for moral or religious reasons, were upset by his public programs to fight AIDS and felt betrayed by his relative silence on abortion.
As much as anyone, it was Dr. Koop who took the lead in trying to wean Americans off smoking, and he did so in imposing fashion. At a sturdy 6-foot-1, with his bushy gray biblical beard, Dr. Koop would appear before television cameras in the gold-braided dark-blue uniform of a vice admiral — the surgeon general’s official uniform, which he revived — and sternly warn of the terrible consequences of smoking.
“Smoking kills 300,000 Americans a year,” he said in one talk. “Smokers are 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers, two times more likely to develop heart disease. Smoking a pack a day takes six years off a person’s life.”
When Dr. Koop took office, 33 percent of Americans smoked; when he left, the percentage had dropped to 26. By 1987, 40 states had restricted smoking in public places, 33 had prohibited it on public conveyances and 17 had banned it in offices and other work sites. More than 800 local antismoking ordinances had been passed, and the federal government had restricted smoking in 6,800 federal buildings. Antismoking campaigns by private groups like the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association had accelerated.
Dr. Koop also played a major role in educating Americans about AIDS. Though he believed that the nation had been slow in facing the crisis, he extolled its efforts once it did, particularly in identifying H.I.V., the virus that causes the disease, and developing a blood test to detect it.
(Photos: Paul Hosefros [top] and Teresa Zabala, The New York Times)
Vic Chesnutt - Ruby Tuesday
Took me about a minute to warm up to it, but fucking damn, Vic…
(As my friend Kevin said, “Dan Inouye is welcome to lecture me on Pearl Harbor any. damn. day. of. the. year.” Also to all those folks on Twitter who are using this day as an excuse to tweet racist bullshit, shut. the. fuck.up.)
Rest In Peace, Senator Daniel Inouye. You are a true American hero, especially as a Japanese-American and a disabled American.
His last words were apparently “Aloha”.
I never know what date it is anymore. I don’t even know the day. Anyway I didn’t realize that yesterday was the 7th. Yesterday marked 32 years since Darby Crash died. It was a sad day and the next day John Lennon got shot and everybody forgot about Darby. I never will.
Actually, I like Darby more than John Lennon.
Now I really just want to sit and listen to The Germs.
I guess I should put a trigger warning for discussion of suicide, but this is semi-important Eastern European world news.
BRUSSELS — Serbia’s ambassador to NATO suddenly jumped to his death off a parking garage platform at Brussels Airport while surrounded by his country’s delegation, a diplomat said Wednesday.
The Serbian government said in a statement that Branislav Milinkovic, 52, died on Monday night, during two days of meetings of NATO foreign ministers.
Milinkovic was at the airport to meet deputy foreign minister Zoran Vujic and other officials who were due to hold talks with NATO representatives, three diplomats who knew him said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details. After the delegation arrived, as they walked over to their cars in the diplomatic garage Milinkovic suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over it and jumped, one of the diplomats said.
That’s kind of fucking hardcore. Damn, dude…Seriously, did something happen at the NATO proceedings? Is there some kind of shit that should be worried about?