Monday, June 23, 2008

Tributes: George Carlin, Stan Winston and Tim Russert

It is remarkable how, in just the last two weeks, these three moguls of their professions have left this earth forever. The Kings of Comedy, Special Effects/makeup and Journalism are all gone. It evokes the age old stigma that bad news always comes in threes.

George Carlin was the master of language, mostly bad language, but that isn't the point. His joke about the 7 dirty words is simple yet revolutionary; Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and tits. Yeah, I said 'em, so what? Carlin wouldn't have had any it any other way, he challenged the rules of society with his stand-up and for that he should be recognized. His rants on religion and death will be missed and I am sure I'm not the only one who really enjoyed his presence in flicks like Bill and Ted and as an out of touch priest in Dogma.

"I'm getting old. And it's ok, because thanks to our fear of death in this country I won't have to die - I'll pass away. Or I'll expire, like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital they'll call it a terminal episode. The Insurance company will refer to it as "negative patient care outcome." And if it's the result of malpractice they'll say it was a "therapeutic misadventure."- George Carlin, 1937 - 2008

I couldn't believe it when I heard it, Stan Winston is dead. I have marveled at this man's body of work since I was a little kid and only later recognized the man behind the craft when I was in high school studying film for myself. His credits for special effects and makeup include: Pearl Harbor, Constantine, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, The Wiz, Batman Returns, The Thing, All of the Terminator films, Iron Man, All of the Jurassic Park films, Galaxy Quest, Monster Squad, Both Predator films, Amazing Stories (TV) and Aliens. Stan Winston was an old school creator of the same school as Ray Harryhausen, (Clash of the Titans, 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts) but in my belief, he has surpassed Harryhausen in every way. His dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were so real looking, that for a moment, he made it possible for Dinosaurs to roam the earth once more. And most recently when I saw the Iron Man suit for the first time. The one that Stan Winston built to be worn by Robert Downey Jr., it was gorgeous he completely transported me from the comic to the screen in an effortless fashion. He has an incredible body of work and it saddens me to think we will never be able to see what he would have come up with next.

Stan Winston 1946 - 2008

Meet the Press will never ever be the same. Many who know me, know my love of politics and everything that goes with it. I am passionate and I am always hungry for more information about what is going on in my country and in the world. All of this is possible because of a journalism that transcends party, ideology or any kind of bias. It is because of journalists like Tim Russert who work tirelessly to ask the right questions, to be tough but fair and to tell the truth to power that make them invaluable to help discover our future leaders. I always knew when I watched Meet the Press that Tim Russert was prepared and ready to take his guests to task for their political decisions but he would always do it with the greatest respect. He will be greatly missed by this political junky.- Tim Russert 1950 - 2008

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