They say that famous people always die in sets of three, and the last couple of weeks have sadly provided more grim support for that theory. I want to take a moment to reflect on each of these great men, as each of their deaths taken separately would have been a severe blow — taken together, in such a short time, they have left me utterly devastated.
The loss of Nelson Mandela, of course, was a total, terrible shock. I am still trying to make sense of it. What a great, great man. You can tell by all the other great people who are mourning him on Twitter how great he was. He fought for peace, and through nonviolence was able to make his country accept minorities like himself, so that he was eventually able to become president of Africa. Remember that song “Sun City”? The video was on MTV all the time in the ’80s, and they were talking about Mandela and apartheid. Stringer Bell from “The Wire” is playing Mandela in a movie coming out soon, and he is awesome, so I am looking forward to learning more about this great man, taken from us far too soon. Who knows what else he might have achieved?
Lou Reed obviously needs no introduction. I never actually listened to any of his records, but I love the Tribe Called Quest song that uses that one bass line of his. And his contribution to the art of wearing sunglasses cannot be overstated. They say that only a few people bought the first Velvet Underground album, but all of them went out and started bands. Well, to this day I have never listened to the first Velvet Underground album, but I started a few bands anyway — that’s how huge Lou Reed’s influence has been on my life. I am absolutely gutted that he’s gone, because now I’ll never get the chance to understand his genius.
Finally and most painfully, the tragic death of that guy from the car movies. I only saw the first one, where he’s still a super handsome cop, but he gave a layered, subtle performance, with the fast driving and the hooking up with Jordana Brewster. I hear the later ones where he becomes a super handsome crook who drives fast and marries Jordana Brewster are even better. I tried to get some time off from work so I could fly out to Los Angeles and visit the crash site, but the jerks I work for didn’t see it as a valid emergency, so I was stuck in my cubicle watching YouTube videos of people grieving at the crash site. He touched so many lives.
I appreciate all of your support over the last few weeks, it’s meant so much to me. I may never be whole again, but I owe it to these great men — Nelson Mandela, Lou Reed, and the guy from the car movies — to try to pick up the pieces and carry on.