December 28, 2006

Passages of note

My parents' PC is seven years old and seriously underpowered. They have high-speed Internet rather than dialup, which is its one saving grace. But the consequence is that I don't blog as frequently as I would like to. It's too much of a pain. Nonetheless, I always like to note the passage of someone whom I find personally significant for one reason or another. Better late than never.

James Brown (1933-2006)

Notwithstanding his many arrests, multiple marriages and other personal problems, Brown didn't earn the nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" for nothing. A James Brown CD in my personal library was the "gateway" to other funk acts such as Kool and the Gang, Parliament/Funkadelic, and Barry White on the one hand; and more mainstream R&B such as Al Green and the Four Tops on the other.

The world is a less funky place due to his passing, and that's a shame.

Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

At 93, Ford was the longest-lived President of the United States, and the last living one of whom I had no personal memory, being too young to follow the news and international politics any time prior to the Carter administration. From everything I've heard of him, he was an otherwise unremarkable President, other than the fact that it was his job to pick up the pieces of the Nixon era (and the unique circumstance of his presidency, in that he was never elected to the office of Vice-President or President). Still, he served his country with integrity even if he wasn't a legend in his own time, and it's always sad to see a world leader pass into history.