Alexander McQueen Dies Week After Mother’s Death

Alexander McQueen was found dead in his apartment today following the death of his mother the week before. It is speculated that his death was a suicide but there is no conclusive evidence and no foul play is suspected. The passing of Alexander McQueen has left a vast hole in the fashion industry as his revolutionary and seemingly theatre-inspired shows were the reason behind why the British fashion scene was revived.

An inspiration and artist is gone.

Tony Blair On Iraq: I’d Do It Again!

Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood by his rash and immoral decision to help the United States invade Iraq as was stated during his six hour  inquiry about the Iraq war where he showed no regret for his actions but misguided reasoning. He maintained that with the removal of ‘monster’ Saddam Hussein, Iraq and the world was made a safer and better place and if he had had the chance, he would do it again.

The obstinate attitude of the former British Prime Minister did not comfort those who survived the service people who died in Iraq. Instead, they were left with scrambling rhetoric describing how, “The decision I took – and frankly would take again – was if there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction we should stop him” and “This isn’t about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception, it’s a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam’s history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programmes or is that a risk that it would be irresponsible to take?” and “things obviously look quite different” referring to the failure of uncovering the fictional WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction).

Mr Blair was called a ”liar” and a “murderer” by two women while being booed by some of those in attendance as he made closing remarks before the families of the service personnel who died and certain members of the public.

“It was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office and I do genuinely believe the world is a safer place as a result.”

Catcher In The Rye Author J.D. Salinger Dies!

J.D. Salinger, whose novel “The Catcher in the Rye” inspired and influenced the world died at the age of 91.

According to his son, he died of natural causes Wednesday in Cornish, N.H at home where he had lived alone and isolated,

“The Catcher in the Rye”, which has sold 60 million copies worldwide was written by Salinger as a response to the ”phonies” who Salinger says ”made me so depressed I went crazy”.

It is said that the novel represented ”an unfair struggle between the goodness of young people and the corruption of elders, a message that only intensified with the oncoming generation gap”, which many teens and adults identified with. Unfortunately, the novel had also provided inspiration to Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon and then said that ”[Salinger’s] book holds many answers”. Despite this, the book has endured and is still used in schools, also used as a point of discussion on websites, blogs and discussions.

J.D Salinger during this time refused fame finally saying that ”sanity could only come through seclusion”. The main character of Catcher, Holden Caulfied has often been said to draw parallels to Salinger as Holden’s thinking seemed to imitate Salinger’s and provided reasoning for the author’s seclusion. “I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes, that way I wouldn’t have to have any … stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they’d have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. I’d build me a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made.”

An author famous for his self-alienation.

Rest in peace

Exiled Haitian Ruler Donates $8 million To Haiti

Jean-Claude Duvalier nicknamed Bébé Doc or Baby Doc fled to France in 1986 after his government was overthrown but in light of the tragic earthquake that hit his homeland, he has re-emerged with a message and $8 million to send to the Haitian relief effort. He is pleading with the Swiss authorities to allow him to send the money because he no longer has control of it.

In any case, his message, which he was too shaken and emotional to deliver by phone to the Haitian people was sent in a written 438 word statement in French to them.

Dear compatriots,

It is with great horror and a profound emotion, but also with a very great concern, that I have monitored the murderous and devastating consequences of the terrible earthquake that has so piteously struck our country.

In these hours of great national distress, my thoughts go out to the wounded, the victims, particularly the children and the youth, and their families and loved ones.

In this moment of pain and of mourning, I must assure you of my absolute solidarity, and I address to families so cruelly tested, my sincere condolences and my deepest sympathies.I also address my gratitude to all of the mobilized rescue teams for the remarkable work that they accomplish in extremely difficult conditions.

I would like to express my sincere thanks and encourage the tremendous wave of solidarity that all Haitians around the world are showing, and of which the international community is associating itself fully. This community should rest assured of my deep gratitude.

Faced yet again with this heavy and appalling toll inflicted on the people and the land of Haiti, the entire nation must mobilize to overcome these woes.

In spite of the gravity of the situation, I wish to tell you of my hope and my conviction that Haiti will once again find its way, thanks to an exceptional mobilization of the life forces of our country [and] with the assistance of the international community, the path toward a true reconstruction.

Haitian People, I know your extraordinary courage, selflessness, and the sacrifices that you are all capable of to save our country. The painful moments that we live are calling out to a sense of national sacrifice. In these particularly dramatic circumstances for our country, I must express all of my solidarity and my support.

I officially ask Swiss authorities to immediately transfer the entirety of the assets of the Foundation in the name of my late Mother Simone Ovide Duvalier ($8 million) to the American Red Cross with an eye toward bringing emergency assistance, primarily to the populations of the cities of Léogane—the birthplace of my late mother, Carrefour—the birthplace of my late father, and Port-au-Prince, where I was born, as well as Gressier, Pétion-Ville, Jacmel, les Cayes, Petit Goave, Grand Goave…

I have immediately taken measures so that an initial emergency aid of scope reaches Port-au-Prince as soon as possible, and a considerable benevolent network is mobilized to help the population in distress.

To the destitute families, to the homeless, to the affected areas, to the children and the youth, I send a broad message of fraternity (brotherhood) and of solidarity amid this very cruel test.

God save Haiti!

Until next time.

Jean-Claude Duvalier.

Paris, January 15, 2010.

RnB Legend Pendergrass Dies at 59

Teddy Pendergrass was an R&B’s sex symbol in the 1970s and ’80s ”with his forceful, masculine voice and passionate love ballads becoming an inspiration”. Tragically, he was involved in a car accident in 1982 that left him paralyzed from the waist down. 8 months ago he underwent colon cancer surgery, which his son Teddy Pendergrass II said that he was recovering difficultly from. This Wednesday, he died in suburban Philadephia while in hospital at age 59.

“To all his fans who loved his music, thank you, he will live on through his music.”, his son said.

Music he continued making after his car accident meaning he performed even in his wheelchair!

Another inspiration gone

Woman Who Saved Anne Frank’s Diary Dies At 100

Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who sheltered, fed and hid the Frank family in the Second World War and saved Anne Frank’s diary has died at the age of 100. The Anne Frank House museum stated that Gies died sustaining a neck injury during a fall at her home before Christmas.

Anne Frank’s cousin, Bernd (Buddy) Elias said that, ”During the two years she hid Jews from Nazis, she put herself in danger. If they had caught her, she would have been put in a concentration camp herself.” Instead as history indicates, German secret police found Frank and her family hidden in the secret annex and took them to concentration camps where Anne suffered from typhus and died at the age of 15, a mere two weeks before the camp liberated.

This left Gies with Anne’s diary and papers, which she had kept locked in a drawer and never read as she said it would have ”incriminated other helpers”. She gave the papers to the only Frank family member who survived the camps, Anne’s father, Otto, who published the diaries in 1947.

Gies was commended and honoured for her courage by an Israeli Holocaust museum, the German government and the Dutch monarchy though she said that she didn’t deserve as much applause as others did who did ”far more dangerous work”.

The Diary of Anne Frank is now translated into 70 different languages and has allowed millions into the world of the girl secretly hidden in the annex evading Nazi capture.

If it hadn’t been for Miep Gies bravery, no one might have ever known.

Rest in peace

French filmmaker Eric Rohmer Dies At 89

Eric Rohmer died Monday at the age of 89.

He was part of the ”French New Wave that included filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut and, Rohmer”. He was also known for such films as My Night at Maud’s and Pauline at the Beach and Chez Maud, which earned him two Oscar nominations. He always prided himself on showing the hidden life in his characters.

Rest in peace

Bye Bye Leno

The circling rumours of last week did have some truth to them as it has been reported that Jay Leno has been cancelled from his 10 o’clock time slot. This was a 3 month trial period so the dismal ratings that were said to have affected the network financially are not such a loss. This cancellation was also predicted and expected long before last week.

As Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment so aptly put it Leno’s prime-time talk show “didn’t meet affiliates’ needs”. Expect to see no more of Leno come February 12 before the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The risk the network took on Leno is highly criticized by Mediaweek analyst Marc Berman who calls this “the biggest fiasco in the history of television. What they didn’t realize was that the people who watched Leno in late night were not necessarily the same people who watched in prime time, so there was no reason to believe that his audience would follow him to prime time, [and Conan’s show] “Tonight” lost about half its audience “and actually really hurt late night, which is a big profit center for NBC.”

Jerry Seinfeld said it was the right idea, just at the wrong time but thought it was great the network tried someone new.

The decision now is where Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno will be put in terms of time slot.

Gumby Creator Passes On :(

Art Clokey, constantly plagued by bladder infections died in his sleep Friday at home. The animator was the creator of Gumby, the most beloved bendable creation ever, an idea that began just as a school project while he attended the University of Southern California. Later on, Gumby was joined by Pokey the horse finally transferring into action figure form years later. The cow-licked green gingerbread looking Gumby gaining even more popularity when Eddie Murphy included him in a sketch as a cigar-smoking show business primadonna, which Clokey apparently very much liked.

Art Clokey was 88.

Happy 75th Birthday Elvis

Today would have marked year 75 in the life of Elvis Presley who was speculated to have had an addiction to prescription drugs like some others we know and died of cardiac arrhythmia at the young age of 42. In celebration of the late King of Rock n Roll, the Smithsonian Institution present us with the exhibit “One Life: Echos of Elvis” that will be shown at L.A’s Grammy Museum and Washington’s National Portrait Gallery respectively.

Tres sad. Also, we don’t know if this is true but it is said that his autopsy results will not be made public until 2027, which would mark 50 years after his death! We can’t verify this but we will find out in the future.

In any case, the exhibits will be a nice way to remember the iconic gold-caped King.

(He was gorgeous back then, wasn’t he? The dreamboat)

Henry’s Fiancé Recalls Moments Before Chris Henry’s Death

Loleini Tonga speaks about the last moments of 26-year-old fiancé the late Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals’ receiver.

While she was driving away in her truck, Henry had jumped into the back of her pick-up and had found his way onto the road minutes later, dying of blunt-force trauma to the head the next day.

Casey Johnson Autopsy Completed

The autopsy of Johnson & Johnson heiress whose cause of death is still unconfirmed, has been completed. The untimely death of the socialite at the mere age of 30 is speculated to have been drug-related. Even fiance Tila Tequila’s first reaction was that a drug overdose led to her death.

The details of the “cause of [Casey’s] death have been deferred pending the results of the toxicology tests.”

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