Monday, November 07, 2011

Andy Rooney died on Saturday at the age of 92 after complications from surgery. Joe Frazier, 67, is weeks if not days away from death, due to the liver cancer he was recently diagnosed with. They are both considered to be giants in their fields, and just the mention of their names demands a certain degree of respect.

When Andy Rooney's death was reported, all kind of media outlets started off by saying that his death was a tremendous loss in the journalism field, and he would be sorely missed. I agree that his presence on 60 minutes will be a loss (as a side note, if you want to live longer than 80, 60 minutes is the gig for you..Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, and Mike Wallace have had their AARP cards since before I was even born), because I thoroughly enjoyed his parting shots. He was cranky and funny, and I'd like to think I am too, although I'm nowhere near as good as he was. But to think Rooney's death is a tremendous loss is absolutely ridiculous.

The man lived to be 92 years old..90 effing 2 years old. We had plenty of time to hear him, laugh with him, pick his brain, etc. In fact, considering most people are dead around 80 years old, we got EXTRA time with Mr. Rooney. So when someone like that dies, it isn't a loss, and it isn't sad, it is a celebration of his life. The only people who can legitimately be sad, are his family members and his immediate co-workers, since they will no longer interact with him. His fans? We should get over ourselves, youtube his clips, read his work, and get to know him even more posthumously.

Now Joe Frazier's inevitable, untimely devise? That is sad. 67 is too early to die, especially for a man who has lived much of his life in Muhmmad Ali's shadow. He needs some time (before he dies) to be thoroughly celebrated for his boxing achievements--much the way Negro leaguers have been celebrated during the past five years or so. Frazier should have been able to enjoy this celebration, only because he was tormented by Ali and others for so damn long. So if HE dies this week or soon thereafter, it is sad, its too soon, and it is a tremendous loss.

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