Tag Archives: Tributes

Literary Tribute: Rachel Carson “Dreams Of The Sea” (The New Yorker)

The New Yorker Radio Hour logoBefore she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a graduate student in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Her early books—including “The Sea Around Us,” “The Edge of the Sea” and “Under the Sea Wind”—were like no other nature writing of their time, 

The Edge of the Sea Rachel CarsonJill Lepore says: Carson made you feel you were right there with her, gazing into the depths of a tide pool or lying in a cave lined with sea sponges. Lepore notes that Carson was wondering about a warming trend in the ocean as early as the 1940s, and was planning to explore it after the publication of “Silent Spring.” If she had not died early, of cancer, could Carson have brought climate change to national attention well before it was too late?

Excerpts from Carson’s work were read by Charlayne Woodard, and used with permission of Carson’s estate.

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.

Bio from Wikipedia

Video Tributes: British Race Driving Legend Sir Stirling Moss (1929-2020)

Sir Stirlin MossPaying tribute to a racing icon and sporting legend. Rest in peace, Sir Stirling Moss. We’ll miss you.

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE was a British Formula One racing driver. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he won 212 of the 529 races he entered across several categories of competition and has been described as “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship”.

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Tributes: “Mad Magazine” Cartoonist Mort Drucker Dies At 91 (1929-2020)

Mort Drucker Five Decades of His Finest WorksMAD Magazine and DC Comics mourn the loss of Mort Drucker, whose artwork proved that parody is the sincerest form of flattery. “Mort was one of the best—maybe the best—caricature artists in the world,” said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. “His work will continue to entertain for generations.”

Mort entered the comics field when he was 18, working as a production artist for DC. His first original piece of art was a one-pager titled “Tinker Tom Shows You How to Make Fancy Western Duds,” published in All-American Western #117 in December 1950. In 1956, Mort met with MAD publisher Bill Gaines during a Dodgers vs. Yankees World Series game. “If the Dodgers win, you’re hired,” said Gaines. They did win, and Mort began a career at MAD that would span the next five decades, and most notably brought to life the magazine’s infamous parodies of TV shows and films.

Mort won numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1987. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2015 became the inaugural recipient of the National Cartoonists Society’s Medal of Honor. He received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston, and his TIME Magazine covers hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

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Today: 250th Anniversary Of William Wordsworth’s Birth – “That Inward Eye”

From an Apollo Magazine article (April 7. 2020):

‘They flash upon that inward eye
 Which is the bliss of solitude’
William Wordsworth Daffodils - I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud - Amazon photo‘We are fond of tracing the resemblance between Poetry and Painting,’ wrote William Wordsworth  (1770–1850) in the famous ‘Preface’ to Lyrical Ballads (1800), ‘and, accordingly, we call them Sisters.’ To speak of the ‘sister arts’ was indeed a critical platitude of the age, though as it happens Wordsworth’s attitude towards painting wasn’t normally very sisterly. 


Apollo Magazine logoWhen, in 1840 or so, a well-meaning houseguest called Margaret Gillies made a drawing of the 70-year old Mrs Wordsworth, everyone agreed that it was an excellent likeness; but her kind act was rewarded with a testy and somewhat ungracious sonnet from the sitter’s husband. He preferred to visualise Mary in her salad days: ‘’tis a fruitless task to paint for me, / Who, yielding not to changes Time has made, / By the habitual light of memory see / Eyes unbedimmed, see bloom that cannot fade, / And smiles that from their birth-place ne’er shall flee / Into the land where ghosts and phantoms be’.
All she possesses, as a painter, is the outward eye: ‘that inward eye’ is the poet’s hallmark, as of course Miss Gillies would have known from Wordsworth’s most famous poem, the one about the daffodils – ‘They flash upon that inward eye / Which is the bliss of solitude’. By chance we know (because Wordsworth left it on record, saying they were the best thing in the poem) that those two lines were actually contributed by Mary, so the uxoriousness of the thing is double: not only does she evade the merely visual but she also possesses the innate genius to be able to name the imaginative power that so transcends it.

Tribute: Architect-Author Michael Sorkin – “City Air Makes You Free” (1948-2020)

From an Apollo Magazine online article (March 31, 2020):

Michael Sorkin All Over The MapUltimately he was a humane critic of the contemporary city, a serious, funny and poetic voice defending the powerless against big capital and an articulator of how architecture should be used as a tool of resistance. He is indelibly associated with New York, a city he loved with a fervour despite its faults, and of which he defended every inch as a public good. Number 210 in his list was the medieval German phrase ‘Stadtluft macht frei’ – ‘city air makes you free’. He will survive through his magical writing, which makes us all a little freer.

Michael Sorkin, who died last week of complications due to Covid-19, gained his reputation as the architecture critic of The Village Voice in New York, which, in the 1980s, was a publication with a formidable reach and impact on a city just beginning to boom again. He launched fierce attacks against the banality of the contemporary city, the rapacity and greed of developers (notably the current president, including in a 1985 piece entitled ‘Dump the Trump’) and the loss of great landmarks. But he was no nostalgist; he revelled in the potential of architecture to catalyse change and excoriated his contemporaries for caving in to big business, for building prisons and being complicit in a denuded public realm.

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Tributes: 81-Year Old Country Singer Kenny Rogers Dies (1938 – 2020)

Kenny Rogers Facebook March 21 2020March 21, 2020 – The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81.  Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.
In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world. Chart-topping hits like “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands In The Stream,” “Lucille,” “She Believes In Me,” and “Through the Years” are just a handful of Kenny Rogers’ songs that have inspired generations of artists and fans alike.
Rogers, with twenty-four number-one hits, was a Country Music Hall of Fame member, six-time CMA Awards winner, three-time GRAMMY® Award winner, recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award honoree in 2015 and has been voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.
The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency.  They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.

Tributes: Swedish-Born French Actor Max Von Sydow Dies At 90 – “The Exorcist” & “Star Wars”

From a Deadline online article (March 9, 2020):

Max Von Sydow The ExorcistBorn in Lund, Sweden, von Sydow studied at Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre before getting his start in the film business through his work with mentor Ingmar Bergman. The pair’s credits included world cinema classic The Seventh Seal, in which he portrays a man who plays a chess game with Death, the Oscar-nominated Wild Strawberries, and the Oscar-winning The Virgin Spring.

Max von Sydow, the Sweden-born French actor whose credits included Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, and the role of Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon, has died at the age of 90.

The actor’s 65-year career spanned acclaimed arthouse, Hollywood blockbusters, and television. In recent years, he played Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Three-Eyed Raven in Game Of Thrones, and voiced a character on The Simpsons.

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