Three significant departures in the past week:
1) My wife’s grandfather died. He was a good, noble man. A veteran of WW2 and a true pillar of his community.
2) The freakin-a-Pope has hung up the big hat. His legacy was a short one, historical only in the nature of his departure. He ruled a grand, but troubled institution. Yet nothing indicated that he was a bad man and he faithfully and humbly served as Pope, knowing all along that his would be a short tenure sandwiched between to far greater ones. I doubt he’ll live much longer too.
3) Ray Cusick, designer of Dr. Who‘s Daleks. Clunky, crazy-ass props–and the most ruthless and effective antagonists in the history of television. I don’t know much about him personally or what not, but I love the Daleks.
So what does the passing of these three men have to do with each other? Nothing that I can think of. Gramps wasn’t Catholic and I don’t think he was a big fan of British sci-fi either. What I do know is that just more decent men have moved on and the world somehow feels emptier or weaker for it.
Gramps was a strong, kind man at a time when younger men are soft and selfish. But he always treated everyone with respect and I never heard him speak a bad word about anyone in the years I knew him. Pope Benedict showed humility in a time when everybody is a fucking big shot and the most infantile and vapid become celebrities to instead retire into obscurity. Mr. Cusick made something that was both new and enduring and died at a time where nothing in the arts is original or especially uplifting.
I’m not looking for songs of mourning, really. I will hear the hymns next week at the funeral. Celebrate their lives instead. What they lived through, what they stood for, and what we’d like to see brought back into style. Bring in the music of:
1. The Strong, the Silent, the Dignified. Veterans and Farmers.
2. The Faithful, the Humble, the Gracious. Clergymen and their Churches.
3. The Creative, the Daring, the Lasting. Artists and Their Works
Skaro Bonus: Music for facing off against the evil, otherworldly empire…or being it.
The Saints are Coming by The Skids
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
Ave Maria by Chris Cornell
This is Why We Fight by The Decemberists
Skaro Selection: 10,000 Years by High on Fire