Sad little sentences.

Lately I’ve been collecting short passages of unbearable poignance. I think this is the saddest widdle two-sentence paragraph in the whole, sad world:

(“Miami Vice” actor Philip Michael) Thomas also invented the phrase “EGOT”, meaning “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony”, in reference to his plans for winning all four. Thomas achieved a People’s Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination but lacked even a nomination for any of the aforementioned awards.

Here’s the runner-up:

Jon-Erik Hexum (November 5, 1957–October 18, 1984) was an American actor and model, best known for accidentally killing himself on a television set. …Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a prop gun loaded with blanks on the set of the CBS series Cover Up, a program about a pair of fashion photographers/models who were actually secret agents.

On October 12, 1984, after finishing a scene in which he fired several blank rounds from a .44 Magnum revolver, Hexum’s character was supposed to unload the gun and reload it with inert dummy rounds, which was required for the next scene in the script — a procedure that Jon-Erik was not familiar with, and which was usually done by the prop masters. The shooting of the next scene was delayed several times. While waiting for the prop masters to unload the blanks from the gun, Hexum jokingly put the gun up to his temple and allegedly said, “Let’s see if I get myself with this one.”

Hexum apparently did not realize that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired at point-blank range, especially if pointed at a particularly vulnerable spot, such as the temple or the eye.

No, I think I found the saddest part:

The same month that Hexum died, an issue of Playgirl magazine came out, featuring a photo shoot that Hexum had done shortly before his demise.

Stay away from Wikipedia when you’re depressed, man. You’ll start drinking at noon.

On the other hand, there’s something about the phrase “a pair of fashion photographers/models who were actually secret agents” that is just too ’80s for words.

I didn’t have a TV that functioned properly for much of the ’80s, so I missed “Cover Up.” I did watch “Miami Vice,” though. Everybody did. Friday night Vice, then out for an evening of fun. There was a copy editor in Fort Wayne who hosted MV parties, and one of the earliest clues to what I’d just moved from the big city for came when the wife of his boss fretted that these parties were “a bad influence” on the young, single people on staff. And there weren’t even any drugs! Fort Wayne in those days was truly the land that time forgot.

Eh. Been thinking about that place too much lately. Let’s turn our gaze forward for a change:

Came across this photo of Flickr; it’s an aerial photo of Windmill Point, the terminus of many of my bike rides. You can always tell when you’re approaching the Detroit border, because the trees thin out so quickly. Detroit hasn’t had the resources to properly care for its arboreal resources in some time, and it shows in this photo, where you can pretty much trace the Grosse Pointe/Detroit border by where the greenery deepens. The tidy little marina at lower right is Windmill Point Park, in GP; the rectangular patch immediately to its left is Mariner’s Park in Detroit, where I usually turn around. The next photo in the series shows an area south of there; I added a note. Those twin canals are where I learned to row (and decided rowing wasn’t for me, at least not at 5 a.m. on summer mornings). The Fisher Mansion is now owned by Hare Krishnas. A previous owner of the mansion filled in the water garage where Fisher kept his yacht; during Prohibition, he and his guests would climb aboard, motor out and drink legally on the Canadian side.

Guess who bought the house for the Hare Krishnas? Alfred Ford, Henry’s great-grandson, and Elizabeth Reuther, Walter’s daughter. Both were Hare Krishnas. Will children ever stop disappointing their parents? Not bloody likely.

Oh, on the peninsula in the middle of those two canals is an upscale new housing development — gated, of course — called Grayhaven. Every house has water access; go out your back door and you’re on the Great Lakes. Parts of this city are a well-kept secret indeed.

Do we have bloggage? Not bloody much, but let’s see how we can do:

Does the world really need another take on Caligula? Well, we can’t let Bob Guccione have the last word, can we?

Why the internet ROOOLZ: Men who look like old lesbians. Found via Simon Doonan, who gives us a few amusing new sobriquets for power dykes: “the Muffia,” who live in “Carpet Village.”

Well, that oughta keep you folks busy. If you haven’t died of boredom already. I have an interview in eight minutes, so I best be outta here.

Posted at 8:24 am in Popculch |

20 responses to “Sad little sentences.”

  1. 4dbirds said on October 18, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I don’t know why, perhaps I saw someone who looked like in on TV, but it was only a few days ago that I asked my husband what the name was of the actor who shot himself in the head with a blank.

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  2. James said on October 18, 2007 at 9:27 am

    All men look like slightly masculine women when they get older… I think it has to do with the decreased production of testosterone.

    That still doesn’t explain Wes Anderson, though…

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  3. alex said on October 18, 2007 at 9:41 am

    My gawd. And Michelle Lee looks like a methed-out twink.

    In the ’80s, my vice wasn’t Vice but Dynasty. We used to meet every Wednesday night for the Dynasty Party. In addition to endless cocktails, we did shots of whiskey every time Alexis said or did something, but I can’t remember what it was at this point. Then we’d go out and hit the bars afterward.

    I remember one night in particular where I was especially soused. Somebody plied me pretty good at Henry’s after the Dynasty party. I got into my car to drive home and promptly got pulled over for having a headlight out. I’m sure I reeked and I’m sure the officer noticed that I was staggering when I got out of the car, went up to the offending headlight and popped it one with my fist, at which time it came back on. He was so impressed he let me go.

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  4. Laura said on October 18, 2007 at 9:52 am

    That’s not Michelle Lee; that’s Steven Tyler. I figured the Lee ID was a joke.

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  5. Dorothy said on October 18, 2007 at 10:39 am

    I recognized Steven Tyler, too. Scary to think that Alex actually believed it might be her!

    Indulge me here with a story from my past regarding (sort of) Miami Vice: When my kids were little I was out shopping them, and it was lunch time. I asked my daughter where she wanted to eat that day. I suggested Long John Silvers. Her reply was “I don’t want to go to Don Johnson Silvers!” To this day I can’t call that place by its right name.

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  6. LA mary said on October 18, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Did any of you see Wayne Newton on Dancing with the stars? There was some weird plastic surgery going on there. Weird everything.

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  7. LA mary said on October 18, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I found a story today on MSNBC that wasn’t really sad, but proved that Oprah is not like the rest of us, except in making excuses for gaining weight.

    I figure if she gets a month in Hawaii for gaining 20 pounds, I’m good for a year in Tahiti.

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  8. 4dbirds said on October 18, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Oh the thyroid thing just made me laugh. Why can’t she admit that she has a lifetime of weight problems because she eats too much. People in third world countries are stressed out too but they aren’t gaining weight as a result of it.

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  9. Laura said on October 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I’m with Oprah on this one. I am eating under 1500 calories/day, exercising every day, and generally killing myself so I don’t gain (yes, gain) any more weight. I’m starting to feel like if I’m ever going to lose lbs, I’ll have to live on celery and water. I know my chubby frame has nothing to do with overeating, 4dbirds, so I totally feel Oprah’s pain.

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  10. Carmella said on October 18, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Alex, I can see Dudley Moore playing the part of you in that scene!

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  11. 4dbirds said on October 18, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I know I’m going to sound harsh but 1500 calories a day is probably all an average sized woman doing moderate exercise can have to not gain weight. To lose, you’ll have to go under that or really up the exercise. Oprah is gaining and it isn’t because of any thyroid. It’s because she’s eating too much and not exercising enough. I would feel more sympathy for her if she didn’t photoshop herself on her self indulgent magzine cover. We don’t live on farms anymore. We don’t do continuous activity anymore. There’s a reason suburbanites with cars are heavier than urbanites without them.

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  12. Dorothy said on October 18, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I swear I’m not related to Oprah in any way, shape or form. But having gone through thryoid problems this year myself I think I have to say that she’s probably telling the truth. I was diagnosed earlier this year as having Grave’s Disease. I had no symptoms other than losing weight and not even trying to. I lost about 17 lbs. My blood work at a yearly exam in January showed elevated thyroid levels, and after seeing an endocrinologist, I found out about the Graves.

    I had a thyroid ablation – swallowed radioactive iodine in a dose large enough to destroy my thyroid. Now I have to be on thyroid medicine the rest of my life. AND the 17 lbs. came back on and then a few more. I still ate the same way as usual. But the thyroid is a very intricate gland and affects many processes in the body. I was told to expect this.

    I worked with several other women at my previous job who had underactive thyroids (which is what Oprah says she has now) and all of them said weight gain is an ongoing and continual process with them.

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  13. Laura said on October 18, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Actually, doctors say more like 2000 cals/day. I live in a walking neighborhood (no need for a car except for groceries) and have a lively dog, so (when you add in the daily trips to the gym) I’m moving quite a bit more than moderately. You’re just plain wrong about Oprah. I’ve always found that ‘fat people are weak’ stance to be rather short-sighted and snobby, even when I’m svelte.

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  14. LA mary said on October 18, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    I’m picking on Oprah because of the photoshopped magazine covers and her years of telling people to get off their butts and do it her way. I’m overweight now and I know it’s because I’m not exercising and half the time I end up eating some junk at my desk for lunch. I know thyroids change and can control things, but we’ve all known people who live on macaroni and cheese and pepsi who claim they have underactive thyroids. I think Oprah should just accept herself and take month long vacations in Hawaii just because she can. This is the woman who told us that not getting into the Hermes store in Paris after it was closed was the worst thing that ever happened in her life.

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  15. Laura said on October 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    LA mary, my biggest problem isn’t my weight, its my problem with what I like to call reverse anorexia. No matter what my size, I think I look absolutely fabulous.

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  16. LA mary said on October 18, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Same here. I am who I am, take it or leave it. I know it’s healthier to be thinner, so on that level I’ve got some guilt.

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  17. 4dbirds said on October 18, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I never said fat people were weak and I am certainly no snob. I have empathy for anyone trying to lose weight as I was once up to 220 pounds. I do question the need to find other reasons for extra weight. I am a diabetic who had to get real serious about my weight, exercise and what types of food I put in my mouth. I found that I really didn’t know what a ‘portion’ was. When I started measuring and weighing food, I found that I was eating a lot more than I thought I was. What I thought was a serving of about 200 calories of a certain food was in fact more like 400 to 600 calories. That was a real eye opener. I also found in my quest to keep my diabetes under control that to really feel satisfied, I was overeating. I think that is just biology. Our bodies are always preparing for the next famine. Several years ago this 100 year old guy was being interviewed about the secret of his longevity. He said “I always leave the dinner table hungry”. I think he was on to something

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  18. brian stouder said on October 18, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    a comment from the cheap seats –

    maybe Oprah Inc is living proof of the saying that you can never be too rich or too thin

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  19. LA mary said on October 18, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I think she is actually too rich.

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  20. ashley said on October 19, 2007 at 1:43 am

    Is Ric Ocasek still making those monthly payments to the devil? Is he still married to Pavlina Porizkova? (Hint: same answer to both questions)

    And sorry, but for a boy who grew up on the beach (note the tan), the idea of Miami Vice parties in Fort Wayne is just hysterical.

    I remember PMT having a necklace with an EGOT charm on it. He was just pissed because Don Johnson wrote songs for the Allman Brothers. That, and the coke-can thing.

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