Maybe I’m morbid, but I love reading the obituaries. I’ve said before that I think some of the best writing in the world comes from those pages, where lives are memorialized and reviewed.
I’ve read thousands of obits, but never one quite like this one, for a woman named Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, of Reno, Nev.
These are the first few lines of the paid obit that her children placed in the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.
Wow. Tell us how you really feel, kids! Read the rest of it here. I have no idea what Mrs. Johnson-Reddick did to her kids, but it sounds like they had a lot of pent-up anger, eh? I know “Mommie Dearest” (above) was based on Joan Crawford, but sounds like Mrs. Johnson-Reddick wasn’t much better.
**This may only bother journalists or ex-newspaper scribes like myself, but I hope it bothers all of you.
Among other things, major college football coaches are incredibly thin-skinned, and are for the most part, incredible bullies. They’re used to getting their way with school presidents, boosters, players, and everyone else who could possibly stand in the way of a victory, and when they don’t, they just push their opposition out of the way.
Who they really like bullying, though, is the media. Yep, those all-powerful (ha!) newspaper and TV reporters are just like pesky gnats to these coaches, and in major college football markets, where worship of the team trumps all, a coach always wins a fight with the media.
But even for coaching bullies, this goes to a disgusting level. Steve Spurrier, the bullying coach at South Carolina who got famous for winning a bunch of games at Florida but really hasn’t won much at all at South Carolina, didn’t like a columnist for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., named Ron Morris.
Morris had had the gall to criticize Spurrier a little bit, and well, ole’ Steve didn’t like that. So he called Morris’ bosses at the paper and said he was unhappy with Morris’ writing and didn’t want to have to deal with him anymore.
And so the newspaper told Morris he wasn’t allowed to write about Spurrier’s team anymore. At all.
So just to be clear: A college football coach tells one of the two biggest newspapers in his state that he doesn’t want to deal with a particular writer. And instead of doing what any decent, humane, ethical paper would do and support your employee, they kowtow to the coach and give him what he wants.
And oh yeah: One of Spurrier’s pals, a big fan of the team, was recently hired by The State as a sportswriter.
Truly despicable. I hope The State never sells another newspaper in their history. And we wonder why these coaches act like their shit doesn’t stink.
**Finally today, comedian Paul Reiser (he of “Mad About You” fame, and man how I loved that show; my wife and I have been watching re-runs on the new FXX channel lately and it’s still hilarious. But I digress.) used to have a bit in the 1990s where he was talking about the incredible number of electronics Japan was selling in the U.S., and how hard it was to keep up with the latest stuff.
“Dear Japan: Stop!” Reiser would say. “Please, please stop.”
I thought about that today when I heard about this ridiculous new innovation from our friends in Tokyo, who just learned they’d be hosting the 2020 Olympics.
Apparently researchers in Japan have come up with a car that starts when you put your butt onto the seat, and it makes sure your car isn’t stolen because it knows your specific ass-print.
I hear this and I just want to say: Japan, please. Go cure cancer or something. Are we really this pathetic that it’s too much effort to start a car by pushing a button or turning a key?