Peter Roebuck, cricketer, coach, writer, broadcaster and advocate, died tragically on Saturday night in Cape Town at the age of 55. Much has already been written about his acclaimed legacy. Much more will be written about his complexities. I just want to share one anecdote.
You are here
"RIP Steve Jobs. You left your mark on our desks, on our ears & in our hands."
- Darren Rovell, CNBC sports business reporter, Twitter, 5.10.11
I loathe Apple Inc. Never owned an Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad (let alone Lisa or Newton). Uninstalled iTunes after a few months because I considered it malware. I loathe Apple's monopolistic practices, their aggressive litigiousness, their Chinese labour exploitations. But for all that, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs was a truly great man whose influence will be missed following his death, following multiple battles with cancer, on Wednesday aged 56.
It's probably corny to describe Dennis Hopper as an "icon among iconoclasts", but the mark he left on motion picture history was notable and much admired. And not just because he lived to the age of 74 despite decades of drugs and alcohol.
Hopper died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was meant to visit Australia last year to open an exhibition of his photography in Melbourne. He had to pull out at the last minute, and made no further public appearances.
I was not a fan of Michael Jackson. I didn't hugely go for his music. I found his persona and general behaviour in adult life to be repugnant. He was either a pedophile, or dangerously and recklessly naive in his attitude to children.
However, his impact on late 20th century culture was undeniable. I don't doubt the sincerity of the grief shown for him today, even if I am not a part of it myself.
Hearing the news in the past hour of the death of Bud Tingwell from prostate cancer at the age of 86 is a bit like feeling that part of Australia's heart and soul has just passed away. A great, lovely, Australian.
There was a time when Charlton Heston, who died yesterday at the age of 83, was a hero of mine. Then I began to appreciate some of the subtleties of screen acting. And well before he became chief evangelist for the Gun Lobby. In the tradition of my Jack Palance obituary, here is my Top Ten List In Chronological Order of my favourite Charlton Heston screen appearances:
"It is true that I liked him and valued his friendship"
- Paul Keating on Suharto, "Engagement" (2000)
Is there anything nice to say about a man who was responsible for the deaths of more than a million people, crushed at least three national independence movements, and embezzled billions of dollars? And to whom a succession of Australian Prime Ministers acquiesced most shamefully? (As, famously, did Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger.)
A couple of weeks ago, Al Jazeera English hosted a discussion of Suharto's legacy. Video (in two parts) on Youtube below. And check out, in particular, Suharto's former economic adviser as he defends his former boss.
I've just learned of the passing this morning of one of my real heroes. The voice of Frank Hyde calling the rugby league on Saturday and Sunday afternoons was an integral part of my life for about two decades. His career as a broadcaster stretched back far before that, and even earlier came his playing career with Newtown, North Sydney and Balmain. Everyone loved him, he was such a charming man.
Vale Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007.