Friday Roundup

Hey, everybody! Any news this week?

Well. Things are awful. As to the election, I had a long rant composed in my brain, but I'm going to hold off on it for the moment. We have four years of intensive damage control ahead of us, and we will need great amounts of strength, courage, and kindness, all of which seem to be in short supply at times.

We lost a pair of greats this week. First up: Rest in peace, Robert Vaughn, you magnificent, beautiful, brilliant bastard.

I don't have any idea how to properly eulogize him, other than to say that his performance as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s Napoleon Solo is a thing of shining brilliance. He was hilarious and clever and dashing and weird all at once; Vaughn, with the aid of his just-as-marvelous co-star David McCallum, created one of my all-time favorite television characters. I recently wrote in one of my U.N.C.L.E. recaps that I hoped Vaughn would live forever. Unlikely, I knew, but if anyone could manage immortality, Napoleon Solo might be the right man.

Love you, Vaughn. McCallum, you stay healthy and hang in there for many more years, please.

The second giant to leave us is, of course, Leonard Cohen. Ever since the election, I've been listening to "Everybody Knows" on permanent repeat, because the lyrics seem exquisitely appropriate to this weird, dark moment in history: Everybody knows the boat is sinking/Everybody knows that the captain lied/Everybody's got that broken feeling/Like their father or their dog just died.

Yeah. That's how I'm feeling.

Switching gears: If you haven't yet, please do check out the Duranalysis Facebook page. It's only been up for a week, but it's already bringing together a bunch of very cool commenters, which I am delighted about. There's some good stuff there. I'm going to continue to update it frequently with fresh short-form content, like the cartoon below (right-click the image and open in a new tab, if it's too small to read):

You can get the Kindle versions of two of my books free at Amazon today: Bias Cut (IPPY silver medal winner, ABNA semifinalist) and Lonely Satellite (ABNA quarterfinalist). Bias Cut is a mystery set in the fashion industry; Lonely Satellite is an alternate-timeline version of Bias Cut set in a post-atomic wasteland, so whichever one you choose (I would suggest both, actually) depends upon how nihilistic you're feeling this week.

Song to take us into the weekend: More Leonard, of course.

Robert and Leonard, I will pour a glass in your honor tonight. Thanks for all the wonderful memories, gentlemen.

Strength and kindness, everyone.


Illesdan said…
Crap, are you serious?! I saw absolutely NOTHING about Robert Vaughn passing away! That is awful! I had read about Cohen, but Vaughn? I'm really disappointed I didn't see this in any of my media feeds... And I'll really be embarrassed if I go and look and see that it's been in the newspaper...
Morgan Richter said…
It's just been announced within the past hour, but it's being reported by reliable sources (BBC et al). I'm so fricking sad about it.
DKoren said…
WHAT?? Robert Vaughn died?? Noooooo. I had not heard this sad news yet. :( :( :( On top of everything going on, that happens. So very sad. RIP, good sir.

Enjoying the Duranalysis FB page, though I haven't been on that much!! Sort of avoiding FB, as it's too depressing right now, but I'll check in shortly when things calm down a bit.
Morgan Richter said…
Deb, I've been staying away from my own FB page, so I totally understand your feelings.

Yeah. Terrible week. Absolutely awful. Vaughn (and Cohen) led a very long and productive life, but it's still terrible news.
montereysnow said…
Aw man. I was at work all day and didn't see this story until 7:00 p.m.

I know I am new to posting on your sites, but I didn't know where else to go after reading about Robert Vaughn.

Ever since Tuesday, it feels like I keep trying to get up only to get kicked in the gut again.

Your picture and song selections are perfect.

I'm so sad about this. Facebook is full of it. I'm okay then I look at Facebook and I start crying. He was such an amazing, glittering piece of insane perfection. And I'm sad for David McCallum's grief. I'm sad for it all. There are a lot of virtual hugs going around right now, so here's one for you too ((()))
Morgan Richter said…
montereysnow, I love having you commenting here, and this is the perfect place to talk about Vaughn. It's been a long, hard week.

Aconitum: "amazing, glittering piece of insane perfection" is a beautiful description of Vaughn. McCallum gave a heartbreaking statement: “I just heard the news, and I’m utterly devastated. Robert and I worked together for many years and losing him is like losing a part of me. "

Virtual hugs right back, to everyone who could use one right now.
Anonymous said…
I learned about his death here, on this site, which was like having a friend tell me. So thanks for that also. Sorry I keep signing in as anonymous but I forgot my password and I'm not in the mood to reset it.
Morgan Richter said…
Anonymous -- Aw, yeah, terrible news is always easier to take when you're amongst friends. I hope you're holding up okay.
mousie mouse said…
i only ever read some of the man from uncle recaps, but i still managed get a sense of how fun vaughn was from what you wrote. have some virtual hugs from me, too.

i think i'm going to take a break from commenting on the internet in general until the new year. i can get along just fine when i'm not having to process new news about the upcoming presidency or new losses from the world of pop culture, but if i spend too long thinking about it all it gets very hard to keep working on things. (to my own surprise, my (actual, not named after a soft drink) facebook feed is uniformly as upset as i am, so it hasn't been quite as toxic to go back on there for me. going into town is worse, living where i do.) plus, i've had my hands too full to really take the time to comment anyway. the duranalysis page seems to be coming right along (42 likes! :O congratulations!), so you probably won't even miss me for just a month and a half! :)
montereysnow said…
I hope everyone made it through the weekend okay.

Now that some time has gone by I have a Vaughn story to share that I hope brings smiles since I think it fits into the impressions most people here have of him.

Through the happenstance of life, I work in the town in which Robert Vaughn lived.

Several years ago, I was at the movies with my husband to see About A Boy and realized the chatty older guy behind me was Robert Vaughn.

He did stop talking when the movie started, but boy did he enjoy himself.
I don't know if I have the words to describe the sounds he was making. He wasn't so much laughing as kind of snorting and saying things such as tsk, huh, oh, oh my.
I found myself laughing at him more than the movie. It was like being at the movies with your grandfather.

I wish I could say I got a really good look at him when the movie was over, but not being the type to stare at celebrities, I just stole a glance. It didn't really matter though because I just got such a kick out of listening to this guy chortle through the movie.

It always made me smile when I remembered this incident, and I hope it brings a smile to you too.
Morgan Richter said…
mousie, I think your internet commenting/social media hiatus sounds very sane. Take good care of yourself; we'll still be here whenever you return.

montereysnow: That is a wonderful Vaughn anecdote. I love it to pieces, and I can picture it easily. Thank you so much for sharing.
villanelle said…
Ah, I had a feeling that you would have a lovely tribute to Robert Vaughn. Having just read his wildly entertaining, gloriously name-dropping memoir (at your recommendation!), I'm so devastated that the world has lost this radiant, ridiculously charming man -- especially now, considering his history as a progressive activist and fighter of the good fight.

And while I only own one of Leonard Cohen's albums, Various Positions, it is one of only a handful of albums that can reliably bring me to tears at pretty much any time.

Rest in peace, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Vaughn.

Last week sucked.
Morgan Richter said…
villanelle -- so glad you read Vaughn's deliriously entertaining memoir. The world is a good deal less charming and dazzling without him in it. The always-wonderful Sarah Kurchak wrote a great new piece on Vaughn for The Establishment, which delves into his political activism.

And yes, last week sucked. Last week sucked mightily.
montereysnow said…
Thank you for posting the above article.
One of the things that made me sad when reading of Vaughn's passing last week was there was not much mention of his anti-war activism in the 1960's.

I think as the war and the 60's wore on Vaughn's more intellectual/ historical opposition was supplanted by a more raucous, noisy, and violent opposition, so it is Jane Fonda that most people associate with celebrity opposition to Vietnam and not Robert Vaughn.

Oh, and the article nailed Vaughn's appeal as Napoleon Solo.
Morgan Richter said…
montereysnow -- Wasn't that a great article? It does my heart good to see Vaughn's life and work getting some love.

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