Friday, July 10, 2009

State Funerals

Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Woody Guthrie, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, John Lee Hooker, Mary Lou Williams, Andy Warhol, James Jones, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Newman, John Wayne, John Ford, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Alberta Hunter, Johnny Cash, Billy Strayhorn, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Norman Mailer, Katherine Hepburn, Howard Hawks, Vladamir Nabokov, Greta Garbo, John Frankenheimer, Burt Lancaster, and Ella Fitzgerald are all cultural figures of equal or greater importance than Michael Jackson, who have died within my lifetime. ( I was born in 1955.) Not one of them was given the equivalent of a state funeral.

If I had months to go through the records, I could come up with thousands more.

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