This is a heartbreaker in IYA2009.

We lost Walter Cronkite tonight… or maybe last night, depending on which time zone you live in…

The trusted voice for America in the 60s and 70s, the voice of reason who looked liked everyone’s father, and later everyone’s Grandfather…

The man who narrated a Moon Landing for a nation and a generation, telling it so it all made sense to the man in the street… when the man in the street concentrated hard on the science of how to get his car working…

As a media person myself in those days, he was one of my Heroes, and I didn’t have many. Cronkite and Murrow were about it, with Huntley and Brinkley (the brightly feathered Peacock Team) as an amusement-valued backup when the big guys wern’t available. Perhaps even then I may have needed a life, but not as much as the world needed, and still needs, Cronkite or one of his disciples, or trainees, or ANYONE who knows how to do the same job in the modern-day info-storm!

The Universe agrees! Murrow and Cronkite are amongst a very rare breed; Obviously they both understand what is going on in the world… but more important, they can communicate those concepts to the rest of us, in real time, while the recorders/cameras are rolling.

I need to rewatch the Lunar landings now, and his reaction to them. He captured our hearts, our minds, and maybe just the edge of our souls…

And He will be missed!!!

Sky Saxon, lead singer of The Seeds (one of the best garage bands of all time), died in Austin today. All the national attention is on a pop singer who also died today, so I had to speak up about the band that Muddy Waters called “America’s own Rolling Stones”. This punk/blues/psychedelic group were blazing trails; RIP, Sky, you will be missed. I couldn’t find a live video version of Up In Her Room, so their hit will have to stand in for it…

Sad news, as yesterday we lost Philip Jose Farmer, one of the giants of science fiction. He started his career as an author with The Lovers, which treated sexuality in a frank and honest manor, and went on to create some excellent series, including Riverworld and the World of Tiers. He also wrote as a number of other authors, and created some of his best works doing it, including Venus on the Half Shell, which he wrote as Vonnegut’s fictional author Kilgore Trout, or his Tarzan books, including Lord of the Trees and Tarzan Alive. Those are just the tip of the iceberg; if you haven’t read Farmer yet, go get some and start reading. You will thank me for it, I promise. The SciFi Channel had commissioned a miniseries of Riverworld, but they only made and aired the pilot episode. The good news is they start filming in April to do the rest of the series. So there is still some Philip Farmer to look forward to.