For 2017, I’m starting a blog. What better start than by disccussing the deaths of 2016? We can all admit that 2016 was a shitty year. A year that was one blow after another, took some really significant figures out of my life. Few were spared. (Fingers crossed for my girl, Betty White, only a few more hours to go.) They can be ranked in many orders, young to old, A List to D List, politicians to revolutionaries, athletes to scientists, hell, even January to December. But I, Mary Pat, choose to rank my 25 most significant deaths from this year according to my own methods and reasoning developed in my spiraling mind. What it essentially comes down to is how many fucks I give about the person’s death. They say don’t speak ill of the dead, but here we go:
25. John McLaughlin, 86, Died 8/16
John your show was boring and unwatchable. You were old and this comes as no surprise. Most people my age probably don’t know who you are, or intrigued enough to look you up. But we have to start the list somewhere, and you should be commended on the span of your news show. There is specific type of person who gives a fuck about your death, but not me.
24. Garry Shandling, 66, Died 3/24
Garry, I wasn’t old enough to watch your show. Subsequently, you are barely a blip from my memory. You really peaked there in the 80s and 90s. You rank low on my list because I don’t care for your voice and your demeanor reads like you’re about to make a squirrel roadkill and it’s too late to stop. There’s a generation before me gives more fucks about your life.
23. Doris Roberts, 90, Died 4/12
You had a good run, Doris. You were the one character I liked on Every Body Loves Raymond. Unfortunately, I have to rank you low because I hate that show… and really all other shows with a laugh tracks. The length of your career and success until your death is admirable. And that is reason enough to give a slight fuck about your life.
22. Nancy Reagan, 94, Died 3/6
There are lists that would rank you higher purely based on your FLOTUS status. But I was 3 when you left office so I’m not that impressed. Also the conservatisim that you and your husband brought to the 80s continues to be stifling. Your “Just Say No” campaign was well intentioned, but ultimately part of a failed War on Drugs. Now I’m being harsh on this little old lady, and don’t get me wrong. I sort of give a fuck that she died.
21. Alan Rickman, 69, Died 1/14
I actually forgot he died this year. That explains why Love Actually was on Netflix. His celebrity is notable. There are millions of Harry Potter fans who gave many fucks about your death. But for me he’ll always be the voice of God in Dogma, because naturally Alanis’s voice is too powerful to process. You had many years of successful acting ahead of you, and that’s why I give a fuck that 2016 took you away before we were done with you.
20. Florence Henderson, 82, Died 11/24
Mrs. Brady, I thought you might hit your 90s, but you certainly lived a full life. I loved The Brady Bunch, but I’d have to say you were one of my least favorite characters on the show. You’re no Alice. But I still give a fuck that you died.
19. Arnold Palmer, 87, Died 9/25
Lemonade alone is too sweet for me, and iced tea is too strong. And thanks to Arnold Palmer, I don’t have to look like a weirdo when I order the perfect combination of lemonade and iced tea. Also that whole golf thing he did was pretty amazing. Not to mention he’s a Pennsylvania native. This was a 2016 soft blow due to his age, but a notable death worth a few of my fucks.
18. George Michael, 53, Died 12/25
2016 was his Last Christmas. A young death of a man who sang the best sad Christmas Song. He is another icon who peaked before my time so his celebrity never registered with me. He is outranked thanks to this terrible year that took so many music icons. But he had some amazing hits that I love, and for that, he deserves a few of my fucks.
17. Alan Thicke, 69, Died 12/13
It saddens me that reports of his death describe him as Robin Thicke’s dad, not the cool, handsome dad from Growing Pains. I loved that show. His side of the family were the coolest. Oh wait that was Patrick Duffy in Step by Step. Anyway, he was aging really well too. Well up until early this month when he up and collapsed. What the fuck 2016?
16. Chyna, 46, Died 4/20
Thank you Chyna for dying while still sort of relevant, and for spelling your name with a Y. Another few years and we may have forgotten about you. You weren’t the type of celebrity meant for old age. Unfortunately your death was overshadowed by Prince the next day, but that’s fitting end to your life on the D list. Outshined by a bigger A list celebrity drug overdose. Your oddity intrigues me and that is why I give more fucks about your death than people this year like Nancy Reagan.
15. Muhammad Ali, 74, Died 6/3
Muhammad Ali just barely beat out Chyna here, but after all, he’s a world class fighter. He probably deserves a higher spot, but I’m from Philly, where Joe Frazier (not Rocky) reigns supreme among boxing legends. Not to mention Mr. Clay was arrogant and cocky. And his shakes in his old age made me sad. His success is written in history, but his time came to an appropriate end. What it comes down to is that I give more fucks about Ali than Chyna but no where near as many as Smokin’ Joe.
14. Rob Ford, 46, Died 3/22
How the hell can an alcholic drug addict beat out the greatest boxer of all time? Because this dude facisnates me, as does his death. He gained notoriety by being the Crackhead Mayor of Toronto. His people loved him, and voted for him again after his drug scandal. You would think this obese Canadian with admitted to years of drug abuse would have died from a heart attack or overdose, right? But no, he got cancer. Yes, I’ll forget him in a few years, but right now, I give a fuck about that crazy turn of events.
13. Dave Mirra, 41, Died 2/4
Who? Dave Mirra, one of my X-games idols from back in high school when I wanted to be a skater girl. Famous for BMX. He apparently shot himself. Later, they discovered a brain disease from years of smacking his head into a Vert Ramp. Good thing I never took my X-game obsession past the tv screen. I give more fucks about his death than your average 30 year old girl.
12. Miss Cleo, 53, Died 7/26
Come on, Miss Cleo died!? I have to give a fuck about that. Her comercial is part of the soundtrack of my life. Who didn’t want to giver her a call and have your fortune read? If you don’t know who she is, you lived under a rock.
11.5. Captain Noah, 90, Died 8/9
I can’t believe I forgot dear ol’ Captain Noah! Who am I going to send my pictures too? Philadelphia grew up with this man. I have to put him somewhere in between Miss Cleo and Mother Mary Angelica. He was ancient, so this comes as a sort of soft blow for 2016. However, the influence he had on me at a formidable age is probably the link of my artistic hobbies, and I give a fuck that he lost his life, because he was such a big part of my life.
11. Mother Mary Angelica, 92, Died 3/27
You may be wondering who this religious lady is and why she ranks so high on my list. She’s another voice of my childhood. Growing up without cable leaves a girl with little viewing options. PBS always came in clear. And somehow this lady was a part of my life. Grant that it was probably from falling asleep after Exploring Europe with Rick Steves. Her bible interpretation and hypnotic habit were the stuff naps are made of. And she cared, and I give a fuck about people like that.
10. Carrie Fisher, 60, Died 12/27 –Debbie Reynolds, 84, Died 12/28
Two deaths that will always be remembered in combination. Somehow I’ve never seen a Star War, but my head is not buried in the sand. Carrie Fisher is a badass. She was a real female advocate and was hitting her stride as she crested her hill of life. She would be a well deserved number one for a lot of people. And then the news of her mom dying the next day of a broken heart. No mother should have to bury her daughter. A perfect sad ending to a sad year. I give a lot of fucks about the impact made by these ladies’ lives.
9. Leonard Cohen, 82, 11/7
2016 took an legendary singer songwriters from us. Arguably one of the best, someone I would put well ahead of Bob Dylan. But just behind Paul Simon. He even came out with a new album this year. Everyone should give a fuck about the impact this man had on music.
8. Fidel Castro, 90, Died 11/25
This list is not about deaths of people I like, but rather significant people who died. The impact Castro had on the world is undeniable. His death could have come sooner, but 2016 did the trick. I’m excited to visit the time capsule that his insane reign created now that borders have loosened with Cuba. I give a lot of fucks about any death of a crazy ass dictator.
7. Prince, 57, Died 4/21
The artist formerly know as Prince became the formerly known artist, Prince. That sexy piece of androdgony whose life was a piece of art. There was still more genius left for him to give. And I have to give a big fuck about a world without the flare of Prince in it.
6. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, 12/18
Someone out of the limelight for so long should probably be lower of my list. But it’s Zsa Zsa Gabor. The original famous for being famous celebrity. Not to mention the props she gets for living for nearly a century. We need celebrities like Zsa Zsa to live vicariously through, and she gets more fucks in my book than she probably deserves.
5. John Glenn, 95, Died 12/8
Someday I’ll tell a younger generation that I was alive at the same time as the first American to orbit the earth in space. I half expected another announcement of him going to space again when I saw his death notice pop up. He was still sharp into his 90s, and took a stance on inspiring American Innovation. He’s cultural icon written in history books. I give a fuck about his death because I give a fuck about his accomplishments.
4. Gene Wilder, 83, Died 8/28
Gene was a master of humor and wit. Willy Wonka and Young Frankenstein taught me what comedy was. He was a brilliant talent and gave a lifetime of performance. And that deserves the most fucks out of all the actors on this list.
3. David Bowie, 69, Died 1/14
We should have know the shit this year would bring when 2016 took its first notable and delivered one of its biggest blows when Bowie died. He pushed the boundaries of music and transcended reality with his performances. He managed to keep himself relavent over the years, and will continue to be a super star even in death. The performaning artist whose death I give the biggest fuck about is unquestionably the legendary, David Bowie.
2. Janet Reno, 78, Died 11/7
A feminist rock star who shatter the the Attorney General Glass Ceiling. I feel like I need to put her this high on my list to truly acknowledge the significance of her civil service. There are many count down list that she will be left off or lost in the mix. But I give a fuck that Janet Reno died, and she is one of many woman that laid groundwork for equal representation in politics.
1. Antonin Scalia, 79, Died 2/13
His death excited me at first since it meant a shift in the Supreme Court. It’s hard to believe it happened so early in the year. Obama made a perfectly moderate nomination, and it has been blocked. This is not how the game is supposed to be played. So I give my biggest fuck of the year to the death of Antonin Scalia. Fuck.
Here comes 2017.