One of the joys of the new year is reading society columnist/former film critic/idiot Rex Reed's yearly tribute to those who died in his New York Observer column. The Onion doesn't even need Jackie Harvey's "Outside Scoop." They could just print Reed's column verbatim. Reed has turned hackdom into a fine art, and his tribute to the deceased is the finest example of his jackassery on record. Enjoy the strained metaphors, the celebrity asskissing, the sweeping conservative generalizations, the awkward prose, the poor taste, cranked up to eleven. A typical example of his obituary style is as follows: "This year, Elvis had to put his Hound Dog to sleep and went to that Heartbreak Hotel in the sky. We'll miss you, King of Rock and Roll." "Gandhi's next hunger strike will be in heaven. We'll miss the great pacifist activist, and the world will be a more hostile place without him. A class act all the way." I obviously made these two up, but you get the idea. This is how this man writes, and a major newspaper employs him. It's fucking astonishing. For those of you who can't make it through all five pages of Reed's obituary mambo, which will probably be most of you, here are my two favorites. I did not make these up. This man actually wrote these sentences, knowing the public would read them.
"Baby boomers who grew up glued to the boob tube watched the test pattern fade forever for Bob Denver, the goofy castaway on the brain-dead series Gilligan’s Island..."
"Simon Wiesenthal, the heroic concentration-camp survivor who dedicated his life to bringing the monsters of World War II to justice, stalked his last Nazi."
That last sentence is in such poor taste I am speechless. Rex Reed, everybody.