Circumstantial flummery from a would-be spoonbean hustler.

Reached the age where everyone keeps dying.

Previously, I guess the Grim Reaper just seemed a more sporadic guest, frequenting generations far-removed and occasionally surprising tragic unfortunates and kamikaze weirdos.

This year though, he’s around every corner. I don’t spend time reading the obits, and definitely don’t like to dwell on personal loss, but when a performer, artist or writer who has given me something moves on, particularly if they’re not big names or recognizable faces for most people, I feel compelled to throw out a nod of thanks and wish them well wherever they might end up.

Tom Mankiewicz, writer of Bond and Superman, has left the station. Growing up, his directorial efforts DRAGNET and DELIRIOUS were seen on more than one idle Sunday afternoon in front of the cable box. A few years ago when I’d taken the time to find out about the story behind Donner’s Superman films, Mankiewicz’s involvement stuck out and I’d always kinda tucked him away in my head as the brains behind the little character touches and dialogue (“Otisville!”) that really makes Superman I and II for me.  It’s difficult to say for certain of course, but if you’re familiar with his work, his voice, it seems to fit. Godspeed, Mankiewicz.