It has been a strange and hectic day today, so I am just going to offer up a few thoughts.
Mickey Spillane was born today in 1918. I more or less knew that. What I didn’t know was that he only died a few years ago—in 2006 at 88. He was a favorite of Ayn Rand, who had a great love for pulp junk, which is more or less what Spillane wrote. But I don’t claim to be an expert. I haven’t given up many hours of my life to consuming his products. But in his way, he was as good as Elmore Leonard. Admittedly, that isn’t saying that much.
It’s Ornette Coleman‘s 83rd birthday today. I don’t really understand him. He seems to try very hard to upset me. He is probably brilliant, but we all have our limits, and he is one of mine.
Raul Julia was born this day back in 1940. He unfortunately died very young back in 1996. I especially remember him as Gomez Addams. But he was generally wonderful—especially in Kiss of the Spider Woman. There are others. I wish he had lived longer; we certainly would have received another 20 or so films.
Bobby Fischer, on the other hand, lived a good deal too long. Born on this day back in 1943, he lived long enough to show everyone just how crazy he was. However, he did leave a great legacy in terms of his games, which are far more interesting than the games of most grandmasters. This is due especially to his incredibly aggressive play with black. He also understood what was wrong with modern chess and his invention of Chess960 shows how the game could continue to be relevant in the decades to come.
And this all reminds me that life is meaningless and Fischer would have been happier if he had just played more chess, which of course is a meaningless way of spending a life and that is the whole point.