Friday, December 19, 2008

RIP x2

Two deaths I wanted to note today:

1. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry died Thursday morning at the age of 76. Thoroughly underplaying the reticent Christina Chapel, thoroughly overplaying the flamboyant, sensual Lwaxana Troi, and thoroughly disembodily playing almost every Star Trek computer ever ('Working."), she saw the enterprise (and the Enterprise) through from the beginning - and isn't done yet: She'll be the voice of the computer in the upcoming Star Trek movie coming out next year, having completed her voiceover work before she died.

2. Also on Thursday, Mark Felt, famed as the "Deep Throat" of the Watergate scandal, died at his home in California. He was 95. As the Washington Post story makes clear, he was no leftist; he approved wiretapping Martin Luther King, Jr., and even had been convicted of being involved in illegal "black bag jobs" against the Weather Underground. (Convicted for government violation of civil rights? How's that for a contrast with now?) Nonetheless, I stand by what I said when his identity was revealed in 2005:
Mark Felt is a genuine American hero, a whistleblower extraordinaire, a man who saw wrongdoing and, knowing that "regular channels" would accomplish nothing, took risks to get that information out and help get that wrongdoing undone. That is what honorable people are supposed to do and for having done it, he deserves our thanks and our praise.
Whatever else he may have thought, done, or been, there was that time when he saw a wrong and did what he could to right it. And for that, I will remember his name with respect.

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