RIP Kobe

You probably know by now that Kobe Bryant has died in a tragic helicopter crash. Even more sadly, it appears his teen daughter did as well and they were on the way to some kind of basketball event with another parent and daughter, and, of course, the pilot. All are dead.

The facts are young, and the reportage heavy. Bryant has long had a personal Sikorsky helicopter, a fairly stable platform as to airworthiness, and it is apparently confirmed it was indeed a Sikorsky S-76 involved. We shall see what the longer term NTSA investigation produces. There was apparently bad weather, but not so much that flight was prohibited, and where it occurred is within a tightly terminal controlled airspace, so it was perceived to be okay.

Here is the thing. Most of you, I guess, were not here when we started this here gig. There was a precursor blog known as The Next Hurrah, but it then morphed into the “Emptywheel” blog you now know and enjoy. But Emptywheel, as you know it, started out as a part at a group blog known as Firedoglake, operated by Jane Hamsher.

The “Lake” was the Lakers, the “Dog” was Jane’s giant poodle “Kobe” and the “Fire” was by the TV she watched the Lakers on religiously. I may not have all of that perfect, but close enough.

Whether you love him or hate him, Kobe was one of the greatest players in the history of sports, and one of the fiercest competitors ever. And he was on a path to doing significant good after his retirement. The loss of his teenage daughter, thirteen years old, Gianna, is even more tragic. She was the next generation that will never get the opportunity to blossom.

This is a sad day for sports, and a sad day for the history of this blog. RIP.

129 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    thanks for this, bmaz. the footage of he and Gigi at the Lakers games is heartbreaking. i believe that people are capable of redemption. i will not ignore kobe’s past, but will focus on what he has done since to re-build his family and what he is was putting out into the world.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes. The issues still exist, but redemption seemed to as well. One does not extinguish the other, but it is a horrid loss. And his young daughter….there are no words for that.

    • Eureka says:

      rosalind, this is a great comment, it says well what is hard to say.

      It’s so weird when someone dies, and tragically, when they were just freshly ‘present’ to you. Last night was all about Kobe and LeBron and Kobe congratulating him on passing his 3rd-place scoring record. Many noted that it was fitting that it happened in Kobe’s hometown (he is from Lower Merion). I am so sad for all of the families, at least a couple of girls we will never know their careers (besides lives).

      Thank you bmaz for telling this FDL story, I hadn’t heard it.

      This was his last tweet (last night):

      Kobe Bryant: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644”

      • bmaz says:

        First off, it was Kobe and eight others, not nine. It was nine total. Secondly, this post was written extremely early, when the reports were still five total deceased, and other than his daughter, the other names were not known. People can discuss and grieve however they want, and don’t need to be lectured by you how to do so. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Pablo in the Gazebo says:

    I had a Firedoglake decal in the back window of my truck. It was still there when I sold it. Nobody knew who you were or what it meant and only one person ever asked. Now I know and it’s all sad. All so sad.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Condolences to all of the families broken by this.

    (I understand that the S-76 usually requires two pilots. So, Kobe and a second.)

    • bmaz says:

      News says there may be as many as four additional deceased. So, maybe. I was not aware that Kobe was a helicopter rated pilot though. Maybe he was, he certainly had used such a helicopter for a long time, but as a pilot, that I have no clue. The S-76 is a big ass helicopter though.

    • CapeCodFisher says:

      It was a 29 year old helicopter with over 4000 hours on both engines bought for @$9 million. RIP Kobe.

      • bmaz says:

        You know that airframes are maintained continuously, right? The US is still flying B-52 Stratofortresses.

        The age of an airframe is not critical, the maintenance and updating is.

        • CapeCodFisher says:

          Yes, I know they get maintained. Saw reports that said the engine was “sputtering”. 30 year old machine apparently had unseen fatigue. Helicopters have some risk. Unfortunate thinking about many prominent people killed in helicopter crashes. Ironic that it is usually wealth that allows the use of these luxury vehicles. Also sadly I neglected above to say RIP to Kobe’s daughter and the others.

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Having been at ‘The Last Hurrah’, an amazing space, and then at FDL, I had read the story behind Jane’s name for the blog. Kobe had a big impact, including in places he never could have foreseen: a bunch of rambunctious, hilarious, curious lefties, and assorted eccentrics. If that had been his only legacy, it would have been tremendous all on its own.

    • BobCon says:

      I did not know the history behind FDL — I had assumed it was an oblique reference to Fire in the Lake, the history of the Vietnam War. Pretty far off.

          • P J Evans says:

            but here’ s the drinks:
            Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot
            1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
            1/2 oz Aguardiente Cristal
            1/2 tsp bar syrup
            Three dashes of orange bitters
            Juice of one tangelo
            Combine ingredients and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with mango.

            squirrel hiller
            Before we get to the tea list here’s the recipe for the “Fitzgerald Hammer of Justice” concocted by Bustedknuckles with a suggestion from Blank Kludge
            1 shot 151 rum
            1 shot Grenadine
            1 shot Crown Royal (: substitute John Jameson’s Irish whiskey for the ‘Crown Royal’…he’s fighting against the monarchy after all.)
            orange juice to taste
            served over crushed ice with a pillow on the side.
            When you are good and hammered, use the pillow

  5. scribe says:

    Well said, folks.

    I just saw an ESPN interview with Jalen Rose. He made a strong point to the effect of if you have issues with people in your life, resolve them because life is too short and can end any time.

    My sympathies and condolences to all affected.

  6. bmaz says:

    Nice story just now on CNN from Kenny Smith.

    After Hurricane Katrina, Smith wanted to do a charity BB game to raise money for survivors. Bryant was his first call, and Kobe said tell them all I’m coming and we’ll be playing for real. within the day there were 26 stars on board.

  7. Peterr says:

    The “Lake” was the Lakers, the “Dog” was Jane’s giant poodle “Kobe” and the “fire” was by the TV she watched the Lakers on religiously. I may not have all of that perfect, but close enough.

    When Jane’s Kobe passed away, she wrote this powerful post about him, what he meant to her, and how important the support of the FDL community was for her. The post includes several pictures, as well as some words of wisdom from bmaz for times like these: “I [Jane] bought Mexican food because bmaz said it was good for the soul in these situations — he’d dealt with doggie cancer before.”

    I pray that the Bryant family has a community to surround them tonight and in the days ahead with love and hope. And plenty of Mexican food, because bmaz is right.

    [ETA: While Shadowproof has preserved the old FDL posts, if you want to see the comments on those posts — often the best part, IMO — you have to go to the Wayback Machine. Thus, that’s the link I used here.]

    • Elliott says:

      Yes! Thank you, Peterr. That was a blast from the past. I’ve been thinking about Jane since this happened for all the reasons bmaz put in the post. I sure miss FDL and all my friends from there. And good to see all the names in the comments, like Ratfood (and Bob), I wonder whatever became of him. He stopped commenting before we closed down. And I really wonder what Jane’s up to these days. I hope she’s well and happy. Would love to read her blog memoir!

  8. punaise says:

    Wow, hell of a loss for the sports world. One of the greatest … albeit with that mixed legacy of personal behavior.


    I still have a few old FDL sites bookmarked, and I think they work. Like the rap lyrics contest to memorialize Dick Cheney shooting his friend.
    And who can forget Jane’s sharp-tounged monikers for various people worthy of scorn.
    Damn, some can’t even be repeated in polite company :-)

  9. John Hand says:

    Living in the far southeast corner of Texas, where thoughtful people are hard to find, FDL was a beacon of light and sanity to me as the Bush/Gore thing played out, and as the Bush gang brought darkness and sadness to the country. I was grateful for you all in those days, and I am sad for you all now. Condolences all around.

  10. Jim White says:

    Yes. Hug your loved ones every chance you get. You just never know.

    Special thank you to Rosalind for helping me get to a healthier place in my thoughts re Kobe through your comment above. Also huge thank you to Peterr for digging out the link. Off to read and reminisce about all those friends back then.

  11. Valley girl says:

    Reading though the comments on the post Peterr linked (TY for doing that) I noticed the moniker Quebecois. I hope he’s doing okay.

      • Valley girl says:

        Yes, I know. But irrc he was talking about some serious health issues- that’s all I say b/c I don’t remember the details precisely. That’s what I was asking about. Am I totally mistaken?

        • quebecois says:

          Thanks VG.

          Never been a basketball fan, was aware of Mr. Bryant greatness on the court. Rule of three is valid: Peart, Jones, Bryant.

          My cancer ridden kidney is coming out friday, surgeon will have to adapt to the surrounding damage. I’ll work very hard at my recovery, hoping for the best.

          Cancer thought: It sucks.

          • Peterr says:

            Cancer thought: It sucks.

            Yes. Lots. And then some after that.

            Paix à toi et à toi, quebecois.

            (No, I don’t speak French, but Google Translate is my friend.)

          • Valley girl says:

            Thanks for replying quebecois. I didn’t know when the surgery would be, but otherwise, I did remember correctly. I thought a lot about replying at the time, but didn’t want to pass on wrong information. (scientist by training)

            When my mother went in to have surgery for colon cancer in her 80s I tried doing Jin Shin Jyustu sp.? on her (touch therapy for relaxation). But she really wasn’t stressed out. (But I was!) She kept telling me every thing would be fine b/c she completely trusted her doctor. And every thing did go well.

            She was back to her normal, very cranky attitude towards me as soon as she could speak. And insisting on getting out of the hospital “right now”. Also typically, she behaved like the kindest person in the world to everyone else there.

            Sorry for taking so long to set the scene, but soon after, I read that patients who trust their doctors have better outcomes. So, I hope that both are true for you. Especially a great outcome.

            irrc you had/ have a very positive attitude about all of this.

            I hope I am not being too rambling or too personal here. If so forgive me. But I have been thinking about you.

            • Valley girl says:

              Je vous adresse mes meilleurs vœux de prompt rétablissement.

              I’ve been teaching myself French mostly via the internet for ~ 4 years. But I admit to using google translate for the above.

              • scribe says:

                You want to teach yourself a language, here’s how to get most of an immersion course for F-R-E-E.

                1. Find a website called Some bored MIT kids decided years ago to make a list of every radio station in the world. And that was over-the-air, internet, you name it. And they show whether the station broadcasts its feed onto the net.

                2. Pick your country, then pick a station. For France, I like Radio Classique, from Paris. They stream their feed live. Listen to hear how the language is actually spoken today. (Some stations will post the news text at or shortly after it’s been read, so you can go back and read what you just heard.)

                3. Poke around for the newspapers from the country you chose – many of the European papers publish their stuff on-line for free, though some of the feature articles are behind a paywall. Read.

                4. Do this daily. And I mean daily.

                I did this starting about 2003 when I got a newer computer. I listen to a classical station from Munich, an analog to NPR from Cologne and Berlin, and read a couple German newspapers, too. I brought my German back to the point where I’ve been doing German-language legal work for almost ten years. (Try reading commercial leases in German sometime, or patent notebooks.)

                It’s “work” but it’s worthwhile. In my case, it pays the bills nicely.

                  • scribe says:

                    Try handwritten German chicken scratch in patent noteboooks, raised to the “we love obscure acronyms” power. That was fun – one time I spent 10 hours on one frickin’ page of notes.

            • quebecois says:

              Thanks all.

              I am extremely positive about this, bought 12,000 bucks of bicycles last year, they have to be used.

              At the same time, I’m scared shitless that I won’t be able to recover enough from this and become a FoxNews viewer.

              I’ll be back in a month I guess to tell you how it’s going. Until then, Fuck Trump and Cancer.

              • bmaz says:

                Oh Quebecois, please check in at least briefly before a whole month! As I noted in Mary’s obituary, it really is true that people get to be real friends and care about others in a place like this. I feel like I have been talking to you since almost the first time I ever did a F1 post.

                It may be remotely, but you have friends cheering for you and wishing you all the very best. Godspeed.

          • Elloitt says:

            I’m sorry to hear this, Q. May your recovery be swift, pain-free, and complete

            [That’s supposed to be Elliott]

  12. Peterr says:

    The Grammys are getting ready to start – in the Staples Center. They are spotlighting Kobe’s retired numbers (yes, two of them) hanging in the rafters.

    Something tells me that we’ll hear about Kobe tonight, and as I typed that, I heard Lizzo’s first words: “Tonight is for Kobe!”

  13. rosalind says:

    further condolences to familes of Orange County baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa and wife Keri killed in the crash, as well as coach Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at a private elementary school in Orange County.

    • bmaz says:

      Good fucking gawd.

      It was easy to start this because of Kobe. And then there was his young and wonderful daughter.

      But it was always about the tragedy. At first thought only five, but then nine. Had no idea how much it would expand when said “the facts are young and the reportage heavy”. Had no idea how much it would expand. Jesus.

  14. Eureka says:

    Zero | By Kobe Bryant | Dec 15 2014

    On Sunday night, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, moving into third place behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After the game, Kobe sat down and wrote his thoughts on the historic moment for The Players’ Tribune:

    Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. Not a free throw, not an accidental layup, not even a lucky throw-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket.

    My father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and my uncle John “Chubby” Cox were Future League legends in their day. My father as a 6-10 point forward and my uncle as a 6-4 point guard.

    I was putting my family to shame!

    I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit. So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.


    Twenty-four years later, I pass my muse.

  15. vvv says:

    Not a big NBA fan, me, altho’ I did see MJ once, and I know very little about Kobe. But I do hearken back to the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn, *et al*.; I rode a ‘copter once (tourist thing, WI Dells), I think I’ll not do so again.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This comment from the Jane Hamsher piece is from Bob Schact, once in HI, then Flagstaff, and now no longer with us. His comment is as applicable to Marcy’s place as it was to Jane’s:

    “Thanks for sharing this with us. The special communion you shared with Kobe has spread throughout the Lake, and has become part of us all. I am teary-eyed with the wonder of it all….

    Thank you for your compassion, and for your work at making FireDogLake the community it has become. That sense of community makes this place different than the other blogs I visit, and a more treasured place. Thank you for your loving spirit, and for being such a great Blog Mom.”

    • bmaz says:

      Ooof. Both Marcy and I had the chance and pleasure of meeting Bob Schact personally. He was a fantastic human. I had plans to see him in Flagstaff when I was up there on a matter, but he passed well before that. A truly nice and brilliant man.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I think I was trying to get there about the same time. I was briefly in Tucson by way of San Diego, but it didn’t work out. I’ve always missed that.

  17. Eureka says:

    Here’s a necessary and thoughtful thread, with excellent discussions in the comments (also some super shitty comments, but that’s to be expected):

    Savannah Shange: “Everyone deserves to be mourned and remembered by those who cherish them. *And* if we are serious about accountability and transformation, that commitment extends to our ancestors. I am thinking about Kobe’s survivor, and how hard this day and this week will be for her. 1/3”

    • roberts robot double says:

      Thanks for interjecting some sense into this hagiography, which I find shameful and, frankly, insane.

      We have many, many children in America who die at 13 who — instead of having lived the life of a millionaire — have spent their entire lives being abused, bullied, malnourished, with one or more parents locked-up. There are kids in the schools my kids went to that only ate each day because our school fed them when they got there and then before they left. God only knows how their home life is.

      How much did that one helicopter ride cost, all to save time in traffic?

      What was its carbon footprint?

      Kobe Bryant was *NO* hero.

      Greta Thurnburg is *THE* hero.

      Kobe Bryant and his daughter would not have died if he had rented a van.

      Did no one here read his statement after the woman he literally “tore a new one” settled? If he wasn’t able to stroke that check, how much time would he have done? I’m happy she was able to take the check and escape the public vitriol his fans would have endlessly showered her with. She was in a no-win situation from the get-go.

      That so many people are grief-stricken is just proof that the wealthy in America (and even those of us in the projects are kinda wealthy compared to the rest of the world) are not just stupid as shit, but callous as hell.

      Kobe Bryant once elbowed his teammate so hard in practice the dude cried. Yeah, winning is great and striving for excellence is excellent, but nothing is more important than striving to become a compassionate human being. And if you only love your peers and family, you’re no different than a wolverine, except for your (likely compromised) higher brain functions.

      That is why the goal of religion is to “love your enemies” and “love your neighbor as yourself”. Anything less is simply mammalian. Humanity takes serious effort and love requires selflessness.

      Kobe Bryant and his daughter died because he refused to wait in traffic. He could’ve given a shit about the environment or contemplated the risks of taking a helicopter in a metropolitan area, but he didn’t. He died like he lived: in a selfishly ignorant tunnelvision.

      The only real sadness about this is the ignorance of the vast hordes of worshippers of blind ambition and how awful that must make his victim feel.

      In *THIS* world — this FUCKING WORLD of DJT and his evil GOP, thier corps and catastrophic anthropogenic climate change — this entire story and the world blowing sunshine off his ass just makes me sick.

      It just goes to show that the best people can do is “cheap sentiment”, and I don’t give two shits about the tears of the rich. They don’t know what crying really is, crying borne of hopeless despair in a cruel and callous world.

      And, one other thing, Kobe was *WAY* overrated. But, then again, I’m a Shaq fan. Shaq rapped about Kobe, “How’s my ass taste?”

      I hope his victim can find peace in all this. At least Kobe’s family has the money to take an eternal vacation or go to therapy.

        • roberts robot double says:

          The irony here is that that is exactly what the Trumpers say when confronted with those pesky inconvient truths.

          Feel free to address the points. If you need clarification, just ask. I’m helpful and can type like a mofo.

          Problem is, in this world of 2020, most people just really aren’t interested in the truth, and it’s not just the MAGA hat wearing bastards.

          His daughter died because he didn’t want to wait in traffic. That his lifestyle didn’t account for climate impact is emblematic of his narcissism.

          The needs of the many outweigh the desires and conviences of the few. Or, rather, they should, in a sane society.

          Do you want to live in a sane society? Then contemplate whom this society reveres.

          And that is, very sadly, ignoring how this hagiography must be absolutely devastating to his victim. V I C T I M

          Weep not for the dead, for they feel no more pain.
          Weep not for the travails of the rich, for they can go to any lengths to salve their wounds, visible or not.

          And I tried to watch one of his “DETAIL” pieces on ESPN; it was utter crap. A blind woman told my Chinese boxing teacher, “The voice never lies.”

          Precious few in 2020 have ears to hear.

      • bmaz says:

        Hi there “Robot Double” please take your willingness to shit on a 13 year old girl and go fuck yourself.

        What kind of sick jackass are you??

        • roberts robot double says:

          Wow, you didn’t bother to read what I posted, did you? Or is it a reading comprehension problem?

          When you point out where I shit on a 13yo girl, you just let me know, k?

          Hagiography. Look it up.

          Did you read the twitter thread above mine?

          Address the points:

          1. Climate change.
          2. Reckless, narcissitic life.
          3. Callous rich.
          4. The desperate lives of poor children.
          5. People cling to cheap sentiment instead of seeing the bigger picture.

          When people in my neighborhood have a tragedy, they don’t go to Hawaii for a month or find the best family therapist. KB’s family has a chance to heal.

          The people in my neighborhood don’t.

          And the rich don’t give two shits about the truth.

          That’s why this world is getting worse and worse.

          Open your heart and your mind will follow. Otherwise, all you have is a cheap sentiment circle jerk of callous bastards who don’t care to evaluate the common attitudes that are destroying this world.

          Or, can’t you own the fact that KB killed his daughter because he didn’t want to wait in traffic.

          And I don’t mourn the dead, only the desperate, hopeless living.

          • bmaz says:

            I read your comment you piece of garbage. Go straight to hell. And you are extremely close to being done here. Seriously, screw you. And, if you think you will just be given unlimited space to blow things out you rear here, you are quite mistaken.

            As Melania would say, “be better”. As I will say, be better or you will be gone.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You don’t drive much in L.A., do you? Traffic accident rates and fatalities far exceed those involving aircraft. So, nix the van. If you want to talk about relative carbon footprints, use a different context.

        You could express your priorities without dissing the dead. That would seem to be consistent with your priorities, if not your writing.

        • roberts robot double says:

          The dead have written their truth into the record and they receive no injury from discussion thereof. To do otherwise is a disservice to the living and those not yet living.

          And, no, I have zero desire to ever be in LA, but you have deftly avoided the fact that his daughter died because his time was too important to wait in traffic, and his wealth afforded him his wasteful lifestyle.

          And that all pales in comparison to how the untold millions of rape victims feel today with all the powerful ignoramuses of the world talking about how great he was.

          And the irony is his narcissism is why he is *WAY* overrated. He was what we called a “ball hawk”. That’s why LBJ is the GOAT: he prefers to get his teammates shots over getting his own points.

          LBJ self-funded an entire school for the poor in his native Akron. That’s the definition of a fucking hero.

          Again, back to the main point: how are the millions upon millions of rape victims in this world feeling this day with all this poo-pooing of his having devastated a woman’s life as “ups and downs”?

            • roberts robot double says:

              Saying it and demonstrating it are two different things.

              Well, I guess the Trumpers aren’t the only ones who can’t admit when they’re wrong, huh?

              I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong (that’s how I learn), but damn if I can’t find anything but ad hominems here, which is so perfectly apropos to our Trump paradigm: nothing but personal attacks being that substantive argument is simply impossible in the face of the inarguable, if difficult, truth. Well, that and appallingly shallow group-think.

              I guess you’d say the same of Burneko, too?


              The truth is that it takes character to be an honest judge of character, and few people have character because most people are just pleased as punch with how they are already, warts and all.

              The first step in being right is admiting when one is wrong.

              Now, if you’d be so kind as to tell me where I “shit on a 13yo girl”, we could get somewhere here. But I didn’t, so you can’t.

              • P J Evans says:

                FIRST RULE OF HOLES.
                Second rule: don’t be an a-hole.

                You’re now about halfway to the center of the earth, and if I could block you, I would.

                • roberts robot double says:

                  What about the first rule of debate:


                  With all that LA smog and all, I’d’ve thought you’d give a shit about climate change more than calling me an asshole for telling the truth about your beloved rapist #8 slash #24.

                  I would’ve also thought that this crowd would understand that ad hominems are admission of defeat.

                  But, then again, I would’ve guessed that you’d be beyond making an open passive-aggressive suggestion for my being banned because you have nothing cogent to bring to the table.

                  Now, you *REALLY* understand Trump, don’t’cha? Walking a mile in the GOP’s shoes, you are.

                  Now, *that’s* an ad hominem.

        • P J Evans says:

          As an actual resident of L.A., and one who’s had to drive to Anaheim and even San Diego on more than one occasion, I get why Kobe used a helicopter, especially for trips with several other people. It’s about a two-hour drive from where he lived to Thousand Oaks, and you’d need multiple cars, a large van, or a smallish bus to do it for 9 people. That’s worse than a half-hour chopper trip.

          • roberts robot double says:

            No doubt. But the bigger picture is that, ultimately, human seeking for short-term personal convenience is precisely the primary force destroying this Earth. It is that selfishness — both in the small (personally) and in the large (govts and corps) — that is keeping us from accurately recognizing how we are destroying the Earth for our children and then doing a damn thing about it.

            Nothing is going to lessen our collective environmental impact that doesn’t involve each of us giving up some measure of our personal convenience.

            This entire world economy is based upon selfish competition, which is inherently destructive, whereas reaching our human potential requires cooperation, compassion and selfless service to those who suffer the most, and, most importantly, with the greatest priority.

            The treasure is the sublime joy that results from such active, physical giving a shit about others, especially when it comes at a personal cost. The problem is that most people couldn’t give a shit about some “feeling”, especially when it costs some of their money, power, or four hours of their time.

            When Lebron took a helicopter to see his son’s game, it was both for love for his son and because he had to get back to work, work that financed an entire school in poverty-stricken Akron. What I’m saying is that LBJ has earned the right to splurge.

            I don’t rate KB’s helping other athletes reach his pathological level of uber-competitiveness as being beneficial to the greater society at all; au contraire, it is actively antithetical to our solving our myriad problems. [see Zuckerberg, Trump, et fucking al]

            • P J Evans says:

              Any point you might have had in that is blocked by your apparent hatred of anyone who isn’t sufficiently pure enough to suit you.
              Please let the door hit you on the way out.

              • roberts robot double says:

                There are more things in the eye of the beholder than beauty. I have never hated anyone in my life and pray I never do.

                I shall honor your and bmaz’ wish to excuse myself from this thread now. The Golden Rule just doesn’t work out so well when others prefer to be treated in a completely different fashion than we ourselves prefer.

                But I can’t apologize for speaking the truth as I understand it, however; though I wish it didn’t cause so much consternation.

                Peace be with you both in these trying times.

  18. Ed Walker says:

    Late, but I want to thank bmaz for reminding us of community on the internet. I deeply respected Jane Hamsher. In the Bush administration it was hard to find kindred souls, and even harder to figure out actions that might make a difference. Jane and her crew of bloggers solved that problem, by pointing us to specific candidates and actions we could take. And she gave space to those of us who needed to speak out about our fears and our concerns and to express our thinking about crucial issues.
    It was a good thing to know that when I watched Kobe play, I was sharing that with so many other people like Jane. It was a good thing for the soul.

  19. roberts robot double says:

    I didn’t often agree with Burneko, but this piece is bang-on:

    Remember: he used his lawyers to make that young woman’s life a living hell to keep her from pressing criminal charges, making what was already a traumatic experience unfathomably horrific.

    Now, all that said, I’m not saying he didn’t turn his life around, but I’m asking for the receipts. When a narcissist gets caught, they certainly can go through all kinds of motions feigning contrition to effect their social status rebuild. When a person is truly contrite, they will often do the same things; as with all things human, our heart’s intentions are the measure of the person.

    So, out of curiosity, did KB ever do anything to help rape victims by, e.g., donating to victim support groups or somesuch? I highly doubt it, but I am open to being pleasantly surprised.

    Regardless, this treatment of KB’s death sure looks like a major symptom of the proverbial “rape culture” to me, and I don’t think we’ll find a more eloquent appraisal of this fact than Burneko’s necessarily brutalist slap-yer-face questioning of what the ever-living fuck people are thinking in revering such a person and supporting the institutions and people that unreservedly swept his violence under the rug.

    Women deserve better than that. Actually, people deserve better than that.

    As we see every day in greater and greater clarity, it is essential that we each earnestly seek the truth, most especially about our culturally accepted sacred cows. And the reality is that one can only honestly do so if one is willing to actually self-evolve oneself in response to the answers one receives.

      • roberts robot double says:

        Center of Uranus, but with less wit. At least a fart can be funny sometimes, if always stank.

          • roberts robot double says:

            No, it’s not plain at all. It’s creative and witty and dreadfully accurate, not to mention out-quips your attempt to quip.

            And, look, no one can hurt my feelings, I simply cannot be offended. I don’t defend anything but ideas and I am more than willing to listen to your ideas, evaluate them and incorporate them into my own should they pass muster. As such, no one can be “rude” to me; I couldn’t give a shit, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get it right back.

            How is it rude for me to point out that you have presented no ideas here while attacking my person? (I don’t really count your “that’s the best way to deal with traffic here in LA, bruh” as an idea, but merely a statement of obvious and shallow fact.)

            When the internet is at its best, it is a coming together of different ideas from different perspectives, debated with honesty and respect and without group identity issues. That is not what you have been doing here today, and it is simply not rude to point that out to you.

            Light a match, dude. Not just to clear the stench, but to see the truth.

  20. Eureka says:

    As I was saying/ re-centering this/ encore une fois:

    Here’s a necessary and thoughtful thread, with excellent discussions in the comments (also some super shitty comments, but that’s to be expected):

    Savannah Shange: “Everyone deserves to be mourned and remembered by those who cherish them. *And* if we are serious about accountability and transformation, that commitment extends to our ancestors. I am thinking about Kobe’s survivor, and how hard this day and this week will be for her. 1/3”

  21. Eureka says:

    There’s some really gorgeous still pix, this is the best video:

    NBC10 Philadelphia: “WATCH: Philly landmarks lit up in purple Monday night in honor of Kobe Bryant:[embedded video; link]” / Twitter

    some stills/better out there (none of the collages has all of the best pix):

    John Clark: “Philly is lit purple tonight for Kobe Remembering him in his hometown #RIPMamba 🙏🏼💜 ..” / Twitter

  22. Hoposter says:

    Anderson Cooper’s interview with Matt Hauser tonight was almost too much to bear. A genuine back pat to Anderson for being so human. It’s sad that we don’t expect such allowances from those we watch on television but fully gratifying when we see they are just like us.

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