George Michael & The Curse of 2016

Just read that singer, composer and pop star George Michael passed away. I was never a huge fan of his early work with WHAM! but there were at least a couple of his albums at the top 30 of my towering CD stack during the eighties and nineties. My brother Tyko and I once had a wild weekend in London back when “Faith” was a hit and the preferred nightclub was a wholeheartedly decadent church called, the Limelight.

I don’t believe in curses or other forms of superstition and I suppose I’m experiencing a little extra sadness and sense of mortality from hearing about George Michael’s death because I’m the same age as he was. However, 2016 has been a year when unusually many inspiring and exceptionally gifted people have left us. Several of which have somehow meant something to me, including… Muhammad Ali, Natalie Cole, Prince, Bowie, Gary Shandling, Maurice White, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Abe Vigoda and Glen Frey.

I honestly don’t know why I thought of this, but right now, I find some consolation in the words of the late Steve Jobs from his commencement speech at Stanford:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”