THE TALON

Is 2018 the Year of Death?

Take a moment to look back on the legendary people who have passed away this year.

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Is 2018 the Year of Death?

Take yourself back to the days of your childhood, as far back as you can remember. It’s an early morning on the weekend, and you turn the TV on to a particular orange-themed children’s channel. Your eyes are glued to the show about a slothful city with a blue-clothed hero trying to inspire the townspeople to get off of their couches and exercise. This show is known as Lazy Town, and you can’t help but laugh at the spirited villain who constantly changes his appearance to fool his enemies.

On the same channel, you discover a certain animated show featuring a porous yellow character and his unintelligent yet lovable friend who lives under a rock. The strange slapstick humor draws you in and you can’t help but spend the rest of your school afternoon watching the antics of Spongebob instead of practicing fractions for homework.

Around the same time period, but possibly a little later on, you feel a little bit too old for cartoons and want to get into the world of action-packed PG-13 movies. Your hesitant parents might suggest an easy start to your exposure to violent films and compromise on a superhero movie. You’re immediately enthralled with the heroics of characters such as Spider Man or the Hulk, and even later on in life you still enjoy these movies and go to the theater whenever a new film comes out.

Stan Lee, creator of comics such as Spider Man, passed away on November 12th

The actor who plays the eccentric villain from Lazy Town, the creator of Spongebob, and the author of some of the beloved Marvel superhero comics unfortunately passed away during the year of 2018. Most recently, Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob, died on November 26th. Although he was never a winner of his nine Emmy nominations, he greatly influenced the childhoods of nearly every kid from this generation. Sadly, the disease known as ALS was the cause of his death. Stefan Karl Stefansson, aka Robbie Rotten from Lazy Town, also passed away on August 21 at age 43 after courageously battling cancer for several years.  Of course, one of the most shocking deaths this year was Stan Lee, a figure who is just as heroic as some of the characters he created for Marvel.

A true natural woman, Aretha Franklin, sadly passed away on August 16th.

Unfortunately, well known people in the music industry have also passed away this year. A pancreatic tumor took the life of one of America’s most influential soul-singers, Aretha Franklin. She died on August 16th at age 76 and luckily passed away peacefully while surrounded by friends and family. Earlier on this year in Deerfield Beach, Florida, 20 year old rapper XXXTentacion was shot on June 18th. Fans of this artist watched the events unfold online, from the moment he was taken to the hospital to the news that he had not survived the attack. Among other influential musical artists, Avicii, a 28-year old musician, died from attempted suicide on April 20th. Some of his more popular songs such as ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’ are still played on big radio stations to this day. Mac Miller, another talented rapper, passed away due to a drug overdose at the beginning of September, shocking his fans by his early death.

Although he battled with ALS, Stephen Hawking remained a brilliant scientist until he died on March 14th

Political figures including John McCain and George H. W. Bush also passed away this year. The former died of cancer on August 25th after he stopped taking treatments the day before. Parkinson’s disease unfortunately took the life of the 41st President of the United States on November 30th, but his legacy and name were honored with tributes from other presidents soon after his death. Other influential people including Stephen Hawking, a scientist well known for expanding his ideas on the universe, and Kate Spade, a notable fashion designer, also passed away earlier this year.

2018 proved to be a sad year. Many lives were taken too early, and some of the people that have truly inspired and been in our lives from childhood are no longer with us. Luckily, these people will leave a long-lasting legacy behind them. Everyone who grew up with these figures will continue to listen to their music, watch their shows, and remember their influence on the world. Although they have passed away, they will forever live on in our memories.

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