aw crap no trolls allowed open thread

Carrie Fisher Memorial Open Thread

Carrie Fisher: She will be missed

Carrie Fisher died this morning, several days after suffering a very public heart attack while on a plane from London. She was obviously best known for playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, returning to the franchise in The Force Awakens as General Leia Organa.

But there was a lot more to her than this iconic character. In addition to her roles in numerous other films, she was a bestselling novelist, best known for Postcards from the Edge and Surrender the Pink (both of which I’d highly recommend); her autobiographical one-woman Broadway show Wishful Drinking also turned into a book, and her most recent memoir, The Princess Diarist, came out this past spring.  She was also much in demand as a Hollywood script doctor.

She was always outspoken and didn’t put up with bullshit.

In short, she was pretty much a badass.

I’m opening up this thread for anyone who wants to talk about Fisher or any of the other amazing people that 2016 took from us — among them Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, and, just a few days ago, George Michael.

Here are some Tweets about Fisher I thought were fitting.

Theriault followed this up with a bunch of Tweets explaining just why she felt this way, collected into a Storify here.

2016 has been a hell of a year, obviously not in a good way.

77 replies on “Carrie Fisher Memorial Open Thread”

General Leia was my hero. And I loved that they gave her a romance and a history and a (very important) life outside men.

I wish she could have lived longer. She was smart, funny, and had a friendly but no-BS attitude (at least in the interviews I’ve seen of her). Imagine what else she could have done in writing, acting, activism…

Not to say that her career wasn’t worth celebrating – very much so. I’m just sad.

I shed many tears yesterday. Being confronted with the closing lines of Watership Down all over my news feeds, and then reading that Carrie Fisher didn’t make it, caused me emotional overload. The end of Watership Down is beautiful, but wrenching. I hugged my cats (as long as they’d let me) and cried and cried.

Richard Adams wrote a modern epic whose heroes happen to be rabbits. It’s stark, poetic, and beautiful. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, which I re-read almost every year, I can only take Watership Down in widely-spaced doses, it affects me so deeply. Adams died peacefully, aged 96, after a loving conversation with one of his children. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Carrie Fisher’s death is definitely the one that hit me hardest out of all the celebrity deaths this year. 🙁 That tweet from her dog just made me tear up.

Also feeling sad to hear of Richard Adams’ passing – Watership Down is one of the books that has had the greatest emotional impact on me.

@Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

No kidding :-\ The worst part is how unexpected it was. She was fine and then she wasn’t. Even the vet didn’t know what had happened. She’d had a little while where she’d stopped eating, which was really weird for her (she was a roly poly kitty) but she’d seemed like she’d gone back to normal within a week. Then she disappeared to one of her hiding spots for a few days, which wasn’t that weird for her. One of the other cats was really old and getting close to passing, and all the kitties (there were four at the time; the oldest one, my partner’s dad’s cat, passed this month) had been pretty subdued around that time. We just assumed as the second oldest resident, she was sad.

She’d always had health problems, too, so it made it difficult to tell anything was especially wrong. She’d belonged to a couple in Florida who let her run around outside. They didn’t fix her, and she got pregnant waaayyy too early, which permanently messed up her hips. She couldn’t properly clean herself, and it caused her so much pain that if anyone touched her below the neck she’d immediately attack them. The couple put her and the babies on a kitten cam basically for drug money. They’d feed the kittens, but they wouldn’t feed her unless people were watching and yelled at them. When the kittens were old enough, they said they “just didn’t bond with her” and were going to drive her out to a field and ditch her. My partner’s mom had been one of the people watching the kitten cam, and she shipped her up to Illinois from Florida and took her in. When she got here, she hid under my partner’s bed and refused to come out for a couple weeks. She and my partner bonded, and when I came into the picture a couple years later, she was not happy. She’d wedge herself between us and yell at me if I touched him. Eventually, she switched over to me and started yelling at him. She finally decided that we were basically the same person, though, and yelled at both of us if we gave anyone attention but her. She’d actually pout and sulk, and she’d wheeze angrily if she spotted us petting one of the other kitties. I’d be stooped down petting someone and just hear her Darth Vader wheeze, so I’d look up and see her glaring at me and the other cat from across the room. It was too funny.

When she passed, two of the outside cats we feed came inside and snuggled with me and my partner for a bit. The requisite big tom who thinks he owns the neighborhood even cuddled up in my lap. It was sweet.

Debbie Reynolds is gone too now 😔

So sorry for the family – a bereaved son, daughter and granddaughter. A lonely puppy dog. And a legion of friends and fans.

@Weird Eddie,
@Cat Mara,

YES. Thank you both so much. Would it be ok if I borrowed your words, with attribution? Your responses are perfect.
The year that Robin Williams died, I was teaching a course on fame and celebrity. Many of my students were in tears over his death, and were trying to articulate why it was so important to them. We had many incredible conversations.

postscript: suddenly seeing “what about the non-famous people who died?” posts and memes all over the place. Wow. Pretty sure there’s an xkcd comic that’s relevant here 😛


Thank you so very much for the amazing story of your cat’s life. She was so lucky to have found you and your partner. I don’t suppose you have any photos you could share?

Richard Adams’ passing has obviously prompted lots of people to share Watership Down quotes, and the Bright Eyes song. The song never fails to reduce me to a weeping mess – worse this time because I hadn’t heard it since losing my three cats last year, within a 6-week period. I’m usually excellent at repressing things, but I’ve kind of run out of that ability right now.

@ mish

I was teaching a course on fame and celebrity….We had many incredible conversations.

Ooh, do you have any notes or anything about that; I’d be really interested in seeing your points?

We’ve been having a bit of a chat about all this sort of thing. Everything from the death of the Princess of Wales to why there’s no “je suis Aleppo” posts or changing Facebook profiles to show the flags of non EU/US countries after terror attacks elsewhere.

We’ve been considering the thought experiment about ruining your watch to save a drowning child and ‘closeness’ etc; but the celebrity thing has obviously also cropped up. Especially in relation to activism, politics and influence.

I’m sure you can imagine some of issues. You’ll be a lot more coherent though so love to see any stuff you may have.

Well, this is just all kinds of creepy. There’s a fellow in Spokane, Washington, who thinks he’s entitled to screw the barely-legal and attempts to entice them with bogus biology and terrible arguments. He’s already been banned from one Starbucks because he left a creepy note for a barista.

Spokane, Washington’s Most Single Man.

There’s just been a little tribute news feature about Debbie Reynolds on the BBC. There was one bit of whimsically surreal trivia that did make me smile a bit.

Debbie tried for the role of the mother in the film adaptation of Postcards From The Edge. She was told “she wasn’t quite right for the part”.

@ryeash: What an amazing story. I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad that you’ve been comforted by your outside cats. =^..^=


Thanks for letting me talk about her 🙂 I got a bit carried away there. It’s been close to two months now, and it doesn’t feel any better.

And I have a bunch of cute pics, I’m just not sure how to get them to embed here. They’re on the Facebooks.


Thank you 🙂 She was an amazing kitty. Our house is a stray hangout, so the outside cats tend to get to know the inside cats at least well enough to avoid bad scuffles. Definitely well enough to know when there’s been a loss.

When I say “outside cats”, I mean cats our jerk neighbors throw out when they get sick of them and either occasionally allow back inside or totally abandon. We’ve taken in a couple of the latter over the years. Our youngest resident, Spaz, belonged to the same people who own Fatboy, the big tom. Fatboy comes inside a lot during the winter. We’re also lodging a kitten for the winter right now whom we’ve taken to calling Monster. He belongs to a kid in a house across the street who isn’t allowed to keep him inside. He’s too new to the neighborhood to know the good hunker spots, so he’s hanging around until it’s warm enough out. There’s a feral named Owl who bounces between our house and another stray-friendly one a block over, but he slinks into the shadows if you so much as look at him. I petted him a little once after feeding him, and he looked really begrudging about it.

Wow, these are some touching, beautiful posts about a relatable star who had more moxie than anybody in the room on any given day.


You … you made me all teary again. You guys are so wonderful, taking care of all those poor kitties. And who are these IDIOTS that won’t let a kitten inside IN THE WINTER??? Jebus I wish people would get with the program when it comes to having pets. It’s a freakin’ privilege. Animals don’t get to choose who they live with so it’s on us to treat them right.
(I may have gotten a little upset, there. It may be a personal soapbox of mine).
Photos: I upload mine to my Tumblr from whence I can “jpg” them and thus easily share them here. ‘Twas lovely people here who tipped me off to that. It’s ok if that’s a hassle (*whispers* ‘giiiiive meeeee your FB details’)

Also, I am extremely embarrassed as I’ve just realised that in your original post, you also mentioned losing a human person who was important to you, and I just zeroed in on the kitty loss. I’m so very sorry!

Yet more apologies to everyone else for my slight hijacking of this thread over ryeash’s cats 🙂


You’re the original intellectual magpie, aren’t you? Collecting and consuming all the things – and what drives me mad is that you remember it all, too!
I can’t share much from that particular course as it technically belongs to the uni; even my lecture notes are not mine, strictly speaking. But I do know some great readings on the topic.
If the uni would only pay me to re-vamp this particular course, I’d have a stand-alone unit on celebrities and mourning, myself, plus at least two weeks just on internet celebrity (YouTube, blogs, etc.) as it’s seriously re-worked the whole terrain.

@ mish

It’s just that there are so many wonderfully knowledgeable and interesting people on here, yourself included of course. So much fascinating stuff to learn more about. I feel like one of the Bisto Kids with my nose stuck up against the window of a Paris Salon, drooling over all the posts from the clever people here.

But yeah, I do like to learn stuff.

I think a module like that would be brilliant. Start pestering the uni administration. Sent you an email on that subject btw.


Yes, I’m sorry about the thread hijacking. I figured kitties make people feel better anyway.


I’m starting a Tumblr right now, which I shall fill with pictures of our kitties and post in the New Year’s open thread (I can give you my FB info too if you’d like, but I’m not sure how to go about it in a safe way). I’m already losing this thread in all the new posts @_@ And I missed you mentioning losing your kitties all in a row around this time last year 🙁 Jeez, that’s awful. I know holidays are rough without them. I missed Ginger and her Christmas tree vendetta this year. That thing and our bedroom door were her worst enemies. She actually thought the bedroom door was a living thing that would keep her away from us. She started bringing it offerings of kitty toys, and she’d yell at it on her way in when we finally opened it for her. The tree she just straight up tried to murder every year. Not the ornaments, the actual tree.

And our neighbors are not people I would ever want owning pets. I feel bad for the poor kid too, not getting to have her kitten around. In the summer, Monster would be roaming outside and she’d open her window and call for him, and he’d run out from wherever he was invoostigating and jump right up through it. Poor kitten not being able to see his person, too :-\

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