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RIP Carl Weathers

By some strange, cosmic coincidence Carl Weathers made his first appearance in this blog just a few days ago. He appears in the video for James Brown’s “Living in America,” which I compared to Bowie’s “Young Americans” and “I’m Afraid of Americans” in my “Divine Symmetry” post on January 31st (click here to link) to it. And then today we learned that he passed away at age 76 (which is far too young).

I was quite saddened to learn of Weathers’ passing. He was a mainstay of movies of my youth including the Rocky movies (but not just the Rocky movies). He seemed to have been enjoying a kind of career resurgence in recent years. I found myself being really happy that he was in The Mandalorian, and I recently saw him in a commercial for something.

Apollo Creed was obviously Weathers’ most iconic role. The character was atypical in that he was Rocky’s rival (at least in the first two movies) but not his enemy. Apollo Creed was not a “bad guy,” and after fighting Rocky became Rocky’s friend. This is an important concept for someone with a career in politics. So, too was Apollo’s final lesson— never throw the damn towel!

In any case, I liked seeing him for a combination of nostalgic reasons and because, even into his 70s, he brought a lot of charisma and swagger to everything he did. Carl Weathers was fun to watch.

Other than the coincidental appearance in the James Brown video, there’s no Bowie connection here (and that’s hardly a Bowie connection in the first place). But like Bowie, Carl Weathers is another figure who occupied a place in my teenage mind and continued to at least have a vacation home in my mind ever since. He will be missed.

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