sovay: (Rotwang)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-06-18 12:58 am

I work for Ambassador Mollari. After a while, nothing bothers you

I am not talking much about politics at the moment, not because I don't know the rising number of people confirmed dead in Grenfell Tower at the price of £2 per square meter or that the murderer of Philando Castile walked free because it is more important than justice that a white man should be able to shoot whatever scares him or any of the other appalling, routine betrayals of a society's vulnerable by those with more power in it, but because I am not doing so great at the moment and I don't know what I could contribute other than being upset. [personal profile] truepenny has a list of reasons against Trump and it is worth reading and keeping, because this is still not normal.

I just checked in with the internet and saw that Stephen Furst has died. Pace the New York Times, I never saw him in Animal House (1978) and I don't know that I'm ever going to. But I loved him as Vir Cotto on Babylon 5 (1993–98), second only to Peter Jurasik's Londo Mollari and Claudia Christian's Susan Ivanova and the eventual Regent of Centauri Prime played by Damian London, none of whom had better go anywhere in the near future, damn it. The Centauri characters were overwhelmingly my favorites. They had the morally messiest arcs and besides, I came to Babylon 5 right off Robert Graves' I, Claudius (1937) and its 1976 BBC adaptation; I never had a chance. When my high school's concert choir went to England and France for a week and a half in the spring of 1999, I evaluated Versailles in terms of Centauri Prime. Actual Centauri Prime, I am pretty sure, was mostly a matter of CGI reflecting pools and a lot of draperies on the walls, but I believed in its fabulous age and decadence and post-imperial resentment and it provided me with political lines I still quote literally, as in earlier this afternoon, to this day. "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots fights a war on twelve." "Arrogance and stupidity, all in the same package. How efficient of you." And Vir, in the face of Londo's nationalist nostalgia, saying something that is by no means less relevant now than it was twenty-two years ago: "Every generation of Centauri mourns for the golden days when their power was like unto the gods! It's counterproductive! I mean, why make history if you fail to learn by it?" He was the kind of character I loved around the edges of stories, accidentally backing into the center of the narrative this time and then going nervously but resolutely forward when he realized where he was, a nebbish with—somewhat to his own surprise—a spine. A good person, which did not mean an uncomplicated one. Very funny, which the character as much as the actor seemed to have developed in self-defense. Not biologically equipped to handle fast food, which I could really sympathize with. I feel he would be unsurprised if amused to see that, unless they've fixed it by now, the Times obituary spelled his name wrong. It got Furst's right, fortunately, which I recognize is the important thing here. But I never saw him as anyone but Vir and it's hard not to feel that's who we've lost.

Ave atque vale.

Vir
nineweaving: (Default)

[personal profile] nineweaving 2017-06-18 06:29 am (UTC)(link)
*hugs*

Nine
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

[personal profile] starlady 2017-06-18 07:59 am (UTC)(link)
We literally just watched the one where Vir meets his pro-genocide fiancee for the first time on Thursday. He was one of many great parts of B5, and the show absolutely wouldn't have worked half so well without him--Londo wouldn't have, either. Ugh, a real loss.
lost_spook: (Default)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2017-06-18 08:08 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, that is sad news indeed. :-(
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-18 09:30 am (UTC)(link)
I am not talking much about politics at the moment, not because I don't know the rising number of people confirmed dead in Grenfell Tower at the price of £2 per square meter or that the murderer of Philando Castile walked free because it is more important than justice that a white man should be able to shoot whatever scares him or any of the other appalling, routine betrayals of a society's vulnerable by those with more power in it, but because I am not doing so great at the moment and I don't know what I could contribute other than being upset.

Yeah.

-- I remember Furst having diabetes-related health trouble as far back as S4 of Babylon 5, so his making it to his early sixties is good on the one hand, but of course that time was much too short, too.
heavenscalyx: (Default)

[personal profile] heavenscalyx 2017-06-18 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Yet another victim of whatever curse Babylon 5's cast suffers under.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
I didn't know that much about his being that ill! It must have been Lurker's Guide, I remember that site as being a total bonanza for info about the show and crew (hell, remember when it was called Hyperion? good times). It's really something when the creator of the show goes "Yeah, I used that to check canon."

you can quote H.D.'s "R.A.F." until you're sick

That really totally fucking sums it up, yeah.

kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 08:44 am (UTC)(link)
Forgot this earlier, but remember when Marcus does that great rundown in Late Delivery of who everyone is in Arthurian mythology? I always thought Vir was Parsifal.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 09:11 am (UTC)(link)
Marcus says Stephen is Percival, but he must be teasing. I can totally buy Ivanova as Gawain, though. Stephen seems more like a Lancelot type, although Lennier (totally a Galahad) gets forced into that role with the dumbass love triangle.

Oh yeah, did you know Beardsley illustrated Morte d'Arthur? https://www.amazon.com/Morte-dArthur-Knights-Knickerbocker-Classics/dp/163106326X/
https://www.amazon.com/Morte-DArthur-Thomas-Malory/dp/051747977X

I have just the cheap Dover edition that reprints "most" of the illos, now I'm lusting after these.
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)

[personal profile] cyphomandra 2017-06-18 10:31 am (UTC)(link)
Oh hell. The radio mentioned this this afternoon, but they only credited him with Animal House and I was mentally spelling his name like the ordinal, and didn't click. I loved Vir, who was the perfect foil (and friend) for Londo. Dammit.

(and I love your choice of picture!)
moon_custafer: (Default)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2017-06-18 11:11 am (UTC)(link)
When I first began going to SF conventions, Furst and Jurasik were guests at one in Toronto. At some panel, Furst produced a tape with the gag reel from one of the cast parties. At first there was some difficulty cueing it up, and in the darkness, Londo Molari shouted "Trust Vir to steal a blank tape!"
Edited 2017-06-18 11:17 (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

[personal profile] davidgillon 2017-06-18 12:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw hell! Another one gone years too soon.

Vir, to Morden. "What do I want? I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this." {waves}

Speaking of confronting agents of the Shadows, has anything checked whether Trump makes more sense if you get that thing on top of his head blind drunk?
alexxkay: (Default)

[personal profile] alexxkay 2017-06-18 02:00 pm (UTC)(link)
*Fondly remembering his boggled reaction to "You too will be Emperor."*
ashlyme: (Default)

[personal profile] ashlyme 2017-06-18 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah shit. I loved Vir. I want to wave back at that picture. *hugs for you*
rinue: (Default)

[personal profile] rinue 2017-06-18 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know whether it's a generational thing or a nerdcircle thing, but I'm not sure I know anybody who's watched Animal House, whereas all of my friends love Vir deeply. As do I. It's made reading the obits pretty strange. It's like if Paul McCartney died and people mostly talked about his marriage to Heather Mills, or if a Peter Cushing obit barely mentioned Hammer Horror and Star Wars.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-06-18 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Animal House is a surprisingly good movie, or was when I was a teenager. I was not expecting very much, but I came away from it with huge respect for John Belushi, who really is as good as everybody says. However, it was before I really started tracking actors, so I don't remember Furst in it at all. I am considering rewatching to see if it has been eaten by the Sexism Fairy, although I remember the sexist behavior in it as being condemned strongly by the narrative.
rinue: (Default)

[personal profile] rinue 2017-06-18 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting! It's been on my to-watch list for a while, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 06:36 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man, Blues Bros is still one of my all-time cheer-up movies. Especially the ending car chase.

I grew upon Animal House but I'm a little afraid to revisit it now, I remember Donald Sutherland as a predatory prof or something. But OTOH, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?"
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 08:42 am (UTC)(link)
It's when Belushi's totally slobby character is trying to buck up his frat house's moral and is failing disastrously, and hilariously.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
What I remember is Furst has a couple of scenes with marbles that were absolutely hilarious. (Lots and lots of marbles.)
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 08:41 am (UTC)(link)
OMG, did he say "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?" That line just SLAYED me. Always.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-19 08:51 am (UTC)(link)
It was all in Furst's delivery. That was genius.
zdenka: Marcus from Babylon 5 with quotation. (babylon 5)

[personal profile] zdenka 2017-06-18 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah. :( I was sad to hear the news about Stephen Furst. I also only knew him as Vir, but he was really great in that. *waves back at Vir*