Over the last few days the nation has mourned Maurice Sendak’s death. The passing of the author of Where the Wild Things Are, has spawned tributes across the country from parents, kids, and even celebrities, who though often illiterate, no doubt have had this book read to them at some point in their lives. Comments about Sendak’s death have been overwhelmingly positive, and have mostly praised his contributions to children’s literature. Mostly.
But for some people, it was more personal. The following comments didn’t make it to the papers, Facebooks, and television, but perhaps help to paint a more complete picture of that “Wild Thing” that so many of us will miss.
Ten Controversial Reactions to the Death of Maurice Sendak:
“Couldn’t get him off my jock, he was…like static cling, but that’s what happens when body’s start slappin’, when readin’ ’bout Wild Things…” —Tone Loc, rapper
“My son’s favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. In 2006, on a safari in Africa, he attempted to emulate the hero in the book by trying to stare down a cougar. He was promptly torn apart. Thank you, Mr. Sendak, for giving our mentally challenged son confidence enough to think that he could earn the respect of vicious wild animals.”–Mary Cottington, England
“The book was about me, man.”–Charlie “Wild Thing” Sheen, via TMZ
“Done rippin’ me off yet, Sedak?”–Charlie Sheen, a minute later via Twitter
“People are always looking to hype ‘Wild Things,’ but I found it to be derivative. Sendak’s best work is ‘Zletah the Goat,’ which is bad-ass, and was revolutionary in the genre of Yiddish children’s fiction.”–Doug “Dimitri” Thomas, 23, Williamsburg
“I agree with the fellow with the painted arms and uh, nose earring, who just spoke.”–Saul Levy, 84, Williamsburg
“People always wanna talk about Tony Soprano this and Tony Soprano that, but the role of Carol the ‘Wild Thing’ is my greatest accomplishment. When I hear my laconic voice come from a giant puppet head, I think I finally know how Brando must have felt.”–James Gandolfini, Actor
“He used me as a model for his book, and I received no payment. I was also cut out of the film, and everyone knew how much I wanted to go to Hollywood. So no, I’m not too broken up over Maurice’s death.”–Sweetums, Muppet
“I was a drug addict for years, and couldn’t feed my children because I used all the money on pills. So, from ’89 to ’92, we fed our kids his books, exclusively. Sure, they liked the pictures and all, but they ate his books because the were hungry.”–Mother, mentioned in Terry Gross interview
“I ain’t tryin’ to talk about Maurice Sendak, man. I’m tryin’ to win a championship.”–LeBron James, Miami Heat