Like every year, 2012 has seen the passing of stars and heroes who were part of our lives for decades. Millions mourn Whitney Houston, Ravi Shankar, and Andy Griffith. We may never have met them, but they were almost part of the family. Fortunately, new celebrities are being born every year. Here is a small selection, a short list of 9 notable births of 2012.
Claude-Thierry Lalonde, philosopher, June 12.
Yes, we’ve heard the joke. “How do you get a philosopher off your porch?” “Pay him for the pizza.” Well, whoever made up that joke never read Claude-Thierry Lalonde. In a short but intense career, Lalonde rebuked the challenge to Platonism by philosophers such as Nietzsche and Sartre in his slim volume, L’Avril Pour Les Idees (2038), scribbled while Lalonde dodged bullets in the wasteland of Bordeaux. This was but a foretaste, paving the way for his masterpiece, Les Plumes de Guerre (2041). Thereafter, young philosophy students would follow Lalonde’s every word, even to the point of adopting his mannerisms and catch phrases. Though fired from his post at the Sorbonne after an affair with a student, Lalonde had by then become that rarity: a financially independent philosopher, making a living not just through his books but through numerous cameo appearances in movies.
Mei Tanaka, talk show host/socialite, September 7.
No matter the havoc all about them, Mei’s Tokyo penthouse became a favored party place for the rich and trendy from all over Asia. American and British pop stars and A-list actors would stop by for cocktails and chat. It was only natural that Mei should host her own HV show, Mei’s Variety Hour, where old friends dropped by to trade stories, sing songs and tell jokes before a worldwide audience. Millions would come to recite her trademark, “Bar’s closed, folks! Get out, drive safe, seeya tomorrow!”
John Beatty, motorized warlord, March 16.
Born in obscurity in North Dakota, Beatty was one of the hard men who rose to prominence in the Great Plains Wastelands of mid-century North America. This hulking brute didn’t consider his day well-started if he hadn’t ordered at least two shanties razed first. He wasn’t the bloodiest of the great warlords, but with his monocle, his chain-mail vest, and his flame-belching Harley, he was certainly the most charismatic.
Sirene Blue, assassin, February 22.
It was said that no man, and few women, could resist the charms of Sirene Blue. No one knows how many fell before her curare-tipped blowdarts. Trained from infancy by remote Amazon Indians, Sirene worked for the highest bidder. She disappeared for nine years after the wars, and was presumed dead. Only when the resistance to the Insectoids began in earnest after 2061 did she reappear, ready to assist in humankind’s revenge.
Constance I, Pope, August 1.
No matter how desperate the conditions of children and elderly in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, no one was turned away from Sister Matilda’s Kitchen, which gave out bowls of soup, oranges, and iodine by the millions. Even when closed by the Provisional Government, the determined Carmelite just took her loving care to the abandoned subway tunnels, using plexi shielding to avoid heat sensors. Loved and hated, the Sister persisted. It was little surprise when the College of Cardinals selected her only third woman to ascend to the papacy in 2074.
Chucky Byrd, inventor, July 9. What would our world look like without Chucky Byrd? Before him, the personal jetpack was just a toy for the rich. Byrd brought it into the reach of the common man and woman. Before him, the flame-thrower was strictly a military weapon, used to clear the enemy as he hid behind foliage. It took Chucky Byrd to make it spit fireballs, and make it an essential part of home defense. Though wanted by the Secret Police, having discovered the secret to true invisibility in 2044, Byrd has avoided capture, his fugitive status making him a living legend while scarcely slowing the pace of his discoveries.
Swift-Raven Moonswallow, religious leader, November 25.
Known to history as “the Wiccan Paul,” Moonswallow first achieved notoriety in 2030, when she stunned Brighton, UK by actually turning the Mayor of that ancient town into a newt. This, plus her popular series of H-books, beginning with How to Win a Witch War (2035), set her on a course that would see her traveling the world, converting an estimated 1 billion people to Wicca next five decades.
Lionel Taft, pilot, December 30.
He may have been born yesterday, but as the century progressed, no one flew faster or further than Lionel Taft, who rose to Colonel in the Provisional Air Force. And when, after years of suffering, it was time for weary populations to strike back against the Insectoids, only one man was the right man to deliver the Bomb.
Kip Royce, musician, May 19.
Move over, Mick and Keith. Make room in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this pouty superstar, lead vocalist for supergroup The One Chihuahua. Rock had been dead for fifteen years when TOC brought it back stronger than ever. It can be said that TOC’s career peaked in 2037, when a concert in Houston led to riots that led to the Texas Commune, a piece of rock ‘n roll heaven that was only put down by Rangers after four days of tear gas and screaming guitars. Afterward, a visibly shaken Royce declared “We’re all done with Texas, mate.”