I have held my tongue thus far, but a man can only stand silent for so long while others pillage the fruits of his labor for their own ends without offering proper testament to his genius. It was I, Alex Balk, who first used the term “Summer of Death” to refer to this tragic season. It happened right here, at the beginning of July, and in the weeks that followed I have been forced to endure the agony of seeing my creation tossed willy-nilly about the Internet without a nod in the direction of my brilliance. (Those stealy bastards at New York actually suggested that they had trademarked the thing.) It may seem a small point, a minor question of phrasing so obvious in and of itself that it had already been used in another context, but no: “Summer of Death,” when uttered to encompass the spate of celebrity passings that marked the grim dog days of 2009, is utterly an invention of MINE, and I demand to be festooned with all the accolades such virtuosity merits. Preferably in book deal form. Thank you.