Sunday, December 30

Just finished reading...

people have corrected today's NYT Magazine remembrance of Steve Gilliard to say "that's not the Steve we knew." That he wasn't a forlorn loner, he was a leader and a big part of a lively active community we're proud to call family.

I did not know Steve. And I have a big confession to make: the first time I read his blog (probably in 2004) it kinda frightened me. That blog was so, what's the word? Vituperative? Ha. Just took me a little time, is all.

But I'm more disturbed, and I think Steve would be too (it was never about him, now, was it?), by the author's lack of understanding of what Steve did, what we all do, as bloggers. Anyone who portrays in print, that typing a blog in a room alone is a lonely existence, has never done it and doesn't have a fucking clue and should not be assigned blogger eulogies, ever.

Actually, any so-called "journalist" who would write this sentence,

"His writing at times betrayed a sense of loneliness and dislocation."

as if that is somehow unusual of practitioners of word-ly arts, is obviously not a "writer" his own self. In the words of another lonely, dislocated writer, Mister Bai? That's just typing.

[A side note: I did not know before today that Truman Capote wrote the "That's just typing" quip about Kerouac's On the Road. Nope, no lonely dislocation in that writer, that's unique to blogger Steve Gilliard. type type type.]

Anyone who thinks that this particular big bald black guy typing in a room alone was somehow deserving of a sappy 'lonely blogger' eulogy, apparently didn't know Steve Gilliard and certainly didn't know his blog. Or any blog. At all.

This particular big bald black blogger still helps all of us put rage into words, from beyond his hidden grave and so-called lonely keyboard. Founding Father does not begin to describe what he is for bloggers. He continues to influence how we write, what we say, and most particularly how we treat each other.

And the small fact that we will still rely on those words of HIS to describe our rage at the wrong, wrong war that will tragically define our era...long after names like "Petraeus" and "Nouri al-Maliki" will require a Wiki lookup...that tells us far more than those thousand words in today's Magazine Section.

But Steve coulda told you that, and the big awful shame is that he can't.


  1. Anonymous3:44 PM

    And all other writers sit around open tables together and work on group projects, passing sentences back and forth.

    Ah! The gregarious life of the writer! What the lonley, maladjusted blogger could never do.


    (whose pen is sharper than his sword, and whose tongue is sharper than his pen. or something)

  2. 'loneliness and dislocation'...Yeah, right, Bai - More like a clearheaded cogent analysis at odds with the fictive desires of the Make A Big Tall Wish crew.

    I didn't know Gilly personally, not being from NYC or even hanging about much with bloggers and other New Media types.

    But I read him every day, because I knew I wasn't going to be wasting my time with some cutpolished prefab BS in doing so.

    I miss that voice, and I'm glad he lasted long enough to create a legacy.

  3. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Great post, BG. The notion of the lonely, solitary blogger is ridiculous for exactly the reason Ten mentioned. Writing is a solitary act, mostly.

    But even more importantly, is the fact that on a daily basis many of us likely have contact with more people than ever before. True it's not in person, but it's still human contact. That matters.

    It helps us all remain our sweet, little vituperative, foul-mouthed selves.

  4. And sometimes we can even meet each other in person!

    I'm still proudly wearing my VF-MBotL pin.

    Thanks for the great post about Gilliard, BG - I'm going back to his archives and reading them from the beginning.


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