Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On The Death Of Jon Swift

My first reaction to reading Jon Swift was a deep, burning envy. He did what I wanted to do, the way I wanted to do it. The light touch of sarcasm, made weighty by the genuine anger and indignation behind it. The delicacy of the evisceration of his targets, like sliding in a knife which is almost unnoticed until it is all the way in--and then twisted. The deadpan humor. It was a thing of beauty, and I admired his writing just as much as I envied it.

We write because we must, because we love words, need to express our thoughts, and have this wonderful opportunity to do it on the internet, where there is a faint hope of finding an audience willing to read what we say. We love it so much we do it for free, taking valuable time that is needed for work and family. And we hope, despite all the odds, that we are appreciated and liked as much as we appreciate and like all the writers we read every day.

Blogging showed us that we live in a world of full of interesting, funny, learned, giving people, each utterly unique but still, somehow, all connected to each other through a desire to share and learn. People I never met taught me how to argue, reason, and empathize. And in return I hope I made them laugh or think. It's a small gift but it's the only one I have and I gladly give it to the world, because the world has given me so much in return. We crave acceptance, praise and recognition from others, but we are happiest when we are giving and sharing of ourselves, because it is then that we become as one, a Blogtopia of fools, villains and heroes, uniting to say goodnight to a valued and respected fellow citizen.


Clever Pseudonym said...

Beautifully written, Susan.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks so much, CP.

Deborah Newell said...

Thank you for these lovely words, Susan.

I miss him too. In fact, I cannot believe this has happened, and I'm still struggling to say something appropriately witty and meaningful.

May Jon/Al's own words inspire each of us. He was a rare star, that one.


aimai said...

Jon's death reminds me of Steve Gilliard's. The internet is an amazing place, bringing people together intellectually and emotionally who will never meet each other socially. Its as shocking to lose someone you've come to know through their work, and through personal interactions via writing, as it is to lose a close family member who lives on the other side of the continent. Distance, the written word, the pseudonymity, allow us to imagine that these relationships, alone among human relationships, will not decay, or disappear and that we will not suffer the loss of these friends. Jon Swift's work was wonderful, and your post, Susan, perfectly captures it.


Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, you guys.

I can't forget the clash between Gilliard and Swift. Gilliard thought it was undignified to ask for links and maybe he was right. The best thing to do is try to do a very good job and hope that the quality of the work gets the attention it deserves. But it's also good to help and encourage others if you can.

Batocchio said...

Nice tribute. skippy's been rounding up all the memorial posts.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, Batocchio.

satch said...

I'll always be happy to be part of your audience.