"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Monday, June 02, 2008

Has it been a year already?
Posted by Jill | 5:42 AM
Perhaps the worst thing about getting older is the rapidly-accelerating pace of time. And here it is, June 2nd, 2008 and Steve Gilliard has been gone a year already.

I don't think there's a progressive blogger out here in Left Blogistan who wasn't in some way influenced by Steve Gilliard. The Great Orange Satan may suck up most of the oxygen in the progressive blogging room, but Gilliard was blogging's heart, and when he passed away a year ago today, it left a gaping, smoking hole where one of the most incisive voices out there used to be.

This is in no way to diminish the extraordinary accoomplishment of Lower Manhattanite, Sara Robinson, Hubris Sonic, and Jesse Wendel -- commenters at The News Blog who stepped up to the plate when Gillard went into the hospital in February 2007 and kept that blog going -- and then quietly and with little fanfare picked up the torch right where Steve Gilliard left it and continued to bring their own brilliant voices to us day after day after day. As they say right there at Group News Blog, they do it because if they didn't, Steve would totally kick their asses.

I never met the man. I wasn't even one of the people who exchanged occasional e-mail. But every day, if there was one blog I made sure not to miss it was The News Blog. Even now, I'll sometimes find myself thinking about what Gilliard would say about something. During the recent Willie Randolph race fracas over at the dump in Flushing occurred, I found myself thinking, "I wonder what Steve would write about this." Certainly the race card being played by the Clinton campaign, the Jeremiah Wright foofarah, the harridan from New York in the YouTube video I posted yesterday shrieking that Obama, a former editor of the Harvard Law Review who went to college on scholarships, is "a mediocre black man" sorely miss his perspective, not to mention John McCain's smackdown of our Iraq veterans and the Bush Administration's rush to war with Iran.

Without diminishing one bit the achievement of the GNB-ers -- damn fine writers who every day make me feel like a slouch -- there's no denying that even a year later, there is still a gaping hole out there where Steve Gilliard's voice used to be.

I put his rallying cry at the top of this blog after he passed away to remind myself, on the days when I wonder why the heck I do this every day, just why I do.

I miss the voice, but there are many others out there with the added grief of missing the man. It's a tough day today for LM and Sara and Jesse and Hubris and their newer co-bloggers. Go over and give them a hug.

And if you've been on Mars for the last five years and have never read his work, here's a good place to start.

And if you're tempted to think that Gilliard would have been an Obamabot, well, suck on this.

And oh yeah. Eff the effing Yankees.

UPDATE: I'll post links to other bloggers' anniversary tributes as I find them:

Des Moines Dem at Bleeding Heartland
More from Jesse at Firedoglake
The Great Driftglass
Jen (with beer can chicken recipe!)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Holy cow, I didn't realize a year had passed. It's still upsetting to think about, and I too wonder almost every day what he would have said.


Blogger desmoinesdem said...
Thanks for the link! I am going to add your post to a list of tributes at Bleeding Heartland.

I also think that Steve would have been calling bullshit on Hillary and Obama this primary season. Edwards was always my first choice, but what really started souring me on Obama (the fact that he was AWOL during the Senate debate over the May 2007 Iraq War supplemental funding bill) would probably have pissed off Steve mightily.

Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...
Damn, that's a fine memorial. Thank you.

I just can't get over how fucking much I miss the guy. A man I never met. Steve was the first blogger I ever read, and I used to check in to his site two or three times a day.

You're right. No one will ever take his place. No one brings that unique combination of intelligence, erudition, humour, critical thinking, outspokenness, cynicism, and warmth. What a mensch.