Monday, July 23, 2007

Missing For One Year

Gone Quiet - But Not Forgotten

It was one year ago today at 11:00 AM that blogger extraordinaire Sans Culotte made his last entry at In a way he was the non-participant founder of this blog, which was originally created not so much as a tribute as a vigil, where his regular visitors could hang out awaiting his return. We have of course evolved into something else since, but that's how we started.

Passionate about progressive issues, the pantsless one distinguished himself by always providing something unique in his posts. Often that was accomplished by taking the road less travelled, and blogging about something everyone else was ignoring. His post The End of Dollar Hegemony is a perfect example. Other times he would take a front page issue and crack it open by looking at some aspect that others didn't see. Or he would provide research to something that was well beyond the call of duty, exemplified by his post about Robert Newman's 'History of Oil.' The remarkable collection of links backing up Newman's thesis really adds to the educational experience of watching this entertaining documentary. That's what I call value added blogging.

It might be said that Sans' best moments were not on his own blog but as a commenter elsewhere, no more significantly than at Americablog, his favorite online hangout. Here he showed an uncanny mercurial ability to blog on the fly, and whatever subject another commenter came up with he could and did respond to with a raft of significant related links, usually within minutes. I still haven't figured out how he did it. For this he earned my nomination for best commenter in the Koufax Awards when I became aware that there was such a category.

I can think of no better tribute you could pay to Sans than to visit his blog and read a few of the posts listed under 'most popular' in the sidebar. You'll be glad you did - they're all really good posts.

I never met him, and can't say that I knew him that well really. Still, I miss him.
I would like to add a couple of points to this shared sentiment...

As well as he did content, Sans also did the interpersonal. Routinely offering assistance to less experienced bloggers, he taught many, including myself, technical skills and also common "netiquette." He could be serious and also playful, and seemed to know when each was appropriate. He also knew how to disembowel a weak argument, not with strength of belief or shrillness of voice, but with logic and supported facts. In all of these ways, he was a model within the Liberal online community. Perhaps my favorite quality was his passion for engaging with the issues of our time, always more concerned with sharing information and resources than receiving credit or praise. It really wasn't about ego; it was about Democracy.

"Though Liberty stayed safely hid
Despite the countless pleadings bid
I felt Liberty's shadow nigh
And thus refused to say goodbye
When Liberty softly did."

I still refuse.

~Jump to the Left
NOTE: Image is from a painting of a French Revolutionary Sans-Culotte, not the dude we're talking about. But I guess you figured that out for yourself.


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