Wednesday, March 03, 2010

RIP Jon Swift

My typist was at work on a new, deeply satirical post when she stumbled across the sad news that a guy she never met and whose name she never even knew had passed away suddenly. Al Weisel, who blogged -- brilliantly and satirically -- as Jon Swift, "a reasonable conservative" who got all his news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Jay Leno monologues, died on Feb. 27, according to a comment left by his mother on the last post on his blog. Weisel suffered two aortic aneurysms on his way to his father's funeral and died after three surgeries and a stroke. Moose read the news on Tom Watson's blog, in a post appropriately titled "A Death in the Blogging Family." Indeed.

We didn't know Al Weisel the person, but we closely followed Jon Swift the blogger. We had missed him greatly in the past year and worried about his prolonged blog silence. (That last post went up nearly a year ago.) He taught us a lot about the values of parody and satire, about political commentary that had a sharp edge but a good soul. We were the beneficiaries of his great generosity as a member of the blogging community, too. He listed us on his blogroll when we wrote and asked him to. He included our pieces in his annual list of best pieces selected by bloggers themselves. He nominated us for Weblog Awards that we never won because, we are convinced, those awards just don't have the right category for a comic dog blog obsessed with politics, pop culture, and basketball, but his faith that we were doing something worth nominating meant a lot to our humble crew of readers, writers, and internets trollers.

We did not know him, but we admired him and sought to emulate him and wish there were more folks like him in the blogosphere and the world. Dogspeed, Modest Jon. May you find kindness, fairness, and balance wherever you go. Dogspeed.


  1. That's tragic! On the way to his father's funeral?!?!? While I didn't read his blog regularly, I did enjoy it when I visited. This is heartbreaking . . . and I didn't even know him! The Internets can sometimes form those instant affective communities.

  2. dog-eared book11:10 PM EST

    Such Sadness! I never knew him, but of course I knew him. Funny to hold both those thoughts in mind at the same time. . . . . He was one of the decent folks. And an excellent writer. So sorry to hear this news. . . .

  3. A lovely tribute, Roxie.

  4. Thank you. It is strange to grieve the loss of someone you never knew, but Al's blog was really important to us and his kindness stood out, especially in the midst of much incivility in the progressive blogosphere during the Democratic primary race of 2008. We always wondered about the man behind the blog. Very sorry we'll never have a chance to meet him.


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