In Memoriam: Norman Geras

I was shocked and saddened yesterday to discover that Norman Geras has passed away. He was taken from us at too young an age, and he was one of the best that the blogosphere had to offer; clear-headed, very intelligent, exceedingly well-informed, and very good-natured and good-humored. The wealth of tributes that he received in both life and death speak well to his character and goodness, and to the positive impact that he made in the lives of those privileged to have known him.

Here is James Joyner's remembrance. Nick Cohen has penned one as well. Here is an online festschrift, whose encomiums for Norm are apt and well-deserved. His blog will remain online as a memorial.

Those familiar with Norm's blog will know of the profiles that he wrote of various bloggers. I sent him an e-mail a couple of years ago seeking to guilt-trip him into posting a profile of me. I doubt that I made him feel guilty in the slightest for not having done so previously, but being the delightful soul that he was, he kindly indulged my nagging. I remember having found his questions very interesting, and very enjoyable to answer. I wish that I could continue the conversation with him.

Requiescat in pace.

Quote of the Day

Given the swamp of apologetics and obscurantism into which the Guardian newspaper has turned itself during the last decade, it may seem unfair to pick out one particular contributor to this ongoing journalistic enterprise as especially egregious. Over the years there have been so many voices to choose from in that regard: the Buntings, the Milnes, the Steeles, the Gopals; and then also all those occasionals who, just like the regulars, can't wait to put togther some soft piece of advocacy to the effect that we, the Western democracies, are just plain no good - though, having nothing better to offer for the time being themselves, these commentators make what effort they can to excuse regimes and movements for which no compelling case could be made by anyone of mature moral sensibility.

It has to be said nonetheless that the swamp has now acquired its own special low point, the name of which is Glenn Greenwald. When it was announced last summer that he'd be joining the Guardian I said I thought that Greenwald would fit right in there. And, my, but hasn't he done that? No week passes without his letting us know, always most punctually, that however bad anyone else is we are the worst. The man is an almost bottomless pit of the genre.

--Norman Geras.