Saturday, July 08, 2006

on life, death, and prose

I know of three bloggers who are extraordinary wordsmiths. By that I mean that when I read them I'm always thinking, "I wish I could put together sentences like that," or "That was an inspired word choice," or, more commonly, given my relative lack of perception, "Why is this post so easy and enjoyable to read?" The three bloggers are James Lileks, Andrew Sullivan and Dean Barnett (the Dean of Soxblog, not Dean's World).

I don't read Lileks any more because he and I just don't share many interests. I'm sure the peculiarities of 1950's post-modern agrarian neo-colonial wicker footwear are endless and fascinating to those of the proper outlook, and Lileks's young daughter, Gnat, is surely one of the most adorable children ever to grace the surface of this or any other planet, but ... well ... YA-A-AWN.

As to Andrew Sullivan, he was once one of the best political bloggers on the Internet. This was during a period in Sullivan's life when apparently he was able to step outside of his own narrow interests and view the world from a grander perspective. Some of his polemics on the War on Terror were great works of journalism. Unfortunately, this admirable period of Sullivan's self-centered life was fleeting. He has returned to his mire of narcissistic self-indulgence to such an extent that he has actually been working to undermine America's prosecution of the War on Terror in order to punish George Bush for being insufficiently accommodating to men who, like Sullivan, enjoy sodomizing one another for entertainment. Sullivan's once-mighty blog has evaporated away, leaving behind nothing but a brackish puddle of whiny self-indulgent waste featuring posts about his minor health problems along with grousing about how mean Republicans are to gays and how mean American soldiers are to terrorists. I don't read Andrew Sullivan any more.

The one I still read is Dean Barnet. Most of what Barnett writes is political or social commentary (with the occasional insufferably partisan sports column. Barnett is a citizen of Boston so of course nothing he has to say about sports is worth reading, but the rest of it is good). On rare occasions, Barnett too writes about his health, but unlike Sullivan, Barnett actually has something worthwhile to say on this subject. You see, Dean Barnett has Cystic Fibrosis. He is 39 now and wasn't expected to live to that ripe old age.

Perhaps the best post that Dean Barnett has ever written was one about his health. You can trust me; I'm not into maudlin sentimentality and this post was one of the most profound and emotionally draining things I have ever read. It expresses the thoughts of a young man who has faced the prospect of an early death. The post is really about hope, but such an abbreviated hope that it almost hurt to read. Barnett's outlook made me regret the wasted time of my own life. I was left almost envious of the man who has spent his entire life knowing that he had not long to live it and made his decisions with such in mind. I wish that I had made better decisions. So seriously … click here and read it.

After you read that post, be sure to read his latest. It is very good news.

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