Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My hero - Steven Gilliard

I started my forays into blogs by reading Steven Gilliard.

Only I didn't know about it at the time.

There came a time in my life when I turned down the radio (please no more Rush Limbaugh), when I simply could not stomach the bias in TV news, when newspapers articles didn't do it for me... I needed my sanity back. If it was not too late.

Enter The News Blog.

Whoever wrote the articles wrote eloquently, beautifully and effectively put their point across. Which was to call a spade a spade, and a con man a bullshit artist.

Through the blog, I was alerted to REAL NEWS (instead of a white woman was was missing 245 days in Aruba, who dominated 50% of newscasts' air time). Real news. I forgot such a thing existed.

After a few weeks of on and off reading, in one post it dawned on me that Mr. Gilliard...!

The blog was so well written, worked so beautifully, the author was so intelligent, that I just assumed that the author must be like me - white. Five seconds later, after a quick thought process, I was officially cured of any racism I had in me.

That's the beauty of blogs - you judge them by the content of the written word and intellectual honesty of the writer, not the appearance of the author. Or the skin color.

After reading Mr. Gilliard for years, his friend started writing about his upcoming operation, and then the hospital stay, and then the operation itself.

And she wrote that Steve did not wake up.

And we, the thousands of readers, followed the story as if it was a soap opera on TV.

Except it was all real. And deadly serious.

I was on the blog every day, waiting for Steve to wake up. Reading the comments from doctors who advised us about the medical procedures. And other posters, who advised us to be calm. And others whol told us to pray. And others - hope. And others who... cried.

It was not a good period in my life. My family member died recently, and she was so young and full of health that it came as a big shock to everybody. I was unemployed. My parents were getting a divorce. Selfishly, I was thinking that I REALLY dont need this crap in my life. I had one tragedy too many. I could not take Steve laying there in a hospital bed, because I thought of him as a FRIEND.

Well, I never met him. Hell, I didn't even see his picture up to that time. I doubt if he knew about me other than by my comments. And that email about computer games that we discussed. But I cared. I was invested emotionally. I felt that here was a GOOD man... and if there is a god, please please...

...and then he died.

Even though I never met the man, and before he died did not even know what he looked like...

It was a sad loss for me personally.
Another tragedy in that sad period in my life, where everything that could go... did.
Steve I miss you, your funny writing, your serious writing, your sense of humor, your optimism...and your taste in computer games.

You were, and are my hero.

Some links for you people:
This was the blog that changed my life Steven Gilliard's discontinued blog
It is now a memorial.

Mr. Gilliard's fantastic series on colonialism, well worth reading:
Mr. Gilliard's colonialism series.

This is a blog that is written by friends of Mr. Gilliard:
The Group News blog

Rest in peace, Steve.

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