Friday, December 25, 2009

General Macarthur

We lost one of our voices this week:
An honest, courageous writer who honorably searched for answers while posing thorny questions out here in this ether. Macarthur Walton held court in this nebulous online world that has been derided as: a waste of time; a medium for mindless recreation; a platform for disseminating lies; a dehumanizing congress that separates rather than connects; a medium that abbreviates conversation to the point of insignificance.

Walton’s explorations on daddyBstrong allowed me to see that critics of discourse on the Internet (Of which I was one, until MyCue23 dragged me into blogging last year on Random Thoughts) are only assessing a nascent medium by its worst examples, like judging the act of cooking by citing a potted meat casserole.

I never had the pleasure of knowing him, only the honor of reading his posts and sharing in some of his indignation. Words have failed me since the news of MacDaddy’s passing into that undifferentiated oblivion which we all must return to. I knew he had been sick but I had no idea to what degree: such were the force of his words and his clarity of thought to the very end that I had no idea was coming so soon.

I occasionally return to the works of Wilfred Owen, Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats and lately James Fenton for some perspectives on the loss of our contemporaries and maybe even a little guidance on how to continue as our departed friends and colleagues would insist we do in their damnable and unjust absence.

This is where I came from.
I passed this way.
This should not be shameful
Or hard to say.

A self is a self.
It is not a screen.
A person should respect
What he has been.

This is my past
Which I shall not discard.
This is the ideal.
This is hard

- James Fenton

Macarthur Walton will be missed, but not forgotten by any of us.


Vigilante said...

Agreed, SJ. Mac has left us all stronger, wiser, braver for having known him and his writing.

SJ said...

I spent yesterday afternoon re-reading some his posts and remain stunned at the news of his passing. I'm eager to check out his book on the 60s.

MadMike said...

I have been posting over his place for a couple of years. We didn't always agree but that didn't matter. We enjoyed the civilized discourse. I will miss him terribly and still visit his place every day, hoping there might be some mistake...

TRUTH 101 said...

I'm sad to hear about your friend SJ. I just read a few of his posts and wish I had visited his site earlier. Great blogger.

SJ said...

@Truth 101,
I actually didn't know him, just read his blog quite a bit over the last two years and was a fan.

I was very saddened by his passing.
Makes me remember to appreciate this thing we do online a little more as the new year is approaching.