L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

22 March 2007 Blog Home : March 2007 : Permalink

Cathy Seipp

Cathy Seipp was born as the EU was formed in 1957. She died yesterday (or was it the day before I've been travelling this week and lacking internet access) as the EU worked itself up for a party to celebrate its half century of existence. I never met Ms Seipp and rarely left a comment on her blog, though I read it religiously. Losing someone, even a near stramnger like Ms Seipp to cancer is officially a bugger. I've seen it once before about 10 years ago when a friend of my wife's died. Much like Ms Seipp he refused to let the disease get him down but fought it tooth and nail so it was a major shock when suddenly the desiease finally got on top. Ms Seipp seems to have gone the same way.
As someone else said in rather different circumstances about another person who shuffled off this mortal coil recently:

I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatiguability

The tributes from those who did know her, even those who had vehement disagreements with her, put her solidly on the list of people I wish I could have met. I first started reading her blog because her daughter's blog was mentioned by Samizdata and then discovered that amongst the blogs and bloggers she discussed and liked and disliked were many from people I knew over the Internet in one form or another from Joeseph Mailander aka the Motley Fool's jeanpaulsartre to Patterico. Talking of which the latter has one of the better obituries including this bit which I think will be seen as the basic wisdom of the internet age:

She was always very forthright with her opinions, and blunt in the way she expressed them. A theme that she came back to again and again was that people must be accountable for the things that they say.

For example, I talked to Cathy at length at a Yamashiro gathering held shortly after I had posted that the L.A. Times seemed poised to “push back” against its critics — including, possibly, me. Cathy told me that of course I should expect them to do that (and, basically, I shouldn’t whine about it). She was not mollified by my point that I had only a few hundred readers, while the paper commands a circulation of nearly a million, and has the power to seriously affect people’s reputations. Cathy’s feeling was, basically: tough. I was the one who chose to take on this powerful newspaper — and that’s all well and good, but I shouldn’t expect them not to fight back! [...]

The unifying theme of those conversations was that you have to be held accountable for what you say. Cathy believed strongly in that principle.

We need more like her.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin