Lives and Deaths
The lefty lobes of the Philadelphia blogosphere suffered a tremendous loss last night. Jim Capozzola, author of The Rittenhouse Review, died after a long illness. He was 44.
He was a pioneer of the new medium, starting just before brother in arms, Atrios, in April 2002. He once told former Inky staffer Beth Gillin, "One doesn't blog for other people. One blogs for oneself. Plain and simple."
Jim blogged plainly and simply about his bulldog, Mildred, and his misadventures with Bonsai plants. He tilted at a few windmills, and cared passionately about his city.
A petition went online back in September, and has been slowly attracting support - 421 signatures so far. The author is named Jeremy Syrop, and his web site is freemumia.com, where one can download posters that trumpet the cause:
"Now is the time for Harlem to name a street after Mumia," they read. "His life is in great danger and a "Mumia Street" could help create a momentum to prevent an execution and even win a new trial."
Anthony McCloskey wrote the post August 29, from a USO club at the Atlanta airport. He was coming off leave in Philadelphia and heading back to Afghanistan, where he serves with the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion. The Navy petty officer, first class, titled his dispatch "Redescending Into the Depths of Hell." He wrote:
Once again I am using my blog as a means to escape the reality of my situation for the moment. Leave was much too short, but I am very glad to have had the opportunity to take it. It was simply fantastic.
Once I get back I will post some pictures from my last days on leave. I took some gorgeous photos down in Valley Green (an area of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia), and I have some other good pictures.
"I consider this his confession," says publisher Judith Regan of O.J. Simpson's If I Did It book, where he talks about what would have happened had he actually been the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.
Tearful, two-part TV interview on Fox - part of the same happy media family as ReganBooks - to follow, prompting Harry Shearer to write: "It's a breathtaking use of the past subjunctive by a network that normally can barely manage the present tense."
eCache in South Jersey observes, "The bottom of the pit dropped today."
In May a budding writer and blogger named D. Challener Roe realized that he couldn't name one Sept. 11 victim other than Todd Beamer, the passenger who helped roll the hijackers who planned to fly United Airlines Flight 93 into the nation's capital.
"As one of the millions who pledged never to forget those killed on 9/11, I realized I hadn't kept my promise," he wrote by email Sunday from his Raleigh, N.C. home. He thought of writing something about each of those who died, but decided "I'm not that good a writer." But why not put out the call for an army of volunteers?
That's the origin of The 2,996 Project, an effort to enlist bloggers to celebrate the lives of those who died in the terror attacks of five years ago today.