Steven Malcolm Anderson, R.I.P.

NOTE (12/11/05): This post was written last night after I received the tragic news, but as today is the day of Steven's funeral, I'm moving this to the top of the blog, where it will stay all day to honor him.

I just received the saddest personal news in the history of this blog. (I'm afraid I can't do this subject justice in a post, but I have to write something, awkward and difficult though it is. So bear with me.)

Via an email from his twin brother, I have learned that Steven Malcolm Anderson died suddenly of heart failure on Sunday, November 27, at a hospital in Bellevue, Washington.

I'm in a state of shock, as I had no idea. I'd been missing Steven's comments over the last ten days or so -- wow, I now see that his last comment was on November 27, the day he died.

As I replied to his brother, even though we never met, Steven was more than a friend to me. His comments were more than comments, and I considered him to be a sort of de facto co-blogger. (I can't tell you how many times his comments were longer than my posts, and better!) While I hadn't yet complained, it was depressing lately that Steven wasn't around, but I didn't bother him because the last time I thought Steven had disappeared, it turned out to be a computer problem. I even wanted to take up a collection to buy him a new computer -- that's how much Steven meant to me.

For now, I am putting the world, the blogosphere (and all appropriate deities) on notice that Steven's glorious spirit -- his style! if I can borrow his favorite word -- will always be part of my blog. I'll do my best to keep him alive, and I'll never forget him. I'm just now starting to grieve, and this is exactly like losing a close friend. The fact that I never met him physically changes nothing; if anything it makes me regret not having met him even more. I had a standing offer to get together if he ever came East but he never did.

Few human beings are possessed of such joyous exuberance, such charm and wit, such knowledge of history, and such brilliant humor. Truly, the world is a worse place for his passing. Mine certainly is.

Regular readers know Steven, and they've even been asking about him. Like commenter Arisotmedes, I too had been waiting for Steven's fix on Coco's cosmic snow circles.

What would Dawn and Wanda say?

Now I'll never know.

I could fill an entire book with the guy's innumerable comments, and I just might put them all together in his honor. Hell, they weren't comments; they were essays! (Steven wrote over a thousand comments just this year!)

This isn't just a loss for me; it's a real loss for the blogosphere.

I'm just starting to grieve, and I'm lucky no one can see me cry.

Miss you, Steven!

MORE: Steven's favorites, Dean Esmay and his wife Rosemary -- the Queen Of All Evil -- express their shock and condolences in a very touching manner. Please go visit them and read the many touching comments. Steven would insist.

One of the last things he said here was, "I admire Dean
For marrying the Queen. I admire the Queen For marrying Dean."

As Rosemary said, "All Hail and Mourn Steven Malcolm Anderson."

I'm borrowing her flag in his honor:

halfmast.gif

Requiescat in pace, Steven.

MORE: Via a comment at Dean's World, I found Steven's official obituary. Excerpt:

He read voraciously and was an expert in many fields, including mythology and comparative religion, philosophy and political science, and color theory. He wrote highly creative and original fiction. He was a long-time, confident computer and Internet user, and fully exploited the latter, not for shopping (other than for books) or entertainment, but to participate actively in a world-wide community of thinkers and writers who became devoted friends. He charmed all who knew him with his gentle kindness, modesty, humor, erudition, and wisdom. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, at Beck's Funeral Home, 405 - 5th Ave S, Edmonds, WA 98020. (425) 771-1234. We will share memories and stories that celebrate Steven's life. If you cannot attend, please send your memories, pictures, and tributes to Beck's Funeral Home or to sma@3dmdev.com. An enduring memorial is being created at steven.malcolm.anderson.name. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Steven's name to the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, or the American Heart Association.

UPDATE: Sean Kinsell (who's extremely busy) has taken time from a short break to remember Steven:

I wish him an eternity of pho, lesbians, and good loving from his pantheon of goddesses. RIP, big guy.

MORE: Mary Madigan remembers Steven as "Scholar, writer and one of my favorite commenters at Dean's World."

MORE: Mark at Urthshu shares his memories:

probably one of the funniest, most prolific commenters on Dean's World & Classical Values, amongst many other blogs. You didn't always know where he was coming from, but he always said it with style, certainly.

Gonna miss that guy.

MORE: Over at Dean's World, I see that IndustrialBlog, The Glittering Eye, and WILLisms are all remembering Steven.

So is Bloggledygook:

SMA was one of those whose writing spoke of his intelligence and humor, not from self-aggrandizing, but from its pure lucidity and purpose. He will be greatly missed.
And Doc Rampage explains how it feels to lose a friend you've never met:
I never met the man and all that I knew about him was what he wrote, but I feel that I have lost a friend.

How is it that I feel so bad about a man I never met? Many authors, actors, and performers that I knew have died. What was different about Steven? I suppose it was that I didn't just read what he wrote, but responded to him, and he would sometimes respond to me. We interacted, even if only through the comments at Dean's World. We were aware of each other, not merely as a collection of written ideas, but as living souls.

Rest in Peace, Steven Malcolm Anderson.

MORE: And at Postive Liberty, Jonathan Rowe remembers, and thanks Steven. (Jonathan, of course, was one of Steven's nominees for the Supreme Court.)

AND MORE: Gay Orbit's Michael Demmons remembers Steven as a frequent commenter, and adds,

My heart goes out to Stevenís family.

I donít know what to say. This is very upsetting. I will miss Steven.

What can anyone say, really? It's just a damned shame, and a terrible loss.

MORE: Not Exactly Rocket Science remembers Steven. So does Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush!

And here's Bryan of Arguing with Singposts who frequently disagreed with Steven:

While I disagreed with 90 75 percent of what he said, he said it with panache, and you could tell that he was intelligent and well read. He will be missed.

Paul Burgess remembers Steven as

"a true conservative and a true original, and a man of honor and deep integrity." He and I shared an interest in certain rather esoteric writings, such as Goethe's Theory of Colours, and Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West. He will very much be missed.
How true. This blog will never be the same.

UPDATE (12/15/05): Danny at Carnival of Tribute (whose specialty blog -- "A roundup of obituary tributes in the blogosphere" -- I found at InstaPundit) has honored Steven Malcolm Anderson with post.

posted by Eric on 12.11.05 at 11:59 PM







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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Steven Malcolm Anderson, R.I.P.:

» Steven Malcolm Anderson, RIP from Dean's World

Steven Malcolm Anderson has died.

I am honestly too choked up to know what to say.

The black is for him.

[Read More]
Tracked on December 10, 2005 9:21 PM
» All Hail and Mourn Steven Malcolm Anderson from The Queen of All Evil

My very first minion, Steven Malcolm Anderson, died of heart failure on November 27.

I'm horribly saddened by the news.

I just don't know what to ...

[Read More]
Tracked on December 10, 2005 9:46 PM
» Passing from Mythusmage Opines
Classical Values :: Steven Malcolm Anderson, R.I.P. Never met the man. Didn't read all he wrote. Didn't always agree with what I did read. I can say I enjoyed his sense of play, and his insight, even when I disagreed... [Read More]
Tracked on December 11, 2005 10:04 PM



Comments

That's awful! I wondered what had happened to him—he just stopped commenting.

I'm very sorry to hear this. My condolences to his family, and to you, Eric. We'll all miss him, "the Lesbian-worshipping man's-man-admiring myth-based egoist" that he was.

Bonnie   ·  December 10, 2005 8:21 PM

Damn. I'm going to miss him.

Somehow it never occurred to me he was mortal. I know that doesn't make any sense. It just didn't.

P.

Portia   ·  December 10, 2005 8:24 PM

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.

Dean Esmay   ·  December 10, 2005 9:09 PM

Well, SMA. For once I am all but wordless. I hope you made it to your particular Valhalla of beauty, intelligence, bravery and honor. And if such a thing were possible despite all the unkind thoughts I have espoused about religion in general, that you shall spend an eternity with your kindred spirit of G K Chesterton.

Which, if I read your correctly over the past couple of years, should please you greatly.

Arnold Harris
Mount Horeb WI

Arnold Harris   ·  December 10, 2005 9:47 PM

Oh, no.

I'm just a lurker here (well, normally), but I always enjoyed and looked forward to his comments. (Even offline, I caught myself considering the style of something a couple times.) This is very sad.

Stephanie   ·  December 10, 2005 10:01 PM

I too am deeply saddened. I do hope you will do a book of his comments. I would buy it for sure. I am crying as well for I was going to meet him in personthis Spring. He loved the beauty of the Spring season.

Mary Janelle   ·  December 10, 2005 11:21 PM

:( Too difficult to know what to write. What horrible news this is.

urthshu   ·  December 11, 2005 11:14 AM

Sad to hear the news about Steven Malcolm Anderson. I always enjoyed recognizing him as the author of a comment on your blog before scrolling down to see the tag line.

Allan Beatty   ·  December 11, 2005 11:35 AM

Wow. That's terrible. I'll never forget the kind words that he had for my work.

Jon Rowe   ·  December 11, 2005 12:05 PM

This is sad news. I never had a direct conversation with him (I usually lurk, and only occasionally post comments), but his was a striking web presence. I'm going to miss reading his comments.

wheels   ·  December 11, 2005 2:21 PM

Damn. I was simply stunned to learn that Steven Malcolm Anderson had died. He and I were both longtime commenters at Dean's World. Steven had an amazing intellect and an amazing style; and he was the only other person I've ever known who was into Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West.

I'm really going to miss him.

Paul Burgess   ·  December 11, 2005 4:56 PM

There's a hole where he used to be- I used to look forward to his comments here and at Dean's World. The style of his comments!!! I hope there's broadband in heaven.

Harkonnendog   ·  December 11, 2005 7:18 PM

All Hail and Mourn, indeed.

Marzo   ·  December 11, 2005 7:28 PM

Thanks Eric for letting us know. I too would go for the book of his posts.
Even lurkers can tear up. Just damn...

Stewart   ·  December 12, 2005 12:58 AM

Apart from the personally awful news, this episode points up something that has bugged me for years now. We get to know people online, and we put together fairly good pictures of some of them, but there are always things about them, in the minute to minute details, that we don't know. Like; when they die. It catches up with us sooner or later, by hit or miss. When it happens, though, it always strikes me as a revelation: there was a real life, now gone, that went far beyond phosphors glowing on my display.

Bloody hate to hear it.


Billy Beck   ·  December 12, 2005 10:53 AM

Ps. -- he died on my birthday.

I guess I'll remember that a long time.

Billy Beck   ·  December 12, 2005 10:55 AM

Ditto the idea of a book -- or other compilation -- of his commentaries. I'm sure he'd like to be remembered that way.

Raging Bee   ·  December 12, 2005 1:45 PM

This is desperately sad news. A compilation sounds like the best memorial.

Flea   ·  December 12, 2005 4:07 PM

What the hell?!? I just saw this over at Arguing with Signposts. I headed this way *knowing* you'd have a post up on it, Eric.

Dammit! I was just exchanging quips with him in your comments less than a bloody month ago, it seems like.

You know... Fuck! Dammit. ;(

You holding up ok, Eric? You and Dean? I know ya'll were close to him.

'Bout all I can think of to add to your obit is: if there IS an afterlife... somewheres, God has a Blog and SMA is commenting on it. And there's some leftist that's REAL annoyed he showed up. ;]

Rest ye Gentle, Sleep ye Sound, Steven. You'll be missed.

Ironbear   ·  December 13, 2005 5:00 AM

Oh no...I missed a few days and just read this...how very sad. I did so look forward to whatever his comments and replies would be - he was so funny, thoughtful and thought-provoking. What style, indeed. Rest in peace, Stephen, and know that you continue on in our minds- both as fond remembrance and in speculation as to what you would have had to say.

American Mother   ·  December 14, 2005 2:43 AM

He charmed all who knew him

Yes. Says it all.

I'm saddened and speechless.

Darleen   ·  December 18, 2005 4:33 PM

I am saddened as well by this. Steven was a strong, imaginative soul, strong enough to see mutiple heights of grandeur and aware enough to see the irreconcilable tension between them. He was among the few who understand the central passion and Wisdom that lurks at the center of the enterprise cause philosophy. That is a rare thing; Steven was the kind of person who in another age and with other fortune could have created great things. I wish he had found a chance to write what waited in his mind before he died.

Might he be noticed! Tho' in the end we are all forgotten, let those who see as they are living take some spirit from the mind of Steven Malcomn Anderson, and the unique soul he was able to make of himself.

)(*)(

Jeanine Shiris Ring   ·  December 21, 2005 8:05 PM

Jeanine, thanks much for coming and for commenting. Steven adored you, and spoke about you to me several times. I know he's honored by your comment.

Ironbear, I'm holding up OK, but this is depressing. Darleen thanks!

Everybody, thanks!

Eric Scheie   ·  December 26, 2005 4:26 PM

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