That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

RIP Jon Swift

with 4 comments

“I am a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues,” Jon Swift

I enjoy the occasional video game.  One of my favorites from the early 1990s was a game called Civilization.   You started out with a settler and you built one of the great civilizations of the world.  There were several paths to victory in that game.   You could defeat your neighbors militarily or you could have a research based economic power.   One of the first times I ever played that game I was the Mongols and I dominated Europe and most of Asia with my chariots and knights.  Nobody could touch me.  Then Around game year 1800, I saw an Aztec airplane pass by my city.  All my conquests seemed so utterly meaningless.

About two years ago, I encountered Zenyenta on this blog and we struck up an email conversation.  She mentioned to me a blogger named Jon Swift who she originally suspected that I might have been.  I checked him out and when I saw his blog, I immediately had one of those Aztec airplane moments.  Somebody was doing what I was trying to do.  He was doing it before me and he was doing it better than me.  In fact, he had bar none the greatest satirical website on the internet.

I immediately started an email conversation with Jon and was shocked to discover in a world full of bloggers who make up for what they lack in social skills with loud opinions, that Jon was a wonderfully supportive person.  He didn’t tell me, “Give it up.  You’re taking my shtick” and instead put a link to my blog immediately on the blog roll.   Over the last few days the internet has been awash with people praising Jon not only for his wit, but for his support.  I benefited from both.   Blogroll amnesty day–that was his.

OK, now that that’s been said, I can finally move on to the humor that made Jon’s blog such a must read.  The man was the master of Amazon book reviews.  If a conservative wrote a book, Jon usually had a review–often starting with a disclaimer that he had not read the book.   Here’s a little gem he offered in review of Sean Hannity’s Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism by Sean Hannity, “I have not actually read this book but I agree with Mr. Hannity that evil is bad. I am against all evil whatsoever, whether it is in an axis or solo. Liberals are always making complicated distinctions between things that are a little bit evil and things that are moderately evil and things that are very evil. Not Mr. Hannity. Everything to him is either good or evil, period. I think that’s a much easier way to view the world and it saves a lot of time.”

What made Swift so good is that he wasn’t just going for laughs.  He always had a message in the material.   Definitely take a moment to visit the best of section on his blog.  There’s too much genius there for me to be able to distill it for this blog.  In October 2008, he had this to say of the beginnings of the tea bag movement, “This country wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for an angry mob that decided it wanted a tax cut and threw English tea into Boston Harbor. Angry mobs once enforced local justice without interference from the meddlesome federal government in the Old West and in the south after Reconstruction, just as our Founding Fathers had envisioned in The Federalist Papers. And we would probably all be Muslims now if an angry mob hadn’t chosen Barabbas over Jesus 2,000 years ago.”

Jon Swift was obviously not his real name.  His real name was Al Weisel and he was a professional writer, but Jon Swift just seems natural.  When Dr. Seuss passed away, I didn’t mourn him as Theodor Geisel.  As I’ve grown increasingly disillusioned by President Obama’s misguided education policy, I’ve been putting more of my focus into my serious education blog and less into thatsrightnate.com, but Swift’s passing reminded me of what great satire does.  He poked the rich and powerful in the eye and he always backed the underdog.   I am sure that he is with the great writers in a much better place and if for some reason he missed the cut, I have no doubt he’ll be there next Blogroll Amnesty Day.

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Written by thatsrightnate

March 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Jon Swift, Tribute

Tagged with , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. i’ve added your tribute to my post.

    thx so much.

    skippy

    March 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

  2. So sad…. I’ve been checking over there every couple of weeks for a year looking for him. He was the best.

    Shannon

    March 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm

  3. He certainly was. If I remember correctly, you found out about my site through his. He was always great about looking out for smaller bloggers.

    thatsrightnate

    March 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  4. You’re right. I did…. And glad of it!

    Shannon

    March 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm


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