We said goodbye to Lisa (or tried to) on Friday. Several people have asked me for a copy of my eulogy, while I knew I had to have copies of the beautiful words offered by everyone else. So: my eulogy is posted below. And: this PDF contains my eulogy plus the other eulogies offered on Friday, by Rabbi Debra Dressler, Wael Haddara, Rachel Heydon, Hilary Teplitz and Elaine Worthy Thomas, Julie Faden, and myself. May her memory be a blessing.
Eulogies for Lisa (PDF)
Thank you all so much for being here today. Rabbi Dressler, Wael, Rachel, Hilary and Elaine, Julie, thank you for your kind and heartfelt words.
I’m Lisa’s husband Rob. On this beautiful, miserable day, at the end of the worst week of my life, on zero hours of sleep and several extra-strength Tylenol to fight the fever I’ve been running for days, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to stand up in front of one or two hundred people and try to sum up, in a few minutes, the most incredible person I have ever known. I’m afraid my speech is too long and it’s not properly footnoted, but I do think it is pretty good in parts. Let’s give it a whirl. Read more
“Untitled (Low Tide),” by Jim Kazanjian
“Hmm, it looks like what you have here is a leaky shower pan.”
“It looks like what you have here is a leaky basement.”
“Hmm. It looks like there’s a leak somewhere in here.”
“It looks to me like you need a new catalytic converter.”
“I’m afraid the test results are consistent with a cancer diagnosis.”
“At least you spotted it early.”
“The important thing is that you spotted it early.”
“It’s too bad you didn’t spot it early.” Read more
“See! Now! Our sentence is up.”
That’s the last line of the last page of the last issue of The Invisibles, Grant Morrison’s pop magic comic book master work. That final issue came out right around Y2K, but it’s set on the December solstice of what was then the freaky-sounding future year 2012. All this year, every time I heard somebody cracking wise about the Mayan Apocalypse, I thought, “Unless you’re an ancient Mayan, you’re stealing Grant Morrison’s bit.”
I bought and read every issue of The Invisibles as it came out from 1994 to 2000. It’s the only comic I’ve ever followed so religiously. It’s brilliant and fun and a bit of a mess and it meant the world to me. It worked its way into my life and rewired the way I saw things, which is pretty much what it was intended to do. Yes, it’s dated now, but so am I. I can’t be any more objective about it than I could be objective about my twenties. Read more
Not 24 hours after I dissed the networking/self-promotion side of blogging, here’s me doing some networking and promotion!
I’m spending this semester as the Simmons Visiting Professor in Communication and History the University of Utah. My family and I just recently arrived in Salt Lake City and once again, I’m bowled over by both the beauty of the place and the friendliness of the inhabitants. One thing I’m doing here is helping to organize the 2009 Frontiers of New Media Symposium. Longtime readers may recall me gushing about the 2007 Frontiers of New Media Symposium, which was one of the smartest, friendliest, most fun academic conferences I’ve ever been to. Now I and the Departments of History and Communication have the modest task of recapturing that lightning in a bottle.
The symposium is just two weeks away, on September 18 and 19. If you’re in the SLC area you should absolutely come out. The keynote speaker is AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean of UC-Berkeley’s School of Information, and we have a great lineup of panelists on the second day. If you’re not near Utah, please visit the website, follow the blog or Twitter feeds, and spread the word to any who might be interested, even via social media platforms I might have disparaged last night. I’ll be blogging at the FoNM site from now until the conference–there’s a neat video there now of UC-Riverside’s Toby Miller on the history and future of television–and doing my best to make our conversations there accessible to people who can only join us virtually.
My inspiration here is THATCamp 2009, which was held back in June and exploded over Twitter and the internet–at least the parts of it I frequent–with such force that I kind of thought I was there. Frontiers of New Media isn’t nearly as big or Tweety an operation, but we will do our best. I even considered disguising the symposium as “THATCamp Rocky Mountains” in order to ride the coattails of the regional THATCamps popping up everywhere. We have a great panel planned on New Media and the Practice of Scholarship, featuring CHNM’s Sharon Leon and my favorite mad scientist historian, Bill Turkel–so that’s plenty THATCampy.
So, yeah. Ignore what I said yesterday about the Hobbesian waltz of the A-list and the long tail. Network! Tweet! Work the room!
This news has already gone out on other faster, more annoying social networking platforms, but it needs a mention here as well: this is my son Eli, born on Wednesday.
He is beautiful and awesome. His mother is a rock star. His big sister is giving him the benefit of the doubt for now.
Cigars all round.
[Edit: Comments page fixed. Not that I’m fishing–we’ve already been inundated by good words and well wishes. Thanks, all!]