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is observing a day of silence for Chris Clarke’s blog.

UPDATE:  Zeke has a new post up!  Welcome him back to the Googlenets.

Posted by on 10/23 at 07:26 AM
  1. I saw the threatening comment before the blog was taken down.  I really liked Chris Clarke’s blog, and had just started reading it recently.

    I wish that there was a good way of handling this general situation.  The tradition of activism that I used to work in had a general rule for threats of violence; organize around them.  In cases like this, though, it’s not clear whether there is anything to organize around, rather than a pathetic twerp somewhere whose life is going to go on pretty much as it has no matter what you do, and whose ability to threaten (as opposed to carry out threats) can not really be organized against.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  08:51 AM
  2. And people complain about psuedononymous bloggers. Welcome to the Inter-nut.

    This makes me angry. Not enough to hurt an animal, but enough to really pound these letters on my keyboard. Yeah, threatener, I know you can hear that heavy tapping. Jerk.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  09:23 AM
  3. Well, obviously, threats are deplorable. But are they illegal or actionable? If so, Chris could perhaps bring down the law. No doubt he’s thought about this possibility, but if he rejected it because it would cost too much, there’s a ready solution for that problem: his fans. I’m one of them, and there are hundreds others. A paypal account for a legal fund to hunt down whoever threatened his dog would be something I’d be very gratified to support along with the many others who would no doubt do the same. Chris?

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  09:44 AM
  4. Chris, I’m sorry it’s come to this for you. I’ve always thought your voice was vital (Even when I disagreed with it). I don’t actually know what’s going on, but I hope your blog returns, cause well, it should. More importantly that that, I hope everything is well with you and your family.

    If you need anything, just ask.

    capcha: ill. A somewhat self-explanatory capcha, considering.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/23  at  09:53 AM
  5. I saw the announcement that the blog had been taken down when I clicked over from my bloglines account last night to comment on something.  I thought maybe it would blow over by today, but clearly it hasn’t. What the hell happened?!

    And more important: What kind of loser threatens a blogger’s dog? Especailly an aging and ill dog adored by all the readers as well as by his companion family?

    Chris, if you’re reading, I’ll contribute to the legal fund, too, if you think it’s necessary.  And if not, my thoughts are with you and your ‘pack.’

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  10/23  at  09:53 AM
  6.  

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  10:10 AM
  7. After finishing Amanda Anderson’s book, The Way We Argue Now, I was impressed deeply by the comprehensiveness of her study. Now I am reminded, painfully, of what she left out: idiocy, coercion, violence. I’m so sorry Chris.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  10:18 AM
  8. Chris, I’m terribly sorry about this savage turn of events. I hope you and your family can find some peace of mind.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/23  at  11:04 AM
  9. Dusty (my dog) and I have been together almost constantly for eight years now.  I would do anything for him.

    Yet I want no one silenced, especially one as eloquent as Chris Clarke.  But I understand his motivation.

    Captcha: “order,” as in “The New World Order gone crazy.”

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  10/23  at  11:13 AM
  10. Chris,
    I came over to look for an address to write Chris
    to say—i don’t quite know what except how horrible. and i will miss you if you don’t come back and especially a hug for zeke.

    jody in paris
    who finally knows what a captcha word is, i guess, even if i can’t spell it.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  11:14 AM
  11. "Well, obviously, threats are deplorable. But are they illegal or actionable? If so, Chris could perhaps bring down the law.”

    Chris can undoubtedly speak for himself, but in my vague recollection, the threat was embedded in a “how would you like it if” phrasing coupled to an ostensible other issue.  It struck me as being more vicious, but possibly not more actionable, than et alia’s wish for Berube to be beaten up.  And if it was actionable, the amount of effort required to bring and succeed in an action appears (to me, in my opinion, Chris’s may be completely different) to be disproportionate to the effect to be gained.

    Mostly, that’s how I’ve seen harassment work in prior cases.  It’s not that the threat appears so credible, it’s that the strain of dealing with the cumulative nastiness becomes too much, especially for family.  If Chris wants to pursue something, I’ll be among those contributing, but the whole thing may appear to be a continuation of the mess rather than an end to it.

    As for 6. above, well, I’ve never been much into silence as a political response.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  11:23 AM
  12. I’ve been angry and upset since I saw the notice yesterday.  If Chris needs/wants contributions for investigation, legal action, whatever, count me in.

    And I second the good doctor’s comment.  Whoever made that comment is a loser.  No, I’ll amplify it:  a loser who should be prevented, by force if necesssary, from reproducing.  Because wse don’t need more losers like that in the world.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  11:39 AM
  13. Oh my fng gods and goddesses.  Who would threaten someone’s dog online? and for what?  Well, a complete loser, but honestly, wtf? 

    Chris, I hope this situation is resolved somehow.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  11:55 AM
  14. This simply isn’t fair.  My best thoughts and wishes to you and yours, Chris, and my dog sends along hers, too.

    Posted by Crazy Little Thing  on  10/23  at  12:02 PM
  15. In the state I live in sending a message by computer that threatens damage to a person’s property, with intent to frighten or intimidate, is a crime.  I have no idea where this occurred, but I imagine many states have similar statutes, so I would think about filing a police complaint if I were Chris Clarke.  The point being that if he wants to go after this guy a civil action at his expense may not be necessary, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  12:53 PM
  16. Thanks for posting this. When I saw the notice at CRN I hopped over here to find out what happened, and didn’t see anything until today.

    The sad thing is, now the world is deprived of some of the best writing anywhere, printed or online.

    Are the terrorists winning?

    Posted by KathyF  on  10/23  at  01:15 PM
  17. Where are the logs to his server. It should not be too hard to find his IP, name and address. I will be happy to initiate a LART for this scum. I’ve done it before.

    LART: Loser Attitude Readjustment Tool

    PenGun

    Posted by PenGun  on  10/23  at  01:45 PM
  18. This is just too sad for words. Chris, your blog is a gem, and has been important regular reading for me. I hope you will be able to bring it back.

    My fervent good wishes for you, your family, and Zeke. I didn’t see the threat, and don’t know whether legal action (restraining order?) is possible or advisable, but cripes, what a
    schmuck!

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  01:47 PM
  19. Yes, I agree with KathyF that Chris’s writing is some of the best writing anywhere. 

    Chris, I’m so sorry that this happened.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  01:50 PM
  20. I miss “Creek Running North” already.  Chris is a wonderful writer, warm and human and wise.

    There are times when it is better not to withhold judgement.  I am willing to judge the reported threat as, unequivocally, evil.  Whatever person made the threat to Chris’s dog has made the world a worse place; shame to them.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:02 PM
  21. Sad, sad, sad, that such an eloquent, illuminating voice should be silenced, even temporarily, by a tiny, shrieking, lump. I have no doubt that Chris’ blog will be back at some point in the future. I imagine Zeke’s declining health is sorrowful enough for his family without this additional burden, and that it’s more important to them to keep him safe and as comfortable as possible while he’s with them than to keep Chris’ writing online right now. But, online or off, he won’t stop writing; writers don’t.

    PenGun, this may be presumptuous of me, but I don’t think it’s helpful to respond in kind.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:02 PM
  22. It’s a bugger, innit? It’s a shame that one sad, disturbed individual can have such an impact. For his readers, it’s the loss of a unique, powerful voice, but I certainly wouldn’t fault him one iota if he said “who needs this shit?”.

    Thanks for all the great stuff, Chris.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:04 PM
  23. I don’t have much to add.

    Chris, please come back whenever it feels safe.  I will miss your writing.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:15 PM
  24. Chris, what a nasty turn of events.  I’m so sorry you had to pull the blog, and I wish you guys all the best with poor Zeke.  Give him a big hug and a scratch under the chin from me.  I hope you can start blogging again when you and your family are feeling up to it.  We’ll miss you!

    Michael, thanks for doing this. 

    (I just found a strange lump on my 12 yo cat’s back paw, so sad pet stories are getting to me more than usual.  Hug your furry family members today!)

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:18 PM
  25. Thanks to my indefatigable lurking on this site, I was introduced to Creek Running North and have been a great admirer of Chris Clarke ever since.His writing on natural wonders especially is particularly fine.He is witty and wise and the author (let us never forget) of a Graphic Novel for the ages.

    I did not see the original comments but they must have been nasty in the extreme to drive him to such lengths.I am very sorry your family has this additional burden to bear in these tough times for Zeke.Selfishly, I hope you will resume blogging when you feel it is appropriate. My very best wishes to you, your family and Zeke and a pestilence on this commenter.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:23 PM
  26. Chris,

    I’m appalled. I knew nothing of this before today.

    This can’t be the end of your blog. Whatever needs to be done to track down via IP addresses, etc., who it was that made the threat, needs to be done, and count me in to help finance any such actions.

    Please let us help, so that Creek Running North can come back asap; as someone else said, I already feel deprived, knowing it isn’t there.

    And thanks, Michael, for giving us this chance to respond to this outrage.

    Posted by Leah  on  10/23  at  02:27 PM
  27. Wow, after having spent most of the past two days reading Michael’s new book ("What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts") I was excited to visit his blog and see if I could now actually parse some of his posts and his guests’ responses to the Habermas/Lyotard debate, and maybe understand the antifoundationalist position a bit better.

    And then I see the post on Chris Clarke’s blog.

    My god, what the hell is wrong with people? I mean, come on, we’ve all seen the disgusting depths to which ad hominem attacks will stoop, but threatening someone’s dog? Is this some new weapon in far Right’s arsenal--staunching debate by threatening to kill someone’s pet?

    As Michael notes in his book, people like this are “figure[s] outside the conversation” and should be dealt with accordingly. Obviously, Chris took this threat seriously enough to shut down his blog, which strikes me as prior restraint against his free speech. I do hope there is some legal action that can be pursued. As many of us are no doubt aware, it’s actually not all that easy to remain anonymous on the Internet and I’m sure that with the proper authorities involved Chris could find out who this person is and bring charges against them if it’s legally viable to do so.

    For what it’s worth Chris, I too offer my sincere apologies and hope that this threat is no more than the ineffectual ranting of some cyber weenie. And, if there is some legal recourse you could take you can count on me to join Karl and others in contributing to your legal fund.

    Hang in there buddy.

    Al

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:31 PM
  28. That’s crazy. I feel badly for you and your family.

    In the hope that your harrasser does not read this blog, may I offer the suggestion of starting a new blog by Kirby Olson, your dashingly smart and funny alter-ego?

    Don’t be intimidated; call the police.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  02:37 PM
  29. This just sickens me to no end.  I hope Chris comes back.

    Posted by NTodd  on  10/23  at  02:55 PM
  30. Now I wish I could read the precise wording of the threat.  Did it name the exact kind of dog?  If so, I would take it seriously, if not, I wouldn’t.  There are billions of kinds of dogs, and if the would-be perp can’t name your kind of dog, then it’s just an idle threat.

    I’m still not interested in your blog or your dog, and I think this is just more self-dramatization but what would I know.  Leftists are capable of anything including Krystallnacht.  Since you already faked my name, I now think you are capable of faking the rumor of an attack on your dog.  This is what happens to credibility when you start to behave like this.

    And please don’t take my name in vain, Chris.  My name is my name, not yours.  So stay off it, please: it means something to me even if I am just something to make fun of to you I am a person with feelings and I feel you are ruining my reputation with your lousy prose style.

    I hope you don’t hurt your dog now in order to further the victimization scenario.  Let me guess: do you have a miniature French poodle?

    Posted by Kirby Olson  on  10/23  at  03:10 PM
  31. And therein hangs a tail.

    Okay, stupid pun. But what better way is there to illustrate the sorry state of political debate in our country? This is what we have devolved into? An intelligent, thoughtful, and passionate person is silenced, and in an utterly despicable way ... by making him and his family afraid for the welfare of a beloved pet. Threaten to harm someone’s dog??? What’s next ... someone’s ill child or parent?

    It saddens me when I am reminded, yet again, that there are such awful people in this world.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  03:10 PM
  32. Kirby,

    Is there something seriously wrong with you? Do you think Chris did this for dramatic effect?

    Although I suppose taking someone who says, “leftists are capable of anything including Krystallnacht” seriously is a mistake on my part.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  03:14 PM
  33. Oh wow! I am so confused!

    Kirby Olson is real?! That’s terrific (bad for Chris in a way), but so cool! 

    I am still mournful for Chris, but happy that Kirby seems to exist in a life of his own.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  03:21 PM
  34. >So stay off it, please: it means something to me even if I am just something to make fun of to you I am a person with feelings and I feel you are ruining my reputation with your lousy prose style.
    <

    That may be the most delightfully ironic thing I’ve ever read.  It’s a shame that that sentence eventually arrived at a period.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  03:23 PM
  35. Kirby, for god’s sake, even if you don’t know Chris or his blog except from comments here, all you had to do was read the comments in this thread here to know that a) people who read Chris’s blog know his dog well (because eloquent Zeke stories and beautiful photos of him are frequent features of the blog), b) Zeke is very ill, c) Chris considers Zeke part of his family, and d) we’re all taking this very, very seriously as a result.  Are you tone deaf?  Save the sparring for another day.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  10/23  at  03:30 PM
  36. Just for the record, everyone, K.O. finally got himself banned from this blog for comment 30.

    The really odious aspect of all this is that Chris, great soul that he is, had done some fine work these past few weeks trying to get people to take recent blogspats down a few notches—by reminding his readers of some wonderful and underappreciated blogs, by publishing his own blog policy in response to the Alas furore, and (of course) by leaving witty Clarkean comments at strategic locations throughout the Internets.  The fact that his humane responses to blogspatorama have been met with thuggery is an unequivocally Bad Thing.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  03:37 PM
  37. Thank you, Professor. You’ve freed me from the felt obligation to spend the next hour composing a devastating rant at K. Odious.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:00 PM
  38. Chris,

    I was just getting ready to delve into your naturalist’s mix of spirit and eloquence. Damn shame, disturbing and despicable. Take care of yourself and your family.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:01 PM
  39. Chris will be greatly missed.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:01 PM
  40. From one pet lover to another, prayers for Zeke and family. Come back soon Chris.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:15 PM
  41. Al Jackson Jr: “I mean, come on, we’ve all seen the disgusting depths to which ad hominem attacks will stoop, but threatening someone’s dog? Is this some new weapon in far Right’s arsenal--staunching debate by threatening to kill someone’s pet?”

    I think that it’s actually an old weapon in the right’s arsenal.  At least, it’s one of the more common ones that I’ve heard of.  Threatening to kill a pet is low-risk criminality; police generally do not take note unless the threat is a serious one to a human, and pets are generally not valuable enough in monetary terms to qualify as “valuable” property. 

    I was looking for quotes from “The War Against the Greens” that might bear on this, and managed to hit a cached quote from Chris Clarke’s blog, by the way.  But yes, threatening to kill a pet (or more rarely, actually doing so) is not a new tactic for the right.

    Which is not to take away from what’s happened in this case.  It’s just that people should know that this is what the right wing does.  Threatening to kill particular pets is just a step or two worse than abstractly supporting the torture of people, after all, and there’s something like a third of the country that does that.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:22 PM
  42. I did exactly the same thing as KathyF (#16) last night.

    I remain optimistic...about people in general (despite everything), and about Chris’s eventual return.  Nevertheless, I’ll be missing his wit and wisdom while CRN is down.  Give Zeke a big hug for me if you read this, Chris!

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:32 PM
  43. Threatening to kill particular pets is just a step or two worse than abstractly supporting the torture of people, after all, and there’s something like a third of the country that does that.

    I know its OT, but at this point it’s not just the right.  Democratic Senate candidates Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson, Tom Carper, Sherrod Brown, Harold Ford, Debbie Stabenow, and Bob Menendez all voted for torture (Ford and Brown did so in the House). Though I suppose a number of them would properly be described as being on the right, Brown, in particular, is a fairly liberal guy.

    We live in disturbing (and disturbed) times.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:36 PM
  44. There seems to be an assumption in a couple of comments that the loony is a rightwingnut. In fact, he/she/it appears to be a leftwingnut.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  04:42 PM
  45. Chris left himself open to an attack like this precisely because he is so open with everyone visiting his site. My first encounter with his writing was the story of his friend the serial killer, a memorable introduction.  Chris isn’t afraid of making the reader uncomfortable by lucidly detailing his experiences with life as he found it. His writing easily scores highest for “sit down at the typewriter and open up a vein"-ness of any of my daily Internet reads.

    To the person that threatened Zeke the dog:
    it is, surprise, no secret how Chris feels about Zeke. I share some of Chris’ feeling because Chris has been kind enough to share even though I’m a complete stranger to him. Whatever the intent of your threats and whatever perceived wrong those threats would redress, the threats constitute an act of theft from a lot of people who, like me, are strangers to both you and Chris.

    You’ve made a mistake and the time to fix that mistake is now. Renounce your threats completely and unambiguously. Apologize.

    I’ve no special powers to back me, no furies to loose to hunt you down. But if you are found out, unmasked before you voluntarily renounce your actions I can guarantee not matter what else you do with the rest of your life you will always be known as the pissant that threatened a frail old dog via the internet.

    Posted by black dog barking  on  10/23  at  05:06 PM
  46. what else you do with the rest of your life you will always be known as the pissant that threatened a frail old dog via the internet.

    I’d just add this:  the pissant who threatened a frail old dog via the internet and gave needless grief to one of the most generous and talented writers on the left side of the blogosphere.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/23  at  05:13 PM
  47. Lets drink to the hard working people
    Lets drink to the caring and mirth
    Raise your glass to the good against evil
    Lets drink to the salt of the earth

    Say a prayer for Chris and his family
    Spare a thought for their back breaking work
    Say a prayer for his beloved Becky and Zeke
    Who walk in the deserts and still care for the earth

    Raise your glass to the hard working blogger
    Lets drink to his efforts for peace
    Lets think of the millions of species
    Who need leaders but get idiots and freaks

    Spare a thought for the stay-at-home writer
    His penetrating eyes gaze at strange beauty delights
    Walk in parade for conflict resolution
    And choose a path full of grace and what’s right

    Lets drink to the hard working blogger
    Lets think of the peacemaking websurfer
    Spare a thought for the kinder of humans
    Lets drink to the salt of the earth

    Lets drink to the hard working people
    Lets drink to the salt of the earth
    Lets drink to the six+ thousand million
    Lets think of the humble of birth

    we love you buddy..... aum

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  05:30 PM
  48. Michael, Thanks for honoring Chris this way. He is indeed one of the most generous and talented writers anywhere in the entire blogosphere.  His post last week about transplanting the bamboo and his yearning for his lost love, J, was simply beautiful.  I hope he can find an acceptable way to get back online.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  05:45 PM
  49. Like black dog barking, I was introduced to CRN by a link to Chris’ post.  I read some of his archived posts and began checking his blog pretty much every day.  A couple of months later my own old dog (who I thought looked like Zeke) passed on.  I wrote about it and Chris, who didn’t even know me, was very, very kind.  I’ve felt connected-by-dog ever since.  And gradually Chris’ writing (and some other blogs, including this one) has been helping me to think about the world in some new ways.  I guess this comment is meant as a public thank-you to him for his beautiful writing.

    So again, I do hope you come back soon, Chris.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  06:48 PM
  50. Ok, there gotta be some high-techerites out there that can trace back this f*ckheD’S IP.  I’m not saying threaten anybody, but a public airing of the isp and the nick of the offender might be informative.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  07:11 PM
  51. I have no way to know if the dog-threatener has sworn to do evil if Chris posts anywhere, or if Chris quite understandably feels like going on hiatus—but if neither of those conditions is true, how about letting him guest-post here?
    The warm, humane spirit and effervescent wit of his previous contributions were a real treat for all of us.  Not that we didn’t miss your regular posts, Michael.

    Posted by jre  on  10/23  at  07:13 PM
  52. Zeke is our friend because one of the humans in his life is a writer of amazing power and gentleness.

    We already were distressed because of Zeke’s failing health and were dreading the day that we would find CRN draped in black. Now we won’t even be able to grieve along with Chris because some abhorrent mass of protoplasm has taken CRN from us.

    Zeke, we love you.

    Chris, we love you.

    Stay safe.

    Come back to us when you can.

    Posted by handdrummer  on  10/23  at  07:14 PM
  53. "PenGun, this may be presumptuous of me, but I don’t think it’s helpful to respond in kind.”

    I’m sorry but this scum thrives in the dark. I have run web servers for years and there is no way anyone does this where I run the show. I hunt em’ down and call the cops.

    These people are invairiably cowards and the only way to deal with em’ is to haul em’ out into the light.

    I’ve been threatened. I just tell them to stay right where they are and I’ll be along soon. No need to hunt me down the reverse is gonna happen.

    “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither”

    PenGun

    Posted by PenGun  on  10/23  at  07:25 PM
  54. I’m sorry for your family’s trauma, Chris, and I’m sorry for the blogosphere’s loss.

    Kirby, it takes a lot to be banned from this blog, and you earned it. The way you kick a man while he’s down blows your pretense of being a voice of decency in an immoral world to smithereens.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  07:54 PM
  55. Michael, thanks for kicking KO to the curb.

    Chris, who needs that crap? It’s...truly crappy. I hope you’ll feel able to re-blog soon, because I love your writing. But if you keep your writing soul offline, please write some books we can buy. I’d like one volume of nature writing, one memoir, and one snarky satirical book. And then another nature book—your favorite mountain trail needs a book written about it, doesn’t it?

    Posted by Orange  on  10/23  at  08:24 PM
  56. Ok, there gotta be some high-techerites out there that can trace back this f*ckheD’S IP.

    I’m with PenGun’s point about cops or any other legal reprisals against this schmuck, whether he or she is left or right. But I’m quite dubious about outing the schmuck on this website or any other because I remember horrified I was when Adam Nagourney and Daniel Okrent did something similar.* All the same, I didn’t have the same reaction when Majikthise posted the full header information of some wingnut wishing for the deaths of 8 million New Yorkers and hundreds of thousands of tourists.

    I’m sure Chris could have walked us through the ethical minefield of this problem, and no doubt he already has, but frankly it’s a mystery to me.

    * Differences: Fellow disagreed, as all decent people do, with Nagourney’s political coverage and wrote, “I hope your kid gets his head blown off in a Republican war.” The guy who wrote this didn’t hide his identity, which made it rather easy for Okrent to publish the guy’s personal information in his column, which was sure to get the poor fellow swarmed by nutjobs. While Okrent later admitted that he’d been too hot-headed, the fact that he wasn’t fired immediately is just one more disgrace in the long history of disgrace for what’s unfortunately the best national newspaper in the country. The other difference, of course, is that in part because of Nagourney’s complicity with this administration, more than half a million people have, in effect, had their heads blown off in a Republican war; nothing Chris has ever written, so far as I know, has lead to the death of a dog, particularly the deaths of other beloved dogs while he held his own dog’s life in reserve. In other words, what Nagourney got he more or less deserved. The same hardly holds true for Chris or Zeke, so we likely require different rules.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  09:02 PM
  57. Hi again, everyone.  I’ve heard from Chris—he and everyone at Le Café Zeke are fine, and he thanks you all deeply for your kind wishes.

    As for tracing IPs and pursuing the commenter:  I believe that’s entirely Chris’s call to make.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/23  at  09:14 PM
  58. Whatever decision Chris ultimately makes, I agree 100% that a beloved--dog, person, piece of ground, musical instrument--is much more to be cherished than a podium in the blogosphere. Best wishes to him and Zeke and the family.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  09:38 PM
  59. I missed the threatening comments at Chris’s blog. When I saw the notice, I was hoping it was some kind of weird denial of service attack. I’m glad to hear that Zeke and family are ok, but I’m devastated to lose Chris’s blogging voice.

    Posted by luolin  on  10/23  at  11:00 PM
  60. What’s with Kirby Olson? Nothing at his site indicates that he’s as ruined as his post here shows him to be. It might be a bogus post.

    Posted by John Emerson  on  10/23  at  11:13 PM
  61. nobody should make personal threats.  ever.  chris, i am so sorry this happened, and wish the best for you and your family.  please give zeekers a scritch from a fan.

    Posted by  on  10/23  at  11:15 PM
  62. Trackback failed, so here you go.

    Posted by Bill Hooker  on  10/23  at  11:18 PM
  63. Wow.  I just read that “My Friend the Serial Killer” post linked to above in comment 45.  It’s pretty amazing; if you haven’t read it before, I would definitely suggest clicking on the link.  Also, various Christian fundamentalists started showing up and proselytizing, leading Chris to make this comment:

    Oh, and this:

    In the mid 70’s my dad had a car with electric door locks. The living power of Jesus Christ can do anything

    was the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Thanks.

    It’s also the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

    And, of course, I agree with everyone else here that this news is very upsetting.  I wish Chris, his family, and Zeke all the best.  Whenever decides to come back, I’m sure we’ll all be very glad to see him. 

    captcha: away

    Posted by Heraclitus  on  10/23  at  11:34 PM
  64. Thanks for giving K the boot, Michael.  The comments were making me queasy (John E, K has a long history of comments at Ron Silliman’s blog that include perfectly reasonable discussions of poetry alongside arguments saying Horowitz doesn’t go far enough and comparing Howard Dean to Hitler).

    I too miss Creek Running North already.  There’s no other writing like it on the ‘net.  I so hope it returns.

    Captach (sp?) word-- “Turned,” a very good Charlotte Perkins Gilman story.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  01:41 AM
  65. At Pharyngula, CC dispels some misconceptions about his decision.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  01:54 AM
  66. Chris, hang in there, meditate on the GNF, contemplate your upcoming show trial, and keep doing what matters most to you....

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/24  at  04:15 AM
  67. Chris Clarke’s comment at Pharyngula is interesting.  I’m going to discuss it here rather than there, because I have no interest in the troll-beating that the thread there seems to be mostly concerned with.

    There are three bolded sentences or fragments in Chris’ comment.  The first, “I get a couple threats of bodily harm a year”, confirms what is common knowledge among environmental activists; threats by the right are not that rare, and there’s no easy way to hand them over to the police or whoever to be taken care of.  The second and third, “[the] threat occurred in a context of, and seemed to be delivered by a fringe participant in, the increasingly inane intra-left blog spats” and “I refuse to let my blog be another locus in these immoral, wasteful arguments”, are a newer concept for me.

    I’ve been pretty much assuming that intra-left blog spats, when nonserious, are just the usual price of being on the Internet, and when serious, could just as likely be the result of agent provocateurs as anything else.  In this case, the comment was sent through an anonymizing server.  I pretty much assumed that it had nothing to do with the ostensible topic, and was just either a crazy person trying to stir up trouble, or a right-winger trying to stir up trouble.  (The screen name that the anonymous person chose was, I think, an indication that it was a purposeful trouble-stirring comment in addition to being a threat).  The person who was one of the locuses of the blogspat very quickly and properly said “not in my name”, and it seemed unlikely (though possible) that a feminist would have a second line as dog-threatener.

    In a sense, I think of this as “paranoid argumentative charity”.  If something vicious and anonymous is said, well, who has the greatest motive for saying it?

    So Chris Clarke is quite right to do whatever he wants to do to respond to the situation.  Absent more evidence, though, I’m personally not ready to include this incident within some kind of left-wing blog spat cycle.  Does that make any sense?

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  08:49 AM
  68. It wasn’t me. I was nowhere near the blog.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  09:10 AM
  69. is there anything much creepier than an anonymous threat of harm against a family member, made by someone who can identify the family member and probably find out where you live? 

    that represents a total breakdown in any kind of civil discourse.  it is meant solely and completely to instill fear and thus achieve—well, something, and the something does not even need to make sense. 

    ordinary conflicts of opinion can be worked through by talking, or agreeing to disagree, or just by disagreeing and explaining why via discourse on an issue.  threats are a kind of gun to one’s head, urging the other to shut up or else. 

    and you know, one has to take a personal threat of harm seriously, because sometimes nutjobs act on their delusional beliefs that something will be solved by violence.  like that guy who took out a federal judge’s mother and husband, in their home.  like the misfits who shoot people on the street because they think they have been wronged.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  12:48 PM
  70. Though I don’t have a blog, I had a similar situation a few months ago (my sick cat was threatened via email). Chris, I am so sorry; I’ll selfishly miss your blog, but if you think you’re making the right decision, you most probably are.

    From comment 69:  “(it) represents a total breakdown in any kind of civil discourse.  it is meant solely and completely to instill fear and thus achieve—well, something, and the something does not even need to make sense.”

    My mother quite correctly called it terrorism.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  02:25 PM
  71. I’m just pissed that the nutjob derailed a perfectly good thread derailment concerning farm animals and mustard. This will never be concluded now, even if Chris decides to reopen shop. We all lose. Bastards!

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  02:47 PM
  72. farm animals and mustard—who could be against them?  i missed the whole thing, except the lasting damage.

    sarah, you are correct, although i hate to use so loaded a word as terrorism in these times.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  04:17 PM
  73. Fair enough, kathy a; also, I had vague mustard questions that will never be answered.

    Keith Olbermann, whose deification I’m getting tired of, had a good rant about the definition of terrrorism last night. I will quote from it (it’s over at crooksandliars) if I have to, and it will be a tedious argument.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  05:42 PM
  74. naw, doesn’t need arguing over, sarah.  whatever you call it, threatening zeke is a terrible, horrible, very bad thing, and an affront to all of us who don’t live in bunkers.

    Posted by  on  10/24  at  06:40 PM
  75. Thank you, all.

    As Michael noted in the update to this post, CRN is back online with a message from Zeke. More information will be there in a day or so, and then hopefully we can all get back to normal.

    I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of support.

    And Kirby Olson, if you’re reading this: I forgive you.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/24  at  08:06 PM
  76. Hey!  CRN is again (apparently) not up.  I don’t want to jump to conclusions; does anyone know what is going on?

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  04:36 PM
  77. Never mind.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  05:26 PM
  78. Sorry, Charles. It was a flay rod had gone out of skew on the treadle.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/25  at  06:04 PM
  79. Chris, I don’t understand your banter.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  06:16 PM
  80. Michael,
    If your comment was in fact a reference to this Monty Python skit,
    1) I’m impressed
    2) I believe that you have won exclusive control of The Google for the next 6 months (a critical time period, by the end of which The Google needs to show that it can control itself.)

    Banter’s not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:07 AM
  81. I don’t know, Tom. Most times, it seems to me, quoting Python skits is a substitute for actually having one’s own sense of humor.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  11:18 AM
  82. Most times, it seems to me, quoting Python skits is a substitute for actually having one’s own sense of humor.

    I don’t know, maybe.
    I’ll ask Richard Cohen next time I see him. He’s a funny guy and we all look to him for advice on humor.

    This isn’t an argument.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:52 AM
  83. That’s two different Monty Python skits, and Clarke, your Yorkshire accent is abominable.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:52 AM
  84. Chris in #81 is right.  That’s why I usually quote from Spinal Tap.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  01:10 PM
  85. That’s why I usually quote from Spinal Tap.

    Indeed. It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  04:45 PM
  86. I envy us.

    Posted by  on  10/27  at  02:11 AM

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