You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

January 05, 2011

Bad News

From Joe Bageant:

Dear friends, associates and fellow travelers,

As you may or may not know, I have been struck down by an extremely serious form of cancer. Presently I am back in the United States receiving treatment through the U.S. Veterans Administration hospital system. Due to the nature of the massive internal tumor, I am currently unable to even carry on email correspondence or Skype conversations.

Right now I am at a hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. Once a treatment program has been designed and set in motion, I will probably be transferred back to the Veterans Administration facility near my home in Winchester, Virginia. The condition is inoperable, but it is hoped that with chemotherapy plus the use of a pain killer such as OxyContin, I will be able to resume my online work.

The rest.

P.S. Thanks to Nell for this interview with Joe Bageant from a few years ago:

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 5, 2011 11:09 AM


This dude wasn't on my radar, but his bio is awesome and makes me want to read his stuff.

Posted by: icecreammang at January 5, 2011 01:01 PM

Yes, he's a great and unique writer. We need about 100 more of him, not one less.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 5, 2011 01:55 PM

Boy! Not much positive one could say about that situation and what's worse is the only advice I could give is "don't go to the VA in Cheyenne".

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 5, 2011 03:18 PM

Thanks very much for the heads up, Jon.

The news brings tears to my eyes, as does this brief video interview from two years ago. Joe is one of the people who make me proud to be a Virginian.

Departure and return dept. cont'd:

Moon of Alabama is back (since about a month ago).

Posted by: Nell at January 5, 2011 03:32 PM

Joe's voice is recognised and admired around the world! Although he writes from a strictly American perspective (as what he calls a 'Leftneck') his writing has universal appeal, as is of course the case with all the truly great writers. Perhaps best of all is his honesty. I'm from the Netherlands: even for me reading Joe is like listening to somebody very close. Really bad that he has this damned illness. Let's hope the chemotherapy works out well.

Posted by: paul at January 5, 2011 04:20 PM

This is wretchedly awful. I found Joe to be an absolute blessing to the U.S. public even in those rare moments when I thought his views were wrong. There is, seriously, no one on the public scene to replace him. And, selfishness aside, I think he deserves way better. I'm telling the odds to go fuck themselves and I'm fervently hoping he ends up cured.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at January 5, 2011 05:51 PM

Yes, bad news. But I'm sure he'll keep on keeping on as long as he can, as should we.

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do Justice, Now!
Love Mercy, Now!
Walk Humbly, Now!
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but, neither are you free to abandon it.”
(The Talmud)

P.S. Nell, thanks for mentioning that Moon of Alabama is back.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 5, 2011 09:14 PM

Most cancer stories don't end with recovery, but
I've seen a couple of good surprises too, so I really hope he gets one. I haven't read him, but one thing he said in "About Joe" on his website made me like him a lot:

. . ."Then back to hometown of Winchester VA to settle some scores with the bigoted, murderous redneck town I grew up in. I love'em but they need a good ass kicking."

Taking that particular message home is never easy.

Posted by: N E at January 6, 2011 06:22 AM

I discovered Joe late in life. He certainly does have a way with words. I hope he can get back to his online postings soon. (I also wonder how the rest of his family is doing - his wife and at least one son I believe?)

To "mistah charley, ph.d." you nail it, as usual. Where else do you hang out besides A Tiny Revolution? (Your links, wonderfully, go all over the place!) And to "No One of Consequence," you have a way with words that could fill in the void of an absent Joe. Where else do you post or hang out?

Posted by: Grandpa Ken at January 6, 2011 09:39 AM


That is all.

Posted by: Mike of Angle at January 6, 2011 12:52 PM

Grandpa -- I hang out here, kinda sorta, when real life isn't smacking me around. Someone did invite me to join a blog, but that was awhile ago and real life swept in again. I probably need a formal "home" online, if only to keep from going crazy, though.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at January 6, 2011 04:48 PM

Ken, thanks for the kind words. I sometimes will throw something into the pot at The Automatic Earth, Some Assembly Required, The Distant Ocean, Empire Burlesque, or Fafblog! My best comments tend to be here, though - I enjoy and appreciate our host and the usual suspects. Whether or not this blurging process will ever have any useful results, without a community of discourse one feels one might be in Bradley Manning's unfortunate position.

May the Creative Forces of the Universe stand beside us, and guide us, through the Night with the Light from Above - and have mercy on our souls, if any.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 6, 2011 05:43 PM

Ah, forgot to thank Ken for the compliment, but to also issue a correction: I can't replace Joe for purely demographic reasons. The issue isn't our politics, which I'd bet money are extremely close, but the fact that he came from and was able to represent a group of people treated with contempt by our Powers That Be with an unmatched authenticity. Even if I could say what needed to be said (and that's not terribly likely), I could not be what I'd need to be.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at January 6, 2011 06:04 PM

I am encouraged, "No One of Consequence" and "mistah charley, ph.d.," to hear back from both of you. Thank you. I will endevor to follow up on sites suggested and things said.

"May the Creative Forces of the Universe stand beside us," indeed. I love it! What more can we possibly hope for or expect?

Posted by: Grandpa Ken at January 7, 2011 10:35 AM