May 07, 2003
Giving the people what they want

From The Bloviator:


Bored with blogging? Busy with business? Freak cello accident?
At least the last time he took an extended hiatus from providing us with free content, he had the common decency to sign off.

Where are ya Ted? Hope all is well. You're sorely missed.

From Mac Diva:

I have been wondering the same thing. Prior to his hiatus, Ted Barlow questioned my position that gun research fraud John Lott, Jr., is bad news for progressive Americans all the way 'round. I responded with an entry called "John Lott's woman problem." Then, to make my reasoning even clearer, I wrote a three-part series called "The Friends of John Lott." Quite a few of you read all or some of those entries. I appreciate that and would give you a 21 gun salute if I owned a gun. But, I wrote those entries with Ted in mind and he hasn't read them as far as I know. This is like puckering up and opening your eyes to discover the fellow immigrated to Canada.

If you are a real life friend or neighbor of Ted Barlow's do us all the favor of checking up on him, please.

From Sisyphus Shrugged:

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the sisypheans:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Ted Barlow. Papa says, "If Sisyphus says it, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Ted Barlow? -- Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Ted Barlow.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Ted Barlow! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Ted Barlow! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Ted Barlow, but even if you did not see Ted Barlow coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Ted Barlow, but that is no sign that there is no Ted Barlow. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Ted Barlow? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

As it happens, I spoke to Ted on the phone a few days ago. He's alive and well. I did not ask, and therefore cannot say, when he might return to blogging, but he has popped up recently in comment threads (here, for example). Perhaps this recent groundswell of interest will help encourage him to start up. We shall see. In the meantime, I'll add my voice to the chorus that's singing the We-Miss-You-Ted refrain.

UPDATE: He's back! Woo hoo!

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 07, 2003 to Blog stuff | TrackBack

Thanks, Charles! I have been scratching my head over this. If he lived in Portland, I would have tracked Ted Barlow down and knocked on his door by now.

Posted by: Mac Diva on May 7, 2003 8:03 PM