My friend John Cole over at the excellent sight Balloon Juice lost his cat unexpectedly last night. Cole’s cat Tunch, named after former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and two-time pro-bowler Tunch Ilkin, was a most unlikely bloggy superstar. But because his antics were posted to a high traffic site on a regular basis, thousands of people from all over the world grew to appreciate him. He even appeared on T-shirts.
There are a lot of things that attracted me in the early years to Balloon Juice. Cole’s journey to political awareness mirrored my own in many ways. He started out as a relatively apathetic center-right Republican and, over time, moved toward the center. As the malfeasance during the Bush admin grew, Cole was able to examine his own beliefs and rather quickly came to cast off the conservative trappings that snare so many for life. Today he may call himself a moderate progressive, or he may not as I really don’t know, but based on most every issue I’ve seen him write about he comes across like a well informed, raging lefty. Another appealing feature is Cole will let fly, with a rare mix of passion, love, and anger, on people, places, and things he cares about. Plus he’s done a great job of recruiting like-minded writers who do the same and with whom he does not always agree with. [Read more...]