My esteemed colleague Mr. BRAD L. GRAHAM was found dead at his house yesterday (2010.01.04). He was a mere 41.
Brad and I maintained Weblogs of one form or another since the dawn of the medium as it is now understood. There were clear antecedents to what we were doing, but it is generally accepted, even by somebody like me who critiqued the era, that the late ’90s were dominated by about three dozen blogs. Mine was barely noticed, but everybody read Brad’s.
He was the soul of wit. You couldn’t write his shit down, or even remember it verbatim. What you remembered was unremitting humour, nothing by rote or from an expected place, no repetition, no rehashed war stories. What he had to offer was originality. Tweak a few variables and Graham could have been the Rakoff to Sedaris.
Rather like Mr. QUENTIN CRISP, Brad liked everybody and intended to meet everybody at least once. You were automatically his friend if you were onliné, and probably would be even if you weren’t. I met Brad at South by Southwest twice, in 2003 and 2005. I Broke Bread with Brad, making sure to sit no more than two places away from him so I could hang on to every word. He sacrificed his one and only A DRY CRACK IS A HAPPY CRACK key fob just for me.
Brad, Jonno, the only black gay type designer on earth, and some fat faghag I couldn’t get rid of spent a lot of time at a deserted gay bar in Austin shooting the shit. I felt like I was in a peer group with Brad and Jonno, who had bloody well better not keel over dead now. (Actually, yes: Who’s next? Me? Plasticbag?)
For several years I have frequently thought of Brad. I had strong suspicions – based on no objective evidence, unneeded anyway – that he was depressed. I dearly hope his was not another in a conspicuous string of apparent suicides or deaths by unexpected drug interaction. Yes, that would make it worse. It’s bad enough already.
The earliest bloggers are old enough to die.