I met Mr. SCOTT BOMS in some guise during the doomed abortive run of Webstandards.TO, the social club I formed for Toronto standardistas that finally once and for all taught me I am much too unpopular to start any club. Scott is a highly competent designer–developer, a combination that, like accessibility designers, no longer exists. He is, further, well versed in typography.
Scott and I worked like dogs to give an adequately researched presentation at another failed enterprise (this one not my own), BookCamp, in 2010. Just now I found the handout I gave to members of the audience, who later took to Twitter to shit all over me.
Scott’s wee office was just down the road from me, and I visited him a couple of times. He very compassionately listened to me and rubbed my shoulder. I remember a separate creative-luncheon kind of meet-’n’-greet held at his office that was visibly uncomfortable for everyone and – again – resulted in my character’s being assassinated the minute I left the place. (I distinctly recall Ben Lucier, even then fully weaponized, as the aggressor. He aptly describes himself on Twitter as a “hooligan” and has failed upward to New York, as natural a home for bullies as Twitter itself.)
Scott is a tiny, perfect graphic-designer type, with no gut, impeccable casual clothing, and an abundance of children. (Graphic designers, like Mormons, are outbreeding the Muslims.) A tidy masculine model comparable to that of the Mormons, who themselves are often good designers (no religion has better graphics). Scott lived one or two neighbourhoods over, and I kept not quite understanding his messages on Twitter about selling his house, then finding a rental house to live in. I was then equally baffled by a reference to San Francisco, and seemingly a moment later I realized Scott had left Toronto for Facebook.
When he did so, Toronto lost its second-last standardista and the very last accessibility‑ and standards-aware graphic designer. I didn’t blame him. While it costs a fortune to live there, even without asking I know he’s earning a fortune. Toronto is too second-rate, and too hostile to expertise, and too hostile for a designer to raise children in.
I have followed Scott onliné since he left. Apart from masterminding typography at a venture that appears to have nothing of the sort, he spends his days in a garage on the Back 40 of the Facebook compound hand-painting signs for an Honest Ed’s of the imagination.
He got out just in time.
When I tell disbelieving-antagonistic-uncongenial-hostile interlocutors that I am the last standardista standing in Toronto, I mean Scott was second-last. He is also the second-last man I knew personally who took me seriously. I’ve got one left.