My friend Scott Eric Kaufman has passed away. Scott was a brilliant writer, a deeply compassionate man, an incredibly caring friend, someone whose boundless confidence in my ability got me through a lot of setbacks and dry spells, and one of the few people I’ve met who saw and thought about the world so much like I did that he could anticipate what I was going to think about something and vice-versa. I miss him terribly; I want to ask him what he thinks about this TV show or that movie, to draw courage from his righteous indignation at the unrighteous, to tell him about my day-to-day victories and celebrate in his.
Ever since I came across his writing on Acephalous and Lawyers, Guns, and Money, I have always thought of Scott as someone with an enormous capacity for enduring the absurd and improbable curveball that life was constantly throwing at him, and then turning it around with his unique gift for ironic and self-deprecating wit. In my mind, he was like a silent film comedian, forever triumphing over adversity by the end of the reel through some clever trick. Somehow, I thought this would be the same, and it comes as a shock that it isn’t – Scott would have called it bad writing.
My deepest regret is that, despite having talked for dozens of hours in front of microphones and webcams, that we never got to meet in person. We tried several times, but every time some bizarre turn of events would upend our plans: we were going to meet in Santa Barbara, but something went wrong with a car; we were supposed to meet up in London or New York and a volcano exploded. The closest we got was me getting to New Orleans, but life intervened and we weren’t able to meet up. At the time, it was both frustrating and funny, getting momentarily caught up in Scott’s vortex of improbability. It isn’t funny now.
In an attempt to do something productive with how I’m feeling right now, I’m planning to put together a book of Scott’s best work, from LG&M and Acephalous (and possibly from other sites as well depending on IP issues) with help from people in the community. So please use this thread to suggest favorite pieces of his that you would include in the project.