PTOE-03

It is with a very heavy heart that Kalima and I share the news with the rest of our PlanetPOV family that our co-founder and wonderful, brilliant friend, KQuark has passed away.

From Kalima:

THANK YOU KQ.

Where does one start when one has to put into words the loss of two special and much loved friends just months apart?

In life sometimes we pass each other like two ships in the night, sometimes we collide. But sometimes, we glide into the harbour at the same time, and that’s how I felt about KQ.

We met over at HP in 08 during the primaries. I loved his passion and knowledge about issues, and the way he would use it to smack down the ignorant trolls. He encouraged me to speak my sometimes very different and loud European take on things, and we became friends. We continued this relationship at another site where we blogged together with another friend, AdLib.

It was unfortunately not the place to speak your mind or be different, so we talked about starting our own site one day in our emails to each other. Eventually we did, thanks to AdLib who came back from a trip to Europe in the spring of 09, and after growing tired of the sameness at the other place, said let’s do it, and we did. We planned for a few months, then launched The Planet where we hoped to give freedom to troll free discussions and ideas.

A scientist by profession. A humanitarian by nature. A man who had an unbending belief in fixing the injustice he saw, while often laughing like a playful child at simple and silly things we shared.

KQ was not a well man, but that never stopped him or his main passion for healthcare for all Americans. He had lost his insurance when he became too sick to work. Last year, due to the President’s ACA, his life became so much better. Unfortunately, his health did not.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to people who mean so much to me, so I won’t. I’ll just say thank you my friend for your friendship and for making my life that much better for having known you.

Rest well, your suffering is over. I miss you and thank you for letting me into your life. RIP.

If you missed his well researched articles on the Healthcare Reform bill. I’ve linked to them at the end of this to help us remember why he was such a special human being.

Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2010/02/02/periodic-table-of-dangerous-elements

Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements: Final 2012 Edition | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2012/11/01/periodic-table-of-dangerous-elements-final-2012-edition

The Many Ways to Fight for Real Universal Healthcare Reform | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/09/14/the-way-for-progressives-to-fight-back-on-healthcare-reform/

The Fundamental Case for Healthcare Reform: Part One the Moral Case | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/05/the-fundamental-case-for-healthcare-reform-part-one-the-moral-case

Just Regulate Stupid! | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/10/02/just-regulate-stupid

A Healthcare Irony | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/09/01/a-healthcare-irony

Who’s Paying to Kill Healthcare Reform? | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/26/whos-paying-to-kill-healthcare-reform

My Personal Healthcare Story | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/01/my-personal-healthcare-story

Survivorman Circa 2009: Somewhere in NE Georgia Hospital | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/12/22/survivorman-circa-2009-somewhere-in-ne-georgia-hospital

Wow Under Different Circumstances this could be Me. | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/10/23/wow-under-different-circumstances-this-could-be-me

Proud to be a Scientist | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/11/02/proud-to-be-a-scientist

KQ wrote 143 articles for The Planet and these listed were a few of my favourites. You can check out others at: KQµårk 死神 | PlanetPOV http://planetpov.com/author/kquarks/

From Adlib:

There’s not that much I can add to Kalima’s description of how she and I met and came together with KQuark to found PlanetPOV.  I do recall after we had left HP for another site, KQuark had privately contacted me about helping him write a post and in doing so, really started our friendship. My response was being a bit surprised, I expressed how impressed I was with the comments he wrote and how I had no doubt he could write quite well. He showed me a draft of his first post before posting it and as I had expected, it was smartly written and very effective.

As a couple of months went by and we grew dissatisfied with the atmosphere of that other site, KQuark, Kalima and I soon discovered how like-minded we were in our desire for a place to blog where trolls, conformity, cliques and censorship did not have a home. We envisioned a site that was by bloggers, for bloggers, where everyone could freely express themselves as part of a community that respected individuality and freedom of expression.

If not for KQuark’s commitment to there being such a site as PlanetPOV, none of the conversations we’ve ever had here, none of the revelations or laughs we’ve shared, none of the people you’ve come to know here, would ever have been a part of any of our lives.

When we first launched PlanetPOV there was just Kalima, KQuark and me and a few very appreciated friends from that other site and HP. In those early days, KQuark and I were the only ones posting articles, Kalima’s focus was on building up our comments and conversations. Sometimes we’d both be posting articles in a particular week, other times KQuark would keep the posts flowing, sometimes I would, both of us knowing that to get this site off the ground, we had to keep it up till it caught on.

During all that time, while expending all of this energy, KQuark was dealing with a great deal of debilitating illness and pain, not to mention stress from not having health insurance to cover his serious condition. His passion though, for writing in defense of justice, fairness and the principles of a good society never wavered.

When the ACA was first being debated, KQuark was a fierce defender of it, giving no ground to those on the Right or the Left who wanted it defeated. When some on the Left promoted the belief that it would be better to kill the ACA than to have a plan that wasn’t single payer, KQuark was energized to knock that argument down by skewering intellectual exercises with humanity and sharing the details of his own dilemma with needing but not being allowed by insurance companies to get covered. No one was more a staunch campaigner in the blogging world for the need to pass the ACA than KQuark and when it passed, many here were as happy for and proud of KQuark as we were for Obama.

KQuark was our resident scientist, his delight at sharing a recent scientific breakthrough or a NASA discovery was contagious. He was a man of logic who never took a position that didn’t make sense, even if one disagreed with it. He was so creative as well and had such a sharp sense of humor, as his works such as his Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements that appears above attests. He enjoyed creating graphics for our posts and regular features and even created a very funny smiley of a stick figure peeing. From the sublime to the ridiculous, KQuark covered the whole spectrum.

We shared many things in common including an appreciation for Monty Python and Pink Floyd. We had our share of disagreements on issues which neither of us were bothered by, having that friendship meant never having to hold back on how passionate we were about our POV and though I was of course always right, I would sometimes let him think he was as I think he did with me for some inexplicable reason.

Life for KQuark was a challenge due to the severity of the pain he endured and the devastation of his health and abilities but he constantly fought against it, refusing to accept concession and insisting on making a difference every day he could.

Kalima listed some of his best posts above. His posts on his own condition and the issues he had to face due to our health care system were his most potent arguments for health care reform though his well-researched opinion pieces were very strong. His posts on science were always intriguing and enlightening, making me step out of my day to day thinking and zoom out a bit to ponder God, the universe and existence. His humorous posts would always make me smile no matter what was going on. The logic he exhibited in his comments and arguments made even the briefest one substantial.

KQuark was a brilliant, creative and witty man. Fortunately, he has left a lot of who he was here in the form of his posts, comments and creations. Due to that and as a co-founder of The Planet, KQuark will always be a part of my life and my universe even though he has passed on. I will always remember him as my friend, my partner and a singular, remarkable and irreplaceable human being.

RIP KQuark, you will always be missed.

117
Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
27 Comment threads
90 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
funksandsKillgoreTroutempiGirlOutWestbeowoof Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
funksands
Member

It looks like this was published the day before I left town on vacation. I regret having missed it. This is the news I had been fearing, having not heard from him in so long.

I’ve missed him here and over on Twitter, where he was really coming into his own using that medium.

My sympathies to all of you that knew him so well for so long.

Kalima
Admin

You didn’t miss it because you came here to leave your message.

Thank you funk, much appreciated.

empi
Member
empi

ADLIB No worries about responding. I totally understand. It really helped coming to the Planet after learning of KQuark’s passing. I still can’t believe it but I know he is resting in peace. Thanks to all at the Planet

Nirek
Member

To all of you who have been touched by KQ, I second everything good you have said. KQ and Bito were what we all aspire to be.

May KQ rest in peace as I know Bito has already greeted him.

kesmarn
Admin

They were two truly remarkable guys, Nirek. They made a great impact in the short time they were on the planet and on the Planet.

empi
Member
empi

Thank you AdLib, Kalima and all the others who responded to my posts about KQ. Yesterday was a catharsis for me because it was only a few days before that I received an email from his wife telling me of his passing and I was so very sad and couldn’t share my grief with anyone. That is what brought me to the Planet to see if there was anything about it and there was.

Thank you again each and everyone of you.

KillgoreTrout
Member

For KQuark

KillgoreTrout
Member

I was so sorry to hear of KQ’s passing. I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know to what extent.

I will miss his wit and knowledge. He was a good person who’s writing was excellent. He cared about people, our country and the world. He was a true progressive.

RIP KQ, you will be missed. It’s amazing to see all the tributes to KQ here. It seems he touched a lot of people.

agrippa
Member
agrippa

KQuark was a great deal kinder and more patient than I was at Huffington Post.Because of the fatuous and ignorant posts by trolls, I wrote off that site. Now, I just go there for some news.
I found this website from a comment that suggested planetpov with a link.
His writings were most excellent.

I wish that he were still with us.

empi
Member
empi

Who was Bito?

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

A great soul, a wonderful companion.

Kalima
Admin

Maybe this will explain him better than I could right now, except to say that like KQUARK, he was a very sick man, a fighter against injustice, a friend who never complained and became part of the soul of The Planet. A very big part.

A real shame that you never got to know him.

http://planetpov.com/2013/01/31/in-remembrance-of-bito/

empi
Member
empi

Cliches are cliches because they are true and the one that comes to mind in response to SueInCA is:

“The good die young”

Kalima
Admin

In my personal experience, Empi, that unfortunately has been more true than not in my lifetime, and it makes me realise that we could do more when they are with us than facing the prospect of feeling guilt for the things we put off because we were lulled into believing that we had plenty of time later.

empi
Member
empi

Well as one gets older, one gets to understand the importance of savoring the moment and living life to the fullest. We only have the present but we don’t live our lives that way because we always believe there is another tomorrow. I have a feeling that KQUARK was all too aware how fleeting his life was given his illnesses, yet he was able to stay positive and be thankful for his wonderful wife and his friends. Let us all remember KQ and enjoy every day as it comes if we are lucky.

My hubby always tells me to “eat your ice cream while it’s on the plate”

Being at the Planet today has been a catharsis.

Kalima -are you british – you spell realize with an “s” and not a “z”.

Kalima
Admin

That’s very true Empi, I hope I can grow into “savouring every moment” but living in a big, fast city like Tokyo, it’s much harder than it seems. I’ve lost many wonderful people who were in their 40s and 50’s, my mother being one of them, and the shock always takes me by surprise, even if they were sick. KQ often told me that he knew he was living on borrowed time, and he tried to live his life to the fullest never knowing what tomorrow might bring.

I am a naturalised Brit but am German by birth. We first moved to England when I was 9 years old.

So happy to hear that being here helped you today, please come back whenever you feel like it, we will always be here if you want to talk or join in.

empi
Member
empi

Thank you Kalima. I just want to cry reading all of the wonderful tributes to KQUARK. Do you think he had any idea how much he was loved? I saved all of his emails and when I found out the other day I opened one up where he included his picture – just so I could see his face and remember that smile.

Thank you again and thank all of you for such a wonderful tribute to such wonderful person. Has anyone been in touch with his wife. I am sure these tributes would be of some solace to her.

Kalima
Admin

Empi, I think he would be quite shocked to read all of the many comments here, he was a very modest man who cared about others before himself, something that is quite rare these days, so I imagine he would be grateful but maybe blushing with his skin tone.

I have “liked” this post on Facebook and was just wondering about sharing this link so that his wife might see it and find some comfort in knowing how much he was loved and appreciated by our members here at The Planet. I might just do that later.

empi
Member
empi

I just found out the other day about KQuark and my heart sunk to the floor on hearing the terrible news. His lovely wife said she was finally able to open his email and respond to those who had written and who were concerned. I also met KQ at HP during the 2008 election year and we just hit it off immediately. After reading some of the comments and tributes, a lot of us met him the same way. I couldn’t even begin to write a tribute as befitting as that written by Kalima but suffice it to say, he was a wonderful person with such courage and insight, and the world was a better place when he was in it. This is a tremendous loss.

KQuark, you will be missed more than you could ever know. R. I. P.

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

Empi….thanks for the insight. I did not know KQ in the way you did….but I have come to know him in a number of the tributes shared….like yours.

Kalima
Admin

Empi, he was always so happy to find you here, and btw, you just did write a “tribute as befitting” here, and I thank you with all my heart. The best thing we can do for his memory is to remember him for the way he fought his obstacles, and how this made us all stronger.

Peace and the strength to heal.

beowoof
Member
beowoof

Thank you Kalima and AdLib for your thoughtful tributes. KQuark was one of the first that I remember really liking over at HP. So bright and willing to stand up for what he believed. Very sad to hear of his passing and may he be on his way and far away from worldly pain. Thank you also for this wonderful site, full of passion and reason along with open minded discourse and compassion.

Kalima
Admin

beowoof, so sorry to be late with this reply and thank you so much for your kind words and for coming here to share this tribute to KQUARK with us. It is a great comfort to know how much he was appreciated and loved. Thank you.

Nirek
Member

Beowoof, because my eyes still water up , I thank you for voicing how I feel . I remember KQ at HP and here at the Planet. Your post really says what I want to say.
Thanks.

Khirad
Member

My condolences. Been away far too long. The Planet came crashing down upon me again when I heard the news.

Haruko Haruhara
Member

KQuark and I shared an affinity for anime, we both had anime characters in our avatars. This was the show his avatar came from. A wicked satire from Japan that is a lot like South Park.

Nirek
Member

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. KQuark and Bito greeted me here on the Planet with open arms. They both are sorely missed by me and for many other folks on the planet.

I’m broken hearted right mow and have tears in my eyes. Maybe later I can write something.

Kalima
Admin

Nirek, what you wrote here came straight from your heart, and is very much appreciated. There is no rush to explain more as we know exactly how you are feeling. Thank you for caring about two of the most wonderful people to have been with us all here, even if for too short a time, at The Planet. They will live on in our hearts so we will never forget them.