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.
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
Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements: Final 2012 Edition | PlanetPOV
The Many Ways to Fight for Real Universal Healthcare Reform | PlanetPOV
The Fundamental Case for Healthcare Reform: Part One the Moral Case | PlanetPOV
Just Regulate Stupid! | PlanetPOV
A Healthcare Irony | PlanetPOV
Who’s Paying to Kill Healthcare Reform? | PlanetPOV
My Personal Healthcare Story | PlanetPOV
Survivorman Circa 2009: Somewhere in NE Georgia Hospital | PlanetPOV
Wow Under Different Circumstances this could be Me. | PlanetPOV
Proud to be a Scientist | PlanetPOV
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/
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.