I only knew Lance from Twitter, he was always very kind and engaging (damn funny) and one of my early followers. I will miss our exchanges greatly.
Tom Watson has a nice memorial post, in which I learned a lot of his backstory. Lance Mannion sprang into the blog-o-sphere in the wee early days:
It was here where Lance Mannion joined the immortals of our game. He ranks with Steve Gilliard, Gehrig’s “luckiest man” to that Ruthian loss and – in my view – the Iron Horse of the liberal blogging era, a man who kept going long after all the RSS feeds dried up and Twitter injected its instantaneous meanness of spirit into what now passes for discourse. Those gauzy days of the aughts seem distant now, but they were a time of superheroes – writers who wore their disguises like marvelous capes and masks and costumes. I shudder at their remembered majesty and might. “Lance Mannion” invented himself, because he could. Because we all could. Lance was part Bing Crosby part Jack Lemmon and part Damon Runyon. But he also injected hardcore liberalism into middle American tastebuds, like Peter Parker’s radioactive spider. Tolerance crossed with curiosity was his superpower. And so he rambled with the Self-Styled Siren, with the Viscount LaCarte, with Neddie Jingo, with Blue Girl, with Shakespeare’s Sister, with M.A. Peel, with Jon Swift, with Majikthise, with Digby, and all the other crazy superhero bastards (including those of us foolish enough to use our real names). Keep your Rat Pack, brother, that was my crowd.
And Watson goes on from there. That list of notables contains a lot of memories and a lot of blogs that went dark for one reason or another. Many bloggers moved to Social Media, some bloggers of that era became part of the actual media, and yes, some bloggers went to the RSS feed in the sky.
They say that everything is permanent on the internet, and I hope that’s true. I’d like to think that Jon Swift and Lance Mannion are trading bon mots in the hereafter, and I hope that someone saves me a seat at the bar, close enough that I can listen in.