Sunday, 30 May 2010



This is nice, just a montage of Kate McGarrigle to  one of her  upbeat tunes, funky and vital. Would have been easy and obvious to choose something more melancholy,  Youtube at its interactive best.


A blogger died the other day, well, probably lots of them did but one of them was notable in this quadrant of cyberspace. Mr Mutley the Dog, Rob Chambers, 46, passed away in his sleep on Friday; no age, as we old people say, fearfully.

He was described as quirky and original and although I knew his name, I didn't know his output but I had a quick look last night and quirky was right, flights of whimsy, along the lines of Chase Me Ladies, I'm In The Cavalry. I intend no dismissal by that remark, no slight; making people smile, or laugh out loud is, I think, one of the nicest things one can do for the world. When my young friend, stanislav, was active, he used to make me laugh until I cried, and I know he made countless other people laugh, too, an odd, anarchy, his, barbed, didactic and mirthful; mr mutley's ouevre was milder, more wry and whimsical and people loved him for it.

The tributes at his site were largely moving and dignified, genuinely affectionate, most considered him a friend they had never met, some were just keen to grieve, May You Never-ing for all their worth; others have just closed their blogs for a few days as a mark of respect, a strange, new, alien ritual; the grafting-on, to the instant, the transitory, of ancient customs, antithetical, really, to the supposed newvalues of life in the the electronic village. Some of his readers had physically met Mr Mutley but many hadn't. How do you mourn those you don't know. And should you ? Is it, post-Diana, de rigeur, do we all remind ourselves, with every soul's passing, of John Donne's, no man is an island.....send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee?

Mr Chambers had an eponymous blogdog, Mutley, who had passed away and this obviously endeared him to people with their own dogblokes; there must be thousands of dogblokes unaware of their global fame;  everytime Buster disgraces himself I remind him that I can grass him up to Mrs Narcolept or Ms Lilith and they perhaps wouldn't be quite so pleased, then, to see his 'photos; makes no difference to him, being a blogdog, no matter how much of an honour I insist it is.

Mr Chambers wasn't one of those bloggers-for-cash, so despised by mr rantin rab, not a pathetic carpetbagger, like Mrs Dale of the cardigan emporium, down the street, not so much a forum, more an entree to midnight telly's dodgy celebrity. He was, instead, it seems, one of those to whom the internet gave both voice and audience, a double blessing and smiles all around.


P.T. Barnum said...

Not a blog I ever encountered, Mutley the Dog, but I entirely understand that drawing down of the blinds on other blogs as a sign of respect, as well as the comments left. This is not, I think, Diana-style mourning, but something at once both very new and very old.

Mr I, look back at the comments to your post at the turn of the year, when you fell silent for quite some time. Watch your loyal readers grow in anxiety at your absence, speculate for its reasons, and then resign themselves to having no more of your writing.

We do not know you in any conventional sense. But we revel in a sense of delighted familiarity with your take on the world, as well as small insights into your real life. It is a curious form of intimacy with no precedent in human history, except perhaps in those titanic relationships we will all have had with some fictional character or other, sharing their griefs and joys vicariously, inhabiting their world in imagination, which is far stronger than flesh-and-blood reality. Have we all had that experience of real bereavement when a fictional character dies? I do believe so.

So some bloggers, those unique voices who speak their own truths, combine that power of the fictional character with the knowledge that they are real, and when they die they actually die.

Enough burbling. RIP Mutley the Dog and the man who created him.

lilith said...

Well said Mr Barnum. Elby and I fretted into the small hours over Mr Smith's absence and the relief when he reappeared was very like hearing from a family member again, last seen somewhere in South America, after six months of no word.....I think you can develop a deep affection for someone by following their writing over the years.

46 is way too young. Mutley inspired affection and some real friendships were forged between him and some of his fellow bloggers. He was apparently one of those people who managed to get through life without bitching about anyone, something I could only ever aspire to. He left real kids without a Dad, a real woman without the love of her life, and real people without a friend. We never met, but I once got an award from him for sending him a picture of my mother naked.

How will we ever know what the radioactive green howler monkeys are up to, or which pub serves the best pint of Old Lesbian No.6, or whether Paul Weller ever got out of his bathroom?

Woman on a Raft said...

When Devil's Kitchen got the news he forgot he was supposed to be on the sweary waggon.
"Fucking Hellski, he'll be missed"
he tweeted.


black hole sunset said...

Never even knew about mutleythedogsdayout, what a nice place.

Commiserations to all concerned for their obvious loss.

Ms Smack said...

He was indeed a beautiful spirit.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr ptb, you're right, a fragile new decorum emerges, despite the best efforts of the vile to suppress Decency or - failing that - to orchestrate it; thanks.