Journal: News & Comment

Sunday, April 28, 2002
# 4:21:00 PM:

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Dealing with it

Sometimes we feel like we know celebrities, which is why their private lives fascinate us, and why being famous must be very strange. That feeling of knowing is one-way -- to the fan, the celebrity is a friend, or at least an acquaintance, but to the celebrity, the fan is a stranger, and sometimes a scary one.

On the Web, those kinds of one-way relationships come down a notch. I feel I know something about the people who write some of the sites and weblogs I link to from this page. Some of them I do know personally; others have no idea who I am. And maybe some of you reading this site feel you know something about me, though we've never met.

Robert X. Cringely (real name: Mark Stephens) is somewhere in between. He's hosted some famous TV programs and written books. But he writes a an online column I read regularly, so it feels like I know him a bit. And now, I just read on his site that his son Chase Stephens died of sudden infant death syndrome a few days ago. Chase wasn't even three months old.

As with so many others, that which wounded Bob Cringely terribly, personally, and unexpectedly is now his cause, and he's on the attack against it, with all the engineering brainpower he can muster. He is a very smart man, and maybe he can win.

I'm a dad too, and it seems that losing one of my daughters would be unbearable. But people like Bob bear it, somehow. Good luck to him. And goodbye, Chase, though we never met either.


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