Goodbye, Pavel


Paul Malkowski—who many of you will know as the prolific Hit and Run commenter Pavel—apparently died last week at age 25.

The last few things he wrote seem to have been this piece about Hunter Thompson and this interview with Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

I had very little direct correspondence with him, but he was obviously a very sharp, witty guy; I would've liked to have gotten to know him.

NEXT: Dead or Alive?

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  1. Pavel dies.

    Rush Limbaugh thrives.

    There is no God.

  2. Wow, it’s sad that a smart, witty, thoughtful guy like Pavel died at such an early age. Like Julian I would’ve liked to get to know him better. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

    Thanks for the info Julian, it’s good to know y’all are keeping an eye on the community.

  3. I enjoyed chatting with him on this forum.


  4. Such a shame. One of the good’uns.

  5. Does anybody know how it happened?

  6. It really is sad. My condolences to his loved ones.

  7. Rest in Peace, kid. Sorry you had to go so soon.

  8. I think his death appears to be drug related, but I read that link Julian threw up pretty fast, so I could be completely wrong.

  9. Godspeed Pavel.

  10. For the record, 654 comments dating back to 2003. Plenty of gems among them. I never thought I’d use the phrase “I’ll really miss this Reason commenter,” but I’ll really miss this Reason commenter. Thanks for the memories, Pavel.

  11. What Tim said. It’s very depressing news.

  12. The good die young. Which explains why the rest of us are still here.

  13. I’m sorry to hear such sad news. I liked Pavel and will miss him.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Julian.

  14. That’s the odd thing about this whole weird world. If someone stops posting, you can never know if they just got bored, or were hit by a truck. It’s sort of a miracle that this time you know.

  15. How awful. I’d exchanged several e-mails with him, even recently, and he was always sharp as a tack & with a generous sense of humor. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  16. The voice of Reason will always live on. Thanks for the comments Pavel, your words of intellect will be missed.

  17. I can’t say I ever got to know him, but I always appreciated his comments. No one should die so young.

    My heart goes out to Pavel’s loved ones.

  18. And a wonderful rememberance and tribute by Mirezzi. Condolences to his family and friends.

  19. I’ve always thought the same thing that that Ghost of Christmas Past said about posters coming and going on here, and how you never really know their whereabouts. I am really thankful I happened to check H&R today…(I was so busy at work the last few weeks)…

    This is so upsetting. Pavel was truly one of my all-time favorite posters, and I didn’t even know him. I echo the kind and true things everyone here has said about him. What a unique, genuinely interesting person. How very, very sad. He will be missed a lot by me and many others.

  20. SPD,how ignorant and inappropiate is your comment.

  21. “I’ve always thought the same thing that that Ghost of Christmas Past said about posters coming and going on here, and how you never really know their whereabouts. I am really thankful I happened to check H&R today.”

    Me too. I’ve been innundated with work and Mrs. TWC mentioned at lunch that Pavel had passed away or I wouldn’t have known. Mrs. TWC isn’t a regular, rarely comments, but she lurks sometimes.

    Odd too, but I hadn’t noticed he was missing until someone pointed it out.

  22. I just read this. Damn. Twenty-five is way too young. I enjoyed reading his posts. Good piece at the link. RIP.

    Thanks for informing us, Julian.

    And all you folks, take care of yourselves, OK?

  23. In that same ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ vein….Way back in the early days of BBs, when Prodigy was in it’s prime some people started a board called the Libertarian Club. At it’s peak there were well over 100 people posting comments. The debates would rage on for days and often into the wee hours of the night.

    Over the years many of us were fortunate enough to meet face-to-face and in some cases friendships formed that have survived the demise of the LC and the ultimate demise of *P.

    Funny thing about that is that I immediately understood why Pavel expected Mirezzi “to be dressed like a dirtbag with long hair and a beer gut.” You form mental images of the people on a BBS that you interact with. When you meet them, about 90% of the time your image is completely wrong. VBG

    Over the years at the old LC I met dozens of the participants. From Dupont Circle to Pittsburgh to So Cal, all of those meetings except one were really great.

    And from those experiences there are still at least 15 or 20 of us, scattered across the entire country, who keep in touch privately. And of those 20 or so there are 5 or 6 that I count as good friends.

    In one of the earliest of the I-net romances, a couple on that old LC BB ended up getting married at the Jefferson Memorial in 1995 (we flew out from Ca). She was from Phoenix he was from a town near Baltimore. They’re still married and we got together in January to break bread and drink wine.

    I’ve always been grateful that many of us took the bulletin board to the next logical step and allowed those friendships to form. Heck, my kids even got a godfather out of the deal.

    And so I appreciate Mirrezi’s eulogy, if you will, and understand how the friendship came about and why it was such a cool thing to spend time with Pavel.

    But cool as that is, sometimes life is hard.

    My thoughts are with those who cared for Pavel.

  24. TWC,
    Are you suggesting we have assorted H&R pub nights across the country? We could meet in various places across the country, put a voice to the personality and raise a glass to the memory of Pavel. Something tells me the debates would be a lot more civil too.

    Julian, may I ask how you came across Mirrezi’s eulogy? It was sure touching and Pavel sounds just as cool and interesting as I was led to believe (but he looked nothing like I expected).

  25. Are you suggesting we have assorted H&R pub nights across the country?

    (As a prologue, I hope nobody considers this post as out of place on this thread. No disrespect is intended.)I think pub nights in various cities would be a good idea. I personally get tired of hearing the same trite, uninspired political blather from people in bars who are trying to be hip and political (read: the guy who’s wearing the Che Guevera t-shirt) who don’t think before they open their mouths (i.e. most people, frequently non-Reasonoids), and I’ve given up a long time ago on any hope of Reason proper ever visiting Cleveland (although I understand why they wouldn’t want to.) I think it’s time we take the law into our own hands, in traditional Libertarian fashion (faction?). I am totally pro-pub nite.

    So, does anyone want to visit Cleveland?*


    [a lone man coughs]

    *that was a rhetorical question.

  26. that’s very sad about pavel. i was under the impression he had been sick for a long time, perhaps i was mistaken? either way…

    i’m always up for meeting reason-bots in nyc. grassroots tavern, anyone?

  27. Smacky, one of my good friends from the old LC lives outside Toledo. He’s a big Indians fan and you probably know him. I say that because you’re a chick, pretty sure your younger than him, and the odds of two libertarians, one male, one younger female living near or in Cleveland are astronomical. VBG

  28. We had been corresponding about some story ideas he was pitching; one of the people who worked on Rechargemag wrote to let us know.

  29. I also would enjoy the opportunity to meet other H&R posters from time to time.

    I used to be a participant in a Prodigy BBS called “The Heinlein Forum.” We discussed many things, occasionally even the writings Robert Heinlein. The regulars ranged from Burkean conservative to left-liberal, but mostly leaned libertarian. Anyway, after a couple years, we started a tradition of meeting at annual “Gatherings.” (Heh, I even appear in several of the photos here.) I was only able to attend a couple Gatherings in Missouri, but it was great (if a little weird at first) to meet some regular posters in the flesh. The Heinlein Forum still exists somewhere on the Internet, but it’s been years since I had time to keep up with it. Nevertheless it was an interesting part of my life, and I still remember it and the other regulars quite fondly, and I’m glad I got to meet some of them face to face.

  30. RIP Pavel.

    He really seemed like a decent person. Twenty-five is far too young. He seemed wiser than many that live a much longer life. Maybe there is a God and he or she wanted to hang with him.

  31. I’m always up for a beer in the old Great Lakes region. Smacky and TWC’s friend? If we’re in Cleveland, we really need to go to the Barking Spider.

  32. Mo, most of the interactions we had in the old days were in pubs or going to dinner. Lot of people travel for business and that facilitates some of the meetings. Also met people while on vacation travels. Sometimes a few hours is enough but sometimes it really isn’t.

    These meetings were very spontaneous–hey I’m going to be in Baton Rouge on business let’s hoist a couple. Anybody game? Then we’d get a public play back on the BBS. As more meetings happened more people got brave enough to try it.

    We also encouraged people to be careful and meet in public places (that kept the rapes and murders down).

    I used to have an annual Fourth of July Bash at my place and that also facilitated meetings because I would invite them all. Then we would make a three or four day extravaganza out of it, thus giving people a chance to travel to one spot and be together. Obviously that was easier if they were sort of local to the southwest than if they lived in PA, MD, OH, or Fla. But despite that we would routinely expect to see 10 or so LC’ers (as we used to call them) each 4th of July party. Several would fly out each year (or every other year).

    While in our case the meetings tended to be one on one, the method was similar to what you suggest and what Reason does when they have those pub thingies that begin with “Attention DC (or you pick the city) Reasonoids”.

    If we decide to go back to doing the 4th of July Bash you’re all invited.–VBG

  33. Epilogue to my last post (at the risk of sounding maudlin): Regardless of what becomes of the proposed H&R ‘pub night’, I will tie one on this weekend for our good friend Pavel.

  34. RIP, Pavel. Damn, but even when I didn’t agree with his comments, he was entertaining as hell and always friendly.

  35. I never post, but i read H&R daily, and Pavel’s comments will definitly be missed. RIP…

  36. Condolences to friends and family. Our hearts are with you.

  37. Wow. That’s seriously bad news. Far too young to die. He sounds like the kind of people who are amazingly hard to find, and who you wish you lived next door to. RIP brother Pavel.

  38. RIP, Pavel.

    We Ohio reasonoids could meet at The Harp in Cleveland to hear the Walkin Cane Band perform. THose guys are great, and you can hardly beat the Guinness draft there. Anyone on for next weekend?

  39. TWC,
    Sounds great. We should do an SoCal meetup sometime in the near future (IIRC you’re in Ventura County, correct). This libertarian girl I started seeing told me about a place in Silverlake with a 10 page beer list, I’ll get the name, that I want to go check out. We could meet up there, maybe even get Matt and any other LA area staff along.

  40. The Barking Spider and the Harp are both cool places. I’m down with either one, pretty much whenever.

  41. Is that the Harp on the corner of Detroit and West 45th, or thereabouts? My brother lives 2 blocks down Detroit, so I’d be up for hanging at the Harp next weekend.

  42. nobody,

    Yes, that’s the one.

  43. Mo, not Ventura County, I’m way out the other way. About 90 miles southeast of LA and about 90 miles northeast of San Diego. Sort of between Corona and Riverside up in the hills. It’s pretty hard to get here by accident. You gotta work at it.

    Smack, looked up both pubs and asked my buddy about them. He’s never been but I gotta say the Harp looks positively Norman Rockwell from the outside on the web page. (Oh yeah, I have nothing better to do–whatsa matter with me, I got rocks in my head, back to work, sound of whip crackin’)

  44. Mo, still don’t have nuthin’ to do but hang here…….

    Libertarian girl? Wow, were up to five libertarian chicks now (not counting Mrs TWC).

    How did you ever manage to find a libertarian chick?

    I found mine by accident.

    I’m up for a glass or two of cab but I have to plan it–got kids, you know, and I’m buried with work for at least another two to three weeks. No rest for the wicked.

    Reason sometimes throws little shindigs in LA maybe we can get together next time they do that.

    I went with Mrs TWC to one of those deals in Santa Monica last summer (I think it might have been an IHS get together). That was fun, met a couple of cool people, drank some wine, and, well, drank some more wine.

    Sheesh, I am getting so strung out that I’m babbling. I really, have to stop seeing you guys like this. I really have to do my work. Repeat.

  45. That sucks about Pavel. I enjoyed reading his posts.

    I’m up for raising a glass in his honor if anyone else in Ventura County wants to get together. (I need to find a decent bar around here anyway.)

  46. I don’t really have much to add here that hasn’t been said. Pavel generally came across as smart, funny guy, and a death at his age has to be considered particularly tragic. RIP.

    I often make trips to NYC for one reason or another, so I could probably attend a gathering there.

  47. Goodbye Pavel, you will be missed.

  48. Mo — I can walk to that place, if it’s the one I’m thinking about (it’s called, I believe “Good”; used to be a crusty neighborhood diner called Crest, now the hipsters have spruced it up a bit & filled it with beer). You can sit outside in the sun and watch the Eastside weirdos walk along Sunset Blvd. Very pleasant. Name a day, let’s try to make it happen. (E-mail me, since I’ll probably forget to check this thread.)

  49. Libertarian hipster dies of drug-related causes? Why, I am the picture of surprise!

    There are what now, 12, 13 Libertarians left?

  50. Classy.

  51. Ernie, why would you post something like that?

  52. Stevo, I am in St. Louis at least weekly, and will meet for IHOP if nothing else. I ain’t ever touching the vile creation known as “St. Louis-style pizza”, though.

  53. The only thing separating the new standardbearers of the moral order (psychiatrists) from the old (the priesthood) is a superficial appearance of scientific validity.

    One of my favorite Pavel posts. RIP


    I live in St. Louis and I’m willing

  54. I’ll miss Pavel and his comments. My condolences to his friends and family.

  55. Goodbye Pavel, you will be greatly missed. And as a fellow atheist, I wish you blissful nothingness. Your eternal life is the memories that will live on in all of us. Thanks for all of them.

    I wanted to post something earlier, but the last couple days have been as busy as hell for me.

    It’s interesting how much BBSing influenced blog participation. I frequented a Portland (OR) BBS called Disk Jockey Online for quite a few years, and that’s where I met my (future) wife. Those were the days. Did a few gigs as SysOp. Now I’m a lowly webmaster in a large corporation’s data farm. I keep mostly anonymous, because I’m not sure how kindly they’d take to my posting here.

    So, anybody here in Portland?

  56. I’m from Eugene and now living in Lincoln City. There’s a strong libertarian streak here in OR, I’ve found.

  57. Goodbye, Pawel. I wish you could have stayed longer.

  58. Pavel’s commentary was thoughtful and interesting. I’ll miss it.

    Comfort to his family and friends.

  59. Steven Crane and SixSigma — I have noted that you guys visit and live in St. Louis, repectively. Excellent. Once I get an e-mail address that I can post here (my home computer is disassembled and I currently post through a corporate firewall that doesn’t permit me access to Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. etc. — a long story) we’ll have to arrange to get together for a few drinks or something. May take a few weeks.

    And maybe someday the St. Louis contingent can meet up with the Ohio contingent. Maybe there’s a place to meet in-between? Maybe Chicago? I need a map.

    PS: I used to know a guy from the Heinlein Forum BBS from Portland, OR. He was a wee bit of a maniac, but a smart and entertaining one.

  60. So, does anyone want to visit Cleveland?

    I’m in Cleveland. Can I come too?

  61. I’ve known him since February 14,1980 11:55pm. He was exceptional kid and deeply loved son.
    I was asking God to take me instead of him.

    We will miss him forever.
    Thank you all for your comments.

  62. Mr. Malkowski: Heartfelt condolences regarding your son, to you and all your family. As you can see, he made quite an impression on those who knew him, as well as a good many who never actually met him.

    (The following is my private opinion, of course; those who disagree, feel free to ignore, please.)

    God takes everyone eventually, in the time of His own choosing. We’ll meet again.

  63. I’ve always thought the same thing that that Ghost of Christmas Past said about posters coming and going on here, and how you never really know their whereabouts.

    This may be a particularly ill-timed question on my part, but I’ve been particularly wondering whatever happened to kwais, our soldier on the ground in Iraq. I don’t recall that he gave heads-up of going on leave or whatever. Maybe whoever maintains the firewall where he posted (or whatever software filters it) detected an excesssive number of connections to this site and decided to block access.

  64. Sorry, meant to highlight kwais’ name and forgot to close the tag.

  65. Thanks Stevo for your kindness.
    I think God needed Paul to bring more smile into Heavenly Internet. If that so, no warries, this job will be well done and Paul is in Heaven.
    Thanks again to all.

  66. Mr. Malkowski-

    I’m very sorry about your loss. When I heard of Pavel’s passing I was sad, and when I read of his age I was surprised. His postings always struck me as the work of somebody more mature and experienced.

  67. Mr. Malkowski,

    I see Paul was a Valentine’s Day child. Interestingly, my own son was born on Father’s Day. I couldn’t imagine being without him.

    Words can’t express how sorry I am for you. I can only begin to guess what you must be going through.

  68. Stevo-
    I sent Kwais an email a few weeks back asking him where he was; he said he’d been sent back to the US on leave and thus had no time for posting here, and also said that “they” lost his laptop back in Baghdad, so unless “they” find it he won’t be posting again. I assume he’s back in Iraq now.

  69. Thanks, Jennifer. Good luck to him.

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