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Cathy Seipp, R.I.P.


Los Angeles-based journalist Cathy Seipp—best known in the blogosphere for her excellent Cathy's World blog and her National Review Online columns–died yesterday of cancer.

She was an occasional Reason contributer and a full-time Friend of Reason–she helped organize a wonderful L.A. Press Club event for Nick Gillespie's Choice: The Best of Reason anthology and my own This is Burning Man .

Most importantly, especially for those of us in L.A. lucky enough to know her, she was every bit as funny, lively, and unpredictable in person as she was in her writing. Her wit and enormous capacity for friendship drew around her the most interesting swirling nexus of L.A. writers, politicos, and characters one could ever hope to meet.

I was only ever a peripheral member of her circle, but I enjoyed every moment, and the opportunity to be part of a world, strange and vast and bound together pretty much only by Cathy, including porn industry reporter and Jewish world chronicler the inexplicable Luke Ford ; the fiery defender of common decency and courtesy, advice columnist Amy Alkon; superpolitical journalist Mickey Kaus; leading lawblogger Eugene Volokh; French journalist (and wife of our old colleague Matt Welch) Emmanuelle Richard; and almost everyone who was interesting and fun and smart in the many worlds of L.A. journalism, most of which would not have intersected but for her.

I'll always treasure particularly the memory of an afternoon learning gun safety, loading and aiming techniques with her and Professor Volokh and a pack of her wonderful friends. Los Angeles, and the world of journalism, will be duller and sadder without her. For people wishing to honor her memory, she has requested donations to the Humane Society in her name.

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  1. I only met Cathy two or three times, but it was enough to know that she was an admirable person as well as a talented writer. The last time I saw her was when we both were covering the Liberty Film Festival in L.A. in 2005. She was there with her teenage daughter, and it was immediately obvious what a strong relationship they had. Rest in peace.

  2. RIP. Comfort and Condolences to her Family.

  3. Since I’m an atheist (and don’t believe in an immortal soul, etc.) all I can say is that I hope her family finds peace, etc.

  4. Wow. Definitely, RIP. I actually discovered her years ago at NRO and she quickly became nearly the only one worth reading there. I loved her stuff.

  5. I only had one personal exchange with Cathy, but it was about old time radio (KNX dropping its OTR show, which Cathy loved, in favor of more news) and that was the coolest. It’s always fun when you find out someone clearly smarter than you are shares your personal interests. Sort of like when Virginia Postrel started blogging about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I digress. Cathy was kind enough to post about our Friends of Old Time Radio Convention (www.fotr.net) on her blog and even though her health, distance and other pursuits didn’t allow her to join us, it was great to know she was a fan. RIP.

  6. That’s very sad. Libertarianism can ill afford to lose any adherent that doesn’t look like a mutant. Cathy was lovely.

  7. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with her work, but my condolences to all who knew her.

  8. During last year’s Reiner campaign, I shared an excruciating three hours with Cathy at a Republican Club meeting where she was speaking on the myth of media bias and I was speaking about preschool. It was all I could do to resist laughing at her raised eyebrows during the most ludicrous points of the meeting.

    I’ll always remember her memorable piece for Reason on zero tolerance gone mad and the resulting risk to students who were forbidden from carrying asthma inhalers in school. Because of the wide distribution of her piece and a change in federal legislation public school students can now get through their day with their inhalers by their side. She proved ideas have consequences.

  9. Cathy was a fun writer, and a person of spirit and humor. She had the rare talent of being able to rant without sounding shrill, and that, and her many other admirable qualities, will be sorely missed.

  10. I didn’t even know she was sick. Can’t claim to have known her personally, but I’ll miss her stuff.

  11. She’s currently #1 at Technorati. She’s not here to say “It’s about time!”, so I will.

  12. She kinda looks like that guy from Twisted Sister in that photo.

  13. Sincere condolences to friends and family.

  14. I really enjoyed her writing. RIP.

  15. http://www.hsus.org/

    Please do not give these people money unless you throughly understand who they are and that you agree with their mission.

    This is not an organization that has anything to do with taking care of abandoned pets.

  16. And Brian, she was proud of her performance at the shooting range… Two targets are hanging above her bed. Cathy the straigh-shooter…

  17. I met her casually a couple of times. I will be very sad to take the link to her site down from TWC.

    Two favorite quotes:

    “A society that allows Playboy is not a society that allows women to be stoned to death for adultery. Human nature being what it is, we’re probably stuck with either burkas or naked balloon breasts forever. I know which I prefer.”-Catherine Siepp

    “To proper feminists who ask how I can work for a magazine that exploits women, my answer is always, go write for a women’s magazine before you talk to me about exploited women.”-Catherine Siepp

  18. Reason’s own ex, Matt Welch, has some great Cathy stuff here.

  19. RIP Ms. Seipp.

    Probably one of the best/funniest things I found on tv was when she was holding her own against a forthing Lawrence O’Donnell. Pictures here:

    Adn her explanation here:
    And it’s true that it did look like O’Donnell WAS going to hit her…and how she just sat there with a sarcastic grin on her face…priceless.

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