It is a special peculiarity of our time that it is possible write an obituary for a friend that you have never met. I think I first heard about Jim Hurd, the Hoosier Socialist, from Jen Ray bitching about him (Hell, she bitched about everyone, so why not him?) ten years ago. Jim was a gadfly on the Socialists Unmoderated mailing list and a member of the Socialist Party. Jim quit the party over some stupid sectarian pronouncement of our National Committee and joined the CP, and he advanced – along with the internets – from listserves to blogs. He was an occasional commentator on this blarg (his most recent comment a quip in response to my “Being “Wrong” in the Socialist Party” piece that referenced Mark 6:4), and a gadfly blogger in his own right.
It’s a punch in the stomach to read that Jim Hurd died a week and a half ago after a long struggle with depression and alcoholism. With our tiny band of reds spread far and wide, it’s not unusual to meet a comrade through the internets. Eventually, you’ll meet at a conference or a rally. I never met Jim, though, even though he repeatedly reached out to me through e-mail and this website. And for that, I am truly sorry.
There will be a memorial for Jim at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, IN on Saturday, June 10th.