Canadian blogging pioneer and friend of Legal Insurrection Kathy Shaidle passed away today after a battle with Ovarian cancer.

Kathy was one of the first people I met “virtually” after starting Legal Insurrection in October 2008. The following couple of years were the glory years of the conservative blogosphere, where bloggers shared links and communicated on large email chains, not social media. We might need to go back to that.

Here is Kathy being interviewed in 2012 on the death of Andrew Breitbart:

Kathy was known for refusing to bow to political correctness, leading her and her husband Arnie, who runs Blazing Cat Fur blog, to be subject to lawfare tactics under Canada’s repressive speech regulations. Her website lists some of the nice and not-so-nice things people said about her:

“Kathy Shaidle is one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our day: If the human rights racketeers get their way, she’ll be unpublishable in her own country. But, in the end, that’s a reflection not on her but on them.” — Mark Steyn, from his introduction to her book The Tyranny of Nice

“I like Kathy Shaidle’s blog a lot, but I found her speaking style even more compelling — a touch more gentle, the humour a touch more subtle, and jam-packed full of facts. I knew she was a good writer, but I didn’t know that she was a great speaker. I had high expectations, but they were exceeded.” — Ezra Levant

“You must be a shill for the new world order, either you know that or are amazingly ignorant, either way you are working for the death of America, sad that you have sold out to evil.” — infowars

“Shaidle who is, to put it politely, not a particularly nice person…” — Alex Koppelman, Salon.com

“Kathy Shaidle is a great warrior of free speech in Canada, where that fundamental right is already largely lost — as she chronicles in her book The Tyranny of Nice (which she wrote with Pete Vere). The book is ‘excellent, superb, rollicking, harrowing, much needed,’ as I told her in an email. And her weblog Five Feet of Fury maintains the same level of excellence as it chronicles, among other things, the demise of sanity and pusillanimity before Islamic supremacism in Canada in the most wildly entertaining fashion, full of Swiftian savage indignation, making it a daily must-read. If we had five Kathy Shaidles, there would be no stealth jihad in this country or on this continent.” — Robert Spencer, JihadWatch

Here is Kathy at a Free Speech Forum with Mark Steyn:

Mark Steyn wrote a lengthy and moving tribute to her at his website, with many details of her life, concluding:

We send our condolences to her husband Arnie, even as we feel that slightly selfish and resentful feeling that we’ll never again read the latest blistering Shaidle polemic or a tart and unforgettably rude one-liner, or (under her other hat) a new insightful look at a movie classic or a wry appreciation of a Hamilton children’s show.

Kathy was serious about her faith: we talked about it at some length before Christmas, just after she had received the sacraments. I am honored to have published her at SteynOnline, and only wished we could have done so for many decades to come. Rest in peace, Kathy.

Kathy wrote her own obituary, posted at her website and Facebook page (which has a lot of memorial comments by people who knew her). Here was my comment:

A 5-foot giant has been lost, one of the first people I virtually met in the blogosphere, always generous with her time and links. Condolences to Arnie.

The obituary Kathy penned for herself was pure Kathy:

Kathy Shaidle 1964 – 2021

Following a tedious rendezvous with ovarian cancer, Kathy Shaidle has died, wishing she’d spent more time at the office.

Her tombstone reads: GET OFF MY LAWN!

She is relieved she won’t have to update her LinkedIn profile, shave her legs, or hear “Creep” by Radiohead ever again. Some may even be jealous that she’s getting out of enduring a Biden presidency.

Kathy was a writer, author, columnist and blogging pioneer, as proud of her first book’s Governor General’s Award nomination as of her stint as “Ed Anger” for the Weekly World News. A target for “cancel” culture before the term was coined, she was denounced by all the best people, sometimes for contradictory reasons.

Kathy did not lead a particularly “full life,” her existence having been comprised mostly of a series of unpleasant surprises. Her favourite corporeal pleasure was saying, “I told you so,” which she was able to utter with justification multiple times a day. A bookish movie-buff and agoraphobic homebody, as a child Kathy (as per the Roz Chast cartoon) “always preferred the little couch ride on the merry-go-round.” Yet Kathy managed to acquire a reputation for mouthiness, a side effect of her bullshit allergy.

Contrary to cliche, Kathy did not conduct herself with particular “grace,” “dignity” or “courage” in her final months. She didn’t “bravely fight on” after her cancer was pronounced terminal. All she did was (barely) cope, and then only with assistance from her generous employer, and some energetic and selfless friends whom she’d somehow managed to acquire over the years, much to her astonishment. Of course, the greatest of these was her stalwart beloved of over 20 years, Arnie, with whom she is now in the ultimate long distance relationship. They can all finally catch up on their sleep.

Donations can be made to the Dorothy Ley Hospice, Toronto.

Rest in Peace, dear Kathy.

 

 
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