March 22, 2007

"What puzzles me is why so many people are scared of so many ridiculous things."

Cathy Seipp said last summer:
Did you have to develop a thick skin or does it come naturally?

I guess it just came to me naturally, although naturally we all become less sensitive to what others think of us as we grow older. Or at least, we should. The alternative is to remain forever a sensitive adolescent, and that's kind of pathetic.

Did you have to develop your self-confidence to write as fearlessly as you do or did it come naturally?

Again, I think most people naturally gain confidence as they age, if only because we develop a sense that we finally know what we're doing. What puzzles me is why so many people are scared of so many ridiculous things.
These are words of wisdom, words to live by. Thanks to Cathy for saying this and for saying and writing so many other fine things.

Cathy Seipp, R.I.P.

Here's the L.A. Times obit. And this is nice, with a terrific photo, from LAist.


Pogo said...

Truly sad. Her daughter did a blog post for her at the bedside just days before this, filling readers in. Otherwise, she seemed to speak rarely of her own troubles. She was tough, smart, and funny. And she obviously affected alot of people through her work. Clearly someone who would have been a delight to know.

I remember that post on 'thick skin'. Loved it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Cathy was right on here and said it very well. I sure have seen my skin get a lot tougher in recent years.

Until recently, I attributed it to being an attorney. Even though my practice is typically not all that confrontational, as law practices go, I still run into enough situations where I have to have a thick skin that I thought that might have something to do with it.

But I now see it with many of my contemporaries, those now in their early to mid fifties. I think that Cathy is right here, that most of us just develop a thicker skin as we age.

I also agree with the pathetic side. I know several people who haven't grown thicker skins, but rather their skins seem thinner every year. I attribute this to heavy pot smoking over the decades, though it could be just who they are. It almost hurts some times to see them this way, when most of us seem not to be.

The Drill SGT said...

I thought the LAT Obit wa a bit too much about the LAT. I also didn't like the way they had to make it clear right up front that Cathy was one of "those" people.

Cathy was Cathy.

I think Susan Estrich had a better view:,2933,260268,00.html

phoenix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

The first link doesn't go to last summer's article.

Ann Althouse said...

Link fixed. Sorry.

David said...

Cathy was an excellent writer and will be sorely missed. What tragedy for those of us who read her contributions to the communal dialogue.

We are all the less for her passing! She was a star in the dark night of the L.A. Times which just lost what little lustre it had remaining in the "City Of Angels."

GOD speed, Cathy!

Palladian said...

My condolences to her family and friends. I know what a devastating toll cancer can take on both the patient and their loved ones, having just lost my dear uncle to lung cancer last month. In his case it was 7 months from diagnosis to death, Ms Seipp and her family, friends and admirers were lucky that she successfully fought her cancer for years. It may sound like a platitude, but don't take your life and those you love for granted. Live your life and love those around you as if with the knowledge that your time is limited. Because it is.

Rest in peace, Cathy.

Cat said...

I loved Cathy's writing. So much so, when I read that she was dying, I immediately thought, no more great observant essays? Of course I am upset for Maia and Cathy's parents and sister, but my relationship to her was through her great posts and columns.

Her direct honesty and sharp observations were so refreshing. And she was tough. When I discovered her, I went and read everything essay I could find.

She is someone I wish I had the opportunity to know.

Anthony said...

Everybody seems to be linking to Susan Estrich's column on Seipp.

I had read her occasionally, but her lung cancer column (linked in the Estrich column, I think) hit me kind of hard because she wrote that around the time my dad was diagnosed (he made it a little over a year). That was a great article; there was so much feeling in it without being self-pitying.

Jim said...

I don't know if it's so much thicker skin as a thicker cerebral cortex.

Her LA Times obit is currently the most viewed page on their site, which you know she would have loved.

Anthony said...

OT, but check this post of a friend of mine checking that nice picture of Estrich on her column on Cathy.

Tim said...

I thought the LAist post was nice. But this struck me as weird:

Rarely do those who support the right, especially those who are women, allow free and open comments. Not only did Cathy have open comments, but because she paid attention to her readers she often had posts that would exceed 100 comments. Perhaps the lesson is, when the big C is staring down at you, jackass anonymous negative commentors don't seem so douchey

"Rarely does those who support the right...especially women..."?!? Nice way to throw in a slam on conservatives. And who is he talking about? Michelle Malkin? Can anyone blame Malkin, who has been exposed to the most evil comments have have ever read about another person (even the often linked to Wonkette made really vile, crude, and racist jokes at Marlkin's expense.)

That said, Cathy had really nasty ugly comments made at her site too. I remember one article she wrote about her cancer and fight with Blue Cross that brought about some really nasty comments. I wrote in response something to the asking what kind of people would write those things to someone dying of cancer. Cathy really was courageous.

Drill SGT: I thought LA Times obit focused a little too much on the LA Times but then I thought it would be weird for them not to mention that Cathy's relationship with the paper was a polemical one. They could have spent less than the whole obit talking about it though...

Cat said...

Tim - I stopped reading the comments on her blog. There would be two guys going at eachother - off topic - back and forth for 130 entries. My only post was - why don't you just email eachother directly! I mean, ridiculous and a waste of time and Cathy's bandwith.

Paul Zrimsek said...

She was the standard against which Conservative Blogress Divas will ever be measured. They ought to name the award after her.

Internet Ronin said...

As Cathy's daughter, Maia, chose to refer to the Los Angeles Times article as her "official obit," I humbly suggest that the article is just fine as far as she, the family, and her late mother are concerned.