This is going to seem impossibly myopic with regard to the political blogosphere, but today is hilzoy’s last day blogging—at the Washington Monthly, at Obsidian Wings, and period. I’m a fairly recent hilzoy convert, but ever since my mother (who is a far better politico than I am) pointed out her smart takes on news and politics, I’ve been a devoted fan. A philosophy professor in real life, she brings a sense of the academic to her posts, which are measured when they need to be measured and passionate when they need to be passionate. Her colleague at the Washington Monthly, Steve Benen, pays better tribute to her blogging career than I can:
Hilzoy isn’t just one my favorite bloggers, she’s one of those bloggers who, on a nearly-daily basis, makes me think, “Damn, I wish I’d written that.”
Every blogger brings certain talents to the process, but Hilzoy offers a rare combination of skills — she’s clever, knowledgeable, and almost preternaturally insightful. She’s brought an unrivaled compassion, wisdom, and care to her work. Perhaps most important, Hilzoy is a genuine class act, whose blogging has made a real difference.
I will miss hilzoy’s voice on the web because she reminds me that an academic in the humanities has every right to comment on current events, and can sometimes bring a valuable diversity of perspective to the conversation. She reminds me, too, that a woman may infiltrate the boys’ club that is the political blogosphere, and earn its respect. And she helps me to remember something I learned back when I was a dorky 14-year-old outcast writing and editing at h2g2: on the internet under a pseudonym, people will listen to a voice that is intelligent and reasonable and engaging, no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you look like, how old you are, or anything else. Hilzoy has been an academic first and a blogger second, and she doesn’t take a position to get more clicks or to get picked up by a paper or magazine or website with a better name. She maintains her integrity and says what she thinks like all the best denizens of ivory towers.
I’ll miss hilzoy dearly as a role model, but I’ll remain reassured that there’s a place for woman humanists in political discussion.