Yesterday’s online commemorations of Leonard Cohen’s 77th birthday were heady times for fans of the Canadian singer-songwriter. Newspapers, journals, music sites, and individual bloggers ran features along the lines of Leonard Cohen at 77 (Examiner), Happy Birthday Leonard Cohen (Moondustwriter’s Blog), To Leonard Cohen, On His Birthday (Jewcy), Another Canadian Birthday (Light on Dark Water), Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen! (Broward-Palm Beach New Times), …
This morning, however, almost all these celebrants have departed for other festivities, leaving the usual suspects – Speaking Cohen, LeonardCohenFiles, Today’s Cohen, French Leonard Cohen Site, LeonardCohenForum, Arlene’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook, A Thousand Kisses Deep, Leonard Cohen Halls Of Fame, Abstractor Of The Quintessence, and a handful of others, Heck Of A Guy and DrHGuy among them – to clean up the mess and carry on.
And, that’s as it should be.
Here Comes The NPR Pledge Week Guilt Ploy
I am writing not to berate other sites for not focusing on Leonard Cohen more frequently (that’s another post for another time) but to suggest that those Leonard Cohen admirers who crave posts that offer something beyond that (usually unattributed) recapitulation of Wikipedia’s biographical summary I found on a half-dozen sites yesterday (recite it with me – “Leonard Norman Cohen, CC, GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist”), support those Cohencentric sites that report on that day – and on the next day and on the day after that.
At the risk of announcing the obvious, I will point out that creating and maintaining an ad-free website devoted to Leonard Cohen1 carries an all too significant cost in hours of labor and, for some, a nontrivial outlay of cash (information may want to be free; hosting sites want to be paid) while offering as compensation only those warm and fuzzy feelings one achieves when working for the good of mankind and vanity points.
I can’t speak for my Cohen cyber-colleagues, but having relocated to the sunny climes of Durham, North Carolina and having satisfied the bureaucratic requirements for legitimately hooking up with the Duchess, I am well supplied with warm and fuzzy.
On the other hand, no blogger or webmaster complains about receiving too many compliments.
So, the next time you find a new Cohen video at Today’s Cohen or discover a new article about Leonard Cohen from a post at Arlene’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook, leave a comment – or if you are the shy type, send an email to say thanks. If something at LeonardCohenFiles or Speaking Cohen strikes you as noteworthy, note that worthiness on their official forum, LeonardCohenForum. LeonardCohenForum is, in addition, a reasonable place to leave comments on sites that don’t accept comments and list no email addresses (e.g., A Thousand Kisses Deep, Leonard Cohen Halls Of Fame, and Abstractor Of The Quintessence).2
Of course, those who want to assure that their compliments are viewed as sincere could try sending Jarkko (LeonardCohenFiles), Marie (Speaking Cohen), or the other webmasters a check for a few bucks to defray their out of pocket expenses.3
- OK, in the case of Heck Of A Guy, make that “largely devoted to Leonard Cohen.” [↩]
- The same principle holds true, of course, for private blogs about Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, etc – and, for that matter, for hobbyist sites focused on woodworking, free software, and religious icons. They can make their own pleas to their own constituencies. [↩]
- Jarkko and Marie are almost certain to repudiate this notion. That’s OK – we disagree on lots of issues. In any case, someone who contributes to the ongoing cost of a site he or she enjoys is performing an act of enlightened selfishness. [↩]