Tag Archives: René Lapalme

How soon the Internet forgets

I’m going through my feeds in Google Reader, cleaning up some dead wood from my over 500 subscriptions so I can compile a list of links for a blogroll. I went a bit nuts in 2007, subscribing to any blog I could find that was created by a Montrealer. So many of them haven’t been updated since then because their authors became disinterested, started up new blogs elsewhere or because the subject material became dated.

High up my list of “inactive” blogs was one that sounded familiar: “Une vie en musique”. That was the blog of René Lapalme, who wrote about music until his cancer forced him to write about that. I wrote about his blog, having never met him, shortly after he died (other bloggers had obits too). A few months later, it was wiped off the Internet. Now only a trip through the Wayback Machine can uncover some of what he said, because unevieenmusique.com is advertising cheap domains from Go Daddy.

Yes, Google Reader, I’m sure I’d like to unsubscribe.

A missing voice

This week’s blog profile is une vie en musique, whose author René Lapalme died June 9 of cancer. It was written before the latest post went up. Normally blogs and other websites of the deceased stay frozen forever. This one, it turned out, was an exception.

Reading René’s blog gives a timeline of his declining health. His increased fatigue causing him to take a break and slowly return to work a month later not knowing the cause, the decision to finally see a doctor, the battery of tests eventually leading to the discovery of cancer, his tearful video thank-you to his readers for their support, and eventually his last post, a self-portrait of a man half his previous weight and without his long curly hair, where those who heard of his death added comments to say their final goodbyes.

The blogosphere response to news of his death was huge. I won’t try to summarize the dozens of blog posts about him from his readers, but it was clear he had a lot of them. A few to point out though:

  • Guy Verville, who first broke the news.
  • Martine, from whom many learned of René’s passing.
  • Andre, of Metroblogging Montreal, among many with brief stories of their encounters with René.
  • A special video tribute, feating one of René’s songs.

Radio Centre-Ville had a special show the Tuesday after his death (where he volunteered his time on a radio show) devoted to him. It’s no longer online, but if someone saved a copy I’d be glad to point to it.
The official obit is here. His self-written biography is better. Though to truly understand his character, I would recommend taking a look at his photo comics, or listen to his music.

I’m not normally an emotional person. I don’t like writing sad things. Hopefully I won’t have to write another blogger obit for a while longer.