John Chandley

Weeping For the Scarecrow

As you may have heard by now, friend of this blog, and our friend at Firedoglake, John Chandley, aka “Scarecrow”, has died. Let the record reflect that I am freaking tired of being on the memorial duty. Seriously tired. If you are a participant in the discussion at this blog, or a related friend thereto, quit dying. Please. Enough.

John Chandley was a man. He stood firm and resolute on his own, in spite of being known probably to you only for blogging at Firedoglake under the pseudonym of “Scarecrow”. But Scarecrow was much more that that; never a merely a straw creature, but one who definitively stood firm for that which was righteous in the income inequality wars:

Scarecrow on a wooden cross Blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did My grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence while grandpa held my hand

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I’m just sorry there’s no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

The crops we grew last summer weren’t enough to pay the loans
Couldn’t buy the seed to plant this spring and the Farmers Bank foreclosed

Called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land
He said John it’s just my job and I hope you understand
Hey calling it your job ol’ hoss sure don’t make it right
But if you want me to I’ll say a prayer for your soul tonight

“Like a scarecrow in the rain”. Aren’t we all. That is the meter of life, and it is transient. Funny thing was, the real John Chandley, at least so far as I even knew him, was not transient in the least; but came out of the Berkeley swamps, cool and slow, like John Chandley’s friend and colleague at the time at Berkeley (John/Scarecrow was present at Berkeley in the moment), Mario Savio, with a backbeat hard to master.

The musical imagery here is mine; I am not sure what would be the preferred cocktail de jour of John. Before I leave, let me offer up one more paean of my own to the life of the one, and only, Mr. John “Scarecrow” Chandley”:

The world’s goin’ crazy and
Nobody gives a damn anymore.
And they’re breakin’ off relationships and
Leavin’ on sailin’ ships for far and distant shores.
You’re my brother,
Though I didn’t know you yesterday.
I’m your brother.
Together we can find a way.

Scarecrow would have, by every right that I knew him, been trepidatious in regards for our future; yet hopeful for the success and greatness that may await us all.

It is hard to tell where we all go in the living, much less where we go beyond. But never let it be said this blog does not care about the voices who were its friends and colleagues. And certainly not tonight.

RIP John “Scarecrow” Chandley.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @jonahsilas I'll come fetch some, thanks. (or make spouse make the same, assuming you're not close)
emptywheel @jonahsilas I'd be okay to let Rye Whiskey be the thing (bc I drink neither) but one or another deserves notice, no?
emptywheel Win or lose I love how Martha Ford is becoming A Presence. In spite of what shithead DT columnists said abt girls owning football teams.
emptywheel RT @jonahsilas: @emptywheel Whiskey is a modern product. The pilgrims were more likely drinking something ale-like. Bourbon shows up in 180…
emptywheel @jonahsilas But it IS quintessentially American now isn't it? Bc branding?
emptywheel The special Thanksgiving episode of Real Housewives of NFC East delivered precisely what watchers expected.
emptywheel @zrahul2020 Really? In a non suckitude way? @SI_PeterKing
emptywheel It's quaint how in the UK when you seize info w/o a warrant the case falls apart.
emptywheel Seriously, I'm not a Bourbon drinker, but why ISN'T it a more formal part of Thanksgiving (as some in my TL have noted)?
emptywheel Imma have to write that Cam was a dick and lost his team and then learned how to be a leader article, aren't I?
emptywheel @LornestoToledo "barbarians," I think you meant. @BlueMeanie4
November 2015
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