Yesterday I received the grievous news that our friend and My.FDL diarist Miguelito died recently in Thailand, perhaps in Chang Mai, possibly from a long-standing heart condition that worsened suddenly and…severely. His full name was Michael Gustav Fuentes Snow-Jones, but we knew him simply as Miguel, or even ‘the Peeg’, since his long-time avatar was a pig wearing Holstein cow slippers and cool shades.
He gained many friends and comrades in the blogging community over the years, from TPM Café, dagblog, My.fdl, and the DailyOrangePlanet.
He was born in Pennsylvania, I know not where by now, and got a BS at Penn State, then went to the U of Delaware, studied fine arts…well, here’s his LinkedIn profile, because not much of that matters one whit to me, really.
Miguel was a hell of a writer, all around good guy, and a spectacular furniture artist. This is one of my favorites; it seems to have a Mayan or Aztecan influence. A chest of many colors and luscious woods. He loved Livin’ Large, traveling, meeting new friends in bars and other hangouts, and had a voracious appetite for learning, including science, history, economics, and politics, both global and domestic. Many of his recent posts were lamenting the death of the social contract in the US and calling out the ruling classes who’ve hijacked our futures so egregiously.
Okay, I take it back; there is one great thing on his profile is this quip under ‘Current’. He’d typed ‘Big Cheese at Acme Scripts’, which link leads to…himself. But it was a bit of self-mockery due to the fat that he’d just written and sold a film script about…wait for it…zombies just before he and his girlfriend and children’s book author Diana Aston came to stay with us on one of their trans-continental motorcycle odysseys. And no: he did not want to talk about it! Yeppers, Miguel loved his bike, and rode it too fast, as though he were defying fate. He’d broken his body a few times over the decades, but by his own accounts, it hadn’t slowed him down.
Those of you familiar with financial blogsites might remember his sister, Alison Snow Jones, who died in 2011 of a ‘supposed’ heart attack suddenly while working at the kitchen table one evening. She wrote as ‘Maxine Udall, Girl Economist’, and was hell bent on creating a more moral capitalism; she might be very disappointed at what’s happening even more rapidly today than even three years ago. She was a delight.
When most of us first new him, da Peeg had already expatriated to the sublime San Miguel de Allende, MX, travelling around the country is search of…more life, more stories…and moar cerveza. :)
This is ‘Cervezerias en Mexico estan muy bueno’ from his youtube channel (I have no idea whose photo in the avatar…) Now you might think that he seems to have enjoyed quite a lot of that muy bueno cerveza; I couldn’t possibly comment.
He seems to still have a sister, Meredith, still living in Tucson, and folks seem to be waiting to hear from her about what happened in Thailand. My memory is fuzzy as to when their mum had died, but perhaps a year ago Miguel went back to Pennsylvania for several months to help his father die. What better sort of love in action can there be than that?
As I poked around online for Moar Miguel, I discovered what may have been his final post. It was on New Year’s eve from Chang Mai, writing about meeting some Canuck expats at a bar, and looking skyward and finding a great surprise; well you may just want to read it, so I’ll hush. He’d hilariously named his post-Posterous blogsite ‘How to improve your sex life, lose weight, and make money: a sure-fired title to generate sales at the supermarket checkout’. Gotta love that, eh?
His last Tweet on his busy account was on January 20.; his Twitter bio reads: ‘Born, walked around a bunch’, which verbiage is reminiscent of one of his favorite author’s quips that ‘the purpose of human life is moving water from place to place’. Miguel’s My.FDL diary compendium can be found here.
And from that same favorite author, something to consider and twist our brains a bit:
‘He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.’
~ Douglas Adams
In closing, here’s hoping that when death came for him, nuestro amigo was kickin’ hell out of life, and that he will continue to do so in the afterlife…or maybe the not afterlife… This is a large-hearted song video for which Miguel offered some of his photographs; he loved it, and it seems a fitting farewell prayer to him. As our friend Jacob had said upon hearing of his passing:
‘Ave atque vale, Miguelito! (Hail and farewell!)
(cross-posted at My.Firedoglake.com)