Isn't it strange how someone you've never met can have such an influence on you? Australian journalist Matt Price died last week, only two months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was only 46.
I first encountered Matt's writing through the sports pages of The Australian newspaper. He was a totally committed, hopelessly besotted fan of the Fremantle Dockers AFL team. Every week during the footy season, he would despair, rejoice (although there were usually few reasons for rejoicing) and basically torment himself about his team, all the time with a wry sense of humour. Although a totally committed, hopelessly besotted fan of a totally different team in the same competition, I felt his pain.
Soon I discovered that Matt wrote about politics with the same attitude. His observations were always acute and delved below the obvious. I listened to him on the radio and, sure enough, he sounded exactly as I would have expected him to sound. He made me laugh especially since his comments were so spot on.
The world is a poorer place now that he's gone. That a person I never knew could have such an impact. I shed a tear for a person I never met. Such is the power of words.
Matt Price's obituary is here. His blog is here.