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Clint Conatser

PostPosted: 28 Jan 2018, 20:50
by Gavin
Clinton Thomas Conatser (August 24, 1971 - January 24, 2018)

I know this site doesn't have much traffic these days - it is more an archive of a certain period now. But today I want to write about some terrible news I received this morning, that our close friend Clint Conatser has died. Clinton and his twin brother Steve run, or ran, the Skeptical Doctor website devoted to Theodore Dalrymple.

I see from my e-mails that I first discovered Theodore Dalrymple in 2012 - it was via an Amazon recommendation due to the books I was buying at the time. The arresting cover I saw was that of "Our Culture, What's Left of it". I bought the book and was taken aback by the quality and frankness of the writing, by the erudition and the insight into western civilisational decay. Dalrymple wrote unflinchingly about the vulgarity I had been seeing, endorsed at all levels. It was like a kind of poetry (and that book does have many literary references). I knew I would be reading a lot more of his work.

I wanted to know more about this writer. I wondered why he was not better known - why he wasn't very well known. Now, of course, I understand i) it is not in the elite's' interests to have him well known, and ii) the fact he is not widely read again merely indicates the truth of his words and observations about the decline of the west. I ran some Google searches and didn't find much, but I did find a website devoted to him. That was The Skeptical Doctor. Well, I think I used their contact form and asked them some things.

Clint is the person who replied to me and we kept in touch occasionally from then on. I, in London, had found a kindred spirit, a person who shared my views and values, in the USA. This was shortly after I had found (again, online via shared interests) Andrea, my wife, also from the USA. I could add Clinton to a tiny number of people who seemed to deeply share my values and interests: a friend. I had gone from floundering around in the city, battling degeneracy, to beginning to meet a few people who really shared my values. We all had to stay quite quiet, due to the prevalent and utterly intolerant zeitgeist of PC and leftism, but I really appreciated the new contact.

Clinton explained to me that he had a twin brother, Steve, and they both ran the site. I got chatting with Steve too, and have plenty of emails in Gmail from him now too. I would describe Clinton and Steve as simply decent, old-school conservatives - civilised, polite, cultured and concerned. So, in other words, very rare.

Eventually, Clinton and Steve asked if I would host their website and rebuild it, which I did. It remains a popular and established resource for fans of the writing of Theodore Dalrymple. The brothers were kind enough to generously compensate me for my time, without request.

On one occasion when Andrea and I went to America, we finally had the opportunity to meet Clint and Steve in a New York hotel. This was during the initial primaries of the 2016 USA presidential election. We sat and chatted, with two or three other Dalrymple fans, and then went out for a meal. It was great, it felt entirely natural, because we already knew we largely shared values and point of view. I was so pleased to meet them both and of course said they should visit us in England when they can.

We were in touch occasionally since, and I see Clinton posted on the Skeptical Doctor site only ten days ago. Now, I have been told by Steve that Clinton is no longer with us. Not much information has been released about the circumstances of Clint's death. I will repeat now something I just wrote on Facebook (I almost never use this site these days, although I met my wife through it):

It's deeply sad to see somebody's Facebook page still up online when you know they have actually died. A polite, civilised conservative, Clint really was one of the nicest people I have ever known. I only managed to meet him once, in New York, but I wanted to see him again. We got to know each other through a mutual appreciation for the great essayist Theodore Dalrymple. I was dismayed enough that Clint was single, now to have learned he has died is terrible. Perhaps we will find out more about this in time.

The world is much poorer for not having this fine man in it. I miss Clinton. Although I only met him once, I have many e-mails from him. People who hold our values (those of being civil but still stating unpalatable truths) are few and far between - I have known that for many years. We need to hold onto them when we find them, and try to see them as often as we can.

I don't know if Steve will continue to maintain Skeptical Doctor. Perhaps we will be told more about the circumstances of Clint's death in time. But for now I just commend to you Clinton Conatser. He thanked me for establishing this site and he posted on it. He also thanked me for rebuilding his site and for my early comments there. I extend my condolences to his family and thank Clint posthumously for the valuable role he played in my life and in the world in general.

Re: Clint Conatser

PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 05:24
by Andy JS
I'm very sorry to hear this news. I've been visiting the Skeptical Doctor site for about five years or so and always found it very informative. (Incidentally, I was hoping that this forum might become more popular in the future: it hadn't occurred to me that it might have already seen its best days, which is a bit of a depressing thought. I know other forums which have taken a long time to become popular, longer than this one has been going). Anyway, thanks for letting us know about this sad news. Rest in peace Clint.

Re: Clint Conatser

PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 20:47
by Jonathan
But today I want to write about some terrible news I received this morning,

I'm so sorry to hear this.

I've been relying on for... well, I don't actually remember when I stumbled on it. Your post, Gavin, also sent me searching down memory lane, with a little help from google and amazon's order history. I remember being delighted to find a list of Dalrymple's books on their website, and trawling through amazon's second-hand sellers to try to complete my collection. My list of purchases in 2009 has one vintage Dalrymple after another, so I guess that's when I found them. It's hard to believe it's been so long.

I've even stumbled upon a gift certificate which I sent to This was, if I remember correctly, a not-entirely-kosher arrangement to split the cost of a BMJ subscription between us, so we could all read Dalrymple's articles which were posted there at the time.

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I'm glad you had the chance to meet him, Gavin, and to tell us a little about him. Poor Steve. I hope the burden will not be greater than he can bear.

Rest in Peace.

Incidentally, I was hoping that this forum might become more popular in the future

There have been lulls and spikes in the past, both in readership and in posting. I think a forum like this is a rare find on the internet, valuable even if it goes for long stretches with little activity. And who knows? In a few short years - or months - we may find ourselves fondly regretting those days when it was calm enough that you could think before posting.