Longtime HuffPost poster Bill Loney, victim of emphysema

john cleese

I never interacted that much with Bill because I took a hiatus from HuffPost about the same time he showed up, but I know Haruko got to know him better than I did.

I think something should be said about Bill.

I seem to remember Bill had a different avatar when he showed up. Some generic cartoon of a man. But, a long time ago, he went to an old photo of a grumpy-looking John Cleese from his “Ministry of Silly Walks” days. And he stuck with that avatar. It fit him perfectly.

We heard through the grapevine that Bill Loney apparently died a few weeks ago, apparently after a long battle with emphysema. He last posted on Huffington Post in August. He was one of the HuffPost regulars, on the site almost every day, battling trolls and sometimes battling people that mostly agreed with him. Some people loved him, others just hated him. I think some of the people who disliked him simply didn’t understand him. Yeah, he could be a grouch, but he was a lovable grouch who cared and didn’t suffer fools lightly. I can tell you Haruko adored him and got along with him great. Bill was always kind and respectful to Haruko on HP.

Bill had hinted that he had health problems; he had made comments to the effect that he was on some kind of disability, which is why he was able to spend hours on HP every day. Finally, several months ago, he told Haruko directly he was gravely ill with emphysema. On some thread about marijuana laws. That’s how we knew what was wrong with him. Haruko certainly felt it was a profound moment they shared online.

Bill could be ornery and combative, like I said, he would fight with anyone he thought was wrong. He had a very dry and sometimes bust-up hilarious sense of humour. It didn’t always show through, but when it did, he was funny. Bill was also very bright and articulate and did a masterful job of breaking down inferior arguments, especially if it was an ignorant troll. Sometimes, he got too angry and caught up in feuds (even with fellow liberals, he had some epic battles with a couple of other regular posters); but I did too which is why I stopped posting on HP.

Perhaps Bill’s health problems made him that much grouchier. I don’t know. Like I said, I think he simply felt very strongly about progressive issues and got sincerely angry to see falsehoods and dishonesty about liberals being posted online.

Bill was on HP for about four years. He had become an institution at HP (Holy crap, he made 74,000 comments in four years), very much like Hume Skeptic and other longtime posters that have moved on, either because of life circumstances or because of changes at the site. I don’t think it’s widely known that he had died because HP has changed a lot in recent months and isn’t nearly as cozy as it used to be. HP will be lesser without him.

Emphysema is a bitch.

15 thoughts on “Longtime HuffPost poster Bill Loney, victim of emphysema”

  1. I was saddened to hear that Bill had died, it was after I found out from HH that it became clear why Bill had become more combative. He came in to HP a bit after I did. At first he was a riot but if a troll came by he would rip them a new one. I can’t recall just when, but it has to be over a year, that I got wind that he was quitting HP so I dropped in. He has really depressed and we talked, everyone on the tread urged him to reconsider—that night he was very vulnerable you knew this just from his post.

    Unfortunately, although I got along well with Bill, he was one of those souls that would never step out from HP to take a breather so I never connected to him on a personal level. HP was more communal when Bill joined, I wish it had remained so then maybe Bill’s passing would have not been so unremarkable.

    Bill, you are missed. Hopefully there’s more to what science knows and you are somewhere battling fools—as it should be.

    Like Pepe said, “Emphysema is a bitch.”

  2. I think one of the funniest things Bill said that I noticed online was “If you grab a troll by his stubby little hairy legs and shake him upside down, how many Koch nickels do you thing would fall out?”
    RIP Bill. I enjoyed your commentary on HP.

  3. I’m so glad you did this. I was disappointed that we are all so disconnected at HP now that there wasn’t anyway for us to express our sadness and/or appreciation for him. I was one of those that liked Bill very much and was sorry to hear of his passing. He was a constant figure at HP and I always enjoyed what he said, regardless of whether I agreed or not, and regardless of what profile name I used, I always faved and fanned Bill, so….Thanks Bil Loney and may you truly rest in peace.

  4. Well done, my friend. I enjoyed Bill most of the time, but as you mention, he could get downright ornery, even with people who agreed with him. I like to rant sometimes, and got a bit sideways with him a couple of times. That said, I respected him, enjoyed his perspectives, and found him very entertaining when bashing ill-informed trolls. RIP, Bill.

  5. Thanks for the article, Pepe. I miss Bill’s heartfelt posts and enjoyed watching him work the threads. He suffered no fools and dispatched trolls with alacrity. I wish him peace on his journey.

    Safe home, Bill.

  6. Sorry to hear about Bill. I used to see him going at it and quite the target for those that didn’t accept his point of view———that being, pretty much Mr Loney coming down are their narrow minded ways and they’d be coming back for more. An unstoppable force he was, although I would have liked to have seen him away from the back and forth of HP. Nevertheless, it was always good to see him and may he be at peace and on his journey away from earthly pains.

Comments are closed.