Cosmo the Wonderdog is Jonah Goldberg’s dog, a good doggie who died yesterday. I feel like I knew Cosmo almost as well as I know Jonah Goldberg. Did he mention Cosmo more than he wrote on anything else? Is it possible that he even could write about anything else as much as he wrote about Cosmo the Wonderdog?
I remember a year or two ago, when Jonah mentioned the good dog was beginning to show signs of age, how the death of Cosmo would bring the end of an era, an absolute end to an innocent age. I had a Mindspring account, you see, back in those heady days of competing dial-ups, at the very beginning of the dot-com boom. Mindspring was how I dialed in to greet Jonah Goldberg hello on the wonderful, brand-spanking new NRO, the National Review Online, which put a stake in the heart of its vampire father, National Review On Dead Tree. Jonah Goldberg was its editor-in-chief, and everyone who came over to see the new digs was greeted by a very happy and sociable Cosmo the Wonderdog, who probably knew every fiber of The Couch and the interwebs.
The era was, simply, Jonah’s G-File, read voraciously and avariciously by G-Philes like myself, a coeval of Jonah’s. Is it possible that we were still in our twenties? Is it possible that Cosmo the Wonderdog was only Cosmo the Wonderpuppy? The G-File is gone, now, produced as an e-mail newsletter once a week, functioning in the same way as a Pixies reunion tour. It’s still great after all these years, but it’s not nearly as hip as it was when it was me and Jonah and Cosmo and a handful of other web-savvy young conservatives. Instead of e-mail exchanges, the occasional one of which might be quoted, to this author’s never-ending ecstasy in the early manifestation of The Corner, whatever the NRO’s blog might have been called back then– I don’t even remember. I can’t even remember Cosmo as a puppy.
I had no children; now I have two, and they both play hockey and ride their bicycles and disappear into the neighborhood unsupervised for hours at a time. Jonah, I think, has one who is the same age as my older son. That’s right: Jonah Goldberg, who hacked out the G-File on some early Mac product while consumed by The Couch, has a tween-aged girl-child. Indeed.
Now, even after I have matured as a thinker and as a writer, it is highly unlikely that even the wittiest insight, the cleverest riposte, the snazziest snark, will ever make the cut to be included in The Corner; only the other established bloggers of conservative renown are honored thus. Alas.
It was Cosmo, though, whom I knew as a puppy (even though I can’t remember him as a puppy), who kept me in communion with those flush and heady days of NRO. Now he is gone, and those days are gone.
All flesh is grass, even doggie flesh, even good doggie flesh. Let it be true, then, that at the Resurrection of all flesh, doggies rise with their masters to everlasting bliss for the purpose of chasing squirrels and fetching tennis balls. Let Cosmo rise with all faithful dogs to run without panting, to bark without annoying, to lick without ever slobbering.