J sub D, Rest in Peace

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

“J sub D”, a regular commenter here and at Hit & Run, has passed away. His later life is a terribly sad story, one you’d never have gleaned from the wit and insight of the comments he left here.

Jennifer Abel has posted a nice tribute here.

Rest in peace, John Hannah.

[posted by Radley]

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

24 Responses to “J sub D, Rest in Peace”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    He was a good poster, always insightful. He’ll be missed around here.

  2. #2 |  Dave W. | 

    I certainly did my share of verbal sparring with him at the Hit’n’Run, but I always liked the guy and am real sad to hear of his passing.

  3. #3 |  Matt | 

    Rest in Peace.

  4. #4 |  Juice | 

    That’s too bad and his story is really sad, but he didn’t seem depressed or anything, just sad (there’s a difference).

    But I’m curious how anyone knows who he is. Did he tell people or are there ways of finding out a poster’s identity?

  5. #5 |  Jennifer | 

    But I’m curious how anyone knows who he is. Did he tell people or are there ways of finding out a poster’s identity?

    He was a regular poster at a small forum originally founded by commenters from Reason Hit and Run. One day somebody started a thread where posters could list our Facebook identities, and J-sub said [paraphrasing, since I don’t feel like looking it up] “Though I will never darken Facebook’s door, my real name is John D. Hannah.” Thank goodness for that thread, else I doubt any of J sub D’s online friends would have known what happened to him.

    A couple weeks after J-sub vanished from the forum I started doing online searches for his name, and might have discovered Albom’s story sooner, were “John Hannah” not the name of a currently popular TV actor, and “John D. Hannah” not a highly accomplished Christian theologian. It seems, if you’re searching for our lost friend the retired Navy chief, you’re better off looking for J sub D instead.

  6. #6 |  Elliot | 

    He will be missed.

  7. #7 |  Leah | 

    Oh that is really sad. He was one of the Reason commenters I consistently enjoyed reading, I looked for his posts when I skimmed.

  8. #8 |  mcmillan | 

    Dang J-sub was one of the commenters that I appreciated seeing pop up since while I disagreed with a fair bit of his opinions it would usually make me think more about my own views. Definitely will be missed.

  9. #9 |  TomG | 

    I, too, liked seeing his comments. Always a sad thing to hear – I always wish I’d known people better than I do.

  10. #10 |  Bee | 

    Damn. Wish I lived in Detroit. Agree or disagree with his posts, he was a fellow ‘tot, and it hurts to think he might have been totally alone except for his online life.

  11. #11 |  Billy Beck | 

    It was a slow day at the zoo. A couple of patrons watched quietly as a couple of monkeys examined a broken object and worked out that they could fit it through the bars and probably get it to go in the light socket. One patron said “Look, this is why I come here. They’re smart, they’re going to use that as a tool.” One patron, named Billy, stepped between them, put a hard boot to the cage and shouted “KNOCK IT OFF, MONKEYS”.

    The other patrons were taken aback, as were the monkeys. They rose up shrieking, some at Billy, but most at each other, as monkeys do when confused. One of the monkeys ran to the back of the cage, hoping the zookeeper would be there to chase Billy off. Some of the patrons tried to make soothing noises. These weren’t the noises the monkeys were used to, they didn’t sound like monkey noises, so they got even more upset. These patrons persisted, sometimes with monkey-speak, and occasionally in plain english, so the other patrons might know what they were trying to say.

    By now a lot more patrons had come to see what the commotion was about, as there was quite a bit of shrieking and feces throwing. Those patrons knowledgeable about monkeys tried to explain what was happening over the noise. The zookeepers, knowledgable about patrons, quietly remarked to themselves, “It’s a good day at the monkey cages.”


  12. #12 |  SamK | 


    Sounds like they found family. I didn’t get so far as contacting the VA etc but I’ll be damned if he had no one to stand for him.

  13. #13 |  lunchstealer | 

    I honestly doubt there’s a better encomium out there than being remembered as the spark that lit the Great Anarchrist Wars of 2007.

    All Glory to the Ur-Kobold (PBUH)!

  14. #14 |  Alex | 

    I’m really heartbroken by this news. J sub D was a reliably witty and intelligent commenter. Mostly I remember Jsub as the smart guy from Detroit. He always defended the city while mocking the idiotic government. It’s quite a testament that he retired after traveling the world to the only place, assbackwards as it may be, he knew as home.

    Most of us assume the weak, the homeless, the Others are unfit for society because classifying them as schizo or demented is easier than dealing with the fact that many are just like us if we had to deal with debilitating losses. I hope the tragic circumstances of his last days help inform everyone of the value of charity work. Jsub was extremely intelligent, hardworking and a strong believer in liberty. If a man of his credentials can demand his deathly responsibilities be handled by an underfunded funeral home, what about the rest of us? I like to think I’m better than that, but I’m not really. None of us are. Help people when you get the chance; you never know when one of them might be a J sub D who brightens many peoples’ days in ways you can’t imagine.

  15. #15 |  scottp | 

    Billy Beck, was that really necessary?
    J sub D was well liked around here, show a little respect.

  16. #16 |  Elliot | 

    @scottp (#15): Read this.

  17. #17 |  scottp | 

    Elliot, I read it before I posted.
    If linking to a comment from a Hit and Run thread that basically called John and other commentors feces throwing monkeys was supposed to be some sort of compliment, I guess I’m missing something.

  18. #18 |  Farewell, JsubD | The Bawdy House Provisions | 

    […] loss is felt by many of us, including D.A., Jesse Walker, Jennifer Abel, Radley Balko, Dr. Thoreau, even though we never had the opportunity to meet him. Detroit Free Press writer Mitch […]

  19. #19 |  Jennifer | 

    They did find his family. A couple family members will be at his funeral today. It sounds like, when his wife died, everything died with her and he just gave up.

  20. #20 |  Elliot | 

    @scottp (#17) : I didn’t say it was a compliment. Don’t see the point in whitewashing record in response to death, illness, or other bad situation.

    I got involved in that thread after J sub D, so I didn’t remember him from that. I just remembered a few comments here on The Agitator which were decent, particularly relative to some of the less libertarian participants. Of course, my memory of most names on comment section tends to degrade quickly over time.

  21. #21 |  demize! | 

    Seems like an interesting man. I hope he’s in a better place.

  22. #22 |  lunchstealer | 

    @scottp, no you weren’t missing anything. I do think that J sub D might be amused that this was Billy’s chosen reaction. It is not unprecedented for Elliot to play Spock to Billy’s Kirk under such circumstances.

  23. #23 |  Elliot | 

    I calls them as I sees them.

    If you were as intelligent, honest, and astute, I’d have the same reaction to you.

  24. #24 |  Obbop | 

    My condolences to all who knew “J sub D” and a heart-felt “Thanks and bless you” to Jennifer Abel for her incredible essay that informed me of the events you folks are writing about.