Uriel Wittenberg is dead

That is what his Web site says. Some of the long-time readers may recall his famous run-ins with, among others, myself, Adam Morris, Joseph Bosco, China Digital Times, Orville Schell, Brendan O’Kane and many, many others. (And, more recently, with the guys at Talk Talk China.)

Uriel seemed to be deeply depressed. He lashed out at virtually everyone, often like a man possessed. But now isn’t the time to raise old issues or to criticize. Suffice it to say that I hope he’s finally at peace. I wish the best to his family and loved ones.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 7 Comments

Dear Richard,

I just cannot speak ill of one who has passed from this world, no matter the harm he did to many of us while he was in it. Perhaps we now understand his obsessive drive to strike out at everything and everyone; that is a cancer one usually knows about well in advance. May he rest in peace; and we also.

July 2, 2006 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Joseph, you raise an interesting point. If you go through Uriel’s site, there is no praise for anyone, only attack after attack. Maybe now we know why. So Strange, and so sad.

July 2, 2006 @ 7:50 am | Comment

@joseph: i, on the otherhand, have no issues with speaking ill of the dead. in fact, i’m quite happy uriel is dead. too many wasted neurons were being pumped with his existence and now that he’s gone, the world is a better place. birds are now chirping again and rainbows and sunshine have returned. children can play in the streets again and neighbors say hello to each other again.

i would like to think that my run in with that asshole pushed him to the brink of suicide – damn, it didn’t. but i’m at peace knowing that mother nature got him instead.

good riddence uriel – may your soul cease to exist.

July 2, 2006 @ 8:22 am | Comment

I never had any contact with him (other than seeing his, um, “blog”), so I’ll remain neutral about whether it’s appropriate to bash him after he’s dead.

But one observation: There’s no necessary correlation between knowing one has a fatal illness, and going around pissing on as many people as possible. Wouldn’t a decent person try to accomplish as much good as possible, if he knew he had very little time left?

July 2, 2006 @ 8:45 am | Comment

In the end years, UW seemed to have lived a fruitless and bitter life.

For all his intellect, power of argument, rationality, he was a troubled man and I hope he found peace.

One question remains… who wrote on his site that he is in fact dead?

I am open to the theory that he is alive and reading comments to this news. That would be tragic, but, having read his vitriole, not entirely unexpected.

Tab

July 10, 2006 @ 8:19 am | Comment

Uriel Wittenberg is dead – he died on February 6, 2006. I have been to his grave site.

He was indeed a difficult person whose meaning in life seemed to come from being in opposition to most everything. But if fact he had a good heart, and was simply upset by the unfairness and what he saw as stupidity, and apparently had no ability to compromise his principles – which usually did not serve him well.

Anyway, he is gone now, and a bit of compassion, grace and forgiveness might be a nice counterpoint to his life. Joseph, this is particularly for you.

July 30, 2006 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

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