Thursday, November 3, 2016

Goodbye BigCountry


Seriously, fuck 2016.

I opened up Twitter on the train yesterday morning and saw the above tweet. At first I didn't want to believe it, but I knew Dirk wouldn't play around with something so serious. Then I read Dirk's piece on Imperium News (the site formerly known as TMC). Stop now and go read it. The rest of this post can wait.

Dirk MacGirk, co-host, Open Comms Show

Those who watched The Open Comms Show knew BigCountry was not in the best of health, but I'm not sure how many knew how sick he truly was. He didn't appear on camera anymore and I knew he was pretty much confined to bed. But reading the news was quite a shock.

Paul "CCP Falcon" Eisley, EVE Universe Community Manager

I first ran into BigCountry's work back in the days when he did a weekend rock show on EVE Radio. That was probably back at the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011. Eventually he started broadcasting two shows a week when he began a talk show in addition to his weekend music show. I wound up searching for an iPhone app in order to catch the talk show on the train.
DJ Wiggles, EVE Radio and TotalEVE.com

BigCountry was full of big opinions and not afraid to let everyone know them. Some were good, and some were a little out there. Sometimes he got a little bit too excited and had to be reigned in.

Ned "CCP Manifest" Coker, Senior PR and Social Media Lead, CCP Games

As rough around the edges as the big Texan sometimes came across, he also had a big heart when it came to EVE. His mother introduced him to the game and perhaps some of that attitude stuck with him. When he thought something was a scam, he was not afraid to call it out. But when he found something he believed in, he would support it full tilt.

J Mcclain, Best of Us

One of the hallmarks of The Open Comms Show is Tito's Homemade Vodka. Made in Texas, BigCountry discovered the drink that he and Dirk made so popular among some circles in EVE. But as I recall, their massive alcohol consumption was not always so prevalent, especially when the show appeared on EVE Radio. The player-run internet radio station runs on listener contributions and one way that BigCountry and crew raised funds was by drinking for donations.

My first interaction with BC occurred during the first SomerBlink money laundering scandal. BigCountry, in his usual way, was ripping on everyone who said disparaging things about the gambling site. He had a point. A lot of people were saying things without documentation. But I wasn't one of them. I called in to discuss the issue and sent BC some documentation. He still defended Somer, but had to admit I knew what I was talking about. Of course, just because I was right once didn't stop him from telling me I was wrong afterwards. As I said before, BigCountry was never shy about expressing his opinions.

JEFFRAIDER, Twitch streamer and Sniggerdly pilot

BigCountry's journey through EVE ran the gamut, from a member of a Russian renter alliance to the CFC and finally Pandemic Legion. Along the way, his broadcasting activities touched literally thousands of players, if only for a few moments of listening to music back in the days before Pandora and Spotify.

Andie "CCP Seagull" Nordgren, Executive Producer, EVE Online

Honestly, I can't include all the good things people posted about BigCountry. But I can let everyone know about an effort to help BC's family. He left behind a wife, Megan, an eight-year-old daughter Taylor, and a six-year-old son Carson. Dirk set up a Gofundme to help out the family. If anyone would like to make a donation, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/jeff-bigcountry-waltman-fund.

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