• Rex Wockner

Paul Varnell had respectable activist credentials, but I knew him only through reading him, and knew him as I believe he primarily was—a gay thinker who liked ideas that twisted the nose of doctrine. This pleasure is common among libertarians generally, but Varnell wasn’t one of the smug ones. He died last Friday at the age of 70, and this fine obituary in Windy City Times offers one tribute after another to his playful intellect. I admired the columns he wrote for the Windy City Times and then for the Chicago Free Press back in the 90s and 00s, and so did the Reader‘s Harold Henderson. Varnell made several appearances in City File, Henderson’s weekly potpourri of intriguing facts and opinions.

I’ve culled our archives for a sampling of Varnell as quoted by Henderson: