Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Sincere Farewell

A moment of silence for Molly Ivins, who died yesterday of cancer at 62.

I believe it was Gore Vidal who said, "Of the dead, speak only the truth." So I must admit that I was not the biggest Molly Ivins fan around -- not that I disagreed with her or found her work to be seriously lacking in any way. It just seemed to me that she was trying to reach the fence sitters and assorted wavering types, hoping to show them that being on the left was not a bad or frightening thing. Her natural, at times caustic, sense of humor definitely helped. But I never felt that she was writing for the likes of me. Which is fine. The struggle operates at all levels. I will say that I admired her warm and humane demeanor. She remembered what it's all supposedly about while grunts like me cursed humanity and threw garbage on the stage. Roses at her feet for that.

The other thing worth noting about Ivins is how she influenced and helped to wake up younger writers and activists. A lefty Texan of my acquaintance told me that Ivins seemed like a Marxist in that reddest of red states, and that her example was not only needed, it was cherished. Coming from a pretty rightwing state myself, I can definitely understand that (Hoosiers of my generation had Kurt Vonnegut, who, while not overtly political, was still a creative, humanist example to admire). That Ivins served as a nail in reactionary hides is to be remembered and celebrated. I only wish that her style of writing was more in evidence among libloggers. Most of them could use a generous injection of Ivins.

Farewell, Molly. You've been spared the madness and misery that is hurtling our way. The fight continues in our battered hands.