|3 Feb 2007 @ 06:59, by Richard Carlson|
To be awake is to be alive. I have never met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face? We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.
---Henry David Thoreau
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how men would believe and adore!
---Ralph Waldo Emerson
In prayer, come empty, do nothing.
---St. John of the Cross
Photo of Molly Ivins by Carolyn Mary Bauman/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT
The title grows in significance when we learn Molly gave it to her last column in The Texas Observer a week ago Friday. [link] She was writing about "the war" and it was a phrase she found herself using often these past several years, but with her death this week it rings like an epitaph. Of course I could never get "enough" of Molly, and like someone egging on a fighter I usually wanted even more. When Bush was running for president I wanted her to be harder on him, knowing all she did about him as an atrocious Texas governor (who touted educational programs he never funded and used the death sentence on prisoners whenever he could) and also as a fellow teenager in Houston. And now who can possibly take her place? When my wife gave me the news the other night, weeping I lamented, "With Ann Richards gone too, there are no more wild Texas women." I hope I'm terribly wrong about that.
The past few hours I've done the research of mourning by just beginning to ascend a mountain of anecdote and praise written for her by bloggers and fellow journalists. I haven't been able to compile a "best-of" collection for you, because there is just so much. I can tell you there is writing going on everywhere, and I don't remember an outpouring like this for anybody. Maybe I can list a few names and a few sites where I went, in case you want to celebrate her life too.
I loved seeing Molly Ivins show up on TV, which wasn't that often. Bill Moyers tried to get her on, but she didn't fit onto most news analysis programs. If she was a lively "talking head," she may have been a headache for the guys in the control room whose job was to bleep incendiary material. The Rude Pundit reminds us of what she said on FoxNews in 1998 about Clinton/Lewinsky: "If we had devoted this much time and this much space in the newspapers to the single most important problem in American politics today, which is the money that finances campaigns and the way the people that get elected respond to that money, we would have solved the problem by now. We would have the people of this country so outraged, they would be demanding campaign finance reform. What are we doing? We're talking about the president's dick. It's ridiculous." [link]
Merseydotes reminded me in her posting of November 20, 2006, of what Molly said the single time I saw her in person a few years ago: "I don't know where these Christian conservatives get off anyway; Jesus was the biggest bleeding-heart liberal you ever saw!" [link] At the time liberals at OU and in Athens were struggling to "reframe" ourselves as progressives or some other word to escape neocon mockery. Molly never swerved from calling herself a liberal and daring anybody to knock the proud chip off her shoulder over it. I think she said something like "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and hearts hafta bleed."
And a bigger heart there wasn't ever. John Nichols' piece reminds us of her fervent pursuit of justice in East Texas where "no one famous ever came." She said she wanted to write a book someday with that title about the civil rights movement in her home area, where no folk singers came to stir up the big demonstration. There WERE no big demonstrations there, just hard work in little offices trying to help people get jobs and housing. [link]
I think the first tribute I read was among the first written, and I'm not surprised it was by Zepp. He begins his essay with a reference to Molly's father who, like mine, was a Republican. [link] As she came home for holidays from Smith, where she was learning plenty more about the world, she said his politics guaranteed topics never would be lacking for conversation around the dinner table. Hmmm, yes, how well I remember when my father became convinced college had succeeded only in making me crazier! In more ways than one I felt a sibling comradery with Molly.
The best site for a series of reminiscences is here at The Texas Observer. [link] What they've done is just open up for tributes from just about anyone. Here's Bill Moyers, Garrison Keillor, Dan Rather, John K. Galbraith, Jim Hightower to name a few. Some of them touched me profoundly.
A memorial service in Austin is tomorrow. I went to a memorial service in Texas once (for John Lomax Jr) and ended up on the floor in a corner crying my heart out---while a Dixieland band from New Orleans played, and Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin' Hopkins vied with each other over whose blues best belted out East Texas. I wouldn't be surprised if Molly's gets like that too...and Lordy, how I wish I could be there!
3 Feb 2007 @ 08:17 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : Bad news.....
Yeah, what can one say? We need wit and clarity so desperately today. Since the lies have only thickened and grown. Molly was never afraid of a smear, since she could lance them as soon as they came. And only fools didn't catch on. (But they're a lost cause anyway.)
Ann Richards, now Molly. The world has lost two "drum majors" for clarity and decency, as Dr. King put it.
3 Feb 2007 @ 18:42 by : Yah...
for sure. Clarity and decency? Ah, well, I think you may have just made Molly roll over in her grave! Nah, I'm sure her real core identity, her spirit, lingers on yet awhile longer just to proove to the criminally insane that...
"You too can prevent forest fires." ~ Smokey the Bear
Blaise Pascal said it best.
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