Thursday, February 01, 2007

A great voice silenced

There are some people whose passing you feel with an emptiness in your chest all out of proportion to their actual relationship with you, which, in the realm of celebrity death, is almost always "none whatsoever". I felt that way this morning when I read that Molly Ivins had died.

I've been a fan of hers for decades, was aware of the criticisms lobbed against her but always, always chose to forgive her for her passion, her love for her country, and her blunt way of speaking truth to power and to her fellow Americans. I think that if I could be given the ability write like anyone, my wish would be that I could write like Molly Ivins at her best.

I won't pretend much of my love for her wasn't because she said what I believed, and said it better than I ever could. She was an unapologetic old-school liberal in a time when it was a dirty word. She was a columnist and author whose scathing indictments of the forces of social regression and of neoconservatives and their bone-headed beliefs and policies was cathartic in its satisfaction and sense of relief. "Yes," you'd think. "That's how I feel. That's exactly it. She put it into words, and now hundreds of thousands of other people will see it, too, and some may understand it."

It is a bitter time to lose her voice. Voices of reason have been few and far between since the start of this godforsaken war, and at a time when a few are finally being heard with some respect, we could have used hers for quite a while longer. Her last column, published January 11, was on the war; and typical of Molly, she pauses to note the need for compassion for those who suffer the consequences of decisions while demanding action against those making them.
We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"
We could have used you, Molly. It's going to be a harder fight to win without you.

And oh, how your voice will be missed.




Blogger Brent McKee said...

She came up with the perfect name for George W.: "Shrub". According to Ivins he was a "Little Bush". There used to have a guy that I corresponded with regularly who objected to me coming up with the nickname - this guy was of that endangered species the Chicago-area Republican. I told him I wasn't that clever and that it was Molly Ivins who came up with Shrub, which shut him up.

She was right about Shrub by the way. No matter what you might have though about the original, the son is a much lesser man than the father.

2:44 p.m.  

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