February 1st, 2007

avatar w/buff hat

phew, or like to give me a heart attack; also, alas

I had an e-mail from my brother this morning with the subject line "sadness." The text, in toto, read as follows:

RIP Molly.

Molly is the name of my great niece, with some stepness in there in a way I never know how to represent properly linguistically. So I sat there staring at the computer, trying to figure out what the hell he could mean other than that Molly, the second youngest member of the family, had died. Could he be so insensitive, or---more likely---so thrown for a loop by such an unexpected loss, as to tell me that kind of news that way? Would that be the best he could muster under difficult circumstances? What the hell else could it mean?

I zipped off to the mostly-empty office we save for the president of the AMS when he's in town (and use for massages some other days) to call & get the word. He wasn't answering his cell, so I left messages there and at the house---and while I was doing the latter, he called me back.

He was talking about this sad news (NY Times). Which is, indeed, sad. And which I'd actually heard about on the radio this morning. Leading me to cry happy/relief tears when I heard that it was that news that had upset me bro'.

Rather undercuts my ability to issue a good appreciation of Molly Ivins at this moment---so let's just say here's to her; the world was a better place, is a better place, cuzza her; I'll miss her. Robbie was telling me about what struck him in her tribute to Ann Richards when the ex-gov died not so long ago. I imagine we'll have some good tributes to Molly to read in the next few days.

Some other obits:
Creator's Syndicate guy
Dallas Morning News
Houston Chronicle
Texas Observer site, dedicated to her for now
tributes at the Texas Observer
Associated Press
The Guardian
The Advocate
LA Times
Mother Jones
bad santa

more Molly

Language Log piece (with great picture), quoting an old Seattle Weekly piece:

Within a respectful time after her dog Shit died, Molly Ivins began looking for another pet. She hoped to name it Achilles. "Then I'd get to command 'Achilles! Heel!'" she explains in her trademark Texas drawl.
bobby hill

more Molly tidbits

These are for all of you except mrfrog, who referred (in a quickly deleted comment to my last post) to "the fact that that lady is a prime example of what is wrong with America" (making me wonder whether he might be the anonymous "conservative" commenter of the other day). [Correction: mrfrog didn't mean that. See comments to this post.] References for these are in those links I posted earlier:

--
She frequently butted heads with what she considered the stuffed shirts at the [NY] Times and described her idea of hell as "being edited by the Times copy desk for all eternity."

She liked to say that if she described something that "squawked like a $2 fiddle," the Times copy editors would change it to "an inexpensive instrument."
--
The paper [Times] flattened and defoliated her colorful prose. For example, it turned "a beer gut that belongs in the Smithsonian" into "a protuberant abdomen."
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"The trouble with blaming powerless people is that, although it's not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point." (Molly, 1997)
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She described herself as "a left-wing, aging-Bohemian journalist, who never made a shrewd career move, never dressed for success, never got married, and isn't even a lesbian, which at least would be interesting."
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"I dearly love the state of Texas," she wrote, "but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults."
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"I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point," she once wrote. "Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything."
--


And, as I imagine will be much cited, rallying cry that it is: the last paragraph from her last column, "Stand Up Against the Surge"---

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!"