Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Farewell to a Friend

Last week, I lost a beloved friend to cancer.

Although I never met Molly Ivins in person—she was ranked near the top of my “friends I haven’t met yet” list—I was familiar with her work. She was the quintessential political pundit who understood, better than most, the malevolent machinations of government; she was one of the brightest lights shining into the dark corners of American politics to expose the corruption that festers there.

Each week I looked forward to Molly’s column in The Oregonian, and many weeks, during the past couple of years, I read those same columns, again, on AlterNet. Always, Molly informed, enlightened, and entertained. Hers was one of the few voices linking sanity and reason to a world that’s increasingly devoid of both. Now, that voice is silent.

It’s true that Molly wrote with style and humor and wit and wisdom about things that matter, but the thing I most admired about her was her courage to speak truth to power. It was her courage that best defined her character. Her audacious temerity in calling Bush “Shrub” may have rankled the President, but it made the rest of us laugh.

Molly’s gone, but not forgotten. Her brief stay on Earth made the world a better place; her passing made it poorer. Like other great humorists (Mark Twain and Will Rogers come to mind), Molly will be long remembered for her many contributions to society, not the least of which was her wish that her many readers " . . . keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it.”

Good golly, Ms. Molly, I’m truly going to miss you.