goodbye molly ivins

Well, this year is starting out with a lot of deaths.
Molly Ivins just died.

I wasn’t going to put up any comment. I looked around and found plenty of comments on plenty of blogs already. But then a friend emailed me and reminded me of Ivins stand against the first Gulf War, retrospective support for which has become a sort of Rush ritual – the warmongers love the idea that anybody who is ‘serious’ in D.C. has to ritually praise the wonderful First Gulf War.

Molly Ivins was always part of the “war sucks” club. God bless her. The first time I saw her was, as my friend reminded me, in a chapel at U.T. in 1991. Apparently my friend and I even got on television at that event – but this had gone down the memory hole for yours truly. Ivins gave not only a rousing speech, but the right kind of speech against the upcoming Kuwait War. It was the kind of speech that you hardly hear anymore – it got to the point – fuck that war – it was inclusive – whether you are a Rotarian or a Young Socialist, this war is not for you - and it called on people to do something to show disgust when the war broke out. At least a thousand did, as I remember. We marched on the Capital and lay down in the rotunda. Unimaginable now, as we would be swept up as so many terrorists. Well, the nation that was back then has died, as we know, and out of it has hatched this monstrous product of fats and aggression that I can no longer recognize.

She was right about that war. Often, I didn’t like the Texas act, and often, I thought she was carried away by one of the subsidiary madnesses of this time, thinking that any political party – in Ivins’ case, the Dems - is going to embody anything but its own greed to survive. But her instinct, which was to push outside of the party structure, and not build your political life around voting, any more than you would build your economic life around buying a lottery ticket – was eminently sound. I always liked Molly Ivins. Last time I saw her was, what three years ago? It was at a party for Robert Bryce at Schultz’s, which has been the Texas Observer bar since forever – see Bill Brammer’s The Gay Place for details.

Oh fuck. Ivins fought well, carried a flame for existential liberty as the culture in this country got darker and sicker, and she died well. There is nothing more to say.