Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Missin' Miz Molly

"She bellies up to the gourmet cracker-barrel and delivers laid-back wisdom with the serenity of a down-home Buddha who has discovered that stool softeners really work.

Sad day for real Texans (and the nation, as well) - Molly Ivins passed away today. A couple of my online buddies have seen fit to post their own tributes, and I link to them here:

Jeff at ArcheaoTexture
DarkoV at Pertinent Verge

As I said to these guys, Molly leaves some mighty big boots to fill. What a class act.

To honor one of my most favorite Texas characters, here are a few Molly-isms:

• In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.

• Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.

• The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.

• What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.

• Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous.

• The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.

• Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.

• You can't ignore politics, no matter how much you'd like to.

• It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.

• What stuns me most about contemporary politics is not even that the system has been so badly corrupted by money. It is that so few people get the connection between their lives and what the bozos do in Washington and our state capitols.

• I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years.

• I still believe in Hope - mostly because there's no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas.

• One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn't waste a lot of time thinking about the people who built their pyramids, either. OK, so it's not that bad yet -- but it's getting that bad.

• It's like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong.

• In the real world, there are only two ways to deal with corporate misbehavior: One is through government regulation and the other is by taking them to court. What has happened over 20 years of free-market proselytizing is that we have dangerously weakened both forms of restraint, first through the craze for "deregulation" and second through endless rounds of "tort reform," all of which have the effect of cutting off citizens' access to the courts. By legally bribing politicians with campaign contributions, the corporations have bought themselves immunity from lawsuits on many levels.

• Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory.

• During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: "Look out! They're about to smack you around again!"

• I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.

• I know vegetarians don't like to hear this, but God made an awful lot of land that's good for nothing but grazing.

• The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood.


Jeff said...

Miss Pattie, well said ... She was a unique and genuine individual, a gifted writer and a tenacious advocate for truth ... our craft and our community is lessened by her passing ...

Annie in Austin said...

You made a beautiful post for Molly Ivins - this sad news is not unexpected but still hard to accept.

Thank you, Pattie.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

joared said...

A great salute with her own words to Molly Ivins, Pattie. I, too, have been a great fan of her writing. She will be missed and we surely do need writing from someone with her ability for sharp astute commentary skills.

Anonymous said...

Hey CP,
A few tears were shed for her form these Northern parts. My God, was she a breath of fresh (cliched) air! I can't think of anyone else, recognized on the national scene as she was, to even come close to being a substitute commentator of the human condition.
She was such a perfect combination of good ol' Texan grizzle and Eastern elitism. She always made sure the former dominated the latter, letting all those ideas bouncing in her head become honed to a sharp incisive point before writing/talking that point in her melt-your-abdurate heart way.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah. If I may, I believe you may have mis-spoken when you said, "Sad day for real Texans. It's a sad day and a not too happy coming few years without her on the scene for all of us folks in the US of A.

bill said...

I never met her or even saw her in person, unfortunately. I don't know if Texas will be the same without her.


Jimmy said...

A true Texas Treasure. Thanks for sharing the Mollyisms.

Trace said...

What a lovely photo! Sounds like a great lady! Wish I could have known her...

nina said...

I came right over knowing you'd have something about this sad event. Thanks for the quotes. Even we Pacific NW'ers are crying over this one.

Raise hell!

Eric said...

Well, as you know, Pattie, me and Miss Molly didn't exactly see eye-to-eye on everything (well, on anything, for that matter, other than sharing a love for a good steak), but as I said over at The Fat Guy's place, I take no joy in her passing. She was an example of what makes Texas great: a smooth talking lady who could make you smile while she was extracting several internal organs from your body. Our fair state is a little bit blander today -- and that's not really a good thing.

Ronni Bennett said...

My god - this is like a primer for responsible citizenship. Great list of quotes, Pattie - and now, whatever shall we do without Mollie...

Anonymous said...

I came to Mollie late, but I found her thanks to you, CP. I heard of her passing, and knew that I could visit here to see an eloquent farewell. Thanks for the Mollyisms. We've lost a treasure.


The Limerick Savant said...

Reading your Mollyisms, Pattie, it struck me that Mark Twain must have been reincarnated as a woman. One can only hope that Molly Ivins will return as an even higher life form.

Anonymous said...

She was such an iconic and talented writer that she made me nod my head when reading some of her work that I didn't particularly agree with.

- Texas T-bone