Thursday, February 1, 2007
Farewell, Molly Ivins (1944-2007)
I’ll miss Molly Ivins. I so looked forward to reading her columns every week. Most folks will remember her as the one who dubbed George W. Bush “Shrub.” (So apt.) But I’ll always remember her for her sharp tongue and spot-on criticism. The feisty old bird put up one helluva seven-year fight, too, battling breast cancer. As a pal said to me, “You know she and Governor Richards are up there sharing a laugh right now.”
Here are some of my favorite Molly Ivins quotes:
* The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.
* It’s hard to argue against cynics—they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.
* What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.
* The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.
* There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar.
* I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.
* Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant---it tends to get worse.
* I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years.
* 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.
* 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 have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle.
* 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.