Belaboring the Obvious

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ah, Molly, We Miss Your Presence Already....

What you might have made of this reptilian excuse for advanced theoretical thinking, fundy-style....

It's downright scary to think that these people help run their states' business--you know, things like school curricula, affairs of science and commerce and law, and all the while managing to play with themselves non-stop, intellectually, if not physically.

I'm marginally of the opinion that these retrograde examples of homo sapiens actually waited for Molly to expire before exhibiting this exceptional desire to return to the Dark Ages, so fearful were they of retribution in print, but, then, that would mean they could read, so....

The Warren Chisum mentioned in the link above is none other than the Warren Chisum that Molly memorialized--and then buried--in an article for The Progressive years ago, partly reproduced here.

Tom DeLay, as I wrote to him once, was the reason why I didn't admit to anyone normal and sensible that I was a native-born Texan. Guilt by association is an unfortunate, but regrettably real, phenomenon in life. Now that DeLay's a Virginian of dubious provenance and even more dubious character (if that's possible), and Molly's gone, it becomes part of her legacy that I once again, in her memory, say, yes, by gum, I'm a Texan.

I may never become a Texan quite like Molly, but I aspire to her ideals and goals--fighting the good fight, skewering those deserving of skewering, taking to the streets and banging pots and pans for peace and justice, and having a little fun all the while, where I can find it.

I grew up, off and on, in and around a west Texas dirt farm on the northern edge of the Hill Country. It was the place of my mother's birth, and I learned to shoot there--just tin cans and bottles, mind you--it just never was in me to think that animals, even varmints, were fair game--and to figure out how to blow tuna fish cans all the way over the top of the rusted mule-drawn combine with M80s. It was a place, in the early `50s, where a big day was getting a ride with my grandfather up to the nearest store, where I could spend a dime on a Classics Illustrated comic book and another dime on a Nehi orange soda, with the great promise of getting a nickel back on the bottle on the next trip. The telephone there still was a wooden contraption with a horn to speak into and a handpiece to listen from, switched on a party line, which meant if one picked up the phone to call, and someone else was already on the line, it was impolite to linger and eavesdrop on their conversation. The school had two rooms, one for grades one through three, and the other for grades four through six, and a cafeteria, across the road that, maybe once a week, served hot, fresh-baked rolls that took both hands to hold and could be drizzled with honey from decanters with the neat lever-connected-to-a-slide-valve. It was a place of interminable dusty heat most of the year and ripping cold winds in winter that came out of the north like an invading army, and in spring and summer, heat lightning on the horizon spread out across the forbiddingly dry evening sky like god's artillery strikes.

It wasn't exactly idyllic, but, it was often home in those years. I was separated from it physically for decades after, and still am. In more recent years, I frequently regretted--as the country went from bad to worse to downright ugly due to the pernicious influence of politicians like the execrable DeLay, the even more execrable Bushes, along with the Cornyns and Hutchisons and the Snopes-like carpetbaggers such as Rove and Cheney--that so much of my history had been tarnished by a kind of decay unique to contemporary Texas, a dry rot, a desiccating withering of the heart and the soul and the intellect, and I often wished to divorce myself from it. But, whenever I read one of Molly Ivins' columns or heard a bit of one of her talks, I thought that, maybe, there was hope for Texas in spite of it all.

Now that Molly is gone from us, and DeLay is where he truly belongs (wrapped in the bosom of the Lord of Lobbyists and Political Prostitutes), it's incumbent upon us, collectively, to fill her large shoes, equal her large heart and match her loud laughter at the absurdity that is politics in these United States, including Texas, and meet her standards for truth and peace and real justice.

In order for me to help in doing that, I have to once again say that I am a Texan, and to say, "I wanna be Molly Ivins' kind of Texan."

There are a passel of stories about Molly here, collected by her friends at The Texas Observer, and they're revealing, funny and, I think, somehow, in the midst of grief, enormously hopeful. Read `em all. It's worth the effort.

[A small note to my few readers--I've been preoccupied with reading the live-blogging of the Libby trial, and musing to myself about the revealed truths of that trial concerning the incestuous, necrophilious relationship of the DC press corpse to this particular White House and its occupants. It's becoming glaringly obvious that the more overpaid the TV news celebrity, the more inclined he or she is to get out the shovel and bury real investigative journalism for the sake of comity and good relations with a pack of hyenas dressed in expensive suits.

If this trial has taught us anything so far, it's that we're in the midst of an anti-Watergate moment, where the press has gone out of its way to protect the administration (with some notable exceptions), rather than expose it for what it is, and that the extent of that effort is even broader than media critics suspected, and goes way beyond self-censorship, into the territory of actively propagandizing the public in favor of this administration.

The prosecution rested, and Libby's lawyers made it clear they have pinned their defense on a long parade of witnesses from the news media in an effort to broadly impeach that media. The testimony has shown that news media in an even worse light did the prosecution's witnesses from the press. Craveness doesn't begin to describe it, while the dead-and/or-missing-blonde-girl show continues to suck up all the bandwidth. *sigh* Maybe some introspection over journalistic ethics is just too much to ask of these bozos with a press pass and a severe shortage of scruples.

It's getting tiresome to repeat, so often, that the inside-the-Beltway press has shown itself to be biased, and severely so, and the proof is in the contrast between the reporting of the Clinton years, which repeated, breathlessly, every targeted leak from the Starr investigation as further indication of Clinton's unfitness for office, and then has consistently given Bush, Cheney and his Congressional cronies a pass on much, much weightier matters of lying about war, malfeasance and misfeasance and corruption, dereliction of duty and on a degree of usurpation of power that would have left Nixon gaping in awe.

More, maybe, on the media's sloppy state of being at a later date.]


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