Wonkette Stumbles Into Molly Ivins' Birthday Party, A Day Late And Wasted

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We'll get your Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday written real soon here, but first, let's note that yesterday, August 30, would have been Molly Ivins's 70th birthday. In our book, the only proof you need that there is no justice in the universe is the simple fact that we lost Gilda Radner at 42 and Molly Ivins at 62, but Henry Kissinger still walks this earth and publishesop-eds in the Wall Street Journal at the age of 91. Then again, he did call for establishing a new "New World Order," so the man still has that inerrant gift for accidental satire that drove Tom Lehrer to quit the business.


We feel pretty bad that our appreciation of Molly is a day late, because we'd be willing to bet she almost never missed a deadline. We're going to pretend that the holiday weekend gives us a license, maybe. And so, before we trudge into the awfulness of today's news, let's remember someone who really knew how to look at public idiocy, hold it up to the light, and blow it to rags and atoms with a few words:

  • All anyone needs to enjoy the state legislature is a strong stomach and a complete insensitivity to the needs of the people. As long as you don’t think about what that peculiar body should be doing and what it actually is doing to the quality of life in Texas, then it’s all marvelous fun.
  • 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.
  • It's hard to argue against cynics -- they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.
  • On a personal note: I have contracted an outstanding case of breast cancer, from which I intend to recover. I don’t need get-well cards, but I would like the beloved women readers to do something for me: Go. Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Done.
  • I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point -- race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.
  • Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair's-breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other. But it does raise the question: Why bother?

    Oh, it's just that your life is at stake.

  • 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.
  • If he gets even more sedate, we will have to water him twice a week. [Molly Ivins about then-President Ronald Reagan]
  • Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.

  • So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.

Can you imagine what Molly would do with the government shutdown, the war on contraception, the panic over Central American children, and the police madness in Ferguson, Missouri? What our country's really suffering from is a Molly Ivins deficit. Go get yourself some Molly Ivins books: we're fond of her first big bestseller, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? as well as the election-year warning that she co-wrote with Lou Dubose, Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, and the posthumous collection, Molly Ivins: Letters to the Nation.

And we'll close with a favorite: The first time Yr Dok Zoom ever heard of Molly Ivins, her 1986 MacNeill-Lehrer Newshour piece on Texas and its many fine examples of Public Ort, which they rebroadcast as a memorial in 2007. Enjoy:

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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