Molly Ivins, RIP

Aw, hell. Molly Ivins has passed on. She was one of the best political columnists around, someone who could turn a phrase so well it’d bite whoever she was writing about right square on the ass; just ask Dubya, who was a favorite target of hers. I’ve long admired her writing and her passion for speaking out about what she thought was right; newspapers are about to get a whole lot less interesting without her.

Here’s a tribute to Molly Ivins at Creator’s Syndicate; here’s her last column.

21 Comments on “Molly Ivins, RIP”

  1. Aww, Man. I liked her a lot. I liked how, when people would try to box her in to a political identity (liberal, democrat, etc.), she would say something like, “My name is Molly Ivans. That’s the only label I carry.”

  2. Been a fan since Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?, 15 years ago. She was a riot to hear speak, with that whiskey-textured Texas drawl. As I recall she moderated the Franken-O’Reilly pissing contest at BookExpo a few years back. This is very sad.

  3. My reaction exactly. I did get to hear her speak at a conference some years ago. And Pat Schroeder moderated the Franken-O’Reilly pissing contest at BookExpo, Molly was supposed to be the 3rd speaker but barely got a word in edgewise.

  4. Oh, no. I knew she was sick, and was concerned that she hadn’t written many new columns lately, but I didn’t realize it was that bad.

    I will miss her.

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Ah, too bad. Anyone who took shots at the W and made direct hits every time makes my day. She will be missed.

  6. Damn.

    I haven’t missed a columnist this much since Royko died.

  7. Verdammt. I saw her name over and over, skimming my LJ friends page, stopped, and said, “Aw, damn.”

    You know, for a long time I didn’t know if she was liberal or not. I know that sounds weird, but where I grew up, her column was carried only occasionally and always next to Mona Charen’s. And I read her and just thought she made sense. (In a viciously funny and accurate way, natch.)

    Sorry to hear that she’s left us.

  8. I liked her columns. She was right up there with the also-greatly-lamented Alastair Cooke and his “Letters From America”.

  9. NO way!

    I have been reading her as long as I can remember. Somehow, in an effort to be diverse (or at least get more colorful letters to the editor) the Cincinnati Enquirer ran her columns.

    The only consolation is how much more mischief and fun she can create now that she’s a ghost.

  10. My favorite Molly Ivins story: she wrote an article after Decca Mitford (Jessica Treuhaft) passed away. In the article, she was talking about how Decca had been called to testify before HUAC. So, she and her husband gently tried to explain to their young daughter that they had to go do this, that they didn’t know what was going to happen, that they might go to prison or a re-education camp…

    “CAMP!” their daughter said. “Oh, hooray! I love camp! Let’s all go!”

    I read this in a public library in Boston and just fell out of my chair laughing.

    RIP, Molly. Go make G-d laugh.

  11. I always loved Molly’s ability to skewer the Texas legislature with a lethal combination of humor and venom, and more than once saw a little of Ohio in her tales of “the lege”.

    Would that we had anyone to afflict the comfortable in Columbus as well as she did in Austin. RIP, Molly – and I’ll even steal her line for a sign off:

    “I love Ohio, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and only discuss it among consenting adults”

  12. Oh, bloody hell. I really, really loved reading her columns. When “politics as usual” had me depressed, there she was, not missing one iota of the truth, but still capable of making me laugh. And making me still want to stand up and fight. We’ll miss you, Molly.

  13. She will be missed in our house. I rarely agreed with her politics, but her writing … I don’t think I ever read a column of hers that didn’t have me laughing out loud.

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