Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins, RIP

Kathy Shaidle (at her new location) links to a great Florence King essay on la Ivins. God rest her, but at least we'll be spared any more of her faux-folksy-Texas crap (just like Ann Richards liked to do). As Florence says, she sure did like to gild the lily.

The Texas columnist describes herself as “a left-wing, aging-Bohemian journalist, who never made a shrewd career move, never dressed for success, never got married, and isn’t even a lesbian, which at least would be interesting.” Actually her professional Good Ole Girl number is far more interesting than mere lesbianism. An occasional commentator on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, she bellies up to the gourmet crackerbarrel and delivers laid-back wisdom with the serenity of a down-home Buddha who has discovered that stool softeners really work. Watching her go through her paces is like watching Ona Munson, who played Belle Watling in Gone With the Wind, doing an imitation of Spencer Tracy playing Clarence Darrow in Inherit the Wind. That’s a lot of wind.

. . . Ivins’ own English ranges from politically correct (“yeoperson”) to Texanese (“bidness” for business, “Meskin” for Mexican) to hokeynyms (“our foundin’ daddies were about the smartest sumbitches ever walked”). She scatters the text with “Sheesh!” and “Well, poop!” and lots of “y’alls,” and practices multiculturalism complete with Yiddish misspellings (“the pièce de résistance of the whole schmear”).

And I'm waiting for an obit on Molly by Florence to appear at TAS or National Review in the next few days . . . )

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meg, do you remember a guy who ran for governor named Clayton Williams?

He may have lost the election because of his answer to some reporter who asked him about going across the border as a kid to get his ashes hauled.

And Clayton Williams, in his slow and deep Texas accetn, seriously replied, "When I was a young man that was the only way a man could get serviced."

And then you'll recall Ann Richards' honky-tonk type comment about 41, "I always thought when a man came to town a lady should wear his jewelry."

Well anyway, I always thought Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, and Clayton Williams should have started a chain of pawn shops and trailer parks as they "waltzed across Texas."

--Greg in Dallas

2/08/2007 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Meg Q said...

Ahhhh, Claytie.

I think the big comment that deep-sixed him, IIRC, was the "lie back and enjoy it" one, when he thought he was "speaking off the record".

I was at Baylor during that election and most of the students were for Williams, though very unenthusiastically; when he said that, everyone's reaction was: Dumbass! But he was still better received on campus, when he came to visit, than Ann was when she came to her alma mater (they both visited during the campaign). That's one of the reasons I thought Bush should have put his library there: Baylor will always love you (just like A&M will always love your dad), SMU will just hate you. Oh well. There's no getting through to the highly perceptive sometimes.

Yeah, Ann was always a real class act, God rest her soul.

2/08/2007 05:06:00 PM  

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