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”).