Goodbye, Molly Ivins

February 1, 2007

This has been a hell of a year for death, and I don’t mean the charming hooded one who speaks in ALL CAPS from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And today I picked up the paper to see truly bad death-related news (besides that from Iraq, which is there on a fluctuatingly-horrific-but-always-petty-damn-bad basis): Molly Ivins has left this mortal coil.

Everyone will say all the good stuff about Molly that can be said: She’s a plain-spoken (or rather, fluent in Texas-speak) liberal muckraker journalist; she knows just how bad it is in Washington DC today because she observed (and muckraked) Bush back when he was Texas governator; she’s irreplaceable. Hell, even Bush himself gave a nice comment at the news of her death, doubtless written by the guy or gal in the office whose job it is to do such things. I saw her speak at a Feminists for Free Expression conference, I think it was; she was even better in person than on the page, and that’s saying something.

But most of the obits, wonderful as they’ll be, won’t say a word about what Molly had to say about dildos, so I’m going to call that detail my own contribution to the outpourings of love and gratitude to this most engaging and unique of columnists.

Now, I know nothing about Molly’s personal feelings about dildos, if any. But I had the honor of being a commentator in a movie in which she also played that role, Dildo Diaries — some people who talk to me have heard me say being in that video with her was one of the great honors of my life, so see, I’m not just buttering her up because she’s dead. Dildo Diaries, by two awesome Austin women, takes up the question of why owning more than five dildos is illegal in Texas. Not only do they talk to Molly, whose quip about the situation is pure Ivins — “It’s illegal for a prick to touch an asshole in this state” (which means what? Shrub wasn’t allowed to shake hands with The Hammer?) — they also go around to Texas state legislators to get comments. The actual legislator who introduced the law talks to them! You’d think when raw-boned Texas gals with cameras come to your office asking about such things that a sensible guy would hide under the desk.

DD isn’t seen widely enough, in my opinion; it played at Frameline in 2003; its auteurs, the Mizzes Barton and Wilder, show it in Austin now and again; and there’s an 11-minute clip on Youtube that you owe it to yourself to see.

With all the other things you’re going to hear about Molly Ivins this week, check it out to remind yourself that she could bring her own special genius to bear on *any* bone-headed pomposity that came into her view.

(By the way, if you think this situation is as stupid as Molly does, you’ll love the Wet Spots’ song “Texas Annie” about it.)

The Wet Spots - Hello Kinky

sfgate has Molly Ivins’ last column … and they say there’s a place for us to post our thought on her, though I was rushing too fast to figure out where that place was. Feel free to post them here, too. Goodbye, Molly. Every once in a while somebody goes too soon, and as far as I’m concerned we still need you.

To remember her? Raise some hell and do a breast exam.
Molly Ivins


One Response to “Goodbye, Molly Ivins”

  1. Great tribute for an incredible woman who will definitely be missed.

    The place to post condolences, thanks, and all other tributes to Miss Molly is the website of the Texas Observer weekly, where she earned her stripes as a muckraking Texas progressive:

    Their home page is currently totally dedicated to Miss Molly and her legacy.


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