R.I.P. Alexander Cockburn and Gore Vidal By Roderick on August 1, 2012 9 Farewell to two great pioneers of left/libertarian reunification. Left and Right, Left-Libertarian
It’s incalculable the loss of these two incredible human beings. To say it’s a great loss is a wild and irresponsible understatement. These two intellectual heroes were some of the finest writers, essayists, and thinkers this nation has ever known.
After attending Eleanor Roosevelt’s funeral, Vidal wrote that as her casket passed by he had the distinct and eerie feeling that we’re on our own now.
With the recent passing of Cockburn and Vidal it’s hard not to shake that exact same sentiment – I guess we’re all truly on our own now.
If Vidal really said something that idiotic, I’m not so sure his death is a great loss at all.
He was a friend and fan of Eleanor Roosevelt. But in his writings he was pretty critical of her husband.
Well, I’m all for judging the good things people say independently from the bad things they say. But in judging a person, I’d think if a guy said something as horrifying as that quote Neverfox pulled up it kind of outweighs anything good the guy said about corporatism or statism or whatever.
RIP? More like, good riddance.
Speaking of idiotic things Gore Vidal said (this one about his friend Roman Polanski):
Great pioneer of left/libertarian reunification…and rape apologist. We should probably add transphobe too for Myra Breckinridge and Myron.
True. But if we apply the never-said-anything-inexcusably-offensive-and-assholish criterion we’d lose a hell of a lot of the leading luminaries of libertarianism and leftism alike.
I don’t want my choices to be between a) rejecting their contributions and b) excusing their failings. I prefer to accept their contributions enthusiastically while condemning their sins severely.
I hope I didn’t suggest that anyone must make that choice. But I would say that we should ask ourselves to in what sense they count as contributions in the first place. There is nothing new that I’m aware of in Vidal’s analysis. After all, how many of the marginalized groups that Vidal so viciously dismisses, or portrays as sick and dangerous, have been saying the same things about imperialism and the ruling class long before he did? To what extent is he a luminary because of the privilege his inexcusably offensive and assholish statements uphold?
Maybe I’m just pessimistic, but I don’t see who the hell is coming along to replace these two.
I wish people would quit using “passing” or “passed” as a synonym for death and dying. They haven’t “passed”. They are dead. Let’s call it what it is.
Hear, hear! I’ll miss them both.