Sunday, July 22, 2012

Alexander Cockburn, RIP

In very nearly the first post I ever wrote on this blog, I mentioned my admiration for an observation made by the muckraking (and frequently very funny) journalist Alexander Cockburn.

It is now with heavy heart that I learn that Cockburn has joined the Choir Invisible at the age of 71. Well, we're all headed that way, but it's a sad thing to know that the guy who made the wisest, most insightful observation about human history that I've ever read (see link above) has himself passed on into the past that he was so insightful about.

Yes, he was cranky and unpredictable. His views on global warming, for example, could evince an impatient syllable or two. And the Ralph Nader thing... Ugh. But that very crankiness was exactly what made you anticipate his columns in The Nation or The Village Voice. Go ahead, Andrew, you'd say, make me uncomfortable. I can take it.

Jeffrey St. Clair, Cockburn's partner at the Counterpunch website, has written a short eulogy that's worth reading:

Alex lived a huge life and he lived it his way. He hated compromise in politics and he didn’t tolerate it in his own life. Alex was my pal, my mentor, my comrade. We joked, gossiped, argued and worked together nearly every day for the last twenty years. He leaves a huge void in our lives. But he taught at least two generations how to think, how to look at the world, how to live a life of joyful and creative resistance. So, the struggle continues and we’re going to remain engaged. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

How to think... how to look at the world.... I think that's just about exactly right. I, for one, will miss him.


Kevin WOlf said...

Same here. Been reading him for decades.

bigRed1 said...

With AC gone, are there any committed leftists worth reading? They are a necessary tonic in these times when the political center is about 10 miles to the right of where it was when you and I came up.

Just got back from LA 2 weeks ago where I visited RM. Fun times.

Great to have you back. I hope you didn't invest to much $$ in My Face.