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.