The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Sometimes when someone says it better than you can, you need to point this out to people!

My friend Emily Carey Cronin sent this snippet from Molly Ivins who was one of the speakers at Haverford commencement weekend. ENJOY!

O.K. class of 2005. I would exhort you to go forth and change the world, but I think you've already been trained in that department. And I just want to refine the advice a little bit. Here's one of the things that you are going to have to remember as you attempt to save the world-I've been at it for several decades and so far no big visible effect-what you have to learn to do is have fun while trying to save the world. Now this is real, real important stuff. If you do not have fun while trying to save the world, you will get tired and cynical and burned out and become totally useless to everybody. Consequently, you really need to concentrate on how to make it fun, and in Texas we find that imagination and sometimes beer are quite helpful. In Texas, of course, liberals know how to survive hard times, and I pass along to you certain rules for going through hard times. In the first place, things are not getting worse, things have always been this bad. The long consoling perspective of history is always helpful. You will find that the people who were trying to save the world always thought that things were getting worse. Now, number two, things probably will get worse. That means that these are the good 'ole days, and think what a fool you will feel like in the future if you do not enjoy them now. Third, there is always, since we are the spiritual children of Puritans, the inviting possibility that adversity will improve our characters. I think this is something that needs to be worked on. I'm just going to tell you one story about how I think things should go. A few years back, the Texas legislature took a fit of communism and decided to recognize the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a state holiday. Now, don't panic; they kept confederate heroes day. It was a package deal. Nevertheless, there we were honoring Dr. King and as you can imagine it upset the Ku Klux Klan. They announced that they were coming to have a big rally and march in protest, and it's always a pain in the butt when the Klan comes to town. I realize that in civilized precincts like Haverford such things do not happen. I can tell you that it just makes your Jewish citizens get upset, your Black citizens get upset, skin head kids turn out on the sidewalk to cheer for them, people get into fistfights, everybody is mad at everybody for a good six months. So, if you are like myself, a civil-libertarian, naturally you have to stand up for the right of these blue-bellied nincompoops to spew whatever viscous dribble they want to because it's in the first amendment. This is a stand that will make you about as popular with your neighbors as a whore trying to get into the SMU school of theology. So, several of us gathered mournfully over a pitcher of beer one night and came up with what we thought was a better plan. And we do not have enough cluckers there in Austin to have a good rally; they had to be bused in from Waco and Viddar (?). They got off the buses wearing their little pointy hats on their little pointy heads. They were greeted by several thousand citizens of Austin lining both sides of Congress Avenue, who mooned them as they marched. Made a very nice effect, it was sort of like a wave in a baseball stadium. This is the kind of freedom fighting tactic I recommend to all of you, although I realize that in this part of the country it's a seasonally limited option.

1 comment:

Aldon Hynes said...

She delivered some very similar comments at DemFest in Austin Texas last month. Her comments bear repeating often.