Thursday, January 18, 2007

In Memory of Art Buchwald

Today is Thursday, 18 January 2007.

Yesterday, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock from 7 minutes to midnight to 5 minutes to midnight. I was writing a column about this when news came of the death last night of the great political satirist, Art Buchwald (1925-2007).

How eagerly did I, growing up back in the 1960s in the intellect-hating and viciously reactionary province of Oklahoma, look forward to the mornings when his column appeared in a local newspaper.

Buchwald struggled for much of his life with bipolar issues. Kidney problems forced the amputation of one leg. He chose to forego dialysis, and entered a hospice last February, but remarkably improved and went home in July. He wrote, “Instead of going straight upstairs, I’m going to Martha’s Vineyard”.

After one of his book parties had been upstaged by news of the death of the dictator Pinochet, he enjoyed strategizing with friends on how to achieve a great newspaper obituary. Among his final words: “I just don’t want to die on the same day as Castro”.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends deepest sympathy to his family and friends. It is of great sorrow that, while his words will endure, his voice will no longer grace the vivid air.


Anonymous RtR said...

Cool water in an arid country indeed.

A gold standard to all who would defy taboo by having the will to think while attending a fundamentalist church.

12:14 AM  

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