A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Saying Good Bye to Molly Ivins and Ryszard Kapuscinski

Two very unique and very different journalists, who were among the best in their field, have passed away recently - Molly Ivins and Ryszard Kapuscinski.

I only discovered the wit of Molly Ivins in the past year - and relished every word she had to say. Maya Angelou in the Washington Post:

Up to the walls of Jericho
She marched with a spear in her hand
Go blow them ram horns she cried
For the battle is in my hand

The walls have not come down, but they have been given a serious shaking.

That Jericho voice is stilled now.

Molly Ivins has been quieted.

The writer and journalist, dearly loved and admired by many, hated and feared by many, died of cancer in her Texas home on Jan. 31, 2007.

The walls of ignorance and prejudice and cruelty, which she railed against valiantly all her public life, have not fallen, but their truculence to do so does not speak against her determination to make them collapse.

Ryszard Kapuscinski was the man who helped me understand all the good and bad of Africa. While he wrote under the confines of the communist Polish press agency he managed to write lyrical books about the people and history of modern Africa.

Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times:

Where does the truth of history lie? In coups and revolutions, in wars and treaties and the chronicles of our textbook heroes and antiheroes? Or does it lie in the pulse of ordinary life, in a dailiness that looks almost hallucinatory if you venture outside it? I think of Ryszard Kapuscinski, who died at 74 on Jan. 23, as an emissary between those two versions of history. His writing life divides between the conventional reporting he did for the Polish press agency PAP — a voluntary slavery, as he described it, that made the whole world available to him — and the literary journalism that has found its way into books like “Imperium,” “The Soccer War” and “The Emperor.”

He was both witness and reporter, and an enduring reminder of the fact that the two are not the same.

I'll miss them both but I'm glad they left behind much of their wit and wisdom on paper.

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