Monday, May 25, 2009
A Class ActMy partner gets Newsweek delivered weekly in the mail. I don't really read it anymore, I think I stopped when I read an article just before the Iraq war by Fareed Zakaria that basically argued that since Bush had threatened war with Iraq so forcefully for the past few months, that to back out of an invasion would make Americans look like...well..wussies. Since that time, I have been mostly disgusted with mainstream journalism, and even though I've always regarded Newsweek as one of the better rags, I couldn't get past the part Newsweek played in allowing the Iraq War to happen. My partner still subscribes, but I often find the weekly edition on the floor of the bathroom.
I was in the bathroom, when I learned that one of my favorite journalists was no longer writing for Newsweek, Anna Quindlen was stepping aside. I now realize that this is old news, but I feel today, right now, as if I am losing a dear old friend who I had forgotten. I remember the first time I read a book of her essays, it was in the thick of the AIDS epidemic, and the essay that made me weep, was called, "No Closet Space". Back then, I was accustomed to reading frequently in the mainstream press, venomous statements about my lifestlye, how my decisions were immoral, and that AIDS was God's just punishment for those of us who strayed from the teachings of the Bible. When I read the words of Anna Quindlen in the New York Times, the first time I had ever read a kind word in the mainstream media about my lifestyle, all of those defenses I had built up over the years, all of the steel I had forged around myself was swept away, and I wept for a long time.
Anna Quindlen says she is stepping aside to let the next generation of journalists have their say. Her children tell her that the generation of baby boomers are holding on too tightly to the control of the media, to the decision making, the baby boomers won't retire, they refuse to age, and these old ideas are strangling the nation. There are certainly many journalists who are ruining the newpapers, and the field of journalism, and should retire.
What a class act. Anna Quindlen is an extraordinary writer, and an extraordinary human being.
I would like for her to write until she's ninety, as long as she has something to say, it is worthwhile for all of us to listen.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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