Thursday, March 1, 2012

If you have nothing nice to say, come sit next to me.

Andrew Breitbart is dead at the age of 43.  That is stunningly young.  From what I have seen of his life, he earned it.

There is a custom that you are not supposed to speak ill of the dead.  This is not a custom I follow.  One of my first stops on the very old World Wide Web was a newsgroup called alt.obituaries, where people from all English speaking nations shared the stories of the recently dead, some you knew and some you didn't. Sometimes we praised, sometimes we buried.  Sometimes we dug the corpse up and pissed on it for a while, then re-buried it.

All this was permitted.  It was not permitted to harp on the living, unless there was solid evidence that they might not be living for long.

Several stories about Breitbart written today say he was fearless.  This is an obvious fucking lie.  He was shameless and there is a world of difference.  When you lie about someone and that person loses their job and the lie is proven a dozen times over to be a lie, holding to your version of events is not brave, it is obscene. Shirley Sherrod still has a court suit against him.  Whether she pursues it now that he is dead and she is taking money from his heirs is completely up to her in my book.  I will not think less of her one way or the other.

Breitbart lived on booze and vitriol.  I rather like the former but I am doing my best to cut back on the latter. In some ways, I look at the modern conservative movement and the Republican Party/Tea Party as I would look on an infectious disease, interested in its progress (or lack of same) but doing my best not to turn to anger as I watch it eat everything in its path, including its own fellow travelers.

For me, Breitbart is like Christopher Hitchens without the talent. I won't miss either of them very much. I am much heartened by how many people assumed that the first reports were a hoax, some attempt to goad his political opponents into action his political allies could find objectionable.

If one ally of the happily now dead scumbag Breitbart shows up here, I challenge them to find an untrue sentence in what I wrote.  It may not be true for his immediate family, but for the vast majority of humanity, it is a blessing he was erased so quickly.

Here endeth the lesson.


Daniel Krause said...


namastenancy said...

I loathed Andrew Breitbart with a passion, and it is hard for me not to see his sudden passing as some kind of Karmic retribution, coming as it does so early in the US presidential election cycle. Naturally, I know that this is not the way that Karma works and I also know that one should not rejoice in the death of a person but I'm not sorry he's gone

susan s. said...

I so want to share this on facebook, but I won't if you say no.

Matty Boy said...

d.k: To your mother.

Nancy: You can't get shamed off the stage anymore or shunned, at least not on the right. Peter Gleick looks like he's going to be spending some time in the penalty box, but he's a scientist and for them, reputation matters.

Susan S.: You are welcome to put it on Facebook.

Stacia said...

Hey Matt -- I don't know if you remember me, but I used to post to alt.obits as Stacia (or maybe The Avocado Avenger, I don't remember if I used that handle on alt.obits or not).

Did you know Breitbart posted on alt.obits? He started a thread on Skip Stephenson back in '96:

I was looking for this thread today and got a pretty big eyebrow-raise out of seeing the author. Maybe it's just someone with the same name, but the date fits with when he was writing for Drudge so I assume that really was him, doing research for something on the site.

Matthew Hubbard said...

Hi, Stacia, I do remember you. It was a strange little group, I'm not surprised Mr. Breitbart was there.