I feel nothing but sadness about the death of Andrew Breitbart.
For a long time now, I’ve felt that celebrating someone else’s death is for the most part an infamia, one of those thou-shalt-nots one simply obeys because that’s what you must do. Of course, I’ve always found exceptions: Ted Bundy was on my personal list because Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman were two of his victims and they at least knew who I was, nothing more. A few of you know the one person atop my list whom I shall not (yet) name, but everybody has a short list—Osama was certainly on mine, also al-Zawahiri remains, but to tell the truth after Lisa died something solidified in me. You don’t play around, even rhetorically, with death. “OH I HOPE YOU DIE!” is just too strong. Instead, hey, be creative. The other night on my way home I saw a pair of guys dressed up as competitive cyclists. They looked the part, anyway. A woman was crossing the street from the High Park station and NEVER SAW TWO GUYS RIDING UNLIT RACING CYCLES AND THEY WERE DRESSED ALL IN BLACK.
I kid you not. She never saw ’em comin.’
They missed her, thankfully, but the second rider yelled at her as though their ridetime mattered more than her well-being. So of course I was the next person behind her.
So I yell: “HEY: PEDESTRIANS.”
Then I hear, “FUCK YOU.”
So then I say: “EAT SHIT.”
That was enough.
Breitbart both slung and ate shit during his public life, but to be honest I was shocked by the news of his death and I’m sad as all hell for his family, friends, colleagues and co-workers. He would “go there,” wherever “there” is, the way Lee Atwater would; there were no boundaries, no limits. I utterly disagree with his stances on the issues, but by God I was impressed by his sheer will. I still say he slung shit, but I do not and would never celebrate his or almost anyone else’s death. It’s a sad occasion; there’ve been quite a number of them lately, haven’t there?
BTW, Lawrence O’Donnell’s tribute to Breitbart is, as usual, touching. Oh, yes. O’Donnell can indeed be touching.