Sad to report that we have lost one of the most dynamic voices of our generation. With the exception of being an ardent atheist, he was impossible to pin down and categorize as belonging to any one political movement or ideology. He truly called them as he saw them. Without question, he truly was his own man. He burned as bright as anyone I can recall in my lifetime, and now the flame is no more. I can’t say I always agreed with him, but he was one HELL of a writer, and I am a better writer because of his influence! He taught me to let my guard down and don’t fear what you think or believe. Still, to be 1 / 1000th as good a writer as he was…
I’ve read his treatise on Thomas Paine (a kindred spirit if there ever way one) and many of his Slate and Vanity Fair pieces, including the last few he managed to squeeze out despite his illness. [here] But, of all the things I’ve read from this brilliant man, this is the one blindingly obvious insight I will always remember:
“By all means, stupid people should be represented, but not by stupid people.”
I have his autobiography on my reading cue. I break that open tonight.
Goodbye to one of the greats.