Columnists have a way of entering one's life - especially pre-blog lives. Every week, or more, they show up in the paper with some new comment on events public or personal, and gradually, an almost personal familiarity develops. Now, of course, the blogosphere has filled our universe with untold millions of such inputs, a glut of characters and personal revelations so toreentious that one can't possibly see except a couple of atoms, or photons, in the black hole of cyberspace.
Yet some photons manage to become rays, and one such ray, kept aloft by a regular print column, was Molly Ivins. Today we are supposed to change "is" to "was", as if life were just a matter of tense. I knew nothing of her more than her columns. I didn't know until after her death that the last two columns were dictated while struggling with the agony of breast cancer, which finally took its toll. One woman with humor and the courage to remain consistent, labeled "liberal" when that was a nasty word, standing for the poor and disenfranchised when being rich and powerful was cool. Sadly, being rich and powerful will always be "cool", but being a voice for the voiceless is far better, and lasts much longer.