So Andy Brietbart’s dead.
And just as was done with lots of others, people are already either canonizing or demonizing him (or remembering the dead in very odd ways), and a few are remembering him very clearly (see Taibbi’s post linked at the bottom of this post). It is this last group that I pay attention to most, though even a liar’s words have value (in that it’s better to know what a liar is saying than to be caught unawares).
Seriously, when you let establishment figures agree to fudge the past of the dearly departed, you are allowing them to re-write history for those who weren’t contemporaries of the deceased (this is how we get 50 bazillion things named after Ronald Reagan).
I think this is partially an agreement to let other people inflate the standing of their tribe so they let you inflate the standing of yours, and partially a desire to not attack those who can not defend themselves (namely the dead, since as a general rule we don’t have much of a problem attacking living people who are weaker than ourselves). Just to make my stand perfectly clear, this is fucking silly.
The mistakes we make are valuable to both ourselves and those that come after us. They’re guideposts, if only to support big signs that say “don’t do this. It hurts,” and occasionally “told you so.” While we usually learn from experience, those times we don’t present an opportunity to alleviate suffering, rather than guiding more people into it (as funny as that sometimes can be).
Farewell, Brietbart. You were an incredible troll, a serious bastard, and we’re lucky that you didn’t use your intelligence to maximize the amount of damage you could do. You certainly did enough just trying to smear people you didn’t like (whether you knew them or not). Let’s hope you held back some secrets from O’Keefe and Giles, and that they do not manage to duplicate your “success.”
Some obits that caught my eye:
David Frum at the Daily Beast: Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012
Michelle Malkin, Andrew Brietbart, R.I.P.
A no-holds-barred obit by someone who Brietbart boasted he was going to bury, Mark Ames 1, Andrew Breitbart 0: Exiled Editor Does Dirty Chicken Dance On Breitbart’s Grave
Last, and decidedly best, Matt Taibbi: “Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche” – be sure to read the update at the bottom.