Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Joe Bageant Is Dead (of Cancer at 64)

Joe described himself as a redneck socialist, and he was. He was profoundly concerned with the fate of the people he wrote about, those who worked hard all their lives and ended up with nothing. Funny: I’ve never met a socialist who didn’t care about others, or a capitalist who did. The truth is that a great many decent people are on the wrong side of the intelligence curve, don’t come from families that send their young to university,and can’t protect themselves from the corporate lawyers and bought legislatures. It wasn’t a pose. He really and truly, honestly, demonstrably and implausibly, had no interest in money. He lived for some time in Hopkins Village in Belize, a seaside community of black, downscale Garifuna and, when some money began to come in from Deer Hunting, regularly gave it away to help the locals. He didn’t have a sainthood complex. He just didn’t care. He wanted books, a guitar, friends, internet, wine, and occasional substances not approved of by DEA. No pretenses. Drop acid, not names.
Joe was one of the most intelligent, gentle, soft-spoken (but really not) writers of my generation. Long may his memory unite us and inspire us to continue with integrity what he documented so well. In my opinion, and that of many others, a powerful sidestream of American literature flowing out of the American tradition alongside of that of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). Read his books. They'll surprise, delight and influence your own life in ways you won't see coming. And then go out and change the world. Suzan _______________________


kenny's sideshow said...

I'm gonna miss him. I just wish he would have tried some kind of alternative therapy. Chemo at the VA was not likely to work.

Suzan said...

Incredibly enough, however, Kenny, my sister, deemed terminal with no prognosis initially for living at all, with an inoperable tumor on her pulmonary artery is still alive after a year of treatment at the cancer center in Greensboro, NC. It's a miracle for us so far and they've hit her with every dose of radiation and type of chemo cocktail that they have so far.

I missed Joe long before he passed away when I knew that he also had been told his cancer was terminal.

What a jolt after my sister's continuing good news to hear of his bad.

Let's reread his books one more time in honor of his gifts to us.

Thanks for responding!


Dave Dubya said...

More redneck socialists are just what this country needs for its survival.

My blog re-appeared!

Urban Pink said...

Thanks for honoring him. I'll read his books. Your post made me realize that part of why things have become so bad is that we (those who care less about money, and more about culture, education, and peace) have a much different set of values, education and religion than those who make, quite frankly, their G-d money.

Beach Bum said...

His buddy Fred Reed has a column that I read every week. From his recommendation I've got "Deer Hunting with Jesus" at the house and I plan on reading it next.

I don't well or long in groups, I have independent tendencies that irritate the thought police in both liberal and conservative circles and "Redneck Socialist" pretty much fits me.

Fred thought highly of Joe and if that old fart says something nice about someone that is high praise.

Suzan said...

I understand that Fred and Joe were pretty tight, so it's no secret that they were in political agreement on lots of issues. I saw Fred's link somewhere and enjoyed his blog too. There are lots of redneck socialists out there - unfortunately many of them haven't made their own connections yet about exactly what it is they support politically. I just wish that the news of the Koch Bros. money funding all the fake organizations that they also support would change some minds. Fast.

Dave! Great news about your site's recovery. I'm with you about the evil floating about, and trying to destroy independent voices.

Hey UP! Nice to hear from you here. I certainly agree with your thoughts but don't think that religion or lack of it has anything to do with their values. They are greed fascists: a breed famous throughout history as causing death and destruction wherever they alight.

Funny how our citizens can't remember a damn thing about their history isn't it?

Education is the key.

But that lock is ironclad now (if we look at what's happening under the cloak of darkness in the state governments).

Love you guys!


Cujo359 said...

I just started reading Deer Hunting With Jesus recently. That quote of yours is a good one, I think.

He's a real loss. There aren't many liberals like him out there.

Suzan said...

Thanks, C!

I'm still in shock.

And there are none like him.


Love you,