Greetings, conversationalists across the fruited plain. This is Rush Limbaugh, the most dangerous man in America, with the largest hypothalamus in North America, serving humanity simply by opening my mouth, destined for my own wing in the Museum of American Broadcasting, executing everything I do flawlessly with zero mistakes, doing this show with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair, because I have talent on loan from God.
The most dangerous man in America is dead. Rush Limbaugh died a week ago Wednesday.
Ding dong the Rush is dead.
Limbaugh was a proud conservative. He was a proud Republican. A proud patriot. A proud Christian. A proud White man. A proud straight man. A proud husband.
He touted family values. He believed in marriage as long as it was between a man and a woman. He was a monogamist. He had four wives—one at a time. He sired no children but spawned Dittoheads by the millions.
He spawned disdain. He spawned vulgarity. He spawned lies and conspiracies. He spawned bigotry, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia. He spawned a swamp, a president, and an insurrection against the capital.
His voice was captivating.
In the late ’80s I chanced upon his radio show while driving back and forth to the Hagerstown YMCA. I was captivated by that voice.
I was captivated by his wicked wit. I was captivated by his bombastic bluster. He was funny at times.
He promoted Snapple tea. Once on a visit to the Blue Moon in Shepherdstown I ordered a bottle. I don’t like tea. Hot or cold. Still, I bought it.
Yes, I was shocked often. Yes, I recoiled often, but I tuned in more than once. (May God have mercy on my soul.)
Rush Limbaugh was adored by 45 million Americans, including the former president of the United States, who awarded him the Medal of Freedom a year ago.
Rush Limbaugh died at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Florida’s governor ordered flags flown at half mast. This is the same governor who had to be cajoled into expressing sympathy on the passing of John Lewis.
Whom we mourn shows our colors.
Rush is dead. I’m not mourning. Nor am I dancing on his grave.
The most dangerous man in America may be dead. But there’s another dangerous man with a captivating voice in the same neighborhood.
And that’s not funny.
See Paula’s photo “Bittersweet and Lavender” on the home page. Posted Feb. 21
I wouldn’t honor Limbaugh by visiting his grave, nor would I dance or take a leak on it. He would accept each of those acts as a compliment, a tribute. I don’t have a problem with despising and not according respect to such an odious megalomaniac. I too first heard his broadcast in the 1980s when he was still in Sacramento. His bombastic ranting chilled my blood. With the success of “Game of Thrones,” we now have a phrase that describes this feeling, “Winter is coming!” Well, a political and social winter inevitably arrived. It hasn’t abated much… I prefer to save my elegies and best feelings for Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Now there was a life well lived, and a man who fought the good fight.
Remember this poem from high school English? I keep thinking how much it applies to today.
Percy Bysshe Shelley – 1792-1822
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
I remember long ago Rush say something like, “I’m just an entertainer, that is my job, people take me too seriously.” He was right, people did take him too seriously.
Sometimes we’ll be sitting around the table, friends and I, and try to list the dozen or so people most responsible for the downward spiral of our nation’s civic life. Limbaugh makes the list every time. Contempt for other Americans and for people who dream of being Americans as a way to get rich. What a terrible legacy.
“The fleeting pomps of the world are like the green willow trees, which, aspiring to permanence – are consumed by the fire, fall before the axe, upturned by the winds, or are scorned & saddened by age….”
Rush was not the first, nor the last to sow hatred & lies with zeal… I cannot mourn his passing, yet I mourn the possibilities lost in those who were swayed by his life & words. We will carry on, and make “good trouble”, for as long as it takes… together.
It is frightening to face the scope and volume of appetite some people have for hate, disdain, vulgarity, bigotry, prejudice, put-downs, hysteria, lynchings literal or figurative, bullying, disdain and put-down of anything to do with beauty, art, study, pursuit of excellence, intellectual pursuits, book reading, poetry, dance, music, anything at all refined. It’s a wonder how sensitive, shy or reflective, inward-looking people are able to survive in this country.