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hlthe2b

(101,275 posts)
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 05:03 PM Sep 2022

Truthout.org Eulogy for William Rivers Pitt written by his co-editor

https://truthout.org/articles/william-rivers-pitt-dared-to-hope-for-our-future-lets-do-right-by-his-memory/?fbclid=IwAR0XlgqxlfnqiMpXt_rkULvlnIg0ZP-9A2m7friu0sU9LefvDnplj6W541E

In sitting down to the impossible task of memorializing William Rivers Pitt, Truthout’s illustrious and brilliant lead columnist whose work I edited for 15 years, I’m suppressing the urge to grab my phone and call Will.

“I don’t know how to begin your eulogy,” I would say.

“Easy!” he’d reply. “Lead with a trusty classic. You know the one.”

And I’d know what he meant — the Irish blessing Will often shared with our staff in tough times. This is Will’s slightly adapted version of that old prayer, whose author is unknown:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

May the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God (or Whatever) hold you in the palm of their hand.

I love the blessing because it captures something about how Will connected with his readers: He saw the act of writing as an act of care. In his columns, even as he condemned Trump and excoriated complicit Democrats, even as he spoke out against imperial war and corporate greed and racism and the destruction of the environment, he made his audience understand that they deserved the warmth of the sun and the nourishment of the rain, just by virtue of being human.

Even as he raged against evil, Will loved humanity, and the Earth itself, with an even greater fervor.



More of this eulogy at the website link above.
53 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Truthout.org Eulogy for William Rivers Pitt written by his co-editor (Original Post) hlthe2b Sep 2022 OP
Wow. Okay. Aristus Sep 2022 #1
And may you be in Heaven COL Mustard Sep 2022 #4
In some versions, it's forty years. Aristus Sep 2022 #6
Powers John's Lane 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 💚💚💚💚💚 Celerity Sep 2022 #34
And we'll drink a full measure in honor of WRP. Aristus Sep 2022 #43
"Be happy while you're living Pinback Sep 2022 #20
I love that one! COL Mustard Sep 2022 #21
Folic Acid--more than any other beer! hlthe2b Sep 2022 #23
❤️ ✿❧🌿❧✿ ❤️ Lucinda Sep 2022 #2
Our hearts are shattered..... FarPoint Sep 2022 #16
Will's love of humanity always shone through The Blue Flower Sep 2022 #3
A worthy legacy. TheProle Sep 2022 #17
Thank you! H2O Man Sep 2022 #5
K&R demmiblue Sep 2022 #7
Thank you for posting this. Nobody can use words like Will did. Autumn Sep 2022 #8
... Tom Yossarian Joad Sep 2022 #9
Kick dalton99a Sep 2022 #10
That was good. Thank you. I hope Lola reads all these someday. nolabear Sep 2022 #11
Perfect Nevilledog Sep 2022 #12
This captures his essence senseandsensibility Sep 2022 #13
I read his articles for years and was always impressed by his truth and insight. I had no idea he Evolve Dammit Sep 2022 #14
He wasn't sick. tavalon Sep 2022 #45
Thanks for that. So young. A real voice and great writer. Evolve Dammit Sep 2022 #48
The world has lost a true warrior for goodness and grace UpInArms Sep 2022 #15
I met Will at Andy Stephenson's wake in Seattle mntleo2 Sep 2022 #18
I was there too Generic Other Sep 2022 #35
God(or Whatever)speed Will. Tommymac Sep 2022 #19
A sad day. LoisB Sep 2022 #22
He was a wonderful writer. mountain grammy Sep 2022 #24
It seems the good, they die young GreenWave Sep 2022 #25
Have we heard from Will's mom, Raven? Wishing Peace and Solace to all. SaveOurDemocracy Sep 2022 #26
No, not on DU. I'm sure she is in total shock. hlthe2b Sep 2022 #27
what happened? does anyone know? nt Baltimike Sep 2022 #28
All that has been reported is that he suffered a heart attack. hlthe2b Sep 2022 #29
wow. I am four months younger than him. Thank you for this. nt Baltimike Sep 2022 #31
At that age, I'm wondering if he had had COVID, Ms. Toad Sep 2022 #36
No, he was extremely careful tavalon Sep 2022 #46
So was I, and I still contracted COVID. Ms. Toad Sep 2022 #49
I'm a nurse tavalon Sep 2022 #52
April 2020 is a long time ago. n/t Ms. Toad Sep 2022 #53
My MIL died on July 3 and her funeral the 19th LeftInTX Sep 2022 #37
That's so beautiful wendyb-NC Sep 2022 #30
One more angel to guide our hearts toward the next correct task and help us find strength to do it. TigressDem Sep 2022 #32
Farewell, Will. calimary Sep 2022 #33
A legend has passed this way Donkees Sep 2022 #38
What a beautiful photo and message. hlthe2b Sep 2022 #39
R.I.P. Will gademocrat7 Sep 2022 #40
His fingers on the keyboard The Wizard Sep 2022 #41
So long mate mahina Sep 2022 #42
Thank you for posting this. Pobeka Sep 2022 #44
Many of us who formerly hung out at DU tavalon Sep 2022 #47
I read his last FB post was part of the lyrics to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac - progree Sep 2022 #50
Yes. Seemed almost foreshadowing... hlthe2b Sep 2022 #51

Aristus

(65,738 posts)
1. Wow. Okay.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 05:13 PM
Sep 2022

I hadn't cried since I heard the news, but I'm tearing up now.

As a Celt (mixed Welsh, Irish, & Scots blood), the Irish benediction has always meant a lot to me, and they even used to sing it in church when I was a kid. So...


Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, still more wonderful, and yet again: wonderful...


I'm going to go cry now...

Aristus

(65,738 posts)
6. In some versions, it's forty years.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 05:36 PM
Sep 2022

Either way, if there's no whiskey, I'm not going; Devil or no Devil.

Celerity

(42,034 posts)
34. Powers John's Lane 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 💚💚💚💚💚
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 10:56 PM
Sep 2022
https://www.powerswhiskey.com/en-us/product/johns-lane

superb for the price

Tasting notes

Nose
An abundance of earthy aromas, leather, tobacco with layers of charred wood, dark chocolate and treacle toffee.

Taste
Full bodied spice front followed by vanilla, honey and dried apricot.

Finish
Lingering honey sweetness on toasted oak.



COL Mustard

(5,699 posts)
21. I love that one!
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:55 PM
Sep 2022

And the Guinness doesn't hurt, either.

Irish women used to be told to drink a pint a day while they were pregnant since it has iron in it. Gotta love the Irish!

The Blue Flower

(5,416 posts)
3. Will's love of humanity always shone through
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 05:25 PM
Sep 2022

He always made it crystal clear that we deserve goodness, truth, and justice from our government and every other institution.

senseandsensibility

(16,261 posts)
13. This captures his essence
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:08 PM
Sep 2022

and is a beautiful tribute. I guess I'm going to have to accept that it is true, then. Good-bye, Will. Thanks for turning me on to DU and giving me lots to think about, my friend. to a life well lived.

Evolve Dammit

(16,404 posts)
14. I read his articles for years and was always impressed by his truth and insight. I had no idea he
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:14 PM
Sep 2022

was even sick. Used to read Truthout every day. Kept me sane during the Bush/ Cheney years and after. He will be truly missed, and I am saddened to hear.

UpInArms

(51,220 posts)
15. The world has lost a true warrior for goodness and grace
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:20 PM
Sep 2022

and it has become a smaller and less bright place …

mntleo2

(2,535 posts)
18. I met Will at Andy Stephenson's wake in Seattle
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:30 PM
Sep 2022

...He was single at the time. After the wake, we went drinking at this fancy hotel across from Seattle's Town Hall. Andy's partner was there, Will, Andy's so very nice husband, Julie Blackwell who was pilloried as our voter registration secretary while trying to fight against voting machines that could be hacked. WA State eventually (mostly) fixed that problem, but not before ruining Julie's job and her hard work. Julie WAS a Repug., but is a Democrat and active in our state party.

We all had so much fun that night. I have *never* been at a wake that was so joyous, funny, fun and full of positive and loving people. As it was a fancy hotel where a lot of weddings and receptions were performed, there were a lot of beautiful brides maids going through the hotel and I kept elbowing Will and saying, "How 'bout that one?" He would just laugh and say they were, "not his type."

...Will, I will miss you. I also read your words and because we are a pretty large distance to the left, I found it comforting to read what you had to say. No judgment, no fear I might "say something wrong." Even if you disagreed you responded with kind and very helpful information that I truly heard with a desire to have open conversations. I never felt strained by that fear I might get kicked off the site without knowing what I had even said or done. I will always remember that!

May the wind be at your back indeed!

Love, Cat in Seattle

Generic Other

(28,979 posts)
35. I was there too
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 11:07 PM
Sep 2022

Here's the song another DUer sang at the memorial. I always associated it with us all.



Peace in the Valley

She spends too much time with herself every night
Fooling around with her fears.
In the morning she mourns the decline of her mind
Drowning in a bottle of beer.
It's too dangerous just to think about what she might
have been
If she'd sung for salvation, if she'd danced on her
dreams.

But there's gonna be peace in the valley tomorrow
Lord, 'cos tonight she's gonna blow it all away
She feels so twisted, she ain't ever gonna fix it,
She's just waiting for the light to shine on a brand
new day.

He don't know if he's a communist, a hedonist or a
whore
Spent too much time ridin' on a white line to find the
door
If he did and he opened it, he'd find those letters in
the hall
He's too blind to read between the lines
'Cos the writing's on the wall.

But there's gonna be peace in the valley tomorrow
Lord, 'cos tonight he's gonna blow it all away
He feels so twisted, he ain't ever gonna fix it,
He's just waiting for the light to shine on a brand new
day.

(Let that light shine awhile)

I got Ecstasy, but I need some company
You got that mystery; I need a plan
Lord, all I got is a compromise and a bag full of
alibis
as empty as the bottle of whiskey in my shaking hands.

But there's gonna be peace in the valley tomorrow
Lord, 'cos tonight we're gonna blow it all away
We feel so f*ckin' twisted, we ain't ever gonna fix it,
We're just waiting for the light to shine on a brand
new day.

Tommymac

(7,263 posts)
19. God(or Whatever)speed Will.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 06:31 PM
Sep 2022

You will be missed.

(But I thoroughly expect to see you again one day, kneeling at the feet of the BigThing and holding them sturdily over the flames.)

mountain grammy

(26,459 posts)
24. He was a wonderful writer.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 07:24 PM
Sep 2022

I read Truthout almost daily. It's like losing Eric Boehlert all over again. Truth has been silenced for a bit, but not forever. What a shitty year.

RIP Will. Even though I don't believe in it, I hope you and Eric connect somewhere.


hlthe2b

(101,275 posts)
27. No, not on DU. I'm sure she is in total shock.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 07:51 PM
Sep 2022

When she returns, I hope she sees the support that I think most of us want to extend to her and all of Will's family. I'm sure a lot of our own are donating to Will's daughter's gofundme that Truthout set up.

Ms. Toad

(33,765 posts)
36. At that age, I'm wondering if he had had COVID,
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 11:20 PM
Sep 2022

since it increases the risk of heart attacks, post-COVID.

tavalon

(27,985 posts)
46. No, he was extremely careful
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 02:07 PM
Sep 2022

He was rare in being so careful.

I had so much gratitude that he wrote so many articles about COVID since we nurses are exhausted and now, weirdly, reviled.

Ms. Toad

(33,765 posts)
49. So was I, and I still contracted COVID.
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 03:03 PM
Sep 2022

COVID, itself, was mild - but I got pancreatitis, chronic acalculous cholecystitis (likely a mis-diagnosis based on the clinical criteria for that disease - but slow gall bladder emptying simultaneous with the pancreatitis, both caused by COVID in the assessment of a specialist in gall bladder and pancreatic disease), and immune deficiencies as an aftermath.

So being careful is not a guarantee against getting COVID, nor is it protection against COVID-induced sequelae.

tavalon

(27,985 posts)
52. I'm a nurse
Thu Sep 29, 2022, 01:20 PM
Sep 2022

I am aware. Will checked in on me when I got it in April 2020 due to inadequate PPE provided. He would have told me if he caught it.

LeftInTX

(24,223 posts)
37. My MIL died on July 3 and her funeral the 19th
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 02:15 AM
Sep 2022

Obituary was published on July 17th

It also alot of work to write an obituary.

TigressDem

(5,115 posts)
32. One more angel to guide our hearts toward the next correct task and help us find strength to do it.
Tue Sep 27, 2022, 10:00 PM
Sep 2022

Angel in the sense that his good ideas and kindness are an inspiration.

His truth telling was revelation upon revelation stacking up facts against crazy over and over again.

By looking at our examples of those who just kept at it day to day and made a huge difference over time....

We can find it in ourselves to keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs doing.


He wasn't perfect, no one is. But perfection isn't real. Will kept at it and made so much of difference.

That is all any person can really do in the end.


I have been so sad all day about the loss of this good man from this world.

Because the media is a crap shoot, more people who SHOULD be saddened don't even know what they missed.


I hate the propaganda and lies that diminish what Will and other truth tellers do.


Donkees

(30,735 posts)
38. A legend has passed this way
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 03:39 AM
Sep 2022
"I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars."



"The rivers flow not past, but through us."

The Wizard

(12,443 posts)
41. His fingers on the keyboard
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:29 AM
Sep 2022

felt the pulse of our community. Universal truths were his method of communicating. RIP Will.

mahina

(17,405 posts)
42. So long mate
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:30 AM
Sep 2022

Wretched news. Peace to you Will. You leave an unfillable and dreadful void. We needed you more than we know.


Remember watching the Bush v Gore debate and rolling with laughter. 💧


Off to Lola’s fundraiser. Remembering when you were thinking of names for her.

Pobeka

(4,999 posts)
44. Thank you for posting this.
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 09:25 AM
Sep 2022

We all surely fight harder, better and stronger for a truly better world because of the passion and voice of William R. Pitt.

Sail on Will.

tavalon

(27,985 posts)
47. Many of us who formerly hung out at DU
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 02:12 PM
Sep 2022

Ended up hanging out on Will's FB page for the last 10 years or so.

One of the people has formed a new Facebook group called Will's Tavern and you are welcome to come over and reminisce and we are hoping we will be able to keep up the energy we had going on Will's page - it really was more like early DU, only Will was in charge.

hlthe2b

(101,275 posts)
51. Yes. Seemed almost foreshadowing...
Wed Sep 28, 2022, 03:35 PM
Sep 2022

I've always loved that song (and Stevie Nicks as well), but as I become older, it really hits home. I will now always think of Will-- and others I've lost-- when I hear it.

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