Mendocino County Today: July 22, 2012

ALEXANDER COCKBURN — 1941-2012

Farewell, Alex, My Friend

by Jeffrey St. Clair

Our friend and comrade Alexander Cockburn died Friday night in Germany, after a fierce two-year long battle against cancer. His daughter Daisy was at his bedside.

Alex kept his illness a tightly guarded secret. Only a handful of us knew how terribly sick he truly was. He didn’t want the disease to define him. He didn’t want his friends and readers to shower him with sympathy. He didn’t want to blog his own death as Christopher Hitchens had done. Alex wanted to keep living his life right to the end. He wanted to live on his terms. And he wanted to continue writing through it all, just as his brilliant father, the novelist and journalist Claud Cockburn had done. And so he did. His body was deteriorating, but his prose remained as sharp, lucid and deadly as ever.

In one of Alex’s last emails to me, he patted himself on the back (and deservedly so) for having only missed one column through his incredibly debilitating and painful last few months. Amid the chemo and blood transfusions and painkillers, Alex turned out not only columns for CounterPunch and The Nation and First Post, but he also wrote a small book called Guillotine and finished his memoirs, A Colossal Wreck, both of which CounterPunch plans to publish over the course of the next year.

Alex lived a huge life and he lived it his way. He hated compromise in politics and he didn’t tolerate it in his own life. Alex was my pal, my mentor, my comrade. We joked, gossiped, argued and worked together nearly every day for the last twenty years. He leaves a huge void in our lives. But he taught at least two generations how to think, how to look at the world, how to live a life of resistance. So, the struggle continues and we’re going to remain engaged. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the coming days and weeks, CounterPunch will publish many tributes to Alex from his friends and colleagues. But for this day, let us remember him through a few images taken by our friend Tao Ruspoli.

(Courtesy, Counterpunch.org)

 

2 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: July 22, 2012"

  1. wineguy   July 22, 2012 at 9:51 am

    First Htich and now Alex, bad year for the best writers and thinkers of our time…my only gripe with A.C. was he never replicated the radical of his famous relative, the British General who oversaw the burning of the White House during the ‘war’ of 1812. He tried mightily but there it stands in all its farcical splendor.
    RIP Mr. Cockburn you will be missed, and remember to brew a proper cup of tea for Hitch up there thank you

    Reply
  2. bob martinez   July 23, 2012 at 6:30 am

    I never heard of him untill today I am 47 years old “not a collage grad ‘ BUT i LOVE hISTORY dd eNJOY READING < bEGING TO WRITE THIS REMINDS ME OF THE STORY CERENO DE BEGEAC,,, ANOTHER GREAT PERSON OUT OF THE NOT TO FAR PAST i ALSO AND THANK THIS MAN<FROM AVA FOR INTRODUSING ME TO THE MAN AND WILL SURLY "LOOKINTO SOME OF HI WRITINGS AND LOOK FORWARD TO ONE DAY READING HIS BIOGRAPHY……..RIP ALEXZANDER COCKBURN……..

    Reply

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