Klavan On The Culture

Andrew Breitbart, RIP

Ever since I heard about Andrew Breitbart’s death, the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay has been running through my mind:

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light.

Andrew’s was a lovely light indeed and did not last half long enough.  Here are my memories of him in City Journal:

I wrote somewhere once that Andrew Breitbart was “bizarrely lovable.” Andrew called that same day to confirm my impression. “I am bizarrely lovable,” he said. “I don’t know what it is about me.”

It was, in part at least, his solar generosity of spirit, an energy that poured out of him in every direction at once, whether for feud or friendship, conversation or work. I think he sometimes experienced this ambient vitality as a lack of focus. But for his friends and admirers, it was a delight and inspiration. It was also the power source behind a truly noble act of revolutionary mischief: his lifelong battle against the conspiracy of silence and lies that is mainstream American journalism.

I got a glimpse of his kinetic nature the first time we met—which was on the air, appropriately enough. He was sitting in for a talk show host and interviewed me over the phone about politics and the arts. Though many of Andrew’s most glamorous successes were in the arena of political journalism, the culture was his first passion. And as we grew excited discovering our shared convictions, we began to sound—as we both remarked later—like two stoned college roommates talking philosophy at four in the morning: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, man, that is so, so true!” In the midst of this, Andrew began to fire instant messages at me over my computer, insisting that I join him at meetings with other Hollywood conservatives. For me, who can only focus on one thing at a time, exchanging IM’s while talking on air was like juggling axes while playing piano. For him, who had to focus on everything at once . . . well, I’ve sometimes wondered what else he was doing at the time.

Read the whole thing here.