Daniel Inouye died yesterday. I saw him in person at a small Democratic party event in 2004–it was so small it was held in a classroom–and I not only got to hear him speak but also to meet him. A charming man, he made a better case for John Kerry that year than John Kerry did. I’ll miss his presence in the Senate, and I’m sure Hawaii will miss it more. His death serves as another reminder, as if we needed it, that the generation that came of age in the depression and the Second World War really is fading into history.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
–King Lear V, iii
In recent days, I’ve been in a Beethoven’s 6th State of Mind:
An astronomer dismisses the idea that the world will end in some sort of fantastical cataclysm on December 21st. I remember a few years back having a student who would not shut up about that prophecy. Nothing could shake his belief in it. Of course, nothing could induce him to study either. (He didn’t feel it necessary, what with the world ending in three years and all.) We didn’t last long. (Those who know me personally should be advised that this student was not “The Widowmaker” who made the years 2009-2011 a living hell.)