A Birthday Toast to Studs Terkel

[Ed. note: While I cross-posted this at All Things Democrat, Studs at 95 has MORE on the ball than 95 (or 1,995) men a quarter his age! Happy birthday, Studs!]

Today is Studs Terkel’s 95th birthday. And if you ask, “Studs who?”, get yourself to Wikipedia or other resources, because this man is very well worth knowing about. You can also find a prolonged interview with Studs conducted today by Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!”

As I wrote yesterday re: the passing of Jerry Falwell, that he was a man for whom the planet was much worse (IMHO) for his influence, I think the exact opposite is true (and an understatement to call it just “exact opposite”) of Studs, a man who has contributed so much, for so long, and so admirably on topics like labor, American culture and society, social justice, McCarthyism, free speech, and much more.

On milestones like this (and 95 is still a milestone!), it makes me think of the recent passing of Kurt Vonnegut as well as those older but ever-so-wise distinctly American minds, voices, and contributors such as Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Jimmy Carter, Helen Thomas, and (thankfully) countless others who are now much older. I worry that we don’t have the strong minds coming along that the generations that produced these fine minds nurtured.

But please, make me eat my words. Become a fine mind like Studs or Helen or George McGovern, et al. America and the entire world needs you!