On Glastonbury and Robert Byrd

First, fun. Matt Smith’s appearance at Glastonbury last night with Orbital as they performed the Doctor Who theme:

I’ve seen other videos of this performance, but this one is, by far, the best quality.

In other news, Robert Byrd, the senior Senator from West Virginia, passed away. The longest serving Senator in history — fifty-one years — and a champion of the rights and perogatives of the Senate, he was hospitalized last week in Fairfax, Virginia. He passed away this morning, aged ninety-two.

Words honestly fail me. I knew he wouldn’t last forever, but he was more a force of nature than a man, and his death, though not unexpected, still came as a shock. There’s very little I can add to the AP’s article on the Senator, except this.

A friend of mine took the opportunity of Byrd’s death to write this on Facebook: “Another enemy of freedom loving Americans is dead. Good riddance senator to Senator Byrd who is now rotting in hell with that murdering bastard Ted Kennedy.”

Ordinarily, I would have let this pass. Jim and I go back a long way, but in this case I couldn’t. I wrote in response:

As an ex-pat West Virginian, I take offense to this, Jim. Robert Byrd was many things, but an enemy of America he was not. The man cared deeply for the citizens of his state, he inaugurated projects to help raise the standard of living in one of the poorest regions of the country, he was a staunch defender of the Constitution and an implacable foe, no matter who held the office, of the encroaching Imperial presidency. Byrd was not a perfect man, but he was a great man, and the United States may never see his like again.

Senator Byrd, thank you for everything that you did for this country.

Words genuinely fail me here.

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