I’m writing something now. But I wanted to put this up. I wrote it a couple of years ago as an introduction to the PS edition of The Machineries of Joy and it was reprinted in the Times. If you want to quote me, you can take anything you like from this, and add that he was kind, and gentle, and always filled with enthusiasm, and that the landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world.
And that I am so glad that I knew him.”
Mack Wolford, one of the most famous Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia, was laid to rest Saturday at a low-key service at his West Virginia church a week after succumbing to a snake bite that made headlines across the nation.
Mack Wolford, who was 44, was bitten by his yellow timber rattlesnake at an evangelistic event in a state park about 80 miles west of Bluefield, in West Virginia’s isolated southern tip.
He enjoyed handling snakes during worship services, but it’s a tradition that has killed about 100 practitioners since it started in the east Tennessee hills in 1909.”
Hearing the Beastie Boys speak out against sexism made me feel like if these men who had once sung about getting girls to “do the laundry” and “clean up my room” could understand, maybe the rest of the world would follow suit. It made me hopeful in the best way.
Maybe the shift of a band from seemingly misogynist frat boys to thoughtful messengers of feminism isn’t the most transgressive, radical thing in the world. But for women who love hip hop—or who love pop culture—and are denigrated by it every day, it was validation. For one of the first times, the music I loved loved me back. I know that Yauch’s passing doesn’t mean the Beastie Boys will stop their musical or activist contributions. But it does mark the end of seeing these three boys turn into men, watching them grow up together into incredible allies for women.
Yauch left behind a wife and a daughter. I hope that he knew that he made the world a better place for them—and for all of us.”
The man understood kids.