I wanted to say a few words about a man who infrequently expressed himself in a few words, Andrew Breitbart. I had to wait a few days until his death took, as the reverb of his lack thereof was at least as pronounced as the active throb of 99% of all the living humans I’ve encountered in my life.
Andrew filled me with a strange mixture of shame and pride. Shame that I wasn‘t even in the ballpark as far as his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon-sized balls and pride that what I believed inside was the largely the same as he believed and if I was aping the notes of someone that noble, I must at least be near Consequential-ville.
I don’t want to overplay our connection as I feel some people do with departed heroes. Andrew was such a stand-up guy I would be ashamed to concoct a level of intimacy with him that did not exist. That being said, I believe I actually gleaned Andrew’s essence in toto about 15 minutes after meeting him for the first time.
I picked up all the surface nazz immediately. Whipcrack-sharp, Shandling-funny, and that charisma you can only exude by not trying. But then his raison d’etre hit me about a quarter hour in like a pool cue across the forehead in a bar fight. He was talking about a specific injustice in the news and he snapped into protector mode. He wasn‘t going to accept bullying against people who couldn‘t defend themselves. Big boy on big boy bloodsport? Yeah, he loved it like Spaniards love the bull ring. But if it wasn‘t a fair match he’d be there in a shot and immediately let you know they’d have to kill him first.
He was a noble shit disturber. If he wasn‘t raking the muck he would lay his cloak down on it and allow you to pass… that is, if you warranted it, if you deserved it. Andrew was one of those cool few that you could describe as righteous and not be inferring any sort of narcissism on their part.
Spending time with him was like watching the first 6:05 of the movie “Patton” on a perpetual loop. “When you put your hand into a pile of goo that used to be your best friend’s reputation…well, you’ll know what to do.”
I’m not even going to presume to tell you his mantle can be passed to anyone. That’d be like me telling you to imagine that “Patton” speech with Adrien Brody instead of George C. Scott. Christ, Andrew made Achilles look like a shut in and it caught up to him. I do know this though, Rockne just crashed in a wheat field a few days ago and the rest of us are going to all have to do our job just a little better if we are to balance out the loss of this truly consequential man.