I have little to report today — you really don’t want to hear about Kate’s lemonade stand this weekend — but a few interesting things to recommend.
The NYT has a piece on a FW hometown boy who sits at the right hand — the far right hand — of Karl Rove. He used to write occasional op-ed pieces, too, but I haven’t seen any for a while. The one I remember most was his self-prescribed reading list for the year, every month given to an improving Great Work of Literature. The one I remember best was November, when, he announced, he would read “Ulysses” AND T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” My friend Dave the English professor quipped, “I think he’d better save that for a month with 31 days.”
Also, I didn’t see “Fahrenheit 9/11” this weekend and I guess I can wait for the video, but I saw enough of it in clip form to get the gist. I haven’t read a review yet that didn’t read like a blind-men-and-elephant thing, until I saw David Edelstein’s in Slate. I thought this simple observation was dead-on: “Fahrenheit 9/11” must be viewed in the context of the Iraq occupation and the torrent of misleading claims that got us there. It must be viewed in the context of Rush Limbaugh repeating the charge that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in Fort Marcy Park, or laughing off the exposure of Valerie Plame when, had this been a Democratic administration, he’d be calling every day for the traitor’s head. It must be viewed in the context of Ann Coulter calling for the execution of people who disagree with her. It must be viewed in the context of another new documentary, the superb The Hunting of the President, that documents�irrefutably�the lengths to which the right went to destroy Bill Clinton. Moore might be a demagogue, but never�not even during Watergate�has a U.S. administration left itself so open to this kind of savaging.
Finally, newspapers are general-interest publications, and hardly anyone is a true general-interest reader, so there’s always stuff you don’t read. For me, for most newspapers, it’s most of the sports section (OK, all of it), Omar Sharif’s bridge column, the club listings and a few more items. I pride myself on being generally curious about the world, but hey — life is short.
So you can see my frame of mind when I started this L.A. Times column earlier this week. It began:
It was our housekeeper who first spotted the tiny grains of what looked like black sand in the corner of our kitchen floor.
“Termites,” the pest-control inspector said when he came out the next day. “We’ll have to tent and fumigate the entire house.”
“What about my wine?” I yelped.
I have a 1,200-bottle cellar next to our laundry room…
That’s where I stopped. Life, short, etc. (Pause.) OK, I skimmed the rest — a detailed description of how you can protect your wine cellar while your house is being tented and treated for termites.
Ohhh-kay, then. More tomorrow, I think. Probably.