As a recovering workaholic I took an unannounced day off yesterday. I’m also unprepared
today. If the world were right side up, it would matter. But it’s not. So I’m relying on my old
friend Skeets Gallagher to bring me around, and he’s no model of efficiency. Skeets is still
catching up with last week’s Hollywood issue of The New Yorker.
“Just tackled David Denby’s piece on Pauline Kael,” he says. “Sad. The guy exchanged his
chops for the fickle approval of a better writer, and he’s haunted. Some guys think Noel Coward
was joking when he remarked that ‘certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.’ If the
old darling were around today, he might have said ‘certain men, too,’ and added ‘lobotomized.’
Submit or suffer being like everybody else!”
Meantime, Skeets hopes we’re all catching Lewis Lapham‘s editorials in Harper’s Magazine.
“Lapham is possibly the sanest man ever to emerge from a gated community,” Skeets says. I wish
I could offer some samples of Lapham’s editorials, but I can’t find them online. Instead I
recommend one of his essays, “The Road to Babylon,” which bears out Skeets’s
opinion, and his most recent book, “30 Satires.”
Also, in an entertaining but equally enlightening mode, here’s Lapham being interviewed by Jon
Stewart a couple of months ago on “The Daily Show.” (Beware
the pre-interview movie trailer. Arrghhh!) Pushed for political definitions, Lapham equates
“dyed-in-the-wool liberals” with “true conservatives” and “compassionate conservatives” with
“radical nationalists” aka “utopian anarchists.” Makes sense to me.