January 08, 2014
Yes, even nostalgia is a great joy. The languorous sorrow for things that are lost such as sportsmanlike conduct can bring joy through memory. Gardnar Mulloy comforting his opponent Dick Savitt in Centre Court at Wimbledon, Savitt going on to win. Or the time I woke up on my boat with a beautiful lady whom I didn”t remember at all and was served by a very nice butler whom I didn”t remember at all either, only to realize that I was on the wrong boat. (The owner said it was a pleasure to offer his hospitality to two young people obviously in love and blind to their surroundings. Today, we would most likely be shot by heavies.) Or growing up in Paris in one’s twenties, being on the tennis tour without any pressure when the tour was amateur and fun. Seeing The Leopard, with Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Salina, for the first time and in its premiere in Taormina, Sicily, to boot.
Today’s unfettered vulgarity and narcissism pose a problem where joy is concerned”no matter how above it one tries to be, it is humanly impossible not to hear the cacophony that passes for music, see the gratuitous violence and utter horror of movies, and read the pompous frills and meaningless jargon of contemporary literature. People’s lack of manners deprives us from life’s joy. And yet if one is made of the right stuff, one needs to ignore it, condemn it, and go on being a gent or a lady. It seems to me whenever I see very angry people”and no one is angrier than Americans are today”the fix is in. All those furious American feminists simply ignored it when a disgusting Brit TV commentator for NBC by the name of Martin Bashir”his parents obviously born under a bluer sky”said on the air that Sarah Palin should suffer an 18th-century Jamaican punishment for misbehaving slaves and forced to eat excrement. It took 19 days for him to resign, and not a single feminist came to Palin’s aid. Who said that women are offended by crude male remarks? Not as long as they”re aimed against Republicans.
A very happy New Year to all of you.