May 09, 2015

William S. Paley

William S. Paley

Source: Harris & Ewing

If any of you see Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, walking around with a begging bowl in his hand, it’s because he took me to dinner recently and I sort of went a bit nuts with the wine and the VF chief ended up with the bill. We went to a new Bagel restaurant, Chevalier, a futuristic marvel with great food and wine and even grander prices. New York is no longer elegant, and there are no longer society types dressed to the nines sitting on the banquettes and downing Manhattans. The Jewish ascendancy that downed the Wasps was as elegant as the one it replaced. William Paley and John Loeb, and others like them, dressed at Anderson & Sheppard, were shoed by John Lobb, and had their shirts made by Sulka. They had exquisite manners and aped their predecessors. Now it’s slob time, and men dress the way I used to dress when I left the locker room for the playing field. Sweat pants, a hoodie, and trainers. But on the night I went to Chevalier, there were at least five tables with suited men and women that didn’t have “tart” etched on their forehead. In order to celebrate I got drunk and Graydon paid for the damage.

“The strange thing about the Big Bagel in particular, and America in general, is that political discussion is a thing of the past.”

The strange thing about the Big Bagel in particular, and America in general, is that political discussion is a thing of the past. Anyone who disagrees with, say, the New York Times thinking, is a bigot and a racist, no ifs or buts about it. Engaging civilly with those you disagree with, recognizing their equality as citizens, has gone the way of high button shoes, and ladies with fans, not to mention standing up when a lady enters the room. This denies the superiority of reasoned argument over a punch in the face. Liberalism’s father, John Locke, held that exercising reason was the highest perfection a man can attain in his life. John Stuart Mill ditto. But is it reasonable to maintain that any criticism of black violence is racist and that it leads to lynching à la the 18th century South? Is it reasonable to refer to police officers as practicing genocide and being worse than Hitler? Or does it make sense that when a hotelier by the name of Ian Reisner, who lives with his male partner and is proudly gay, gave a dinner for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz – who opposes gay marriage – is forced to eat humble pie,  apologize, and beg forgiveness once the gay lobby heard about it and threatened a boycott of all his hotel properties? The only thing the Left tolerates nowadays is complete agreement, and woe to those who dare disagree.

Speech codes and kangaroo courts were a Nazi and Soviet specialty, but they’re well and doing fine right here in the Big Bagel. The suppression of ideas that make people uncomfortable, such as young black unmarried women having numerous children who grow up in tough neighborhoods and turn to crime as early as 12 years of age, or the instability of gay marriage, is no longer a top-down process. It is now bottom up. In other words, elementary school children now register their complaints and demand punishment for any offender. It’s like a 14-year-old coming to me and telling me my ideas are unacceptable while holding up a print version of Takimag in excrement. Public shaming is now the gout du jour, but thank God Takimag is not de rigueur reading among inner city black and Hispanic children. (Not that it would make much difference.)


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!