My old, old friend John Leonard went off his leveler:
Think of the entire nation as a distressed damsel. Think of Homeland Security as Wyatt Earp. Think of hate radio and Fox News as Sergio Leone. Think of geopolitics as a video game. Think of “Death Wish,” “High Noon,” original sin, alien abduction, demonic possession, zombies, vampires, satanic day-care child molesters and job-stealing immigrant hordes. There are other ways to look at 9/11, as anything from Armageddon to coup d’état. And other ways to account for an America so fearful that we feed the Bill of Rights to our Biggest Brother. Freud, Marx and Veblen are periscopes and magnifying glasses for oral fixation, overproduction and forced consumption. Through the green eyes of ecothink, nuclear winter and silent spring season the dread. Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” also comes to skittish mind. We are, besides, insecure and negligent in our parenthood and our citizenship, caught between a public sphere (bear garden, hippodrome, killing field) that feels hollow and a private sphere (sanctuary, holding cell) that feels besieged. We are no longer safe on the tribal streets, equally weightless in orbit or in cyberspace, tiddlywinks on the credit grid, lost and yet still stalked, void where prohibited. To the usual millennial heebie-jeebies, add a subprime mortgage mess and collateralized debt obligations up the Limpopo without a paddle.
And that’s just what he wrote about some feminist’s book.
Syl Plath said she had a call into Jack’s doc to get the meds back on track. I heard Tanenhaus and Keller were locked in their offices because they were afraid Leonard might stop by, but Pinch’s secretary was sanguine about the chances of getting Leonard to chill. “We’ve got Wellbutrin here in the employee cafeteria, so we’ll get it in him if even if we have to shove it up his Limpopo,” were her exact words.
I tell all my topside friends: “Just do the drugs.” Now you know why.