Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him.
Those who remember Washington's cold war culture in the 1980s will recall the shocked reactions to Reagan's intervention. People interested in foreign policy were astonished when in 1985 he met alone at Geneva - alone, not a single strategic thinker at his elbow! - with the Soviet Communist master Gorbachev.
When Whitney Houston died, I felt great sadness. My sadness, of course, was about our collective loss - when you listened to this nightingale sing, your body would drop into a chair, your head would tilt up, a small smile would creep across your face, and inside you knew that there was a higher power somewhere: gifted, beautiful, spiritual.
The other day I bumped into Santa Claus. A good bump it was, too! I ought to have been arrested, for there is no open season on Santa Claus. But sometimes a first class collision is an exciting thing. It will knock the wind out of you, and it may knock an idea into your head. True, this Santa Claus did not have the white cotton whiskers or a red coat, but she was the real thing all right! Santa Claus in the flesh and plenty of it. A lady who looked like an animated Christmas tree with packages dangling from very limb and I bumped and spilled. As I was trying to pick up the packages she gasped out, Oh, I hate Christmas anyhow! It turns everything upside down. To which I said, That is just what it was made for. This lofty sentiment did not stop her dirty looks at all. But it is the big thing about Christmas.
There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.