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John Simon may have stood for all the right things, as Wlady Pleszczynski maintains. Okay, and he wrote well.
But he was also an uncommonly nasty man in print. I’ve honestly never seen ANYONE who was so obsessed with others’ physical shortcomings, and I write that after four long years (many years ago) of fraternity meetings, three years in the Army, and lots of time spent in biker bars. He really did write things about others (especially, I always felt, well, “ethnics,” like me and Wlady) which would have gotten him punched out regularly even in extremely polite society, let alone the three subcultures cited above. And he is/was by no means all that wonderful a physical specimen himself.
So he acted, time after time after time, like an obnoxious jerk in print. That, I suspect, got him fired as much as anything else.p>He also never conveyed happiness in print. Severe self-satisfaction that he’d made fun of someone in print, yes (it was certainly never done “regretfully”). But nothing of his personal happiness really came through in his writing. So I really do hope he’s now as alone and as miserable as he made so many actors, directors, producers and writers. br> — Richard Szathmary /p> p> Wlady Pleszczynski replies: br> Mr. Szathmary may be confusing John Simon with Bob Knight or someone else the media love to traduce. He’s as “ethnic” as either of us, and a tall and handsome man besides, with a rather deep, soothing speaking voice that could easily dominate any stage. As a gentleman he shows appropriate reserve. So, no, you won’t see him pulling a Gene Kelly in the rain. But anyone who’s read him at all knows what an appreciative critic he can be. On occasion he even gives a hint of his personal “feelings,” as when he wrote, “I confess Goodbye, Mr. Chips moved me to tears. But I must also confess that I attended the Leys School in Cambridge…and that I was one of those new boys who at the start of every Michaelmas term tamped up Trumpington Road to have tea with the kindly old retired master who was the model for Chips.” Not a happy moment? /p> p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?