A return to L.A. coincides with a growing sense of doom.
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M. was once a high official at a major studio. He was incredibly, unbelievably kind to me. He often bought stories from me and helped keep me afloat. His late wife, also M., was a dear and generous friend. Much of my life in Hollywood happened because of M. He put me in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and helped me sell the book, ‘Ludes as a movie. He was as kind as can be.
Time passed. He retired. His wife passed away from just plain exhaustion. Now, he’s living a modest life, mostly walking his dogs. He is an amazingly handsome man, even at 65, and still razor sharp. He made two giant mistakes: He did not save enough when he had a good income and he did not tell his wife how much he loved her anywhere near enough.
He is still a truly great guy and I love him a lot. He is a dear man.
I met him through a man named Steve Greene, who had an enormous impact on my life, all for the good. Now, he’s far away in Florida and I miss him.
I spend a lot of time thinking of friends who are gone. For some reason, I think constantly of the stupendously talented John Gregory Dunne. He was a simply incredibly gifted writer, married to an equally great talent, Joan Didion.
When I first moved here, 36 years ago, John and Joan were devoted, helpful pals. They just showered me with attention and kindness. I worshiped them then and still do even though John passed away some years ago. John was an old school type, always needling me about being Jewish, but also had almost all Jewish friends. I recall our lunches together at the Palm, when he would tell me about his triumphs and I would wring my hands in envy. What a waste of time that was.
But what a fantastically kind couple they were to me and to my wife. He was just a shining star in my life.
I came away from the car wash and went to the Pavilions grocery store. My wife had wanted me to buy some Diet Snapple for her. She loves that stuff. I moseyed around the store looking for it. I saw two astoundingly beautiful young women shopping. Both were surely actresses. They had perfect posture. They were just super humanly beautiful. Exactly right features. Goddesses.
In the checkout line, my poor pitiful brain, no doubt overwhelmed by the prospect of eating an immense apple pie I had just bought, made me drop a six pack of Snapple on the floor. It shattered, tossing glass and Snapple all around.
Embarrassing. But to shift the blame a bit, the packaging of Diet Snapple could hardly be worse. (Possibly on purpose, by some sadist on Madison Avenue?) It is almost impossible to pick up Diet Snapple in its carrier. So, I’ll blame it on them.
I came home, unpacked, explained to my wife about why I only had a dozen Diet Snapple, went to my bed and called my pal, B., one of my closest pals. He is about to go to prison — yes, PRISON! — because of allegations of fraud. A state prison! He’s 57 and not strong. He told me he spent the day at prayer at a predominantly black church, even though he is white. He said he’s turned it all over to God. But he’s terrified and I am terrified for him. He is a saintly man. How can he be cast in that lions’ den?
Like M., he made some big mistakes. Mainly, he did not save enough in the good times. This is a problem I often worry about in my own life.
We humans do not anticipate adversity sufficiently. This is a huge failing. We have to do better at it.
If we don’t, we have to pay the price. The price can be immiseration or it can be prison.
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?