Then comes the ending, at Sunset and San Vicente.
Off I go to do my usual rounds when I am in DC, as I am now. First, a stint on a TV show. A news TV show, not McGyver. I love doing those shows. A few people see me, and I also get to meet all of those cute interns, those cute, amazingly lively and polite interns. I don’t meet them in LA. I don’t know why I don’t run into them at the Fox or CNN bureaus in Los Angeles. Maybe they aren’t there. I love and worship the men and women I work with at CBS News, but they could hardly be called “young interns.” They are skilled, experienced news professionals.
I am not sure exactly why, but I have always greatly enjoyed being around young people. When I was teaching at American University, UC Santa Cruz, and Pepperdine, I had a fine time laughing and joshing with the students. I miss that. I am not around enthusiastic young people except when I am in DC. There must be a reason. I guess the young people with idealism and enthusiasm come to DC. Idealists probably do not come to Los Angeles, by and large. You come to LA to become famous or rich. Not exactly idealism. As to the young people in New York… well, I enjoyed them when I was one of them, but that was 46 years ago. Actually, maybe more. What are young people in New York like nowadays? I really have no idea.
The kids in Sandpoint are adorable, but I rarely visit with them for more than a few seconds at a time as I am riding my bike along the City Beach, so I cannot make much of a generalization about them. The ones in Rancho Mirage… well, Rancho Mirage is not a young person’s town. It is the town of retired people and a few people who sell us our medicines. So, again, I don’t know about them.
But the ones in DC, at the news bureaus — they are just peaches.
I made lunch for my wife and me at the Watergate. She is very tired and staying in, as she often does. We had sandwiches made with tasty Pepperidge Farm bread, the best bread I know of. Why can’t I get it in LA?
We did something we truly love to do after lunch: we took a long nap. That is paradise. Just bliss to lie in the same bed my parents used to lie in, her reading, me listening to Mozart. Just great stuff. Relaxing, reassuring, bliss.
Then, out with my pal and driver, Bob, to see Skyfall for the tenth time. That’s right. The tenth time.
That movie is the most powerful rumination on relations between mothers and sons I have ever seen. It is only superficially a spy story/adventure yarn. It is really about the maternal role in both helping and killing sons. It is also about the astounding devotion of sons to their mothers even when the mothers have been (as Javier Bardem so aptly says) “Very, very bad.” It is also a searing indictment of incompetence at all levels of government.
And it’s witty and the soundtrack is breathtaking.
My favorite movie of the past 32 years: Skyfall. It is a crime that it’s not up for all of the top Academy Awards. Just a crime. And the man who directed it? Mr. Mendes? He is spectacular. He knows how to direct action and dialogue and how to make a scene look just right. The final twenty minutes, at a deserted manor house in Scotland, are as beautiful as any scenes I have ever seen in a movie. Works of art. I guess that’s everyone, including the cinematographer, Mr. Deakins, and the designer and the lighting people.
Above all, the writers, Messrs. Purvis, Wade, and Logan, deserve hosannas. Their script is genius. Clever wordplay. Deep insights, recurring themes (“sometimes the old ways are the best…” which sums up what the movie is really about ), spectacular humor. To think they did not get an Oscar nomination — well, it just means that the Oscars, like the Nobel Peace Prize, are meaningless.
As I have said over and over, the ultimate kudos goes to Javier Bardem, who takes acting to a whole new level beyond which I have never seen it go.
Anyway, Bob and I went to see Skyfall at a theater in Georgetown. It was in some kind of digital projection format and worked beautifully. Two very large women sat behind me fiddling with their immense legs and feet and also playing with their phones, so I moved seats a few times. Still, a stupendous movie.
After the movie ended, Bob and I walked past a sushi restaurant on K Street. I idly looked in the window. At a table by the window sat a handsome young man with four breathtakingly beautiful young women. As I looked at them, he (possibly) recognized me and invited me to join their party by gesturing through the window.
Bob and I walked in and took seats at the table with the man and the beautiful young women. It turned out that the man is a wildly successful builder/contractor/scientist named Bill Dean. He is justly famous for his business acumen and his scientific achievements, but also a big charitable fixture and a Gatsby-like party giver. A larger than life character, in a few words. Immense homes in Georgetown and in Miami Beach. Jet airplane. Super successful man.
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?