Master of Ceremonies - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Master of Ceremonies

Off to CNN to talk about “the fiscal cliff.” That was fun but on the way out I ran into another guest, an economist who spoke harshly to me. I guess he has his reasons. I read the newspapers in the car. The Post and the Times are in full Protektobama mode. Well, of course. It is a cover up by the media. That’s how the liberals do it. The right way. They are the law. Will the full truth about Benghazi and Petraeus ever come out? Well, would any bank robbers be caught if the robbers owned the police department?

Then, a lovely visit to the National Gallery of Art to see the Lichtenstein exhibit for the third time. The gallery was deserted and I got the best looks ever at those super art works. If you are possibly in D.C. in the next couple of months, don’t miss it. It is free and magnificent. I don’t know why, but it seems to me to be about one hundred times more alive than any other artist’s work that I know of. Maybe that’s because it’s so simple. That’s okay. Art can be simple and still great.

At our son’s boarding school, the perfect Cardigan Mountain School, the single best school of any kind that I know of anywhere, there was a chapel. I believe it was Congregational but it might have been Episcopal. In the front of the chapel was a small brass cross. Highly polished. It was haunting and yet completely simple.

Maybe the most beautiful object I have ever seen, framed in front of an immense mullioned window looking out at Cardigan Mountain and the fastnesses of New Hampshire.

As I left the National Gallery, I stopped to buy a necklace for Alex. As the saleswomen were ringing it up, I started singing, “Boom, boom, boom, boom.”

One of the women, with total grace, fluidity, and pitch, moved exactly right to the beat and said, “Uh, huh, huh, huh, huh,” precisely the way John Lee Hooker did it when he sang it. It was a great American moment. I hugged her and thanked her. Her name is Linda and I love her.

Then, off to pick up Alex — after a stop for a delicious hot dog at Five Guys on L Street. A man about my age waiting for his food at the counter told me he was a working man, a union electrician. “We need Nixon back again,” he said. “Someone who knows what he’s doing.”

I was very touched.

Alex, Bob Noah, and I headed over to the Capital Hilton for the Spectator‘s 45th anniversary dinner.

It was fun, fun, fun. All the old pals. Aram Bakshian, super genius, super pal, Fr. Vince Rigdon, defender of life, Don Rumsfeld, Ben Wattenberg, Michael Novak, and, of course, the ultimate weapons, Bob Tyrrell and Wlady Pleszczynski (or however you spell it), the two bosses of the Spectator.

At our table were my wifey, my new pal, E., a spectacularly glamorous law enforcement official and my biographer and running partner (HAH! Fooled you! She is just a friend from the CVS!!! I barely know her), Bob Noah, a Professor Charnetzki, who is a big reason for the survival of TAS, and his staggeringly, breathtakingly beautiful daughter, Elena, who is an expert on counter-terrorism, and Wlady and his ever graceful wife, Joanna.

I was Master of Ceremonies. It was swell. We gave an award to T. Boone Pickens, who is a super guy and a fabulously successful businessman, also a member of Eldorado CC, which we used to go to with Barbara “The Bod” Duke, but no more, since she died. We had a long talk with a judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals who had been a law school pal of my incredibly witty friend Ellis. He told hysterical stories about the young Ellis.

Then we gave an award to Mike Novak, who read a wonderful speech about the Revolutionary War and God, and then to a young and very capable editor named Jim Antle. Bob Tyrrell gave a fine, defiant speech. Sen. Tom Coburn, a super smart physician member of the Senate, gave a terrifying speech about our fiscal problems. He said we were really going bankrupt very soon. Yikes.

It was a quick evening. The food was good but the lighting in the room was poor. Too dim. I felt sad that my parents were not there. Time passes very, very fast and if you have your parents, cling to them and tell them that you love them over and over again. It is too late when they’re gone. I know that sounds simple but it’s like that brass cross at Cardigan. It’s simple but it has power. I look to my parents for guidance still, and they are gone 15 years and 13 years. Life and death. There are only two kinds of people, my father used to say: The live and the dead.

The projectors at the dinner showed various Spectator luminaries at earlier events. Wow. We all looked so young. Now, I look in the mirror and I see an old guy. But a happy old guy.

There was a deal of talk about why we lost the election. Of course it was because the black vote went 95% for Obama. That was it. That was the whole story. But why? Would Tom Sowell have gotten that vote? Would Herman Cain? I don’t think so. Mr. Obama has a mysterious charisma for blacks and for gays and for lesbians and for college kids. He just seems like a very cool guy, just the way G.W. Bush seemed très cool to white people and many Hispanics in 2000 and 2004. Next time we need someone very ultra cool to run against Deval Patrick. He’s the guy to beat.

We’ll find him or her. I don’t know where, but whoever he is, he or she should know the “Boom Boom Boom Boom” moves and speak Español. Let Obama screw up for the next four years. We will have an even better record to run against.

We drove home to the Watergate, let Bob go, and sent out postcards.

I love Washington. It is very late now and I am looking out at the dark Potomac and the lights of Arlington. I feel as if D.C. is still home, after all these years. “Boom Boom Boom Boom. I love the way you move.” I love that special Linda at the National Gallery of Art.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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