The Makings of a Great Life - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Makings of a Great Life

Friday–Boxing Day
More on 2014. This was the year when I learned once again that I was married to a saint. Some bad things happened to my good name for a few days. My wife never wavered in her identity with me. Blows that might have sunk a man with a less worthy wife were painful but faded away in the sunshine of my wifey’s love. 

I do not know why the Lord God, Lord of Hosts and of the High Places, gave me the best wife in the history of mankind, but He did. I am a pauper by the standards of my pal Mr. Buffett, an illiterate compared with really great essayists like Dr. Johnson, and altogether spend most of my life wasting time. But I am married to a genuinely superhuman saint, and this is borne in upon me moment by moment. I often think, “Well, my pal Warren has $50 billion, or whatever he has, but I have Alex, and I think I came out ahead.”

My travails this year made our marriage stronger than ever and happier than ever. A wife who will stand by me even though I did not buy anywhere near the right investments, even though I am wildly overweight, even though I talk about Nixon incessantly—that’s a great wife and makes for a great life.

Another subject: what is my absolutely favorite inanimate possession ? My Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. With them I can blot out the noise of nutty passengers on airplanes, endless construction at the Watergate, big Wifey’s horrible Pomeranian’s snoring. I hate unwelcome noise and with the Bose and the loudest tracks from Dylan’s “Hard Rain,” I am in a world of my own. I do not see how anyone can live without them.

Here are a few of my favorite places open to more than my family (that is, other than our homes):

• The Poinsett Club, Greenville, SC. Far and away the most elegant club, with the most beautiful ladies and the handsomest men and the best staff of any place I know, although I also like the Yale Club of New York. The Poinsett Club is so Deep South charming that an evening there prompted my saint wife to wistfully say, “Imagine if this were its own country.” Scarlett and Rhett would have understood. The club is integrated in terms of members and of staff, and everyone has a great time. 

• The Waffle House anywhere in the Deep South. Warm cozy atmosphere, personal, relaxed service, tasty waffles, and a place to hide. I’ll take it and run.

• The Carbon Beach Club in Malibu. Best view on the planet of a beach and excellent food. Much less expensive than you would have thought. The view when you walk out on the eating deck will just blow your brains out.

I feel as if I am going to faint with fatigue so I’ll add more tomorrow except to mention this:

If you do not spend a good part of your life in Oxford, Maryland, and on Lake Pendoreille, Idaho, you are wasting your life.

More to come. Oh, just one more thing… Has Bill Cosby been indicted for any crime ever? Has he been convicted of any crime ever? Is there such a thing as the madness of crowds? Is there anyone who believes that in America a man or woman is guilty just because someone says so?

Let’s give respect where it’s due: the tabloids are sometimes right and get the story first. But Bill Cosby is 77 years old and as far as I know has never been convicted of anything. Don’t we have a presumption of innocence any longer? This man’s son was murdered, for heaven’s sake. This man has been crusading for black self-respect for decades. Doesn’t he get a tiny bit of respect, the presumption that he isn’t guilty until he is proved guilty? Can’t we respect the law and human dignity? In this heavenly America, let’s give the accused as much as we give the accusers until a court has rendered a verdict. And if it never goes to trial, and no one is sworn or cross-examined, isn’t it gossip and only gossip?

One more thing. Today as I was hurtling down Portola at the intersection of Country Club Drive I saw a perfectly restored 1956 Ford Fairlane Coupe, two tone, bright yellow and white. It was elegant, powerful, a symbol of a confident nation with an artistic sense to match its power. Now we have little cars that look like insects and we are a nation in as much self-doubt as Barack Obama even though we are incomparably richer than we were in 1956 and there is no more Soviet Union. Where did our confidence go? Somewhere in the deep bosom of ocean buried, chased there by a media that hates the nation and the people that made it rich.

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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