Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Sunday, March 21, 2010

BIG DAY TODAY

Later today [it is 5:23 a.m., U. S. East Coast time, as I write this], the House meets to vote on the health care bill. I will have a great deal to say about this after it is all over [I shall be watching a live stream on www.c-span.org], but for the moment, all is quiet as we await what will be an historic moment.

Meanwhile, I have one more personal memory of the summer of 1952 to share [see my former blog post.] As I have explained, I was spending the summer as a copy boy at the NY Herald Tribune. My girlfriend, and the love of my life, Susie, was in Westport, Connecticut, where her parents had a summer home. Truth to tell, I felt that she was drifting away from me, and in fact, the next Spring, as I was preparing to graduate, she left me for Gordon Hirschhorn, the son of the Canadian uranium king [and later on, the endower of the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.] In a desperate attempt to hold onto her, I splurged big and took Susie to a New York nightclub, The Blue Angel [named, of course, after the nightclub in the immortal 1930 Marlene Dietrich film, Der Blaue Engel.] It didn't work, alas, and it took me another thirty-five years to persuade her to marry me, but that is another story.

The Blue Angel was a fabulously expensive place. The minimum was $5 a person, and since neither of us drank, the only way we could spend that much was by ordering dinner. [My memory is that I dropped $25 that night, but that cannot be right. I didn't have that kind of money]. The great attraction, of course, was the floor show, which consisted of three acts. The opener was a young comedian just starting out, named Orson Bean. His opening joke, as I remember it, was "Hello. I am Orson Bean, Harvard '48. Yale nothing."]

But the stars were two singers -- Eartha Kitt and Josh White. I kid you not. If you are of a certain age, you will understand that this was like having Bob Dylan and Sting on the same card.

That was the only time I have ever gone to a nightclub. When you start out like that, it can only go down hill, right?

3 comments:

NotHobbes said...

Eartha Kitt
As a young lad I would sit, face almost pressed into the tv screen- as if trying to kiss her- whenever she made an appearance on Kapow! Zonk! Zapp!
Ah, those were the days; Batman giving lectures on morality in his own inimitable cardboard style
Teacher in primary school reading "The lion the witch and the wardrobe" to us (You know, I was ten years old before I realised that Aslan was a representation of Jesus)
Feeling inspired by Kipling`s "If"
God, how naive I was!
One event changed my entire view of the world and made me realise that all was not quite so cutesy and cuddly in life; a Vietnamese girl running naked down a street, her skin melting and dripping from her

Sorry for reminiscing, my mind just ran back to that day in 1972/3?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That is the most terrible photograph ever taken -- "terrible" in the original sense of "capable of instilling terror."

MarcusAquinas said...

Congratulations on passage of the bill, though I remain opposed to it on economic grounds. I think a single-payer system would have been more efficient and cost-effective in the long run. But the votes are in and a resounding "Chapeau!" or something is probably in order.