Well, these things have a way of metastasizing. First I was contacted by The Daily Beast about l'affaire Peretz. Then the NY TIMES called me. Then I was invited to sign a petition put together by graduates of the Harvard Social Studies Program protesting the plan to honor him with a scholarship fund in his name [I signed]. And still a week to go. At the speed with which storms blow up and blow over these days in cyberspace, all of this may be forgotten by the time I get to the celebration eight days from now.
Meanwhile, on another front, I was deeply saddened to see that Christine O'Donnell is backing off from her youthful condemnation of masturbation. Is there no one left willing to take a stand on principle? Will videos of her surface in flagrente delicto? It is at times like these that I find myself going to the Wonkette site.
Lovers of The Lord of the Rings [of whom I am one] will recall the next to last chapter of Volume Three, "The Scouring of the Shire," in which Frodo and Sam and company, back from world-historical wars, encounter and drive out of the Shire the once-powerful Saruman and his accomplice, Grima Wormtongue, who are much diminished from their former eminence as minions of Sauron, and reduced to doing charleton's tricks to scare hobbits.
The sheer triviality of the right-wing these days, dangerous though it is, makes me nostalgic for my youth, when one's enemies were worthier opponents.
By the bye, I see that a group has surfaced defending the Church in its persecution of Galileo for suggesting that the earth orbits the sun. There is quite literally no absurdity that will not be embraced by some sizable segment of the American public. I think I shall retreat into my study and practice the viola.