Saturday, August 19, 2006

On friendship

Here's an essay on friendship surviving political disagreements and other slings and arrows:
Of course, in the hothouse world of the New York intellectuals, few if any would be ready to concede that an adversaryÂ?s Â?value judgments are just as good as mine,Â? let alone forgo the right to catechize. So when Norman Podhoretz turned away from his radical-Left politics of the late 1950Â?s and early 60Â?s, arguing in print that America was on balance a good place in which one was fortunate to be living, the walls crashed down around him. He was looked upon by his former friends, he writes, Â?as a dangerous heretic, which I certainly was from their point of viewÂ?Â?just as, he adds, Â?I considered them a threat to everything I held dear, which they certainly wereÂ?and still are.Â? Those friends who did not think him stupidly or evilly wrong considered him insane. Â?No wonder,Â? he concludes, Â?that there is hardly a one of my old friends left among the living with whom I am today so much as on speaking terms, except to exchange the most minor civilities if we happen unavoidably to meet (and often not even that).Â?

Here is the question Ex-Friends raises in high relief: for what ideas would one be willing to give up oneÂ?s friends?
"The hothouse world of New York intellectuals." I like that. Well, it's not always their intellect, but their neuroses, as James Lileks pointed out, that gets in the way of reason.

It's also not always New York intellectuals.

Speaking of friends, yesterday one sent me to this website that sells one product a day at a great price. Yesterday, it was some sort of MP3 player for $12.95, plus $5 shipping and handling. By the time I sent the link to my husband to get his input, the MP3 player was no longer available.

So, today, I had to watch television at the gym while running on the treadmill because they don't have CD players like my old gym and because I don't have an MP3 player. A River Runs Through It was on A&E. You remember -- life is like a box of chocolates, and a river runs through it. I never really understood the plot to this movie. I think it's everyone loves the lively and funny, good-looking younger brother, played by Brad Pitt, but he's kind of a jerk.

The movie is kind of like Out of Africa -- lots of pretty scenery, not much on action. (I once didn't get hired as a flight attendant by an airline that flew from Washinton D.C. to South Africa and it might have been because I kept doing Meryl Streep impressions saying, I served drinks on a 767 out of Africa...) Anyway, the older brother looks familiar, so I looked him up. I thought for sure he was the guy who played Bree's pharmacist boyfriend from Desperate Housewives.

Just shows you what I know. Not him at all. But I'm not crazy (yet). They do look alike.


Anonymous kathy said...

Hey your link to the sale website points back to your blog post about Castro, just FYI.

I don't know so I shouldn't say, but I bet Podhortez's heresies were a bit more complicated than "america is on balance a good place." but maybe I am wrong. Either way it's a very interesting topic!

5:47 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Thanks, corrected!

6:51 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Send me some links if you know anything about him!

6:54 AM  

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