Pick your poison, &c.

Psy, the Korean rapper


Here’s a headline: “Serbia’s NATO ambassador leaps to death.” Apparently, it was a suicide. In former times, the guy was often pushed.

(Sorry, that was a little blunt. But true.)

My favorite line out of the entire Bob Costas affair came from Rush Limbaugh, the incomparable. Costas preached a little anti-gun sermon on air, as you recall. This was more widely described as a “rant.” Later, Costas expressed remorse, of a kind. Rush was entirely understanding. “I don’t blame Bob Costas. I blame the microphone.”

If all those who hate Rush Limbaugh, or think they do, would simply consider the possibility of enjoying him, they would be happier, I think.

I have a particular admiration of the Czech Republic — for the Czechs’ defense of liberty and Western civilization; for their perseverance under Communism; for their near unique support of the Cuban people; for their willingness to stand alone, or virtually so; for many things.

In the U.N. the other day, the Czechs were the only European nation — the only one — to stand with Israel, as the Palestinians were again seeking their state without negotiating with Israel, as the Oslo Accords demand.

There is something in the water there, in the Czech Republic. I wish other nations would drink it.

(Once, John Bolton and I were talking about which Canadian provinces should be American states. John said — jokingly, or half so — “Yes, and I’d gladly take the Czechs.”)

I noticed an item in Musical America. It was about a raucous night at La Scala, in which patrons booed Cecilia Bartoli — whose partisans shouted back at the booers. That’s the way it goes at La Scala, and in other Italian opera houses. It has been that way for generations.

What was the Musical America headline? “Old White Guys Boo Bartoli at La Scala.” “White guys”? What does race have to do with the story? Nothing, absolutely nothing — except that Americans wrote the headline, and Americans are absolutely drunk on race. Everything is racial, for an American. Race is the god we worship, with ethnicity a close second.

If Nigerian fans, for example, booed a soccer player or some other performer they didn’t like — would an American headline read “Old Black Guys Boo . . .”?

You’ve got to be crazy. America is one cracked country, as we see day after day.

A little language? I was reading an article about an American court case involving the government of Argentina. Let me quote a tiny bit:

If Argentina pays the plaintiffs, then lawyers representing other holders of defaulted debt, totaling more than $11 billion, are expected to demand immediate payment as well.

If it refuses, the judge said the Bank of New York Mellon must stop payment on the quotas Argentina has religiously honored to a much bigger group of bondholders . . .

“Religiously”? What interesting usage, particularly in a wire-service story.

A little more language? I have a story that illustrates one reason I find immigrants refreshing — they are free, for the moment, of our political correctness. Our Left hasn’t squeezed the life out of them yet.

I was in a new eatery called El Mitote. I said to this delightful girl behind the counter — she looked about 16 — “What does ‘el mitote’ mean?” She said, “You know how when ladies get together and talk about nothing?” She made hen-session motions with her hands. “Like that.”

America hasn’t gotten to her yet. It will. She’ll learn she can’t talk like that — “sexism” and all. But she hasn’t learned yet, and I love her for it.

A little music? For my “New York Chronicle,” in the current New Criterion, go here.

Some podcasting? For the latest with the great Mona Charen and me, go here. Our guest is Jonathan V. Last, of The Weekly Standard. Years ago, I said to him — inevitably, I’m sure — “The first shall be Last, and the Last first.” I certainly stand by those words.

Our topics are immigration, singles, marriage, family. There is much talk of marriage and family — the great joy and satisfaction those things provide. I thought I would add a note here. Nothing you don’t know, but maybe something worth restating.

God has any number of ways of supplying joy and satisfaction. (Can you talk about God in a column? I mean, in a positive way? I think so. I await the next Supreme Court ruling.) Marriage and family, magnificent as those are, aren’t the be-all, end-all of human happiness or fulfillment. You remember a Gershwin song: “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” (It is on just this subject.) And if you can’t? The world is wide, and its possibilities great.

For statements of the obvious, come to me anytime.

This is not so obvious: I was walking in Central Park the other day. Along a bridle path, where people walk, jog, ride horses (of course), and so on. A man was walking with a birdcage — in which a bird was perched. I don’t believe the man was taking his bird anywhere. He was just out for a walk, with his bird, nicely caged.


To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.