Elton ’n’ Bjork, &c.

Elton John performs in 2012.


A little language? I sort of like “Manichean” up — capitalized — and other such words up. I had never seen “quixotic” up, until this Associated Press report: “Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams appealed Friday to Irish Republican Army die-hards to stop their violence and to support his seemingly Quixotic campaign for a vote in Northern Ireland . . .”

Looks wrong, that Q, but I sort of admire it.

I’ll tell you what’s a strange phrase, to me: “assault weapon.” Every gun is an assault weapon, isn’t it? Every weapon is an assault weapon (except maybe Dr. Teller’s shield?). The purpose of a gun is to assault — or to get the other guy to back down, thereby avoiding assault, from either party.

You’ll often hear, from a gun-controller trying to sound moderate, “Well, I think hunting’s okay. It’s in the American tradition.” Hunting, schmunting: The main reason to have a gun is to defend oneself against an aggressor. To be responsible for one’s own safety, because one cannot always count on a community organization such as the police.

You know? (I know you do.)

I think this is remarkable news: National Review is now free to college students — all college students — in our digital edition. For information, go here.

This is remarkable news too — Isabelle Huppert plays the mother superior in a new film called The Nun. (Article here.) Two seconds ago, we were all in love with this red-haired starlet. Now she’s playing a mother superior? Cripe.

(There were two Isabelles: Huppert and Adjani.)

Some years ago, I was playing golf in Georgia. As I was preparing a shot, a bird called out, “Uh-uh.” I thought this was quite rude. As my friend Hersh pointed out, it was as though the bird were saying, “No way. Not this time.”

Since then, I have heard the “uh-uh” bird many times — in Florida and in the Caribbean, mainly. I heard it again over the weekend, when I was in Florida. This time, I got a good look at the sucker — looked like a crow, but maybe smaller.

Google is a wonderful thing (most of the time). I believe the uh-huh bird is a fish crow.

Is this obvious? Well, no one died and made me Roger Tory Peterson.

While in Florida, I saw an old friend of mine, who grew up in Sanford. Unfortunately, Sanford has been in the news for a bad reason: It is where the Trayvon Martin shooting took place. Sanford is now a suburb of Orlando, basically. When my friend was growing up, it was a little town of 10,000 people. He said that it was the home of an air-training base, during the war.

One day, a pilot crashed his plane. He could have parachuted and saved himself, but he risked hitting houses. He maneuvered the plane to bury its nose elsewhere. He was the only one who died. He was 23.

What a man. I wish I knew his name.

To order Jay Nordlinger’s 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.