To Impromptus today, I’d like to jot a few follow-ups:
1) I have an item about Iran, and we have since learned that France has stepped up to the plate: that France has stood tall for Western values (or common sense, or self-preservation). Yes, we look to the Socialist government in Paris to defend us, and all we hold dear.
Hollande-Fabius 2016? In America, I mean? Would that be better than Hillary-Warren, or whatever it will be?
Accompanying my column, NRO has a picture of Iranians burning American flags. I ask the perpetual question: How in the world do they get a hold of these flags? I wouldn’t know where to go to get an Iranian flag. But then, I don’t think the demand is very high here.
2) I relate the story of New Express and Chen Yongzhou. New Express is a newspaper in Guangzhou (Canton), and Chen is, or was, one of its reporters. The authorities didn’t like what he was reporting. So they arrested him and put him through the ordeal of “self-criticism.”
Initially, the paper was very, very bold in his behalf (and in its own). They ran a front-page appeal described as unprecedented: “Please Let Him Go.” But after the authorities made their position clear — or wielded the torture instruments — the paper got very, very meek and contrite.
You can’t blame them, or at least I can’t: As I say in my column, very few are willing to endure torture, or to die from it.
Anyway, here’s my thought — my afterthought: Even at its boldest, the paper said “please.” At the zenith of its defiance, the paper said, “Please Let Him Go.” I find that a little significant, and sort of moving.
3) Toward the bottom of the column, I have a quick language note — to wit, “La Guardia” versus “LaGuardia.” The mayor spelled his name, to the best of my knowledge, “La Guardia,” with the space. The airport has closed up that space.
A reader writes,
I was raised in a small town in far northeast Illinois (got to Texas as soon as I could). It was founded by a man named Gray. There is a small lake in the town. The lake is “Gray’s Lake.” The town is named “Grayslake,” no apostrophe, no space. Strange.
Yes — such stitching is inevitable (and sometimes welcome). The problem with “Grayslake,” to my eye, is that it looks like “Gray slake” — as if there were a Gray method of quenching thirst.
In any case . . .
The one and only.