1) Part of Impromptus today is devoted to the courage of black conservatives — some of the most defamed and abused people on earth. I have received many e-mails, I’m grateful to report, that say, “Amen.”
2) I also talk about President Obama’s recent ambassadorial nominees — beauties, bundlers, and bunglers. Here’s something I do not say: For one of those nominees, an embassy of ours had to apologize. Our embassy in Oslo apologized to the Norwegian government for what Obama’s guy said in his confirmation hearing. He smeared the Progress party, which is part of the government. (Progress is the Reaganite or Thatcherite party in Norway, as I explain in my column.)
3) I spend a line or two on the wondrousness of Meryl Davis, the American ice dancer (who lives in my home region — in my hometown now, actually). Many male Impromptus-ites have written in to say, “Word” (in short).
4) I have a post on The New Criterion’s blog about tricky words: “social,” “people” (!), “forward.” (Remember Obama’s slogan in 2012? “Forward.” Forward unto what? Well, we’re seeing it.) Of possible interest.
5) I also have a review of Jonas Kaufmann, the starry tenor who gave a recital in Carnegie Hall last week (accompanied by the excellent Helmut Deutsch). The music business is a mystery to me: Why are some people famous — rich and famous — and others not?
The more I see, the more I think that the only meritocracy lies in sports — and individual sports, at that. If you run a particular track time, well, you’ve run it. And if you shoot a particular score in golf, well, you’ve shot it. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Ain’t it grand?