Scribbles

by Jay Nordlinger

In Impromptus today, I conclude my series on Dinesh D’Souza. For my money, his most interesting insight, or contention, is this: In political debate, justice beats freedom, every time. Now, you and I might think that freedom is just. But others have their own ideas and feelings. We can talk about freedom till the cows come home, and advocate it, and promise it. But as soon as Barack Obama utters his favorite word, “fairness” . . .

They have quite a racket going. Anyway, this is a highly interesting topic, about which many books have been written, and about which books will always be written.

The Corner-reading masses say, “Jay, freedom and justice and Democrats and Republicans and all that are well and good, but what about ballet? Ballet is what we want!” Okay, okay. Last night, the Bolshoi performed Don Quixote at the Lincoln Center Festival. For my scribbles at The New Criterion, go here.

Yesterday afternoon, I was talking to a Russian friend of mine — a Russian American. She is very, very gloomy about things in the Old Country right now. Gloomy and disgusted. She said, “Ballet — that’s the one thing they can do. That’s the one thing they’re unimpeachable on.” I tried to mention science and some other things, but she would not hear of it: “Ballet. Only ballet.”

Her mood will pass, but I understand it, pretty well.