‘I’m Old-Fashioned’

by Jay Nordlinger

On the homepage today, I have a piece headed “The Right: United by Hate, Love, or Nothing?” It is a ruminative piece about the state of conservative politics and other things in life. I don’t claim that it captures the mood of the moment. In all likelihood, it captures my mood of the moment.

In these ruminations, I quote Ronald Reagan, who said, “If we agree 75 percent of the time, you’re my 75 percent friend, not my 25 percent enemy.” I then comment, “Doesn’t that sound old-fashioned,” in our current climate?

I have “old-fashioned” on my mind. Yesterday, I got an e-mail from a beloved friend, a man of many parts, including music. “Fourscore and ten years ago,” he said, “I was brought into this world with love and hope.” Members of his golf league threw him a little 90th-birthday party. They asked him how he felt, now that he was in his nineties. Ed answered, “I’m old-fashioned.”

He was alluding to the Kern-Mercer song of 1942. You can have it with Ella Fitzgerald, here. Or with Margaret Whiting, here. You can have it with almost anybody.

“I’m old-fashioned” is a pretty conservative sentiment. Sometimes you’re “in” in politics, sometimes you’re out. But then, hemlines rise and fall in lots of fields, right?

P.S. Earlier this week, I met a woman in Greater Salzburg who said, “I’m now 98.” Later, I Googled her: She is really 97. But will be 98 later this year. A princess she is, too. I’m not being metaphorical. I mean, she is a real princess.

P.P.S. For a dispatch of mine from the Salzburg Festival — about Igor Levit, the Russian-German pianist — go here.

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