I had a very good time. I’m sitting in my room at the Brunswick B&B, using the laptop and taking advantage of the wireless internet. I was originally worried about staying at a B&B as I am not really a B&B person and I was dreading having to discuss knitting with a bevy of 800 year old women over scones. But this place is very cool.
Even cooler was the gift basket waiting for me when I arrived, pepperjack cheese, pretzels, nuts and a bottle of single malt scotch. Kerry DuPont, the Cornerite who worked so hard to get me up here in the first place, understood that there are certain medicinal products one cannot do without. She is a great American.
As for the speech itself, the crowd seemed to like it quite a bit and I had a lot of fun. There were a lot of non-students at the event, including the entire Republican club of Brunswick which I believe held its montly meeting at my talk and numerous Cornerites.
My only disappointment was the relative wussiness of the few liberal students who showed up — and decided to speak up. In response to my riff about CBS and the Abu Ghraib photos, one very tall liberal guy seemed like he was going to cry about my hypocrisy over not objecting to the photos of the “murdered” Uday and Qusay Hussein. Another kid who clearly thought I was evil for giving a negative connotation to the word “multicultural” couldn’t muster the gumption to question me on it except to roll his eyes and ask me if I could “talk about that further.” Several of us concluded afterwards that this may have been the first time the guy had ever heard someone say anything bad about multiculturalism in his life and he was almost panicked about it.
My general impression of Bowdoin is that it’s a very good liberal arts school in Maine, with all of the predictable determination to make itself less good through political correctness and the rest. It definitely has one of the best college cafeteria’s I’ve ever seen (they claim it’s ranked number 1 in the US).