The Corner

Impromptus

Notes of Interest

Afghan refugees at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, September 2, 2021 (Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters)

My Impromptus today begins with 9/11 and the Afghan War. Over the weekend, we marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This was days after we withdrew from Afghanistan. I could put that another way: days after we lost — and chose to lose — to the Taliban. This framing, of course, is very controversial.

I also discuss Belarus, college football — choked in commercialism — and other subjects.

Feel like a little mail? I got several letters responding to a piece on refugees and America. Here’s one:

Jay,

. . . Like you, I came of age in the Reagan years. The cause of refugees is still very, very important to me. . . .

I share for your interest a news story from Cleveland: here. It was filmed at the Hope Center on Cleveland’s west side, where I’ve volunteered for some years. The couple profiled are the son and daughter-in-law of an Afghan man I’ve been working with on English so that he can prepare to enter the U.S. Citizenship class we offer at our facility.

A note from a friend in Chicago:

Jay,

I really enjoyed your podcast with Lord Daniel Hannan [here]. I have to tell you, though: Buckley was not the last person to accent the last syllable in “Broadway.” Circa 2015, I was auditing a foreclosure law firm on Long Island. The lead named partner was this really charismatic guy with a pronounced accent. He said “Broad-WAY,” just like that.

Huh!

In response to a post on Falstaff, the opera by Verdi:

My husband and I love Falstaff so much that we heard it five times in one season. My only regret was that we didn’t hear it a sixth time.

I understand. She adds,

I am one who thinks the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Boy, do I want to be wrong.

Yes.

Finally, a missive from David Churchill Barrow, responding to a post concerning memory:

Howdy, Jay:

I have a memory that I wonder if I recall it correctly, and I will sometimes ask my wife of 42 years what she can verify of the event. Naturally I do not advise others to do as I did, but I have a certain way with animals.

As part of our honeymoon we went to this tourist trap on Cape Cod that had this forlorn-looking lioness in a large cage. I locked eyes with her, got right up against the bars, and slowly paced back and forth. She began to match me step for step. As we walked together I let her smell my hand, and then I reached in and scratched her neck and back. She was blowing her coat and I was digging out handfuls of fur, for which she seemed grateful; rubbing her head on the bars and against my hands. Folks around us asked if I worked there and when I said no, MaryLu remembers them backing away from me.

What makes me doubt the details was that I thought I remembered her purring, but I learned years later lions don’t purr. I suppose my memory added that because her body language was that of a very affectionate 150-lb. house cat.

On the same subject, from personal experience I also do not recommend getting down on all fours in front of a small goat and moving your head rapidly up and down in order to issue a challenge. Even the little guys will win that contest, and you’ll get up seeing stars . . .

Fun stuff. Thank you, one and all. Again, my Impromptus today — not all fun, but not all not-fun, either — is here.

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