Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I don't have much to report because I'm distracted by the arrival of visitors who disrupt my thoughts by their mere presence and strain me with their one-way conversations and humorlessness. I am waiting this out calmly.

I was just out for a walk and ran into Jim Douglas as he embarked on his; we discussed politics, since I had read his memoir and he used to be the governor. One of the things I like about Vermont is that a quiet, thoughtful, low-key person like Jim Douglas can actually win an election here. Of course, Vermont Republicans don't exactly fit the profile of Republicans in most states. He doesn't like Donald Trump and thinks Marco Rubio is too inexperienced.

I've started reading The Mandarins and think I'll enjoy it, if only for the glimpse it provides of the intellectuals of a different era. Unlike most intellectuals today, they went through difficult times and engaged each other in the café culture of Paris. Most of them didn't depend on faculty positions and lived more freely than our contemporary equivalent. It remains to be seen whether their ideas were any good – perhaps not – but certainly they don't exude that academic stench that pervades the so-called intellectuals in America today.

It may be a few days before I post again.

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