San Diego Soliloquies

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


So over at the National Review (hey, once I get a job I'll renew my Salon subsription, ok?) Reid Buckley starts off a column like this:

    MADRID, SPAIN — I ask my (many) children, "Who are the most deadly boring people in the world? " Dog people, horse people, hunters and fishermen, golfers, or environmentalists?
    My children never get the answer right. It's the anti-Semite, neo-1920s variety. Recrudescence of which Europe is rife. ...

Ok, cool. Get exposed to a little more vocabulary than necessary, but learn a new way to slap down a bigot. I can get into that.

    ...The hostess is a petite and most attractive woman whose particulars I will disguise because they would drive you crazy trying to come up with her name. (She's wealthy, titled, and well known on two continents.) She leaned toward me confidingly at coffee time, saying, "You know what I mean, Reid. What can be more awful than to be surrounded by Jews?"

Okay, ready for the putdown?

    I hadn't been paying attention; but the ready imputation of class-collegial anti-Semitism irks me beyond measure. "Well," I retorted, "what about WASPs?"

Oh no. He got all arch on her ass, din he?

Reid then proceeds to tell two numinous anecdotes, one of which involved him getting his calling card duplicated in gold (at Tiffany's, of course) to taunt a potential Jewish investor in a scheme of his. She, not unreasonably, sees him as being in sympathy with her views.

    Well," she said glowingly, "so you do know what I mean when I speak of the Jews."

So he describes a meeting with a Masai chief. But be assured:

    "...The enemy is the vulgarian, of all tribes, nations, 'religious persuasions' (as the saying once went), and upper-crust classes."
    Which is the end of my story. I am steaming still.

Uhhh riiight. Ya know as far as methods for putting racist buttheads in their place I gotta go with Denis Leary or a quick session of the dozens.

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San Diego Soliloquies