One golden autumn morning 100 years ago, a few blocks from where I’m writing these words in northwest Washington, D.C., Ambrose Bierce said goodbye to his secretary, turned the key in the door to his apartment on Logan Circle, and went off to God knows where.
I'm showing my age again, but I can remember, just barely, when we had the war between men and women. Not a war, but the war: eternal and (of course) metaphorical, a fight without massed ranks of infantry or elaborate flanking maneuvers or formal parleys among belligerents.
The workings of Washington sometimes attain a kind of purity in their illogic. This happens most often after a particularly jarring event, when the frenzy to do something, anything, becomes irresistible to the beehiving journalists, legislators, lobbyists, and regulators who constitute the capital’s political class. Usually the legislative overreaction is blessedly fleeting and inconsequential.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Andrew Ferguson on the Supreme Court's consideration of same sex marriage and his editorial "The ‘Science’ of Same-Sex Marriage." Hosted by Michael Graham.
Last fall, a few days before Halloween and about a month after the publication of Mind and Cosmos, the controversial new book by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, several of the world’s leading philosophers gathered with a group of cutting-edge scientists in the conference room of a charming inn in the Berkshires. They faced one another around a big table set with pitchers of iced water and trays of hard candies wrapped in cellophane and talked and talked, as public intellectuals do. PowerPoint was often brought into play.
At the end of the New York Times blog post that first reported Jon Huntsman would be dropping out of the presidential race today, there's an interesting bit of analysis explaining why the former governor of Utah never caught fire within the Republican field:
Mr. Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, and he’s a valiant guide through this emotional territory. He’s got a big, beating heart, but he tucks it behind a dry prose style that owes a little bit to Mark Twain and Tom Wolfe — to name the first two white-suited writers who come to mind — and also to Dave Barry (whom I suspect wears Dockers).
Two memorable events in Washington, D.C. yesterday afternoon: a recital at the Kennedy Center by the spectacular Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Florez; and a book party at a home in Northwest D.C. for the spectacular American author, our own Andrew Ferguson.