Monday, March 25, 2024

I'm Scared of Laird

Who remembers Melvin R. Laird, secretary of defense under Nixon? He coined the term "Vietnamization"--which meant the South Vietnamese should take care of their own dirty laundry. Laird rhymes with "scared" and his name can produce outbursts of doggerel. I'm scared I'm scared. I'm scared of Melvin R. Laird. The sensibiliy of a Laird is more than 360 degrees from that of your average West Side Jewish intellectual of the 60s, even those who'd adopted the neocon sensibilities of William Phlliips of The Partisan Review or famously Norman Podhoretz of Commentary. Remember Woody Allen's famous quip from Annie Hall about Commentary and Dissent merging to form {dysentery} BTW, you might want to ask why Caravaggio hasn't been #MeTooed, when you realize there's no one left to make culture heroes of otherwise minor intellectuals. Podhoretz, if you are still alive to remember, famously tore into Portnoy's Complaint in the pages of Commentary.  Remember Midge Decter? If you nod in the affirmative, you're lying, but back to Laird. While other Hoofers were planning the bombing of a government facility on the campus of the state's top institution of higher learning, proud Wisconsinites like Laird, alumnae of Joseph McCarthy's support team, were caught in snowdrifts of Papers while strutting the halls of the Pentagon. Daniel Ellsworth would turn out to be blameworthy.

read "Francis Levy's Divine Comedy" in Exquisite Corpse

listen to "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash

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