Today, I have a piece called “Reagan, Zombies, and More.” You might find it interesting. During Ronald Reagan’s two terms as president, he was a bête noire of the Left. Increasingly, I hear him disparaged by the Right — the “New Right,” as they are called, which is amusing, in that “New Right” used to refer to Jack Kemp and other free-marketeers: people who said that a free economy would uplift people materially and spiritually.
It’s weird to have lived long enough to see two radically opposed groups of people dubbed “New Right.” What will the next one be? (I like the old New Right, so to speak.)
Let’s have some mail. A piece of mine on China and the Olympic Games discussed a number of issues, including boycotts — boycotts national and personal. A reader writes,
I will start by saying I will not be watching the Olympics this year. I actually like watching bobsledding and the downhill, but I can’t this year.
You wrote this morning that you tried a personal boycott of Chinese goods, and so did I, but it seems I have failed. In 2005 I began building out a wood shop. Unfortunately all the major power tools that had the combination of quality and price turned out to have been made in China. . . .
When you order over the Web, you don’t know, and I sometimes wish there were a law mandating country-of-origin disclosure on the Web.
My greatest disappointment — and it was due to my own lack of diligence — was when I bought an elliptical machine.
The pandemic started and the gyms were closed and I needed to keep up my cardio. I read reviews of the best ellipticals to purchase, and there was a model by Schwinn that was the clear winner by quality and price. I also had boyhood memories of Schwinn as the great American bike manufacturer. Never had one myself as my father wasn’t about to spend that much on a bike.
So I purchase it. I was angry as hell at myself when it showed up and the box had “Made in China” on it. I didn’t know how to refuse delivery, it weighs a ton, and the guys were good enough to bring it into my house. But I always think to myself, “I should have shelled out a few hundred more and gotten the NordicTrack.”
In a column, I talked of Tom Brady, the quarterback, who has just retired. Writes a reader,
Packing it in while at, or near, the top of his game. How refreshing! And how littered my memory is of great athletes who didn’t know when to get out.
Perhaps the best example I can offer is the painful recollection of watching Willie Mays struggling to get a hit at age 41. Muhammad Ali is another. If only he had retired after his third fight with Joe Frazier.
Geezer rock bands offer their own cringe-worthy examples. It is both grotesque and sad to watch the Rolling Stones performing today. From here on out the only rolling they are likely to experience will be in a wheelchair. Ditto the Who.
Finally, some of us had a discussion of long song titles. It began with “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life?” A friend of mine wonders how I could have overlooked the B-side of “Now Be Thankful,” a 1970 single by Fairport Convention. That B-side, or flip side: “Sir B. McKenzie’s Daughter’s Lament for the 77th Mounted Lancers’ Retreat from the Straits of Loch Knombe, in the Year of Our Lord 1727, on the Occasion of the Announcement of Her Marriage to the Laird of Kinleakie.”
Jeepers (as the late Terry Teachout would say). Thank you to one and all. Again, for some thoughts on Reagan and Reaganism — mine, I mean — go here.