Saturday, January 29, 2011


An Immitigable Highbrow

Joseph Epstein, Sam Lipman at The NEA, in Life Sentences: Literary Essays (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997), pp. 334-347 (at 334):
Midway in his more than four-year battle with leukemia, while talking about quack cures for cancer, I mentioned to Sam that I had somewhere read that Steve McQueen, in the last months of his battle with cancer, had gone to Mexico in search of a cure not allowed in the United States. "Who," asked Sam, after a pause, "is Steve McQueen?" Sam was then fifty-eight and had spent all his life in America; and I thought to myself, boy, Sam really knew how to live. How Sam lived was as an immitigable highbrow. Not long after I first met Sam, one evening when we were walking in Washington, I asked him if he watched many movies or much television. "I consider the movies and television," he said, without breaking stride, "dogshit."
John Derbyshire, "Unpleasant Truths," National Review (August 2, 2002):
Pop culture is filth. It is now completely degenerate. Why do you never hear anyone humming a current pop song any more? Because none of them is hummable, or even worth bothering to remember. What is the main topic on TV sitcoms and "dramedies"? You know what. Why do you stand in the aisle in Blockbuster muttering to yourself: "There isn't a single damn movie in here I want to watch"? Because Hollywood produces nothing but crap, crap, crap.

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