Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Fred and Ginger and Happiness

It’s been a moderate summer, but not the last few days. Yesterday it reached 96. I sat inside listening to Norah Jones and flipping through a prosaic issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association feeling the weight of the heat when I got hungry. The only thing in the fridge was a piece of salmon and a bottle of Kris Pinot Grigio. Got ’em both and set myself up in my best chair and flipped open my Sunday Times (Kindle, actually). The Pinot Grigio was a delight, perfect with salmon on such a day. It is vibrant with a touch of citrus, with none of that artificial and heavy oak-like and over-ripe sophistication you find in many Chardonnays. The high-plumed wine aficionados don’t praise this wine much and they are offended when us half-learned folk like it and are vocal about it. And, say the haughty ones, folks drink it like lemonade when you are supposed to sip wine! Well, to Hell with them, I was enjoying my Pinot, even as I was reading articles about war and pestilence and bad politics. And once I ran out of salmon I lit up a Cuban, but stayed with the Pinot, and then--to my delight--latched unto this fine piece by Alistair Macaulay in the Arts section of The Times. What a great piece on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (and note the terrific Youtube videos on the left)! He explains the dance, the romance, the beauty of the movement, and how it is that in parts of a dance they "become divinities." Well, I can tell you that the day became less heavy and less hot as I watched Fred and Ginger dance and dance. I watched and re-read the fine piece by Macaulay, poured another glass and lit up another fine cigar and I was in heaven. Read the thing yourself and watch the divinities. Give yourself time.

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When I could give myself time, I did and the article and the videos (and more I could not resist) were a pleasure. Macaulay analyzed the essence of those romantic fantasies just right. Watching those movies was how I passed many Sunday afternoons when I was a girl, thinking how sad that none of the grown-ups I knew seemed to manage that sort of romance. Maybe I still think it a pity that people cannot find the happiness they seek. My dad used to tell me that the part of the story left out by Fred & Ginger was all about "Makin' Whoopee". In his old age, he seems to regret his awful realism.

That piece and the links were charming. Thank you.

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