Curmudgeonry

None of the Above

Last month we got a letter from an organization that calls itself “People to People International.” They were writing to invite our daughter to attend, at our expense, be sure, an educational experience in Australia. The letter assured us that “Caroline has been named for this honor by a teacher, former Student Ambassador or national …

Driving, Deux

I feel a host of driving missives boiling up, reminiscent of my series of critiques of libertarianism a few years back, also affectionately known as “The Great Ayn Rand Beat Down of 2002.” So let’s talk about a sub-species of the animal known as “Parkius Leftius,” or what is in the common vernacular often referred …

My Living Will

It occurs to me that I ought to have some kind of living will. I’d appreciate some free legal advice (from those of you whose legal degrees were not awarded as the result of a three-week Internet course) on the following: I, Tony Woodlief, being of relatively sound mind (I mean, sometimes I get those …

The Least of These

A helpless woman lay starving on a bed in Florida, upon the court-supported request of her adulterous husband. There is some evidence that she remains sentient, yet the putative champions of helpless women maintained their silence. As President Bush this morning signed a bill giving Terri Schiavo’s parents the ability to resume feeding her, commentators …

Suck Up or Walk

On my train I heard a man talking to someone on the other end of his mobile phone. He was wallowing in an extreme state of obsequiousness. “And how are you this morning, sir? Ha ha ha! That’s great. Wonderful. No, I didn’t know that about you! Wonderful! Well, it really does sound fascinating. Absolutely …

A Different Kind of Maxim

Sometimes on flights I notice young men in college gear (fraternity or university sweatshirt, raggedy cap with a bill folded mercilessly downward, a dullness of the eyes) looking at Maxim, the marginally pornographic, highly profitable fluff for boys without the guts to carry Playboy. This doesn’t bother me so much; it’s not my money they’re …

HEV Negative

I want to talk to you about a little-discussed, embarrassing illness that infects millions of Americans. Though most people are immune, we are still afflicted by the symptoms of this malady as they are manifested in others. I’m talking about HEV — the Happy Email Virus. We all know someone infected with HEV. We are …

The P-Word

I remember watching Game Two of the 1995 World Series and deciding that Bob Costas is gutless. I came to this conclusion because Costas went out of his way, as Cleveland pitcher Dennis Martinez warmed up on the mound, to avoid describing a key part of Martinez’s ritual. Martinez is a Christian, and he used …