Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Diversion

I hardly ever watch television anymore (the media's sycophancy with Obama has become overbearing, ubiquitous and predictable to the point of sheer boredom) but I came across this slick Bacardi Mojito ad, plugging one of my favorite summertime libations, when it preceded an online new story. It's a lighthearted, fun clip, offering a quick look at American haute couture through the decades.

A first for this blog, to be sure.

Friday, June 05, 2009

John Adams

At breakneck speed, I'm making my way through David McCullough's excellent biography of John Adams, aptly named John Adams. At nearly every opportunity, I pick up where I left off, if only to make it through a few pages during a little break in the course of the day. While, in my opinion, not as good a writer, not as lyrical, as Joseph Ellis, McCullough is nevertheless masterful from start to finish. It's an impressive feat that McCullough can cover so much ground, so much history, so many complex personalities, in just 651 pages. Anyone who cherishes America, pledges fidelity to the Constitution and, naturally, is appalled by the sad machinations of the current administration, will receive instant refreshment from this exceptional book.

An excerpt from a letter written by Abigail Adams to her sister stands out for its simple imagery and poetic beauty. Commenting on the joy of being reunited with her husband in London, she writes: "You know my dear sister that poets and painters wisely draw a veil over those scenes which surpass the pen of one or the pencil of the other; we were indeed a very happy family once more met together after a separation of four years." McCullough's liberal reliance on the moving letters between John and Abigail is one of the many gems tucked in this book.

"May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may that piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government, which adored the great character whose name it bears, be forever held in veneration! Here, and throughout our country, may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion flourish forever!" -John Adams, November 22, 1804

That was then...can it be once more as it was?