Three Good Men

My oldest brother once said that as one ages, one’s world shrinks. I don’t agree with that – in fact, I often feel the opposite is true. But in one sense, I see this happening – as we age, people that meant something to us, either personally or in the public sphere, pass away. And our world seems smaller. This week, three such people passed: Daniel Kahneman, the Israeli economist and Nobel Prize winner, who tried to explain why humans behave so (seemingly) irrationally so much of the time, died at the age of 90; Joe Lieberman, simply a fine human, died at the age of 82; and Richard Serra, abstract and minimalist sculptor and visionary, died at 85. Serra was one of the few modern artists whose work appealed to me, which I suppose is neither here nor there. All three of these men are what I call, “value adding people.” They expanded the world. They never tried to diminish or take away or make us smaller.

Good Friday

This column seems appropriate for the day and the Easter weekend – Douglas Murray on forgiveness. He talks about it largely in relation to our current culture of nastiness but he also includes this passage, which, given my experience with my ex-priest, I found relevant:

Our church leaders spend much of their time talking about current shibboleths instead of preaching the actual gospel, let alone presenting perhaps the most extraordinary and truly revolutionary aspect of the Christian message – the commandment to not just forgive but also to love your enemies.

Read the whole piece.

Brian Mulroney and the Odd Things we Remember

Brian Mulroney passed away last week. He was an extremely consequential prime minister – the policies of his that caused the most rage are still in place and while Trudeau the Father is probably more well-known internationally, Mulroney did more to truly affect and change Canada. I was in complete agreement with free trade, being a firm believer that freer trade is always better for everyone, but people back then lost their minds over it. And by people, I mean leftists, mostly. And Canadian “celebrities.” Of course, this all changed when Donald Trump became U.S. president and challenged NAFTA, causing many who had previously opposed NAFTA to defend it with all their might. (I wrote about that in the Wall Street Journal.) Anyway, my strongest memory of Mulroney, oddly enough, is of the party convention where he was selected as Tory leader. One of my brothers claimed that Mila Mulroney was wearing pink in order to appear submissive and set herself apart from Joe Clark’s wife, Maureen McTeer, who famously kept her own last name, and I guess did not wear pink. I suggested that perhaps Mila just liked pink. Ah no, I was scolded! She is anti-feminist and the proof is in the pink! Blah blah blah…Now we would call that “mansplaining.” And my four brothers – and father – all did it to an excessive degree. My two remaining brothers still do it, though thankfully I do not have much to do with either. Isn’t it odd the things we remember? The things that news events bring up to us?

Here is a clip of that convention and indeed, Mila is in a lovely pink dress. I think she just liked pink.