Well, with Mailer and Thompson and Wolfe and Vidal all gone, what next? They will not make those times again. The raw materials have all been used up. It has been years since I've read any of them. I'm not sure if Anna Quindlen or Anderson Cooper or Matt Taibbi or others like them quite possess the intellectual rigor that the earlier journalist/writers mentioned did.
Ooops, Wolfe is still around. Who knew? So much for intellectual rigor.
I just recently read an introduction to W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage" by Vidal. I was considering reading a classic. I like to slip those between the more trashy contemporary novels I read. Currently I'm working my way through "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." Man, they'll give the Pulitzer to anybody. It's good, but I'm not so sure it's THAT good. But back to Vidal.... The introduction to Maugham's work was very good. I was jealous of the writing, green. It made me ashamed of my various experiments here in purple prose. I must remember to not drink wine while writing here late at night. It is an easy thing to forget, then the morning comes.
I try not to get too stuck in the past, but there is much of it and the gravity of it always grows. I try to keep up with contemporary writers and journalists. It is easy to drift back in time though, especially as I am being hit by the stride of my middle years, trampled in fact.
But the past is in the past, it won't come again, no matter what Santayana says, his famous maxim is self-explanatorily and doubly absurd. I'm thankful that the internet is there to preserve part of it, though. The past, not Santayana's quote.
Things like this will not happen in this way on television any more. Well, perhaps I am wrong. Jon Stewart has done a pretty good job at keeping the spirit of intellectual confrontation alive. I only wished I liked him more.