The Republic of Letters

From Lou Gehrig to Alex Rodriguez: A Study in Decline


(Lou Gehrig/Wikimedia Commons)

Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review and columnist for Politico, writes:

The difference between the two Yankees is the difference between going away with grace when no one wants you to leave, and sticking around, gracelessly, when most everyone would prefer that you go. It’s the difference between fighting for your life but not mentioning it, and saying you’re fighting for your life when you are not. It’s the difference between calling yourself the luckiest man on Earth when you have been dealt an ugly hand by fate, and pitying yourself when your predicament is the product of your own bad choices.

From Gehrig to Rodriguez is a long way down.

Exactly. Read the whole column. Here, by the way, is a wonderful video of Gehrig’s farewell speech. Gehrig’s first line is often quoted, and rightfully so, but his last words are equally as powerful if not more so.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this, but with a markedly honed sardonic edge and improved style as a polemicist,  Lowry’s columns are now a must read.

“I want to like Walmart. I really do. I just can’t.”


(Wal-Mart Exterior/Wikimedia Commons)

That’s what my friend Michael Liccione says, and, unfortunately, I must agree with him. “Unfortunately” because I want to like Wal-Mart since it brings genuine savings to the consumer (see reason 2 of Professor Bainbridge’s critique of Wal-Mart), and especially because it educes the irrational ire of so many on the Left. But both for the reasons Michael adumbrates–namely, “Dangeous parking lots, inconsistent stocking, women wearing pajamas and thongs, and butts so wide you can’t get around them in the aisles.”– and Stephen Bainbridge expounds, I sadly can’t. If you like Wal-Mart, feel free to comment explaining why. I’m entirely open to being disabused on the subject.