Wednesday, July 20, 2022




Lance Morrow’s Wall Street Journal column sends up an age-related warning to President Biden. Morrow warns Biden of his onrushing 80th birthday and identifies a few portents:

Mr. President, if you’re sick of people talking about how old you are, think how I feel. You’re only 79. I’m 82—three years down the trail ahead of you. You’re still a kid, though it is true that, crossing the White House lawn, you walk like the Tin Woodman in need of a squirt of lubrication. Falling off the bike wasn’t a good look either. I wish you’d remember that after 75 the best hope is enigmatic dignity—elder statesman, grandfather knows best, Konrad Adenauer, that sort of thing. Think gravitas. By the way, you need a new tailor. The suits are too tight. You’re not 24.

I’m sorry to say that Morrow’s 80’s sound almost exactly like my 70’s. Among other things, I identify with this:

Sleep acquires a metaphysical importance; if you can’t sleep (I never can between 2 and 4 a.m.), you find strategies: pray, read, think (but not, please, about the evils or about what should have been; such thoughts come unbidden anyway).

I’ve read a lot of commentary since Friday. I think this is the quote of the weekend:

Life has about it a seemly, inevitable flow, a progression from birth to childhood to youth to adulthood to middle age to old age, and finally to death, with rules and roles appropriate to each stage. It is good to be old. It is good to be young. It is right to be a child and right, when the time comes, to be a mother or father, and right, further down the road, to be a grandfather and, by and by, a corpse. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Let’s leave it at that.

Morrow’s column here is unfortunately behind the Journal’s paywall. He implicitly advises Biden to pack it in, but Biden should never have packed in the first place.

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