Thursdays with Tina: Doing It When I Can Edition
Wonkette's weekly service to our readers: Translating Tina Brown's Thursday column in the Washington Post. We understand it so that you don't have to.
Tina saysWhat it meansHistory is hot.It has been at least 15 minutes since I said something was hot. (People used to pay me to do that.)And not just because of Brad Pitt's flying thighs.The last time I saw Brad Pitt I had just taken some of my Special Pills. There's such an outpouring of books from historians at the moment, you can't throw a canape in Manhattan after 6 p.m. without hitting a tweedy scholar. . .So someone got a little soused at that Tony Judt party. The tweedy guy stepped in front of Harvey at the last second, I swear.. . . wearing the dazed expression that comes with a sudden release from the past.The canapes were sort of stale.Everybody's looking for lessons to support wherever they stand on the meltdown in Iraq, and they're drawing them from books as disparate as Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton," Niall Ferguson's "Colossus," Simon Sebag Montefiore's "Stalin," David Fromkin's "Europe's Last Summer" and James Chace's "1912" -- to name just a few.I can read. I can read book catalogues, at least. Did you know that therea lotof books about "history"? People publish them every year. Even before history washot.
The history men have surfaced in the nick of time.My sense of the past is limited to History channel specials.In an era blinded by news-crawl, only history's depth can give solace to a nation hungry for perspective.I believe whatever publicists tell me.America, he says genially, has attention-deficit disorder . . .Ha. I'm British. Now, what was I saying?"People in America are fascinated by the ideas in my book as if by a particularly venomous snake."Penis!"In London all you get on is a snide late-night chat show where you have to be funny. Americans are so receptive."Hence: Topic A.Boston University professor and historian David Fromkin's new book provides a more oblique contemporary frisson.
Don't those words sound pretty together?Schama has assigned some summer reading for Rummy once he's through with Grant: Thucydides' "History of the Peloponnesian War," Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," Steven Runciman's "A History of the Crusades" and, for a case of imperial nerves, The "Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius. Also, E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India" and Lytton Strachey's essay in "Eminent Victorians" on the loony Maj. Gen. Charles Gordon of Khartoum.Surely I have reached my word count by now.