The Right Coast

January 01, 2006
By Tom Smith

Somehow I missed this UTR post when it came out. You may well have seen it already. It is an exhaustive, and not especially charitable review, critique and psychoanalysis of the inimitable Guido, and a fair amount of YLS lore as well.

I guess I am unlike most people in that I never found Guido particularly charming. It may be he tagged me early as someone there was no need to charm. Once somebody, I forget who, told me "Guido sends his love." Love? Well, OK. That's nice, I suppose. But subsequently, when he came out to USD to receive an honorary degree, he obviously did not recognize me and did not want to spend a moment chatting with me. (Or perhaps he did, and did not.) Then on the other hand, I am balder and fatter than I was in law school, while Guido to me at least looked very much just a somewhat older version of himself. But, in any event, I was rather forced to conclude that he did not really love me. Perhaps he loved the idea of me, some me in his imagination, rather than the real me? Or perhaps he was just completely insincere when he said that. Or perhaps he confused me with someone he really did love. It is hard to say.

But in any event, golly, A3G doesn't take any prisoners, does "she"? I must say, I think she does show something blogs can really do that would be hard to do in any other medium.

It does also raise the question of, what is really admirable in a man, and what kind of men should one really admire, take as heros? My view of this approaching 50 is much different from what it was when I was 20. I am now inclined to view the preening intellectual no more favorably than the obnoxious NBA star; the only differences are the categories of talents and the refinement of the vices. You can also admire the accomplishments of a man without admiring the man himself. For example, my impression is that Einstein was quite a selfish and immature man, even before all the adulation. But his contributions to physics were little short of miraculous.