"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
New York correspondent Steve M offers an account of Tuesday Night at Fitzpatrick's with the New Criterion crowd:
There is a Brooklyn writer, said to be esteemed by New Criterion founder Hilton Kramer, who not long ago questioned the relationship between alcohol and joy. "Would all that many people really wish to consume vast quantities of a known central nervous system depressant if they were already high on life?" Jonathan Leaf, "The Uses and Abuses of Alcohol," in The Muse of the Bottle (Chas. A. Coulombe, ed., 2002)
Inspired by a recent Irish Elk suggestion, the aptly named "Tuesdays" gathering of New Crit folk on Manhattan's Upper East Side was investigated on the designated day this week by your humble correspondent, as well as "child of scorn" Otto Clemson Hiss, and several other newcomers to this weekly event. The lovely bartender leapt at the mention of the magazine. She professed not to understand a request for stout, hinted that "porter?" did not clarify, then dished out as finely poured a succession of Guinness pints as any thirsty man could ever covet. Paler brews were also in good supply, and, Jonathan Leaf to the contrary notwithstanding, I think we novices arrived high on life and left in a similar state. While we congregated, naturally, at the Western end of the bar, the existence or nonexistence of neoconservativism was carefully reviewed, as were favorite passages about Carthage from Chesterton's Everlasting Man. Otto's exposition on St. Anselm competed reasonably well with a not quite as oldie by the Doors issuing from the jukebox. (The Doors were possibly a selection of jovial blogger Alexander the Great--entrusted with selections after Otto claimed not to know any post-1820 tunes.)
As more of The New Criterion folk drifted in, things got serious. I was able to describe the Marxist Leninist reporter in Waugh's "Scoop" to our faithful bar custodian, Dawn Steeves. Waugh has this Red scribbler being perpetually rude to waiters, the better to raise their class consciousness. Dawn (who handles New Criterion "Special Projects") returned serve by mentioning the Chronicles magazine editor she once had to bounce mid-way through a Hilton Kramer talk in Chicago. Now I ask you: at what bar--outside of Rockford, Illinois--would one be even able to discuss Chronicles magazine, much less the proper way to eject said publication's representatives?
And when a patron from the Easterly, Blue State side of the bar strolled by with her newly purchased copy of the memoirs of William Jefferson Clinton, I had to borrow it for a moment. When I announced after a quick check that the index had no entry for "Broderick, Juanita," Criterion editor James Panero gave a knowing look, while heads nodded all around. Again I ask, where else in an American metropolis could one be surrounded by people who at once are so sage and have such well-mollified central nervous systems?
If you find yourself in a Red State state of mind while in Manhattan on a Tuesday evening, your really cannot do better than to visit Fitzpatrick's pub (85th Street and Second Avenue). Don't worry about the Elvish for "Friend"--Say "The New Criterion" and Enter. A special surprise awaits.