This will be my final post for a week or so, as I am headed to the left coast and won't be back until the 15th. If any of you have friends in San Diego, please tell them that I am doing a book talk on The Creed Room at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 9th at The Book Works, which is at 2670 Via de la Valle at Highway I-5, in Del Mar.
Later in the week, I'm heading up to the Bay Area for my 25th year college reunion at Stanford. I expect to have a lot of fun ... at least until the opening kickoff on Saturday, when we alumns will see for ourselves the only thing that is taking a faster nosedive than the Republican Party: the Stanford football program. There is, however, a difference between the GOP and Cardinal football: whereas die hard Republicans are desperately trying to cover up the mess that their leaders are making, we die hard Cardinal fans don't bother to cover things up. We'll admit that we're bad. REALLY bad -- as in threatening-to-run-the-table-and-go-0-12 bad. Don't believe me? We play Notre Dame today on national TV at 2:30 eastern time. Watch it for yourself. Then turn on Fox News and watch the spinners talk about the Foley, I mean the Hastert scandal. I predict you'll quickly recognize the same degree of ineptitude.
But let me not leave you on a negative note. After all, ESPN Classic just replayed the 1990 Stanford-Notre Dame game in which Stanford, coached by Dennis Green and Ty Willingham, defeated the then #1 ranked Fighting Irish in South Bend. Whether you're talking about football programs or political parties, things have a habit of going in cycles. It's actually one of the refreshing aspects of life: downturns don't last forever. And being able to head out to some of my favorite places and see many of my favorite people is certainly something I'm looking forward to doing -- despite the quality of the football.
Besides, nobody goes to Stanford primarily to watch football anyway. If you're smart, you go for the pleasure of being able to take classes from some of the best minds in the world, buy the books they recommend, and then read those books outside in great weather in early March (instead of in some dismal library). It's conducive to something called the "love of learning for its own sake." Truly a quaint concept, one which some consider antiquated. But don't worry, things run in cycles. Someday, the love of the search of wisdom will make a comeback as an educational goal. After our educational system has had its fill of standardized tests and cramming all sorts of crap into our children's heads, we'll realize that knowledge acquired can be promptly forgotten, but intellectuality -- joyous passionate intellecuality -- stays with us forever.
Like I said: if you want your children to become lifetime learners, there's nothing quite like reading a masterpiece in beautiful weather.