The Breakfast Table

Going Wilde for Bosie

Dear JH:

I’m glad the Israelis and the Palestinians were too tired, too disgusted, too disheartened and wretched to leave the table. As they should have been. Did you read Andrea Dworkin’s book on Israel? It has some interesting Dworkin-view insights about Israeli history and women and, of course, closes with the idea of a woman nation, an Israel for Esthers only. (I don’t think they have to be Jewish women, just women only.) Do you think it would end up like the current Israel, with some of its original virtues and much of its glory swallowed up into very unappealing, lowest common denominator nationhood (with the added fillip of a country founded by people who cared a lot about culture and little about shul being assaulted form within by the religious right)? Would our overall lower testosterone level mean that we went to war less often, or not at all, or that we did, but differently (no hand-to-hand … but that’s not so common now anyway)? Would it be different only in the icons, but not in the process?

I am delighted, as I reclaim my Woman Who Loves the Wild (as opposed to the Wilde, whom I adore) self, to hear that I may now trap in Wisconsin. I went skeet shooting with my ex-father-in-law a few times in Minnesota. Does that count? Also snow-mobiling. Does that count?

Speaking of the love that speaks its name quite often (mine for Oscar), did you see this hot new bio of Bosie by this hot young Englishman (he looks about 16 in the photo, 16 and unmistakably posed as someone over whom Oscar might have found himself in trouble … again)? On one hand, he does try to rehab Bosie’s image (one can only go up from twerp and scum of the earth, I think). On the other, the facts of Lord Alfred Douglas’ life make a positive spin tricky. He loved the notoriety, fed it, tried to revive it, accused Winston Churchill of betraying his country, was an anti-Semitic nut, married and made miserable some poor woman, and slammed Oscar Wilde, even after the poor man’s death–at which point Bosie was quite keen to paint himself as the victim. Clearly, what Bosie needed was not a bio, but a time machine–a man for our time, I give you Lord Alfred Douglas: venal, pretty, and dying for ink.

Your loving curmudge,