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|Happy Birthday, Linz!|
Posted by sciabarra on 12/14/2004, 3:50am
|(Or "Saddamite Sciabarra wishes Bush-Eater Perigo Well")|
There have been times when he has suggested I'm a Saddamite. There have been times when I have suggested that he's a useful idiot of the neoconservatives in the Bush administration (or as some have called him, a "Bush-Eater"). But long before we began fighting over the war in Iraq, he and I were at odds over feminism, when Free Radical ran a series of articles on Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (see here and here). And we've been at odds over everything from the usefulness of engaging academia (he calls my academic writings "Polish" for their density of language) to... the value of Eminem and rap music. He drinks wine. I drink seltzer. He's criticized my "ecumenicalism" (he calls me "Her Royal Whoreness"); I've criticized his, uh, less-than-gentle ways with critics and his over-the-top tirades.
We can't even get together in terms of when to celebrate his birthday! It's on December 14th, except that date has already passed from the calendar in New Zealand ... while we, here in America, are just seeing the sun rise.
We've screamed, we've yelled --- at each other. (And since becoming Assistant Editor for The Free Radical, I have heard that some people see us as the Randian version of that dysfunctional "Odd Couple" marriage between Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin ... but I ain't touchin' that analogy! )
And yet: We're still friends. How on earth is this possible?
Well, from the first time he published one of my essays, back in 1998, on Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (catching some heat from those who were, shall we say, less-than-enthused by my theses), he's proven to me that he's among the most "ecumenical" of magazine editors. And for all his screaming and yelling about "ecumenicalism," he's created in SOLO a wide-open forum that can be, as I've suggested of his magazine, as "infuriating" as it is "enlightening."
And then, there's our common passion for Ayn Rand, and for Mario Lanza (his visit to Brooklyn brought on a tidal wave of tears from me, when we listened to Mario sing his heart out). And a common passion for "setting the record straight" on such subjects as Objectivism and homosexuality.
He's had his ups and downs, and I've had mine. We've shared losses, and worries, and bouts with ill health. But more than anything else, we've shared many a good laugh.
To Linz, "My Buddy" (the song I dedicate to him today as part of my ever-growing list of "favorites songs"), in liberty and in friendship:
A happy and a healthy birthday!