How Clever . . .nChicago Tribune, the Second City’snsecond-rater, reports with relish on somenopinion-poll flummery under an inherentlynapproving title:nStaying single shows gain as acceptablenlifenThe source of the Tribune ‘j joy is that:nThe 18-year-olds were asked hownmuch it would bother them if theyndid not marry. . . . 23.5 percent—n29.4 percent of the sons and 17.2 percentnof the daughters—said it wouldnnot bother them at all.nEighteen-year-olds, as everybody knows,nare famous for mature judgments of andnprojections for their own future. Wenwould propose that Tribune’s antimarriagenpollsters approach the same peoplensome 30 years from now. DnDoonesbury, RIPnDespite various rumors and surmises,nit looks as if the Doonesbury comic stripnis dead. We’ll miss it—^we had come tonlike its valiant attempts to transcend thenlowbrow nature of its medium in thenname of cultural literacy. Its graphicscum-punchlinenstyle evidenced thenoldest act of justice: success for intelligence-cum-innovation.nIn contrast tonmany—^who saw themselves in the cartoon—wensaw it as a cheerful indictment:nwe did not identify with itsncharacters, their vicissitudes, theirnfashionable dim-wittedness, their joysnand sorrows of flattened, upper-classndecadence, their afflictions of mindsnenfeebled by existential prosperity. Mr.nTrudeau elevated amoebas from ThenNew Yorker suburbia to a level of selfmockerynand endowed them with thencharm of blithely fading liberals who innthe hour of their demise were obliviousnto their own mental and moral exhaustion,nignorant of how to use reason orn50inChronicles of Cultorenfeeling correctly. They were elegant,nsuave, ingratiating, amusing, witty—nand impotent. We are sorry the show isnrwjf^rnover.nThe Triumph of MetaphysicsnThe Wall Street Journal, a publicationnmore sensible than some others, isnon its way to actual wisdom. We saw anheadline there:nHow the Top StudentsnAt Harvard BusinessnFare 20 Years LaternMost Do Well Financially,nBut Few Lead Big Firms;nThe Importance of LucknConfidence in metaphysics is laudable.nMore of the Fiddler on the Roof-stylenmusing and less of the smart-alecky,npinko-tinctured dialectics on the op-ednpage would make the/oam^j/interestingneven to Montaigne. DnFamily LovenIn Time, the most rewarding mentalnretreat for the American demi-intelHgentsia,nwe read of late the magazine’snsemimaven on matters of the press, onenThomas Griffith, who confidently assurednus that:nJane Fonda . . . hasn’t changed allnthat much; opinion has. In mostnAmerican families, she is now regardednas the niece with strident andnunpopular opinions that are acceptednaspart of her.nNot in our family. Nor in thosenfamilies we know. Perhaps Mr. Griffith isnthe victim of a desperate search for anmetaphor and has lost his semantic compass.n”Family” means something differentnthan the offices of Time andnMother Jones. Ms. Fonda is regarded asnniece only by the Hanoi Politbureau andnas cousin by Pravda. DnnnRegardless of how often I may bensneered at, I will stubbornly maintainnthat the very core of American populismnis neither self-righteous ignorance, norndime-store religiosity, nor shallownpolitical fickleness, nor grubby socioeconomicngrabbiness, nor nativistnhubris, nor some lowbrow outcry for in-nl/^r/AA?n^ClAXliJp-^nV/iK^’v-AA^nstant justice. All those unprepossessingnparameters of the populistic faith andndrive do exist, and they occasionallynbecome crassly visible in lijfe and politics.nYet, as I see things, deeply embedded innthe tabernacle of American populisticnbeliefs and propensities is a worship ofnholy honesty, of firm, noble, manlynloyalty to one’s own word and principle.nThe latter-day populism appears to benlinked with increasing frequency to recentndefinitions of modern Americannconservatism, and, I think, correcdy so.nThus, in spite of all my personal goodnwishes, I believe that President Reagannhas gravely impaired his chances for reelection,nand for a prominent place innhistory, precisely because he has eithernmisunderstood or just apostatized byndestroying the correlation of his persona,nhis image, and his career with the clearlynemerging conservative-populistic juncturenin the national consciousness. Consequently,ninstead of becoming a validnand viable emblem of this confluence ofnpropitious perceptions, during the lastntwo years he has done almost everythingnto, one might say, ^i?symbolize himself.nWhich may be his political and ideologicalnWaterloo.n