Elk, and Mr. Cockburn has written a dozen articles fornHouse & Garden, and somehow it just seems hilariouslynfunny that the son of Red Claud would pen such sentencesnas:nThose who love sweetbreads are doomed tonconstant disappointment and the ones at Maxim’snproved to be no exception to this virtually invariablenrule: a sweetbread is born to be braised, not encasednin a shroud of bread crumbs and sauteed.nOr how about:nPity the poor poisson whose hour of fashionablenglory has come. How can any lotte feel secure nownthat the word is out and the nets are down? Asnlotte or monkfish it now boldly graces restaurantntables.nTell it to the people of Nicaragua, Alex. Less amusing ofncourse are stories like Henry Morton Stanley’s. Afternemigrating to New Orleans at age 16, Stanley became annaturalized citizen and took the name of his adoptivenAmerican father. During the Civil War he fought on bothnsides (for the South first, then of course for the North).nOnce his travels to find Livingstone and the source of thenNile made him justifiably famous, he returned to England inn1891 and renounced his American citizenship, becoming ansubject of the Crown and a member of Parliament. Thisnerstwhile Louisianian was knighted in 1899. All of whichngoes to show that while Stanley was a great man, he was notnmuch of an American national. Or take Tom Paine — whonas early as 1779, when American fortunes were very low,nwas talking to his friends about returning to the home he’dnspent the last three years pilloring in ink. He wrote to HenrynLaurens that “perhaps America would feel the less obligationnto me did she know, that it was neither the place nor thenpeople but the cause itself that irresistibly engaged me in itsnsupport, for I should have acted the same part in any otherncountry could the same circumstances have arisen therenwhich have happened here.” Citizens of the world seem tonhave a harder time with more local attachments.nFor some others who have hopscotched between OldnWorid and New because they cannot leave the one and loventhe other, the trip over may have been more painful thannprofitable. No one can read Harold Evans’ Good Times,nBad Times and believe the man can be satisfied with CondenNasi Traveler, however well his wife Tina Brown is doing atnVanity Fair. And one story about Timothy Dickinson, whoncame over here as a journalist in the early 70’s but who hasnstayed to act as an encyclopedic source of data andnquotations for people like George Will and Lewis Lapham,nhas it that he’ll typically end a morning phone conversationnwith the remark that he must clear the line because he’snexpecting a call from England. There is no reason to doubtnthat he is; the point is he sounds like he’s terribly homesick.nIf there is a certain amount of tension in the relationsnbetween British journalists and America, perhaps its root isnin the simple fact that this isn’t England, or Scotland, ornIreland, or Wales. But then the answer is as simple andndirect as what British comedienne Tracey Ullman shouts tonher American audience at the end of her Sunday nightnshow: “Go home!” she says, “Go home!” •^nSystems of Mourningnby Tom DischnThe Irish hire keeners, the English mutes.nSome hobbyists will bronze the loved one’s boots.nRevival theaters devote entire weeksnTo proofs that Elvis Lives and Garbo Speaks.nVikings consign their chieftains to the waves.nAnd Amy Clampitt visits famous graves.nSorrowing bees return to ruined hives.nAnd Hindus burn their neighbors’ grieving wives.nA dog will mourn his master like a serfnBy pissing on the dear departed’s turfnSome weep in silence, others cry out loud.nAnd Susan Cheever sells her father’s shroud.nIn a Time of PlaguesnDeer reck not of the hunting season.nSheep can’t imagine shepherd’s pie.nSmokers scorn the voice of reason.nNo one knows the day he’ll die.nGays there were who never heedednAll the headlines about AIDS.nDrinkers drank, and still they speeded.nEvery color finally fades.nPower lines are thought to killnPeople who live too close by.nLook at your electric bill.nThen think about the day you’ll die.nNo life’s secure: oaks may defynDeath for a century, but they.nToo, in the course of time must die.nTimor mortis conturbat me.nnnJULY 1990/23n