fellows. He was determined, in the first place, not only to learnrnEnglish, but to abandon his Old Wodd culture and read onlyrnthis new language. He was in that way able to purge himself ofrnan)’ foreign accent. Although he arrived penniless, he workedrnhis way through a private college, paving tuition with never arnthought about seeking government handouts. That idea wasrnanathema to all of this generation. He then became a chemistrnand a successful corporate executive. Never did he succumb tornmodern victimology; he would have considered such whiningrnas reprehensible, evil, indeed “un-American.”rnBeing “an American,” then, meant to my father, and to mostrnother Americans of his and earlier generations, being committedrnto certain core principles: respect for private property, hardrnwork, thrift, freedom of enterprise, and a government that wasrnstrictly limited, confined basically to keeping criminals in line.rnThese ideas of Americanism were not, of course, worked outrnsystematically or in the trappings of high political theory, eitherrnbv mv father or by most Americans. Thev were ingrained, core,rnfundamental beliefs, beliefs deep in their bones.rnThis lack of a systematic theoretical conception of Americanismrnwas both a strength and a weakness. It was a strengthrnprecisely because it was habitual, instinctive, deeply rooted.rnBut it was a weakness because it left the American public openrnto attack in recent times by cunning and sophisticated intellectualsrnwho, “subversive” in the deepest and truest sense, are ablernto challenge and to undermine this structure of beliefs andrnpractices that had wrought our beloved America.rnFor this marvelous “Americanism,” these ideas and customsrnand their instantiated institutions and practices, brought aboutrnthe Old Republic, the sweet land of liberty that we knew andrnloved, the freest, the most prosperous, the most glorious nationrnon earth, the nation whose passing we mourn today. When wernsang the old patriotic hymns, we meant every word, even when,rnas in the case of my family physician, this fervor might seemrnmisplaced to a cynic. Yes, even when we sangrnLand where my fathers died.rnLand of the pilgrim’s pride.rn”Freedom’s holy light” may be dimming, along with what itrnmeans to be “an American,” but so long as we can recover andrncelebrate the memory of America’s glory and how it came intornbeing, we can live in hope that some day it will shine brightlyrnonce again. <6rnThe O.J. Simpson Trialrnby Gail WhiternIf you’re reading this in fifty years, or a hundred,rnyou won’t know what I’m talking about. You’ve forgottenrnwho O.J. Simpson was, just as you’ve forgottenrnthose other atrocities of the 20th century:rnFatty Arbuckle raping a stariet with a lump of ice,rnRuth Snyder bashing her husband’s skull with a sash weight-rnThere was a trial for you! In ’29rnThe papers couldn’t get enough of it. )udd Gray,rnthe hapless corset salesman, Ruth Snyder’s lover,rngave evidence that hanged her higher than Haman—rnhow she was the vampire spider to his fly,rnthe mastermind of the sash weight. He was as limprnas cooked spaghetti in her hands. He told the truthrnat last, and like twin eggs they fried in the chair.rnThat’s trivia now, and time will trivializernthe Zodiac Killer and Kennedy’s assassin,rnCharlie Manson, Richard Speck and the nurses,rnJeffrey Dahmer and his kettle of simmering hearts.rnThe old sage lied who said you could gain immortalrnfame by killing the greatest man of your time.rnWhat lesson here? The old one of earthly vanity—rnhow the memory of every atrocity fades with time,rnand but for Euripides we’d have long forgottenrnMedea and the banality of her murders.rn)ULY 1995/17rnrnrn