(2 of 3)
Gloom hung thick over the group of 100 "prominent intellectuals" assembled in Manhattan at a "Theater for Ideas." The question for discussion was "The End of the Rationalist Tradition?"and the answer seemed obvious. Pronounced Poet Robert Lowell: "The world is absolutely out of control now, and it's not going to be saved by reason or unreason." Said Author Leslie Fiedler: "Reason, although dead, holds us with an embrace that looks like a lovers' embrace but turns out to be rigor mortis. Unless we're necrophiles, we'd better let go." Intoned Norman Mailer: "Somewhere, something incredible happened in historythe wrong guys won. We're heading for a conclusion that consists of Joey Namath grinning hungrily over the line at Earl Morrall."
The way Hubert Horatio Humphrey tells the story, traffic at a Miami intersection was piling up around a lady who had stalled her car. Lights changed, tempers rose, horns honked. So H.H.H., followed by his Secret Service bodyguard, stepped from his car and pushed the stalled vehicle over to the side of the road. Humphrey then smiled in on the lady and her daughter. The woman pondered the familiar face. "Are you from the bank?" she asked. "Madam," offered the Secret Service man, "this is the Vice President." "Of what?" countered the lady. "Mother," whispered the daughter, "that's the man we voted for in the election." Mother peered more closely. "Nonsense," she said. "You don't look a bit like Lyndon Johnson."
"By all means let's have sex in fiction. Let's take coitus out of the closet and off the altar and put it on the continuum of human behavior." That was Author John Updike talking, in George Plimpton's quarterly Paris Review. Said John: "I plotted Couples almost entirely in churchlittle shivers and urgencies I would note down on the program and carry down to the office Monday."
Good grief. The world has barely had time to adjust to the news that Ewa Aulin, 19, that sugar-sweet girl from Candy, had married British Writer John Shadow last year in Mexico. Now comes word that the lissome lass with the drooping baby blue eyes will become a mother this year. And that, said Ewa, is just the beginning. "I want lots of children. Little children are the wonders of the world. They are innocent. They are pure. They will go out into the world and perhaps then the world will be beautiful."