So how, exactly, did Richie end up where he did? Or me? Or anyone? In Richie’s case, the bottom line might be that he just isn’t into body hair. I’ve seen odder specimens, with odder reasons for being where they are, drift in and out the slipstream in the course of 30 plus years of slogging it out in Spain: alcoholics, remittance men, second-home owners, English teachers (hey—if it was good enough for James Joyce….) Vietnam draft dodgers gone potbellied and gray, people who get on and off yachts, Army brats and many, many lost souls with too much money or with no money at all.
Let's set things straight for Shirley Temple Black, whose signature song has long been dissed as a maritime metaphor. Mrs. Black told me many years ago that she rarely meets anyone who knows the "Good Ship Lollipop" was an airplane, not a boat.
And let's stop dumping on "The Ugly American." He was the book's good guy.
Black and white culture are inextricably bound, rising as they do from the same common American experiences. In America, race is arbitrary: A white kid fascinated by hip-hop is fascinated by himself.
With the trial over, perhaps it’s appropriate to recall the question Wilde once asked someone about a mutual friend: “When you are alone with him, does he take off his face and reveal his mask?”