The President gave out his Medals of Freedom this week. I watched the ceremony on tv, here in LA it was afternoon and I stole eagerly away from an essay I have been wrestling with.
Instead I got to watch people who have wrestled with their arts successfully: Robert De Niro whom I first met when he was in Marty Scorcese’s Mean Streets and he would beg me for extra tickets for his friends; Robert Redford who starred in three of my favorite classics, All the Presidents Men, Out of Africa, and The Way We Were, Diana Ross who with the Supremes made her girl group as important as the Motown guys, Frank Gehry, a friend and one of our LA favorite adopted sons, Lorne Michaels who makes me laugh, Vin Scully our Dodger voice, Bruce the Boss who made much-put-upon New Jersey hip, and Maya Lin, another friend whose cuts into the earth and mounds on top of it have formed connective tissue to the environment and to memory. 21 in all, a 21 gun salute to the power of the arts and sciences, to talent, to working hard, to showing up, to staying true, to being dedicated.
All the while Trump was parading in and out of the NY Times, or rather slithering like the chameleon he is, trying to pretend he is really a New York closet liberal at heart.
The juxtaposition of these two events was enough to make me cry.