It’s from This Side of Paradise and remains one of my favorite lines from the genre that includes Look Homeward Angel, Pere Goriot, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in which the protagonist struggles to find a place in the world, visits a cemetery, and declares to nobody in particular some variation of “You were all prologue!” So I suppose I could add Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie of course, to that list.
So impressed was juvenile me with the Fitzgerald line that I had it enshrined as my senior quote in the high school yearbook. I imagined the headmaster and dean of students reading the line beneath my picture and howling “O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.” as they come to the realization that one of their students had been up to the business of innocence losing. In my mind I was blowing their little bourgeois world to pieces, but I was libertarian minded kid who read a lot of P.J. O’Rourke so I doubt I would have used the word “bourgeois.”
Alas, you cannot re-lose your innocence, but, as Mark Halperin is learning, you can come close. On this Morning’s Morning Joe, Halperin waxed about the completely unplanned, totally spontaneous visit to a Chipotle Mexican Grill© by Hillary Clinton© and had what could be described as his leg tingling moment. “We’ve never seen her get a burrito before.”
From Jonah Goldberg in National Review’s house blog, The Corner:
“… at least get the little facts right: she didn’t order a burrito, she ordered a burrito bowl. That means Halperin has something exciting to look forward to, because we’ve still never seen Hillary Clinton get a burrito.”
So dream on Mark Halperin. Life doesn’t have to be just a series of disappointed looks from people who just found out you didn’t write Digital Barbarism. The nation’s strip malls are littered with Tex-Mex restaurants and it’s a long time until November 2016.
Oh, to be young and Mark Halperin.