Monday, June 26, 2006

A couple of roundups ...

... at Critical Mass: John Freeman's Sunday Round Up and Jane Ciabattari's for Saturday Roundup. Useful to compare Luc Sante's Times review with Louis Menand's in the New Yorker: Acid Redux. Sante isn't responsible for the headline - "The Nutty Professor" - though he does not make it clear, as Menand does, that Leary was never a professor, at Harvard or anywhere else. At Harvard he held a lectureship. And while it may be true that Leary's indictments were "mostly on penny ante marijuana charges," as Sante puts it, the bust that landed him in the slammer was for possession while driving under the influence along with his wife and kids who were also under the influence. Doesn't seem exactly tyrannical to get a guy like that off the street.
Nothing is revealed in Robert Greenfield's book that couldn't have been known when Leary was in his heyday. It was surely in the public interest to let everyone know that the man was a dirt bag. Only now - so long after he did so much harm - does the media that created him feel the need to be sanctimonious about him.

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