That 2006 birthday tribute to Hugh Hefner, which I reposted earlier today in memoriam
, excited the fury of the late Larry Auster
Which isn't saying a lot. Larry was famously irascible. Challenges — and Larry took any disgreement to be a challenge — to his rather precise, very firmly-held religious beliefs, including Creationism, or to his deep social conservatism, provoked his particular fury; but Larry's base state was a sort of low-level seethe. He fell out with everybody sooner or later.
Not long after that 2006 article, while Larry was still fulminating about it, a friend invited me to join a conservative dinner group in Manhattan, meeting monthly. "I'd better warn you, though," he added, "Larry Auster's a member."
"In that case," I replied, "I'd better not join. Larry and I would just end up throwing things at each other across the table."
"Oh, just give it a couple of months," said my friend. "Larry will fall out with everyone and resign in a huff."
Which is what happened. I think it actually took three months.
All that said, I was an admirer of Larry — no, "admirer" is not quite right … an appreciator
, perhaps — and was sorry when he died (in March 2013
Larry's 1990 pamphlet on immigration, The Path to National Suicide
, is a founding document of the modern immigration-restriction movement, and still worth reading today, twenty-seven years on
. Indeed, it's depressing to read Larry's remarks on the ignorance and sentimentality that dominated the public discussion (such as it was) on immigration in 1990, and to reflect that those same failings still dominate today, a whole generation later.
When I was dropped by National Review
in 2012, Larry was supportive, to the degree his personality allowed him to be. I included some appreciative remarks
in my blog about the affair.