All this will take place in the Friends Meeting Room at the Newport Beach Central Library from 6 to 9 p.m. Advance tickets at $125 per person are required and can be purchased online at www.nbplfoundation.org.
I’ve been out of town for the past week and spent the last few days slogging through the newspapers that had accumulated while I was out of town. I found that process deeply depressing. Trying to sleep with those headlines on my mind, I visioned, instead, a time 500 years hence when some hardier race would be excavating our artifacts in an effort to determine why we disappeared, rather like the dinosaurs. And I saw these imaginary archeologists coming up with copies of the newspapers, somehow preserved, I’d just been reading. And very quickly it became clear why we had become extinct.Here were some of the things going on during the last week:
• The top drawing movie was “Saw IV,” a sadistic bloodbath referred to by critics as “torture porn” that enriched its makers by $32 million its first weekend and was of special appeal to people under 25 who made up two-thirds of its audience;
• High on the best-selling list of the books we were reading was O.J. Simpson’s sick account of how he would have murdered his wife if he had, indeed, done it, which most of us — including a civil court — think that he did. That didn’t dissuade millions of Americans from buying it;
• The sheriff of the second-largest such department in California, who theoretically is in charge of protecting all of us from lawbreakers, was indicted for a smorgasbord of alleged criminal acts almost as long as the list of friends and supporters he has named as deputies and provided with guns. He denied all this in a press interview in which he said “I have committed no criminal acts.” He quite possibly believes this, which is the most frightening aspect of all;