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Leonard Smith Was Not A Times Reader

Late last year, a World War II vet named Leonard Smith passed away at the age of 86. From his obit, sent in by a reader:

Leonard Smith was a very private man. If you wanted to know his cause of death, he would have told you that it was none of your business. If you asked Penny, his beloved wife, she would tell you that he had cancer, but not to tell anyone. Although his prognosis was dire, he battled on, lived his life and survived several years beyond the experts’ expectations. He did not want his obituary to suggest that he lost a long battle with cancer. By his reckoning, cancer could not win, and could only hope for a draw. And so it was. Leonard Smith hated losing.


Leonard Smith hated pointless bureaucracy, thoughtless inefficiency and bad ideas born of good intentions. He loved his wife, admired and respected his children and liked just about every dog he ever met. He will be greatly missed by those he loved and those who loved him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you cancel your subscription to The New York Times.

Oh, come on. And miss stories like this one from today’s Times (it was on the front page of the paper’s website last night), about the TV-watching plans of a portion of two to four percent of the US population?:

Anti-Gay Policies Chill Viewers’ Interest

Citing Discrimination, Some Gays and Lesbians Call for Boycott of Winter Olympics in Sochi

You may be thinking: What would Brian Boitano do? Well, Brian Boitano has told us: he’s come out of the closet and is heading to Sochi as part of the official US delegation. He will be watching from the stands.

One presumes that Mr. Smith will stay right where he is. One presumes both Brian Boitano and Leonard Smith will be happy.

UPDATE: Evans-Manning-worthy song parody from reader Darth Thulhu (click on the “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” link to understand what is being riffed on):

♫ What would Brian Boitano do
If he were there right then? ♪
♬ He’d sharpen himself a stake or two! ♪
That’s what Brian Boitano’d do! ♪

♬ When Brian Boitano burned Vlad Putin
In the Year Two Thousand Ten ♪
♫ He drove off the evil vampire Lord ♪
And saved us all again! ♪

♫ What would Brian Boitano do
If he fought Count Putin now? ♪
♬ He’d deploy his right Cross for you! ♪
That’s what Brian Boitano’d do! ♪

♬ When Brian Boitano went to Sochi
In the blood-rimmed days ahead ♪
♫ He rode a Rainbow Zamboni blessed by God ♪
And crushed the Leech-Horde dead! ♪

♬ As Brian Boitano slays undead
On the rinks of sacred ice ♪
♫ He’ll use his magical fire breath ♪
And holy steam will scald them twice! ♪

♫ What would Brian Boitano do
When he slayed old Vlad, and how? ♪
♬ He’d sharpen himself a stake or two! ♪
♬ Aim for the heart and drive it through! ♬♪
♬ Cut off the head and burn it, too! ♪
‘Cuz that’s what Brian Boitano’d Dooooooooooooo! ♪

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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