Friday, December 18, 2009

Greetings, Friends!

(with apologies to Roger Angell)

Good neighbors, hi — but O.M.G.,

Ambrose has competition, can’t you see?

To cobble up these salacious lieder,

Fit for foe or distant reader.

Our competitor’s near, so off we go,

Sipping mescal and some sweet pisco,

Slinging beats with Sugata Bose,

Melding Keats and fustian prose:

Names and rhymes with Ol’ Jay Winter,

Whiskey, bourbon—hit the printer!

God Jul, old friends, let gladness reign

O’er Pekka Hämäläinen;

And season’s joy, much Seven Crown,

For Laurent Dubois and Vincent Brown,

Kamensky, Lepore, and Mike Willrich;

But first of all for fine President Ulrich:

Hail to the chief, our frequent flyer!

Wassail from this creaky crier—

The same, along with love and kisses,

To Mary Dudziak and other blogstresses,

Yo, Eric Foner! Yay, Woody Holton!

Happy days to all who are boltin’!

Mark Mazower, Jackie Hall,

We hug you one and each, et al.;

Ramon Gutierrez and Timothy Breen,

We greet you, then we seek out poteen.

Let’s carve a niche within these odes

For Sarah Maza and Martha Hodes,

And scope out Yuley tropes for good

Robin Kelley and Gordon Wood.

Now choirs of angels wait upon

Boys Ari Kelman and Steve Aron;

And lay a lissome roundelay

On Samuel Moyn and Martin Jay,

Roy Bin Wong, Charlie Maier,

KC Johnson, the lacrosse player;

By bike or sleigh or Segway borne,

We’ll tour the ’hood this Christmas morn

And, lightly latte’d, press a call

To wake up the Tenured Radical.

With Ralph Luker we’ll drop a present

Chez Taylor Branch and Alyssa Mt. Pleasant,

And say hola from our fine redoubt,

To Merrie Hanks and Harry Stout;

We’ll hang these greens beside the doors

Of Ros Rosenberg and Alan Kors,

Then bunch up some holly and mistletoe

As a gift for Jaime Rodriguez-O.

Then it’s on to glögg with Anders Winroth,

Lizabeth Cohen, and Emily Toth,

And hotties ever on the scene — oh!

Like Lisa Cody and Joe Crespino.

Bring bijoux, Santa Claus — and please hurry,

For Mary Sarotte and Jeremi Suri,

And pleasant toys or duds from your elf

To buoy up Brown’s Robert O. Self,

And action games to seize Chris Andrew,

David Reynolds, and Thomas Sugrue,

Adding stops along the flyway

To please the likes of Pip Holloway,

Todd Moye and Bethany Moreton,

Karen Cox and James O. Horton.

This New Year’s, dears, to beat the blues,

We’ve booked a dinner with Jesus Cruz:

In distant parts like cool St. Bart’s

We’ll bare our bods and warm our hearts;

At Zürs or Vail we’ll slip downhill

Betwixt Juan Cole and Jennifer Baszile;

With Greg Grandin, the Amazon dreama,

We’ll tan at Rio’s Ipanema,

Or in the State of Jones layover

With Vicky Bynum and John Stauffer;

Or, saving bucks, just grab a chair

With Tony Judt, in drab Times Square.

But sooner, friends, and by your leave

You’ll find us in San Diego after NY Eve,

Whilst friends and enemies work the hall,

At the annual meeting where few jobs call.

Look, there’s Stansell and Wilentz,

But who is still sitting on the fence?

With Steven Pincus, midst the crowd,

Beside Mae Ngai and Gregory Dowd.

Maya Jasanoff! Matt Connolly!

We’ve got some Mumm’s under our fine tree,

And now there’s dancing—come and choose

Victoria de Grazia or Kevin Kruse,

Sheila Fitzpatrick or Philippa Levine,

Or Susan Ferber or Thomas LeBien;

We’ll glide about till dawn comes in,

With Jennifer Burns and Howard Zinn,

Anders Winroth and Beverly Gage,

And C. Vann Winchell, though he’s an outrage!

This rhyme’s run dry, our end is near;

We’ll see you guys same time next year,

With these weary thoughts refitted

And names of friends so far omitted.

A happy new year, if you can,

And if not, then just stick to plan;

Christmas lifts us by design,

And peace on earth’s the bottom line.

As always, yr. humble svt., AHB, III.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A most delightful rumour

A most delightful rumour has penetrated the wall of privacy that surrounds my hacienda here in deepest Mexico. I have heard tell that a new purveyor of history gossip is considering following in my estimable footsteps. His name, I gather, is C. Vann Winchell and his electronic broadsheet, still in a nascent stage, may be found here. I rather doubt that this parvenu will be able to rise to my most impeccable standards, but given my desire to remain sequestered south of the border, I look forward to his attempts and shall follow his career with great and prurient interest. Should he fail to provoke and entertain, perhaps I shall head northward once again. Or perhaps not. As always yr humble svt, AHB III.