Watch What You Say. Someone Else Is.

About a year ago, I was at one of those elitist dinner parties that the talk-radio guys are always going on about, albeit in the Swiss Alps rather than inside the Beltway—how’s that for one-upmanship? It was a very agreeable gathering at the end of a practically unimprovable week, but toward the end of the evening, an unexpected (by me, anyway) guest appeared: Roman Polanski. That presented a dilemma both ethical and etiquettical. Does one meet Roman Polanski? Shake hands? Exchange pleasantries? Put on my critic’s hat and engage in a little friendly commentary? “I really enjoyed Chinatown, but I didn’t think Carnage quite lived up to the play. I’m not saying it was as bad as being drugged and forcibly sodomized, but, you know, John C. Reilly is no James Gandolfini.” Tricky. I wish I could say that my most immediate concern was transcendently moral, but apparently I am

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