The death of any friend leaves a hole. In this case, a succession of holes, for I’ve often found myself wondering over the last 10 years, “What would Joe have made of this?” Having died just before the start of a tumultuous — to say the least — decade, the author of a landmark 20th-century satire missed, or perhaps another way to put it, avoided:Heller's "Catch-22" is next on my list of never-read-classics. I have been meaning to pick it up ever since reading "No Laughing Matter," his memoir about battling Guillain-Barré syndrome, in 1987.
• the Florida recount
• weapons of mass destruction
• Saddam Hussein’s hanging, available on cellphone and YouTube
• Dick Cheney shooting his lawyer
• Hurricane Katrina
• John Kerry, war hero, being depicted as a Swift-boating wimp
• Lady Gaga
• A.I.G. bonuses
• Bernard Madoff
• the election of Barack Obama
• Glenn Beck
• the “controversy” over Barack Obama’s birth certificate
• Sarah Palin, best-selling author.
That one, I recommend highly.