" . . . make sure they don't know what [Norman] Mailer wanted to do with The Village Voice
." He puffed on his cigar. "Or have heard of C. Wright Mills and this — " (waving his hand, dramatically
) " — Power Elite
"Kids love the motorbike," Greg offered, a protege angling for his due.
"Exactly! Exactly." Fargutt McGillicuddy brightened, in a You got it, kid! sort of way, like he was pleased he didn't need to do much more explaining. He took a couple more puffs on the cigar, then set it in the ashtray. "That's what you gotta do — get there first. Like Buckley did, angling for the youth culture . . . but from the inside," (he pressed and index finger, face down, into the inkblotter on the desk) " — as liberals, see?"
"Shouldn't be too hard," Greg followed up, after waiting the requisite beat to indicate he was paying attention, he was "absorbing" this. He glanced down at himself. His new tie looked great!
"No? No, well, maybe not. But the thing is — " (he grunted, and shifted in his chair; it was an old war injury, well-known he didn't want to talk about) " —the thing is, this generation's coming of age, and we've gotta, uh, be there before —"
" — like a catcher with a mitt," Greg offered.
(this went on for 20 more min., then:)
" . . . who else is funding you, you and Tom." He paused from writing the check, hand with pen in air over the desk.
"Oh . . . you know . . . I'm not at liberty to divulge."
"I like that, I like that . . . get there first . . . " (he continued muttering, as any of his family members who had to endure meals with him would recognize he'd do) " . . . beat 'em at their own game . . . out cynicism'm out of, uh, steam . . . or something . . . yadda-yadda-yadda." (signing with a flourish)
"What are you thinking of calling it, this, uh, your little journal," he said, handing the check over.
"Ohh . . . we're just tossing around ideas, right now." Greg grinned at him, not sure if they should go so far as The Hipster: The Douser of Everything Cool, or that'd be overdoing it.
Not good to advertise that, yet.
Seem indecisive to the old man if it's not settled, yet . . . you know?