Sitting at the Black River Cafe today, by the window, the sunlight streaming in on a surprisingly warm and slushy winter day. At the table across from me, two women are chatting. Well, one woman is, really, as her friend listens, and occasionally gets to nod in reply. And the one woman is not chatting or talking so much as pontificating, at loud volume, about everything from art history to departmental politics to the bad habits of "young people" to Shelby Steele's take on Barack Obama. She's very, very earnest; she's very, very boomer in her absolute moral certainty and dismissal of those younger than her ("I'm 60!," she crows with a laugh at one point); and worst of all, she's very, very, very loud, apparently unaware that she's in a restaurant where other people might want to chat, read, or just eat quietly. I feel like Alvy Singer standing in the movie line in Annie Hall: "Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but do you have to be so loud about it? I mean, a-aren't you a-a-ashamed to pontificate like that?" But my favorite moment comes when, after discoursing for several minutes in a voice that rings throughout the increasingly empty restaurant (boy, wonder why that is), she makes the following declaration, about contemporary life: "I've just never seen people so selfish, so wrapped up in their own rudeness."