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He’s been tracking the politics, culture, and lifestyle of America with his gimlet eye for an astonishing number of years—many of them spent elsewhere—and reporting on the result with an even sharper wit, so expect a number of amusing and incisive insights from Gore Vidal when he gives the keynote address at the conference “Popular Culture: America and the World,” a three-day event that promises to rollick as well as rile. An unapologetic believer in the decline of culture, Vidal doesn’t necessarily believe that decline is a bad thing; he’s a riveting, opinionated speaker guaranteed to get the conference off to a spirited start. Tonight, and Oct. 9 & 10, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Woodrow Wilson Center’s Sixth Floor Auditorium, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Keynote address tonight at 6 p.m. at the Voice of America Auditorium, 4th & C Sts. NW. Free. (202) 691-4147. (Arion Berger)