These short pieces by the New York Herald Trib's star columnist bring back those good old days when, with eloquent agony, he reported on his sessions before the squawk box and the boob tube. (The best of those were collected in Out of the Blue, 1952.) Since then, perhaps to offset all those hours of sitting, Mr. Crosby has become peripatetic and he is likely to be reporting from such disparate places and Paris and Rio. Thankfully, he still casts an occasional jaundiced, tortured eye at (and sharpens a facile pen on) the idiocies of the air waves and the legitimate stage-- saying just what you think in the way you wish you could say it. He is not as good when he is reviewing people and places abroad, but even here there is an acid honesty at work that makes his pieces worth the time spent reading them. This, then, is Crosby up-to-date--still sharp, still able to communicate anger and impatience, and still pre-eminently quotable.