Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lileks, speaking for himself

And as well as always. I love James Lileks. Today his "Bleat" was more of a rant - he seems to have removed the curmudgeonly section of his absolutely addictive website, so the Bleat must now do double duty. He's talking about the great idea they had at the Freakonomics blog on the NYT to have a "six-word motto for the U.S." contest, which (being the NYT) had many predictable results. (Also, to my surprise, some good 'uns, including "That hot girl who ignores you," my personal favorite of the selection I read.) Let me give you a little of my man James:

It doesn’t matter that these fascists-in-fetal-form [he refers here to these people: "Someone somewhere is a practicing Baptist and someone somewhere else is eating a hamburger larger than you’d prefer, and other people are watching cars go around a track at high speed."] never quite seem to accomplish anything; it’s not like they drove the gay Teletubbies off the air or had Tony Kushner drawn and quartered in the public square. But they’re preventing something. Something wonderful. And they’re driving large cars to Wal-Mart and putting 18-roll packs of Charmin in the back and they have three kids. Earth has withstood a lot in its four billion years, but it cannot withstand them. And even if it does, who wants to live in a world where these people don’t care that they’re being mocked by small, underfunded theaters in honest, gritty neighborhoods? (Which are being gentrified by upwardly-mobile poseurs who have decided it’s a great place to live because the theater is good and the restaurants are cheap. F*#*$ing interlopers. But we’ll deal with them later.)

A slightly younger relative of mine, whom I adore for his great heart, his love of fun, his manner with the children in his life, and lots more, is a right git where it comes to economics; right now he lives in one of those honest, gritty neighborhoods, and he likes to visit honest, gritty countries where a hundred bucks a month is big money for the locals (and, in spite of his theoretical social-justice stance, he thinks that's terrific because it means cheap vacations for him and his buds), and the fashion lines he represents are both honest and gritty, and in addition far out of the reach of both those Wal-mart shoppers and the poor down-trodden pipples (sorry, that's a Zorro, the Gay Blade reference) for whom he feels so deeply. Now, he's not the snob that the elbow-patch crowd seems to be; he's sincerely egalitarian, but he just doesn't quite get what egalitarianism actually entails.

I have no time for the snobs.

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