James Lileks might be my favorite writer. He’s always worth reading, he’s funny, sharp, witty, insightful and writes about nearly everything. And he peppers his prose with Simpsons references that give me inordinate joy.
As with most good writers, he has that ability to write about whatever (old noir, matchbook covers, gun ads, Minneapolis, bad interior design) and keep the reader (at least, this reader) nodding and chuckling through every piece. It’s a rare ability, to keep your readers laughing and engaged. To do it on a daily basis is a sign of great talent.
From Tuesday’s Bleat,
I didn’t love America any less in the Clinton years than I did in the Bush years, or vice versa; I don’t conflate my opinions about transitory leaders with my opinion about the nation’s role in history and its exceptional, if occasionally improvised, conflicted, and compromised struggle to do the right thing. I mean, go back in history and find another one of us. (Note: small ethnically coherent Nordic states that can’t project power six feet over the border really don’t count.) But unqualified love of country unnerves some people, as though the lack of qualifications means you don’t recognize qualifying factors. Me, I think they’re obvious; we’re made of humans, after all, and every house we build has beams of crooked timber. But I don’t recall a lot of FDR speeches laying out a litany of American sins in order to bolster the case for why America should fight Hitler, despite all those troubling similarities. After all, we lynched Jews, too, ergo we must face our own demons as well as those abroad. And so on.
The whole post is great. I’d quote more of it, but really, you should just read the whole thing.
The really wonderful thing about Lileks is that there’s so, so, so much more. Really, he’s actually put up a frightening amount of material… check out the Institute of Official Cheer, which is just a taste. It’s all up at www.lileks.com. Except for everything that’s up at Buzz.mn, of course.
Plus, he loves Disney and files wonderful trip reports. What more is there?