This week our sister paper, the Village Voice, published a hilarious guide to rightwing bloggers, and the list includes several notable Minnesotans.
First up is James Lileks, the Strib's wunderkind-turned-scaremonger:
JAMES LILEKS (The Bleat; lileks.com)
FUN FACT: Briefly lived in Washington, D.C. (“where I heard every voice on the globe,” and also “the world’s crossroads of disease”), in a “blaring trash-strewn enclave” where he “lived in a constant state of nervous dread.” Currently resides in a house he calls “Jasperwood,” complete with “water feature” (i.e., fountain), in a Minneapolis neighborhood that he describes as “urban.”
CANDIDATE: Undeclared, leaning toward George Wallace
STUPID/EVIL RATIO: 60/40
HISTORY: Writer for various papers, including The Washington Post; longtime employee of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, for whom he blogs and supplies columns. Books include humorous, affectionate tweakings of ads, recipes, and photographs from the mid-20th century, which also comprised the centerpiece of The Bleat when it started in 1997, along with scrupulous coverage of Lileks’s daily routine (dog-walking, conversations with daughter, unsatisfying encounters with store clerks). Conservative themes emerged tentatively at first, with grumpy-old-man swipes at graffiti (“When I see that thicket of cryptic squibbles plastered on a sign, I want to bring back the chain gang”) and Monica Lewinsky (“I no more care how she feels about Ken Starr than I care how Al Capone felt about Eliot Ness”). September 11 exacerbated these tendencies to an hallucinogenic degree. Predicted New York would be “nuked,” compared a Chock Full O’Nuts Coffee can to “an urn from Atlantis,” and imagined his daughter attacked by Osama bin Laden (“Give me a gun; show me the cave”) and feminists (“I cannot possibly think of any good reason to ever strike a woman, unless it’s the one in the uniform who wants to pry my daughter’s arms from my neck because the state has decided all men must leave the household for the good of the People”).
MODUS OPERANDI: The Bleat remained thick with such fist-shakings until the 2006 elections, which seem to have thrown Lileks for a loop. Now, he mainly weaves weird culture-war demurrers into his ripely worded chronicles of shopping and child-rearing. So far he’s been quiet about McCain and even Hillary, but he refers to Obama as “Cool Brother,” which, given his longstanding antipathy to The Boondocks, is dispositive. Also: “Hillary and Obama; put them together, and what do you have? White. Male.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Long, maudlin reminiscences of Ye Olden Tymes (croquets lawns, village greens) contrasted with fantasies of the Brave New Worlds affected by Hillary (forced repatriations of girlchilds and slut-servicings of Bill) or Obama (forced integration of Target, Wal-Mart).