First of all, I’d like to note that I am standing up while I write this. It’s peculiar, but I’ve gotten into the habit of writing standing up when I’m at the kitchen table. (In case you have visions of me with Reed Richards arms, the table is actually an island, set up rather high.) I mention this for no reason, except that I know people speak differently when they stand up, and perhaps standing while writing makes a difference as well. Adds a Prussian tone, perhaps. I don’t think Prussians even sat down to move their bowels. They just walked into the bathroom, closed the door, gripped the hilt of their sword and shouting SCHNELL! Or not.

Second, I should like to thank everyone who informed me that the moon program is indeed ongoing, my snark yesterday notwithstanding. (My snark was factually inadequate? No!) I just wish there was more publicity about it. I’ve been investing, to use a weasel word for indulging one’s personal desires, in these gigantic box sets about the space program; they have every single inch of video ever shot about NASA, and I watch them with the same sort of pained rue I get when I see “The Right Stuff” or “Apollo 13.” I still think we should be able to look up at the moon every night and know that there are humans up there. Of course, if we’d had a base up there since 72 it would be full of orange shag and wood-grained plastic, so maybe it’s okay that we held off. But still. I find it unacceptable that we swapped the space program for, oh, the CB-radio / “Convoy” phase of American cultural expression. Further, please, to paraphrase Michael Ledeen.

Speaking of Michaels: Michael Medved interviewed the Congressperson who gave Cindy Sheehan the ticket to the State of the Union. It’s an interesting glimpse into the intellectual capability required to win repeated elections in Marin County. The entire interview is here, hosted by yours truly. Warning! Hate-filled Fox-news style wild crazy wingnut rhetoric ahead! Or not. If you think that talk radio is uniformly stocked with ranting nutters, you will find this unsatisfying.

Speaking of Michael Medved: he came over to Jasperwood tonight. No, really. He was in town for a speech, and I had a few hours between the end of his radio show and the plane home, and Jasperwood is the Unofficial Decompression Chamber for Salem Network radio hosts. (In-joke for Medved listeners: when I introduced Gnat to Michael, I said “this is the man on the radio who has the call of the week? Remember how we listen on the way to piano and you always wish we would win the call of the week?” I winked at Michael and said “You’re the devil. You’re the big Hitler.” Because that’s what she hears every Friday. End in-joke.) It’s always a pleasure to talk to someone with an IQ of eleventy billion who’s interested in the same things I am. If I could get Medved and Prager here at the same time and get both of them going on film score composers, it would be pure gold. Pure korngold, for that matter. Ha ha! Another inside joke. I’m so smart with such smart famous friends.

Sorry. But it was fun. Reminded me how few the opportunities I have to talk about stuff and things. And I got to show Michael my World’s Fair memorabilia, since he’s interesting in Fairs as well. Proof that all men are, at some level, 13 years old: hey come look at my SpiderMan stuff! I got the one with magnet feet! But it’s better when you’re older; you know more. Example: I showed him a World’s Fair promotional item from a particular hotel in New York.

“Park Central,” he said. “Wonder if it’s still there.”

“It is,” I said. “I stayed there. Arnold Rothstein, the mobster, was shot there.”

“Also known as Meyer Wolfsheim,” he said.

“He had two names?”

“No, Meyer Wolfsheim in ‘The Great Gatsby’ was modeled after Arnold Rothstein.”

“Right, right. Well, you know Gatsby was a good North Dakota boy, too.”

Which led to an argument about Gatsby vs. “Appointment in Samarra,” which went off in ten different directions. Oh, such erudition! Sorry. I know, I’m being insufferable. But you know lots of stuff I don’t about things I don’t know exist; everyone does. I possess no unique knowledge. We used to have something on the live version of the Diner called “The Great Experiment,” wherein I attempted to prove that there was nothing I knew that someone else in the audience didn’t know as well. It started with the definition of “Fin Fang Foom,” I think – the lines lit up one after the other. At eleven at night! Five guys queued to tell me who he was, and who drew him. (Criminey: does EVERYONE have their own action figure now?) It’s agreeable to talk about stuff you know that you never get to talk about, that’s all.

In my haste to upload this week, I’ve forgotten some links.

The Achewood desktop of Roast Beef confronting Trouble Man and No-No in the afterlife.

The website of the guy whose life was portrayed in Casino, who turned out to be alive and online.

The world and his wife have linked to this, but it's still worth mentioning. "Sleepless in Seattle: the Horror Movie Trailer."

Finally: if Amazon says that people who bought my book bought his, who am I to argue? I’ve already ordered my copy of Insty’s book, and if you wish to do the same, the link to the right should make it easier. (Tag: heh. Get your matching Instapundit sheets!)

Currently listening to: “Salt Water,” by Chicane. I’m going to have to investigate the rest of the catalog; it’s like techno Enya, which may strike some people as the worst of all possible worlds, I suppose. The name of the group reminds me of arguments I had about Electric Light Orchestra (note: correction to previous Bleat; Godley & Crème did not write “The Things We Do For Love” for 10cc. That is all.) – the song “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” had a lyric some swore was “walking on the waves she came,” but the album sleeve said “walking on the waves’ chicane.” That sent us to the dictionary. Which was no help – did he mean the “artificial narrowing, as on a road” or “a hand without cards of one particular suit”? Or had someone changed the word just to mess with our heads, maaaannn?

Note: the Amazon page says "If you like Electronic Music that could be appreciated by your parents (and just about anyone with ears), pick this one up.” Also, Bryan Adams does vocals on one track. I have been warned.

Back to work; more tomorrow. See you then.


c. 2005 j. lileks. Email, if you wish, may be sent to "first name at last name dot com."