You put it off, and you put it off, and then one day you realize you simply have to buy a sports jacket that looks like someone skinned a sofa from the 1973 Sears catalog. I need it for a role in a movie. It’s a small role. Non-speaking. I’m an extra, along with wife and child. A fellow in our social circle is making another movie, and he has Kristen Chenoweth for this one, as well as Jeremy Sisto from Law and Order. Since the movie is set in the 70s, I needed some church gear that looks like it was birthed in the time of Kojak. Went to Ragstock, where all bad clothes go to die.

I found an ugly coat in the two-piece rack. It lacked pants. I didn’t care. Took it up to the cash register and told the clerk it was part o a two-piece outfit, as the tag said, but the pants were absent. “I don’t know what we can do about that,” I said, thinking: I’ll get it for eight dollars instead of fifteen.

“If I wasn’t sick I’d go look for it,” the clerk said. Oh. Then she continued her conversation with a co-worker about the new Indiana Jones movie, which she was eager to see. A friend’s mom was having an Indy-themed party; everyone had to dress up in costume.

“Go as a Nazi from the last one?” her co-worker said. “They’re hot.”

The coat will also be used in the Strib TV show, which starts shooting tomorrow. I will be playing a character. My twin brother, in fact. If that sounds stupid, I understand, but the last thing the world needs is more earnest straight video reporting on local events, TV-news style with an earnest voiceover. I will be playing a middle-aged journalist who lost his beat in budget cuts and was reduced to doing internet filler until he quit in disgust – but he’s too stupid to realize what’s going on, so he gamely does the videos as he thinks TV should be done. He also does not realize that the people who are filming the episodes do not think highly of him and find him a self-important boor, and put all the unflattering footage up on the web along with his stories. That’s the pitch, anyway. I just can’t bear to think that the world really needs “Hi, I’m James Lileks here at the flower show – let’s talk to Mavis about this year’s annuals.” So I’m going to do that, yes, but with another “level” of amusement overlaid. Could suck as hard as a jet engine, but we’ll see; if it bombs, it bombs, and we’ll do something else. At least it’ll be fun. It’s all improv, incidentally.

I wanted to spend some time on an issue mentioned yesterday re: Holst and the Planets and Britishness, especially as it pertains to the supposed necessity of cultures to be infinitely elastic to the needs to immigrants who do not share the culture’s historical mindset. Maybe tomorrow. But I read some mail today, wondering why that assertion stuck in the throats of some people. It’s almost as if some people believe societies are obliged to dissolve themselves in the face of competing values. You can dress it up as pride in your willingness to accommodate, but there’s a good chance it will be read as shame and weakness. Particularly if you hold out shame and an lack of faith in your culture as a point of pride.

One of my favorite writers, Theodore Dalrymple - think Mark Steyn dipped in dry ice - has more on the matter here. As he puts it: " A feeling of unease is widespread, even among the longer-resident immigrants themselves, that Britain has lost its distinctive character: or rather, that the loss of a distinctive character is now its most distinctive character." The assertion of such points is usually seen by some as an endorsement of Le Pen and Mosley, but you have to be uniquely stupid not to realize that facing these issues in time is the only thing that prevents Le Pen and Mosley. Read the whole piece; it's worth your time.

I noted this on buzz: for mysterious reasons, a writer decided to parody the Bleat in City Pages. It’s the same guy whose Village Voice piece put me in the top ten death-beast righty blogs to watch in the upcoming election, evidence to the contrary be damned.   It’s a clever parody, and it gets the basics right – the long-winded attention to uselessly small events, the high-flown sentiment, the bathetic nostagia, the peevish complaints. Brava!

But he gets the larger details wrong, at least what I read. He thinks I am inordinately concerned about the "sexed-up media," for example. I guess that must follow if you believe in a flat-rate tax or streamlined regulatory procedures for nuclear power or a larger navy or any other of those wild-eyed neocon ideas. Also, I want to see New York flooded by global warming to pay them back for their sexed-up media. Yes, I just hate that godless New York, and I’m all fearful and censorious of that sexed-up stuff. But he chooses the Hannah Montana photo controversy as an example of a thing such a person would get all undie-bundled about. I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day about a story on marketing sexy lingerie to teens – she hated it too, and she'd probably call herself a liberal. But I guess she gets to hate it, because her dislike isn’t a tissue-thin cover for the rampant gynophobia and general boobie-panic that afflicts the right. Like mine! It’s the same with critics of militant Islam on the left: they’re wise and cautionary figures, because you needn’t suspect that they’ve seized on a small, excitable, over-estimated fragment of Islam to mask their desire for bigotry and Christian wars to spread Jeebusism around the planet.

As for global warming, well, I’ll admit, I don’t live betwitched by eco-panic, such as this fellow. (h/t Insty.) He doesn’t want to give up travel, because it’s good for him, but he will bring wooden spoons on the plane to lesson his trash impact. Fine, go ahead; be my guest. If you want to make consumption a sin, live your life accordingly – but when turned into policy, it has the effect of helping the state control your life for the good of all, as we see here: MP proposes carbon ration cards for British citizens. (A complex series of abatements and credits will no doubt arise to facilitate the movement of government officials and wealthy people.) Again, you should be deeply suspicious of my beliefs: if you are skeptical of all the panic and dread and endless agony over whether you should have composted a banana peel in 1983, well, it stands to reason you care nothing for conservation, wise use, alternative energy, and the like, and possibly are on the payroll of fat guys in Cheney masks who blurt a cubic ton of coal-based carbon out their hindquarters every six minutes. Because there’s just no sensible reason not to be on board and endorsing every possible action to keep the planet from dying, which is now scheduled for 12:18 PM, 2017. 

You know, I actually own farm land. I ought to be thrilled with ethanol. Ain’t. 

Admission: I’m more concerned about Iranian nuclear ambitions than climate change – which makes me feel like someone who worried about climate change when everyone was worried about Nuclear Winter in the 80s. I don’t have the enthusiasm for fashionable macro-panics. The world abides. Human history, on the other hand, is often jabbed along into the ditch at knife-point by the nuthouse Jew-haters. It’s a question of which catastrophe you find more likely.

Anyway, I’m sure his site is lots of fun for others, and if I cared about him as much as he seems to care about me, I’d return the favor.

Didn’t get around to finalizing the motel interface, so no update as planned. Instead: Sears 1973! See you at!