Hitch has seen Fahrenheit 9/11. Yikers. Ever wondered if there’s a literary equivalent of someone attacking a hanging side of beef with a chain saw? Wonder no more. And if you think he’s some reflexive right-wing hack, read his Reagan piece. I am reasonably sure he wrote both pieces in the same state of furious irritated inebriation, and both strike me as two-pack essays. Forty cigarettes, minimum. Of course, you don’t know if he’s one of those light-‘em-and-leave’-em writers who fire up a Winston, set it aside, pound furiously for four minutes, take that last toxic plastic-tasting drag that makes you think I hate cigarettes for a fleeing second, or whether he parks the butt in the corner of his mouth and smokes as he writes, getting ashes all over the place. I suspect the latter. I suspect he is one of those writers who doesn’t empty the ashtray until the piece is done, and occasionally will use the butt to clear away some empty real estate in the ashtray so the cigarette doesn’t relight the discarded filters.

If he’s a filter man. Probably so. Otherwise he’d have to shave his tongue with a straight edge every morning. Steady, lad. Steady. Hold the wrist with the other hand if you have to. Ah, to hell with it.

I’m in a quandary here – very tired with much work, Monday being the new Tuesday. Do I release the Wednesday update now and slink away, or just hammer the keys until I have something worth posting? Granted, the standards here are rather lax for “worth posting” – as evidenced by my mail today, which takes me to task for a few assertions made yesterday. Rightly so, I suppose, but you can’t nuance everything to death just to avoid offending everyone. I think I was clear in saying that my Democratic interlocutors want bin Laden caught, and yes, it was a false choice, but still somewhat instructive. And yes, as a few noted, 99% of the Republicans would have preferred to see Clinton defeated in 96 rather than bin Laden captured a few months before the election, but he wasn’t really on our radar much then. We were all having a party in the nineties. Bin Laden was the weird guy who lived down the hall who never opened his door any wider than was required for him to enter or leave.

The WSJ had a piece on Air America’s financial dust-ups, which I will not deal with or comment on here, but: I did find the following details amusing. Some AA execs said Norman Lear had kicked in two million and promised another two. “They also say Mr. Cohen told them that Laurie David, wife of comedian Larry David, had invested $2 million and pledged another $4 million.” First of all, that’s comic genius Larry David. Comedian is too mild a word. But most important, Laurie David apparently was approached by the network, but didn’t invest. The article is agnostic about whether Mr. Cohen told a falsehood, or whether his remarks were misinterpreted. Fine. Point is, this has to be a subplot for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” How can it not be?

Of course, the Laurie of “Curb” is different from the real Laurie. The Laurie of “Curb” is serenely disconnected from her husband’s life, content to do what she does. Whatever that is. She’s smart, level-headed, sarcastic, tolerant, indulgent, occasionally exasperated, but happy and content to life a life of ease and plenty. Also, she reminds me of a really, really sexy duck.

In "Curb," Larry David appears to be based on Larry David. Laurie David does not. Which is why we won’t see the Air America subplot, drat the luck.

What am I DOING? I just forgot – have a Strib column due in the AM in addition to the Newhouse screed. So let’s run out the clock with some photos.

Gnat at the grocery store today. I dread the day when she no longer fits in the cart seat; I like looking at this little mug when I shop.

My shame, part one:

My shame, part two:

These are shots of the storage room, the last unfinished portion of Jasperwood. Wednesday the workmen arrive to frame up the room, drywall it, paint it, and put up shelves. After that I will transfer all the items in these containers into standardized identical containers labeled according to date and content. You think I’m kidding? I’m not kidding. You have no idea what sort of archiving project I’m doing here. For example: while cleaning out these boxes, I’ve found several crates of VHS tapes from the 80s. I’ll never watch them again . . . but. But. A tape labeled “Miami Vice premier” contains many riches, most of which are ads. I’m going to digitize, edit, and burn the highlights. That should take most of the fall and winter, off and on. Add that to the ongoing attempt to print off everything I’ve written in the last 15 years AND transfer the old Diner radio shows to MP3s for your listening satisfaction, and you have quite a project. When the Shame of the Basement has been dealt with, I’ll have the assembly-line efficiency for storing and archiving I’ve been working on for years. And then I can die.

Or not! I prefer the latter. Okay, see you tomorrow; back to work.

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c. 1995-2004 j. lileks