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January 15, 2004
City Pages Attacks Lileks -- He Barely Notices

First, let me apologize for being late. If I am the Navy of the Northern Alliance, as the good folks at SCSU Scholars say, then perhaps I am the French Navy at Yorktown -- arriving just in time to celebrate the victory, but not much else.

Yesterday, City Pages published a bizarre attack on James Lileks for daring to express his actual opinions on his own blog:

Lileks wasn't as bad as some of the keyboard warriors I'd read, but there was that gloat and strut, as if Lileks had personally captured Saddam. (Lileks has written of dreams and fantasies where he kicks terrorist ass, and I was somewhat let down that he didn't sketch out a scenario where he grabbed Saddam by the beard and gave the Beast an Adam West Batman thrashing: "All right, you Mesopotamian ruffian, where are the WMD!?" SOCK! POW! "C'mon! Out with it, desert evildoer!")

Historical context is seldom welcome at The Bleat; it's totally irrelevant now that our "debt" to the Iraqis has been paid. For Lileks, the crucial historical moment has yet to happen: "The history texts will note that Baghdad fell on this date, Saddam was captured on that date, and the events between the two events will fill up a paragraph at best. Cruel but true. This was a big event, but there are bigger events to come."

Like Syria? Iran? Or maybe Pakistan, now that it appears our ally was selling nuclear material to North Korea? The Bleat will reveal all in good time.

I'm not about to do a line-by-line fisking of this article, not when fellow Northern Alliance bloggers Mitch Berg and Saint Paul at Fraters Libertas are already doing such a wonderful job at it. Make sure you read every word they write on the subject of James Lileks and this cheap shot from this tabloid wannabe.

Dennis Perrin's main complaint about James Lileks is his support of the war, and that's certainly a fair issue, although one wonders why City Pages feels the need to publish a lengthy discourse on Lileks alone on this issue. I suspect it was to make a splash on the blogosphere, and now they've succeeded. But the manner of Perrin's article is so mean, so sneering, and so condescending that it descends into self-parody. Take for instance this line:

But it's not The Backfence Lileks I'm concerned with here. That's his paying gig. (My exploration of The Backfence will appear in the Spring 2004 edition of Minutiae Quarterly, "The journal that focuses on things you don't even know exist.")

One would suppose that City Pages will be the poster child for Minutiae Quarterly. Perrin certainly qualifies as the editor.

As for Lilek's response, it was perfect in its entirety:

So: do you think the guy who wrote that article called up this site today, hoping he’d find a foamy-mouthed point-by-point reply?

Maybe. Who cares? Let’s talk about the stars.

Lileks, 1; self-important freebie tabloid writer, 0. (Northern Alliance Navy recognized as winner only by Dominique de Villepin.)

Addendum: RB at Infinite Monkeys has a good interpretation of how we all feel about Lileks. Note the lack of Hummels, though ...

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 15, 2004 7:56 AM

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» City Pages earn a PhD in snark from SCSU Scholars
if Captain's Quarters is the Navy, then Mitch and Saint Paul can argue over which gets to be the Marines or the Air Force. We're just teachers here. [Read More]

Tracked on January 15, 2004 7:27 PM

So maybe you've heard about that guy from one of the Twin Cities' local thick-with-ads giveaway papers (not The Rake, which is a good giveaway paper) writing a boring anti-Lileks piece (the only things interesting about it were the Lileks bits) to drum... [Read More]

Tracked on January 16, 2004 8:46 AM

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