Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Things We Do For Free ...

Emotionally, I'm pathetic. There's a standing joke among me and my friends - I've probably mentioned before - that I will cry at a well-made commercial for soup. It's like my PMS gene got jammed and I'm prone to welling. Throw a newborn baby into the soup commercial and I'm quite sure I'd pass out sobbing and come to on the floor like a dessicated piece of carrot that rolled under the table and you meant to pick up after dinner but forgot about because, hey, pudding!

But my emotional instability isn't reserved for Kleenex moments. Oh no. I also tend to fall in love at the drop of a hat. Not lustful love - God knows I ain't gettin' any action from that playbook - but the kind of love that really, if you analyzed it, is less love and more intense like, but like is such a watered-down word. Having someone say that they like you doesn't really count for much, because there aren't many categories to begin with. You don't want to hear that someone hates you, and people who are ambivalent toward you wouldn't take the time to tell you anyway, so you're left with like and love, and let's face it, love is the brass ring. Love is the gold medal. Like is second place. Like is the bridesmaid.

Anyway, the point is, it's inadequate to say that I like James Lileks. Read The Bleat and then tell me that you don't love him, too. Tell me you don't love a guy who can start a paragraph riffing about buying clip-on sunglasses at JC Penney and end the paragraph talking about "gigantic-capacity Old Lady Bras" with stops along the way to mention David and Goliath, and hams.

Lileks' latest gig as short-form columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune came to an end today in a move that can best be described as "bone-headed," which is the perfect word for it, which is why someone used that word in the first place. I'm just quoting that person. I wrote to James yesterday to say that it's typical that I just found him this week, now that he's going away, because that always happens to me. If I emit even the slightest favorable vibe about anything, apparently a satellite in orbit over Kazakhstan is programmed to pick up on it and whoosh!, off the market it goes.

So the Strib is reassigning James to the school lunch beat or some such, but thank God or the false idol of your choice (not that I think they're false idols; hey, I don't judge; you wanna worship your hamper, that's fine with me), he'll keep on keepin' on with his web site and the hilarity will continue to spew forth like the sub-premium vodka that he writes about at the top of today's Bleat.

I was poking around his site yesterday - and freaking out when I realized he's the genius behind the Gallery of Regrettable Food - and thinking, "Man, I wish I was a columnist," when I realized that, really, I am. We all are, we people who blog. Every day (or whenever the hell we get around to it), we write about politics or sports or religion or food or cats or religious cats and people read it. Why? We don't know. Probably because it's more fun than whatever it is they're getting paid to do, which they're not doing, because they're reading our blogs instead.

And yet, we write. We eschew other things to write. I just realized that I'm missing World News with Charles Gibson and you all know how much I love me some Charlie.

Luckily, I'm about done here. Wait. Yep, I'm done. Charlie calls.

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