The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, January 09, 2003  

The Good, the Lame, and The Ugly

I’m pleased to see that Bertram Online joins me in my ongoing disappointment with James Lileks, though Bertram and I may have approached this shared stance from different angles.

Lileks once was cool and interesting. Now, he’s just insufferable.

[Post-publication addendum (January 10): I’m proud to say that the wise-beyond-his-years Jesse Taylor of Pandagon is with us on this.]

[Post-publication addendum (January 12): Michael Finley has some personal observations about Lileks.]

[Post-publication addendum (January 18): Also on Lileks, Jerry Bowles of the Best of the Blogs (seen entries from January 16):

James Lileks at The Bleat pees some mighty holes in the snow around John Le Carre’s “America Has Gone Mashugana” rant but fails to rub out the substance of Le Carre’s arguments. Lileks is obviously as large-bladdered as he is long-winded but nowhere in his leisurely dribblings on what Stephen King would do (about as relevant as the "South Park" lads’ moral dependence on Brian Boitano) to his amazing discovery that Le Carre is, shudder, pro-ecology but apparently never said anything when Hussein drained the great marsh that once stretched between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and renamed it the Saddam River.

And elsewhere:

Can’t we, please, ever do something, somewhere without insisting that God is on our side?

Welcome to the fray, Mr. Bowles.]


I think Jane Finch, who along with Jay Caruso produces the Daily Rant, rocks. Especially since she has joined those clamoring for Washington to take some reasonable and humane action in response to the despicable protection Senate Majority Leader Bill “First Harm the Children” Frist (R-Tenn.) provided to Eli Lilly & Co. in the Homeland Security Act.


Gee whiz, does freedom and democracy and a responsive presidency now depend solely upon the persistence of the nearly retired Helen Thomas? Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse has the transcript.


I can’t say I’m particularly pleased with what the Bush administration is calling a “stimulus package” -- We know the economy will need stimulating 10 years from now? -- and it appears Max Sawicky and Brad DeLong aren’t either. Nor is Nathan Newman, who raises some interesting points. That’s good enough for me, at least as a starting point.


I’ve wasted far too many bytes on the sanctimonious son-of-some-big-donor that goes by the name of Ben Shapiro, so I’ll let the Slacktivist take it from here. (Odd, isn’t it, that even after seeing “The Twin Towers” three times, with a different date on each viewing no doubt, the brilliant and precocious under-undergrad still doesn’t get the plot?)

Oh, and what the hell, check in on The Daily Review for that site’s observations, posted here and, later, here.

And since the guys from the Audio-Visual Club have yet to be heard from here, be sure to visit the Amish Athletic Supporter, wherever the hell that outfit is hosted these days.


By the way, The Slacktivist also has a few comments about God-knows-whose favorite senator from Pennsylvania, the chimpish dork, Rick Santorum (R).

Sad, I think, that those of us living in Pennsylvania constantly must be shamed by our representation in the U.S. Senate by Santorum and the equally disgraceful Sen. Arlen “Trent’s Okay by Me!” Specter (R).

On this topic -- Santorum, I mean -- go back and read The Flick Filosopher’s review of “Bob Roberts.”


As Israel approaches election day and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- “Arik” if you’re still indulged with a weekly op-ed column in the New York Times -- moves into what may be a well deserved meltdown, I’m going to be visiting Yuval Rubinstein’s Groupthink Central for updates, including his latest, which can be found here.


Wherefore art thou, Kim Osterwalder of Free Pie?

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