"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wThursday, August 29, 2002

SPECTATOR SPORT: The resuscitated American Spectator ("under new old management" as they put it) got off to a pretty good start, given that they were pretty much stuck with the contents of the issue, by pissing Judge Bork off. Even better was the fact this his son is the creative director (suggested editorial reply to Bork Sr.'s complaint: "Yo, Dad, chill!"). But the mag is still ugly and the subscription price is still high. A suggestion gents, Ditch the slick larger paper and the whole new look in toto. I'm usually a fan of redesigns but this one took a good thing and unjustly drove a stake through its heart.

posted by Jeremy at 6:16 PM


REASON ARTICLE: Don't think I've linked to this yet. Ladies and gents (drumroll please) here was the internship winning entry to the Burton C. Gray Memorial competition.

posted by Jeremy at 6:03 PM


FOR SHAME, EVAN: This high was of my own making (well, maybe augmented by a little caffeine, but really).

posted by Jeremy at 6:01 PM


CHRIS CALDWELL ALERT: When I was at Reason this summer, I'm sure that colleagues got sick of me sending them copies of Chris Caldwell's latest work. His new piece for the the Weekly Standard Online takes a fun swipe at the New York Times' bin Laden coverage:

"What can you possibly find out by reading the Times story? Bin Laden is either alive or he isn't. Either we're on his trail or we're not. As soon as someone knows something definitive, we're not going to care about the 'focus' of our searches. Until then, we don't know anything to speak of. And if you read down in the story, you find the Times correspondents, Ian Fisher and John F. Burns, admitting as much: 'The hunt for Mr. bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has proved to be as murky as the silted rivers flowing through these inhospitable mountains.' Well, isn't that literary? I think I'll wait to pay attention until the hunt has become as sharp and well-honed as the jagged rock promontories that seem to loom, hauntingly, over the Afghan landscape. Either that or pour myself a beer that has a taste as big and fresh as a mountain stream."

posted by Jeremy at 5:57 PM


REPARATIONS ARE FUNNY (AND EVIL): The Report really ought to have Cosh doing more than the Upfront section and the occasional piece; like a regular column (suggested title: 54.40). Case in point: his recent musings on reparations.

posted by Jeremy at 10:09 AM



posted by Jeremy at 9:59 AM


FRAY: Glenn Reynolds agrees with my distaste for the mantra "We shall never forget." Er, sort of:

"[Jeremy Lott is] right. The American way is to stomp hell out of people who do us ill, then forget all about it within a decade or two."

posted by Jeremy at 9:59 AM


PRESENT, PAST, AND FUTURE DARKNESS: I've posted my review of Frank Peretti's first work of non-fiction (which, BTW, was also the first piece of mine that Christianity Today ever published).

posted by Jeremy at 9:53 AM


OREGON FIRES: Hope the folks at Backwoods Home Magazine - home of the survivalist right - are OK. I sent Dave Duffy an e-mail in response to his column on the forest fire that is threatening house and home and I've yet to hear back.

posted by Jeremy at 9:40 AM


GATHERING MOSS: I haven't had a chance to snag the new Maximized Rolling Stone, but I'm fairly certain I won't like it. Why? Because their choice of cover bands, The Vines, just reeks of geriatric attempts at being hip, and places them far, far behind the curve, music wise.

When I reviewed the former Nirvana cover band's CD this summer (kinda fun but nothing special, though I do believe I coined the term "ska anthem"), the press release contained scads of gushing reviews, including cover stories, by other music rags. That Rolling Stone is only now getting around to it shows how out of touch the mag still remains, even under this new, supposedly hip management.

posted by Jeremy at 1:20 AM


HOLY S*IT: Friend and Reason editor Sara Rimensnyder reports on a fatal shooting that happened across the street from her house. That's only two blocks from where I was living this summer.

posted by Jeremy at 12:56 AM


A CONTRARIAN SEPTEMBER 11 THOUGHT: Has there ever been a more un-American mantra than "We shall never forget"?

posted by Jeremy at 12:51 AM


VERY RICH: If I wasn't published in the late e-mag Feed, it wasn't for lack of trying. Here was one of the attempts.

posted by Jeremy at 12:49 AM


HEY EDITORS: This is way in advance but for Valentine's Day, I'm thinking of writing something titled "The Anti-Romantic Manifesto." Any takers?

posted by Jeremy at 12:47 AM


VERY PUNNY: Here's a humor piece I did several years ago for Spintech. It's raw but a) it got me one job offer and b) I'm fairly certain I'm writing for The Stranger because of it.

posted by Jeremy at 12:46 AM


WAITING TO GET THE GALLEYS BACK: Of a piece for Seattle's The Stranger. I think I might have mixed up "orgiastic" for "orgasmic." But, as Mike said, if Savage doesn't pounce on that error, he no longer has any right to write a sex column.

posted by Jeremy at 12:44 AM


PESSIMISTS THEORY OF SUCCESS: Fail at a bunch of stuff; find a few things you aren't bad at; stick to those. Here is the chronicle of a failure.

posted by Jeremy at 12:42 AM


VERY TROUBLING COLUMN: By Dubya's cousin John Ellis. He predicts that in the event of another terrorist attack, Jacksonians - think red state people - will demand, and get, nothing less than total war.

posted by Jeremy at 12:38 AM


WHY IT'S GOOD TO BE A BAPTIST: Because you don't have to put up with crap like the current heresy trial that some of my good friends at Razormouth are enmeshed in. The great thing about having a non-creedal religion is that you can believe anything you want, as long as you know when to say "Amen!" at the right times.

posted by Jeremy at 12:35 AM


SPEAKING OF WHICH: I notice that The American Partisan has done about everything possible to pretend I never existed, even though the original, vastly superior site was my idea, and I recruited all of the original columnists. Those same old columnists, except for moi, are archived. Bad form, Tim.

posted by Jeremy at 12:33 AM


NICE CHAT WITH MIKE ALLEN TODAY: It was occasioned by an accidental screw-up on the Spintech web site, but we got to such subjects as our summers, his appointment to the editorial board of Synthesis/Regeneration , and the war in Iraq. Glad that my leaving Spintech didn't close any doors there.

posted by Jeremy at 12:28 AM


APOLOGIES ALL AROUND: For neglecting my readers. It's been a shitty couple of weeks, in which the future direction of my life has swung about like a mac truck on black ice. One of the nice things about being a thoroughgoing pessimist: You can't lose faith in human nature when it's lacking to begin with.

posted by Jeremy at 12:21 AM

wMonday, August 19, 2002

NATIONAL POSTED: Colby Cosh alerted me to the fact that The National Post's free archives have been reduced from 60 days to 16. Thanks to Nathan Bierma, who used his vast journalistic powers (e.g. a Nexis search) to help salvage an electronic copy of my Pope piece that was part of the Post's coverage leading up to World Youth Day. I've posted it on Jeremiads 2.

posted by Jeremy at 9:33 PM

wWednesday, August 14, 2002

FIRST REVIEW POSTED: It's an expanded version of a piece about two wacky Christian novels. Title: "Goliath Was a Piker."

posted by Jeremy at 2:20 PM


ANNOUNCING: At the urging of quite a few people, I have decided to set up a companion site to this one. Jeremiads 2 will be an archive of past columns and reviews by yours truly. I'll try to post a few articles a week.

posted by Jeremy at 1:52 PM


BOY I'M BAD AT KEEPING THIS THING UPDATED: After WorldNetDaily and Kathy Shaidle both beat me to posting a link to one of my stories earlier this year, I've been more prompt about telling y'all about new articles. And, lately, that's about it. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's that I have little time to say it in.

So here are a few thoughts on the issues of the day (and, eds, if you want these as articles, let me know):

Iraq: Here's how the issue breaks down: If there is reasonable proof that Iraq was involved either in the September 11 bombings or in the anthrax scare that followed, then that was an act of war and should automatically trigger a U.S. backed regime change somewhere down the line. (For elaboration, see this article on the Just War Theory.) If not, then I agree with Dick Armey's warning that a lack of inspection compliance should not provide the justification for war.

Big Business, the economy and the incredible shrinking ex-president: Well, the business cycle hasn't been repealed. No surprises there but quite a few people have been shocked - shocked! - by the extent of the collapse and the massive accounting dishonesty on the part of various execs. Some conservatives have fingered Bill Clinton as a (if not the) cause of the current malaise because, you see, he helped to create a culture in which truth became malleable.

That strikes me as a bit much and it also overlooks Bill Clinton's wonderful contribution to the economy. As I told my liberal Democrat landlady this summer (as she was winding into a Donahue-like "how could they spend all that money and hound him nearly out of office over sex?" type rant) Bill Clinton wasn't just a decent president, he was a great president. He and clingers-on injected Washington D.C. with so much partisan venom and bile that the place effectively gummed up and shut down for six years, thus hamstringing all sorts of stupid regulations and programs. A more decent man might have used those eight years in the White House to create a new so-called progressive movement.

Not Bill Clinton. He lied - scratch that, he brazenly lied - his way into office and proceeded to squander all of his political capital, usher in a few years of Republican control of Congress, attack his opponents rather than admit fault, and leave as one of the most disgraced - and least accomplished - presidents in memory. The Clinton whirlwind gave us fellatio on the nightly news but it also gave us six years in which our rulers were to busy aiming fire at each other to take too much notice of us little guys. That makes him a great president in my book, even if I never would have voted for the bastard.

The "Clinton did it" explanation also smacks too much of devil-made-them-do-it excuse making. If conservatives believe that people are moral agents who need to exercise some responsibility - and if they don't believe that, then I don't know what the hell they're doing calling themselves conservatives - then it won't wash to blame the duplicity of Big Business on Bill Clinton.

The whole sordid trainwreck that is the current economy may illustrate something I was driving at in a column early this year: Greed is not good. I don't mean that in a strictly moral sense, either. Businesses succeed by serving customers. When managers and boards decide to help themselves instead of serving said customers, they are not just being bad people but bad businessmen as well.

Bush: I voted for the guy (beat moving to Canada) but it's going to take one hell of a clothespin to do so again. The criticism about him catering to Big Business is not entirely fair (many of his critics think "catering to Big Business" means "not regulating industries to death") and it obscures the larger point that the prez simply refuses to risk any of his popularity to do the right thing for the whole country over and against narrow electoral interests.

We have seen this on display with steel and timber tariffs and also with his rejection of any kind of racial profiling in searching passengers to board airlines. Bush is also so obsessed not to relive the mistakes of his father that he's making all kinds of new ones. His refusal to veto a single bill thus far, for instance, has drastically reduced the admin's clout with Congress; and his expansion of various government programs has thus far failed to buy off liberals. (Republicans have yet to learn that they can't outbid Democrats.)

Unsafe at any speed: Just before I moved to L.A. in May, Washington state enacted a so-called "primary seatbelt law." This annoyed me for a number of reasons but I figured, hey, t'aint my problem. Well, now I'm back and I've gotta say that there is no better way to turn a (mostly) law abiding citizen into a dangerous anarchist than to empower the poe lice to pull him over at will to see if he's behaving as a good little boy should. The highways are heavy with signs warning of the potential $86 fine and cops have been pulling people over to see if they've gotten the message.

I've gotten it loud and clear. The situation reminds me of a scene from the movie Undercover Brother . The one where the Doogie Howser character bursts in on Eddie Griffin and company - an undercover black organization dedicated to fighting "The Man" - to tell them that he just watched the movie Roots and (I'm paraphrasing) "now I understand."

posted by Jeremy at 1:59 AM

wSaturday, August 10, 2002

I'M BACK(ISH): Pulled into home last night. I'll be blogging more frequently next week, but I'll also have five book reviews to kick out, along with a three-way dialogue (trialogue?) on globalization for a Canadian magazine, and - did I mention? - there's a book manuscript that needs going over.

Yes, it was a good trip. I'm reasonably intact and my car broke down only once (apparently, sparkplugs wear out after 200,000 miles; who knew?).

posted by Jeremy at 4:36 PM

wFriday, August 02, 2002

FARE THEE WELL: This is my last day as an intern for Reason. Next week, I and a very good friend will be meandering up the West coast in my '91 Pontiac Sunbird (and, after $700, the brakes had better work). We're scheduled to arrive late Friday, so e-mails and telephone calls will go unanswered until Saturday at the earliest.

posted by Jeremy at 11:13 AM