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

You've stumbled upon the website of Jeremy Lott. (To learn more about me, go here.) I can be reached at JEREMYAL123 -- AT -- YAHOO.COM.


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wThursday, October 31, 2002


QUEBEC MOVES SOUTH: I have an article on TAP this morning which argues that California politics have become so very Canadian.

posted by Jeremy at 9:36 AM


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AAARGH: Late night and early morning at work. I slept at the office and was jostled awake at 4 this morning when I was mistaken for the graphics guy. Incidentally, I'm the youngest guy on staff by a country mile and yet they all seem fully capable of firing on all cylinders that hour.

posted by Jeremy at 9:34 AM


wWednesday, October 30, 2002


MAKING LAHAYE OUT OF IT: In an article for Christianity Today today, I ask whether Bantam was wise to throw $45 million at Tim LaHaye's new book series when his other one (no, not Left Behind; the other one) doesn't seem to be going so well.

posted by Jeremy at 4:58 PM


wThursday, October 24, 2002


APOLOGIES: For the light posting this week but I needed to get five articles done. Three down, two to go.

posted by Jeremy at 5:33 PM


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AND SPEAKING OF ANDREW SULLIVAN: Look, I don't agree with Andrew Sullivan about a good number of things (Catholicism, the nature of the War on Terror, etc.). But if there is there was ever an example of going too far... this is it:

"What is 'self-evidently bizarre,' however, is that Sullivan seems to be publicly losing his mind. It happens to a lot of people with AIDS. Dementia sets in, eventually, and, no matter how many drug cocktails they take, in the end virtually all succumb to mania and mental deterioration. The rabid, frothy-mouthed tone of Sullivan's recent writings, combined with a telltale literary sloppiness, is really kind of sad. ...

"It's time for Sullivan to throw in the towel before he does any more damage to what is left of his reputation. I remain an admirer of his book, Virtually Normal, which dared to debunk gay victimology and even called into question oppressive 'anti-discrimination' laws favoring gays, but his writings on the war – his entire post-9/11 output – bring to mind the ravings of the syphilitic Nietzsche."

The author is Justin Raimondo, who, as one colleague so eloquently put it, is "a bit of a bitch himself."

posted by Jeremy at 5:31 PM


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RESERVATIONS: I was invited to, and will probably attend, a confab in DC this December by the Institute for Humane Studies. The conference is being organized on the fly and will only happen if enough of us young journos RSVP. Which, before they caught the alleged sniper, got me to thinking: How cheap could they book the conference and hotel rooms for in a city in the middle of a shooting spree? I guess it's now a moot question.

posted by Jeremy at 5:03 PM


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LINKS: Two recent permalinks that I am quite proud of: Radley Balko's Agitator and the Report's website.

posted by Jeremy at 4:59 PM


wTuesday, October 22, 2002


RECENT ARTICLES: Yesterday, I got so caught up in work that it was late in the day before I noticed that my Christianity Today column was up. The subject is the new book The Gospel According to Tony Soprano, which I tried very hard to like... and failed. Also, Enter Stage Right and Razormouth reprinted a couple of articles on Andrew Sullivan's Catholicism and the Orwellian state of human rights law in Canada vis a vis my current employer.

posted by Jeremy at 9:50 PM


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CALDWELL COLUMNY: The Pithy One takes a pretty good slap at the Clinton administration this week, in re: its approach to North Korea's nuclear bomb buildup: "It was part of a pattern in which the White House pursued a foreign policy aimed at inflating its own moral vanity..." Also, TomPaine.com's John Moyers (son of Bill; hey that shortens down nicely) responds to a Caldwell piece lamenting the magazine that The American Prospect could have been... if it wasn't run by Stalinists. Caldwell's reply is fun but this sentence stuck out: "Moyers's assessment that the articles he has run on Iraq have been 'credible' will not be widely shared outside of Baghdad."



posted by Jeremy at 9:41 PM


wWednesday, October 16, 2002


IF I ONLY HAD AN ASS: Well, it's a late night tonight, with Colby Cosh brooding across the desk from me (smoking like a chimney - he looks a bit like Zonker) and Kevin Steel working like a mad monkey to input pictures. Things of course get a little crazy and so you end up with incidents like my recent stirring rendition of "If I only had an ass" (from a Wizard of Oz spoof). And a bloody good time was had by all.

posted by Jeremy at 10:06 PM


wFriday, October 11, 2002


AT LEAST HE SPELLED MY NAME RIGHT: Gary DeMar was... not a fan of my dispatch on the CBA convention. He has published an article on something called Planet Preterist which takes a few fun swipes at me. I have only two complaints: 1) He didn't link to my article; 2) He didn't publish it on Razormouth, where people would actually read it.

posted by Jeremy at 1:23 PM


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THE POLITICS OF DEVIANCE, INTERLUDE: Sara Rimensnyder yesterday berated me for the lack of info on my new job and new digs. Well, since I just finished Anne Hendershott's The Politics of Deviance and I need to clear my head before diving into the review, here goes nothing.

Edmonton is geographically large and it has a lot of people - I want to say 1,000 square miles and 900,000 heads but both figures could be wildly off by roping the surrounding suburban area and population into the mix. I live within spitting distance of the downtown core - in fact I can see the buildings out of the window as I type. Work is about a half hour drive and either the traffic isn't bad or I've managed to not be on the roads during peak hours. The West Edmonton Mall is massive, as advertised, including at least three food courts, three movie theatres, a couple of water parks, several book stores and collectibles shops, and every clothing store that one could ever imagine.

The Report, for those who don't know, is Canada's oldest (and basically only) national magazine of the right. To understand how this works, consider: In the U.S. you have a variety of choices: the cool libertarian Reason; the staid neoconservative Commentary; the wonkish Washington (D.C.)-centric Insight; the paleoconservative Chronicles; the evangelical - bordering on fundamentalist - World; and more Catholic voices (National Review, Crisis). Now squeeze all of those voices into one magazine and mix well.

To make matters more interesting, I agreed to come on board The Report at the very moment when, financially and mentally, the fit had hit the shan. The investors who had kept the magazine afloat for the last several years decided to pull out and this is, to understate, not the best time to try and raise investment money. Solution: Go from "for profit" status to "non profit" and raise funds from readers and friends.

The problem is that the shift from "for" to "non" profit is never easy and is complicated by the fact that this is Canada. For both tax and cultural reasons, the Great White North does not have the same deep tradition of think tanks and foundations as the U.S. does. The process of hashing out a new vision for the magazine and foundation has been made especially difficult by a lack of precedent and the nature of The Report.

An office conversation today illustrates some of the snags in any new vision. The top brass were talking about a Really Big Pressing Issue of the Day and it was learned (duh!) that The Report would have a hard time taking any official position due to the deep divide in the staff itself, which reflects classical fissures in the Canadian Right. One of the suggestions that was floated was that the magazine should be more decisive in the future, clearly favouring one position over another on a whole battery of issues.

And there go half your readers.

The foundation and magazine also want to a) become more influential and b) to do so, in part, by being more positive. And, again, this would involve a fundamental rethink of how the magazine is put together - adding a redesign and a few human-interest stories per issue won't cut it. However, any change in the direction of the magazine is going to seem to some like a full on assault on what the magazine has been, thus further unsettling the subscriber base.

Lovely, eh?

I am an inexperienced peon here and the magazine would surely be foolish to follow my advice, but here's what I'd do to try and square the circle:

Embrace culture
Too many libertarians and conservatives are obsessed with government. In moderation, this is not a bad thing. The press needs people who are more reflexively sceptical of the state and its attempts to regulate and control us. But after a point, we are being defined by what we dislike (i.e., "we are not this" rather than "we are that") to our detriment.

The only way I know around this hole is to embrace culture. And by "embrace" I do not mean "lock n' load." Too often the reflexive approach taken to government is simply shifted toward cultural phenomena (this would be why so much conservative criticism is nigh unreadable). Rather, we should realise that what people watch and read constitutes a common tongue, which is far, far more influential than anything that comes out of the pulpits or think tanks or op ed pages. As grating as it might be, we should try to understand culture and appropriate it to our own ends.

This would involve a much expanded review section, of course, but it would also include a broadening of the magazine's vision and language.

Expand the website
One of the ways for a magazine to combat the fact that information is now winging around us faster than ever before is to expand the scope and use of the website. It can carry on-sight reports from different events, rapid reactions to court verdicts, and similar timely items. It can also help to slowly bridge the chasm between old and new subscribers. National Review Online, for instance, is far more happening than its print counterpart, but it is dragging the latter, kicking and screaming, out of its sartorial slumber.

The magazine and website should also embrace the blogosphere, both by using it to generate publicity for stories and by roping plenty of Canadian, or AmeriCanadian, bloggers into the editorial mix (e.g. Damian Penny, Lawrence Garvin, Gord Gekko, Evan McElravy).


Princes of all media
The Report gets some wider media exposure but not nearly enough for a magazine that's been around for 29 years. When I told students and friends from Trinity Western University - the Canadian ones - that I freelanced for the Report, the usual answer was "What's that?" Editors and writers should be encouraged to do freelance writing but also to take to the airwaves - radio and television - as often as possible, in order to get the magazine's name out to the interested public.

Uggh, this post is too long already, so I think I'll quit while I'm behind.


posted by Jeremy at 1:08 PM


wThursday, October 10, 2002


I'VE BEEN OUTED: Yes, Colby Cosh, of all people, beat me to announcing that I am the new prodction director of The Report. I've landed briefly in Edmonton to learn the basics and then I will head back stateside. Oh, and Cosh, just remember that I fill out the management reports (insert evil laugh here).

posted by Jeremy at 1:54 PM


wTuesday, October 08, 2002


REPORT ON THE REPORT: Also, The American Prowler got around to running my piece on the Report newsmagazine vs. the totalitarian Canadian government.

posted by Jeremy at 5:51 PM


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FOUR, COUNT 'EM FOUR!, ARTICLES: In the October issue of Reason. The first two are squibs on recycling and the School of the Americas. The others are reviews: of a comic book business story and of a bad book on Asian success.

posted by Jeremy at 5:47 PM


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UGHHH!: It has been a week, but I'm back, baby!

posted by Jeremy at 5:39 PM


wTuesday, October 01, 2002


B-DAY: Yeah, I'm 24 today - don't rub it in. Back to blogging tomorrow. Meantime, if you are so moved, here are the reactions to my most recent column for the Prowler (under Wlady's very creative title "SULLIVAN'S LOTT").

posted by Jeremy at 9:55 AM