Lileks is in fine fettle today, high privileged-consumer dudgeon over the innumerable indignities he must suffer while going about his daily spending. His stylist didn't want to chit-chat with him about mall renovations! His brand-name clothing was insufficiently discounted! His counter clerk's breasts were too big! The guy in front of him in line was too tall!
I almost feel like being indulgent of the guy, because shit, he writes every damn day. But you know what? I write every damn day too. This journal is pitifully bloated, and yet in vain do I search for constant whining about how my latte was not skinny enough, or my sound card inappropriately blastful, or my Mall Walkers irrevocably overinflated. I kept up the Ludic Log every day, seven days a week, for over three years, and I never really felt the urge to complain about how my ten daily shopping trips were lacking in consumerist frisson. Lileks loves to beef about taxes, explaining his Republicanism by saying it's bad for the economy when you keep money out of peoples' hands and good for the economy whe you let rich dips like him spend freely; if that's the case, he must singlehandedly be keeping the Minnesota GNP afloat, because the guy goes to the Mall of America, Target and the Apple Store about a dozen times every week.
My favorite part is the lead-in paragraph, where he types about some dumb ape who infringes on his private space in a public space:
Sweet smoking Judas. I’m at the coffeehouse, where the Burly Pest mentioned several weeks ago appears to be a regular. He lumbered over behind my seat where the public internet terminals are located, and called up some online poker game. So now we have casino noises, with the bongings and bingings and snippets of twangy guitar (it’s a western-themed online poker machine) making sure no one can concentrate...the other guy at the public terminal is what a Seinfeld character would call a Loud Typist; he bangs the keys as though they know the whereabouts of the President’s secretary, and only minutes remain before the country will launch an airstrike which may or may not be a fatal mistake.
OH NOES these two boors are "making sure no one can concentrate", in their coffeehouse. Where people always go to get work done. Where the man in need of silence and in search of focus naturally gravitates. Hey, Jimbo, here's a couple of radical suggestions for you: first of all, maybe you could wean yourself of your internet addiction just enough that you could stop for a cup of coffee without having your blood pressure skyrocket because some guy is typing too loud on a public terminal at an internet cafe. Or, alternately, you could stay at home and have coffee there, while using one of the fifty computers you already own.
Then again, being indignant about totally meaningless stuff is basically what Lileks does for a living. Since he's a stay-at-home dad with a well-off family and two high-bracket incomes, he doesn't have anything that most Americans would consider actual problems, so he provides material for his bleats by going around getting irritated at shop clerks, waiters, foreign-born nannies, people who have to use internet cafes, and other lowlifes who are several rungs below him on the socioeconomic ladder. I mean, you don't see me having a stroke because I had to wait a long time to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and then the food sucked, because I avoid such dilemmas by not going to menu-by-Sysco chain-store dumps like that in the first place. But then, I don't make my living being professionally indignant at the rough life of the upper-middle-class white male, so I probably just don't understand the columnist's burden.