Lileks, in full free-association mode on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, claims that the Depression really wasn't that bad, we just think it was because of movies made in the hated 1970s:
Last week on the Hewitt show I said something that I hadn’t thought out, but of course that never stops me from saying it – the Shark Imperative of talk radio requires that move forward with something. I said that the Thirties hadn’t felt like the Thirties, at least as we know them. The sun came out, spring arrived, people painted their houses, danced, smoked and laughed,, cussed, lived. The narratives we impose on the past are always suspect, and more so in the age of the movie, when we think we understand the 30s because we saw “Paper Moon” and “Bonnie and Clyde.”
To his credit, Lileks later claims that this patent nonsense was the result of his being cold-addled, but naturally, he doesn't go back and delete it.
You know what? I think it's time for another round of...ASK THE DEFENDERS!
What do you think we should do once we actually get to Mars?
-- J.L., Mt. Prospect, IL
NIGHTHAWK: "I think we should build some kind of fortified armed camp. Nothing helpful ever comes from Mars. Also, we should stock the camp with some really first-rate superheroes to defend Mars. Like, say, Hawkeye!"
HAWKEYE: "Hey, fuck you."
DAMION HELLSTROM: "The astronauts should look for my copy of the Liver Ibonis. I left it up there back in '79 and it's just been driving me nuts ever since."
LUKE CAGE: "I got a great idea. Why don't we let a bunch of rich white people go up there and ruin it? That's worked out real well everywhere else we've tried it."
SILVER SURFER: "Whatever you do, you'd better do it by February of 2008, because Galactus is going to be in this part of the galaxy and he's going to get a craving. You didn't hear that from me."
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
-- Billy, age 10
MOONDRAGON: "Your question is meaningless. First, of course a woodchuck can chuck wood. That is why they are called woodchucks. Second, your use of the word 'would' implies agency on the part of the woodchuck, a wholly illusory notion as these humble woodland creatures are driven by naught but instinct. Third, you fail to specify a timeframe, raw data about the size, temperament and physical health of the woodchuck, or quality and type of wood being chucked. Without this information, no one could attempt a reasonable answer to your question."
HULK: "Twenty-seven. Twenty-seven wood."
CLEA: "Gee, I don't know. Nor do I know if I have Prince Albert in a can, or if my refrigerator is running. I guess I've just been too busy saving the lives of the entire population of the planet time and again to learn the answers to these important questions. This 'Ask the Defenders' thing is the worst P.R. campaign ever."
ANGEL: "Hey, don't blame me. I fired the agency who came up with it. Plus it was Candy's idea. And your 'Win a Weekend Getaway to the Dark Dimension' wasn't any better."
NAMORITA: "How come you don't ever let me answer any questions? Because I got a lot of shit to say. I'm a deep-thinking motherfucker, seen? Is it because I'm just an associate member?"
Do YOU have a question you'd like to...ASK THE DEFENDERS!?