James Lileks is in rare, rare form today. Over at the Screedblog, he illustrates that not only can his cranky political beliefs make you forget he used to be famous for being funny, but also that his funny can be completely shut down by his cranky political beliefs. Weighing in on the New York Times non-controversy (if you haven't been following it, here's a precis: the NYT reported a news story, and the right, following the administration's lead, responded that reporting the news is treasonous and disgraceful), Lileks tries to bring the yux by inventing a bunch of theoretical "Times Headlines of the Future! future! future!" Here's the funniest:
September 10, 2006: The New York Times runs a story about a CIA agent named Mohammed Al-Ghouri, 1034 Summit Park, Evanston Illinois, who is attempting to penetrate a radical sleeper cell suspected of having 19 liters of homemade mustard gas. The series concludes with the agent’s obituary, and a moving quote from a CIA historian who notes that the “al-Ghouri was one of rare, brave breed whose names and deeds are rarely known. Except in this case, of course". Criticized for blowing the agent’s cover, a Times spokesman tartly noted that “this man is – sorry, was a government employee, and if he’s using taxpayer money to take terrorists out to lunch, we think the people ought to know, if only so they judge the menu items chosen on behalf of the government. Was veal consumed? Because a lot of people are sensitive to the veal issue.”
The funny thing about this isn't the ham-fisted (or, rather, veal-fisted) humor, but rather the fact that Lileks is dumping on the NYT for theoretically doing something that the President has actually done, and which brought no words of condemnation from Lileks and his fellow conservative bloviators.
Moving on to the Bleat, Lileks drops this little historical stunner, having read a book on the Battle of Marathon:
Apparently Darius, the Persian King of Kings, hit upon the notion of using religion as a rallying point when warring against other states. Previously everyone had a rather relaxed attitude towards other cultures’ gods – hey, you worship snakes? Cool. Personally, we do goats – but Darius, who’s used Zoroastrian ideas to legitmize and consolidate his rule, decided to paint the enemy as the infidel. A crafty move. Appears to have caught on, too.
A lot of people, including the Egyptians, Jews, Aryans, Indians, Chinese, and Greeks, would be quite surprised to learn that no one thought of using religion to consolidate their political power prior to 500 BC, and pretty much every civilization in history would be surprised to learn that Darius I was the first person to come up with religious persection. Indeed, just reading the Old Testament would seem to suggest that God Himself "hit upon the notion of using religion as a rallying point when warring against other states" -- just ask the Canaanites. Or the Midianites. Or any number of other people who could testify to the fact that maybe it wasn't quite everyone who had a "relaxed attitude towards other cultures' gods" before the Big D came along. But no: Jimmy knows -- all these troubles we're having today, they started with Iran.
He closes by discussing his viewing options for the night:
I'm off to write two columns and watch my latest Netfarginflicks TfarginV show everyone else has been fargin' watchign for fargin' years, Dead Fargin' Wood.
Jim. Jim. The word is "cocksucking". As in "cocksucker". As in "no-good, bought-out cocksucker". Or "those that doubt me suck cock by choice". Or "limber-dicked cocksucker". Or "Joanie Stubbs is a cocksucker". Or "anyone else here suck his cock?". I realize that you're enamored of the non-world 'fuck' substitute "fargin'", either in the mistaken belief that it's funny or in the mistaken belief that children read your blog. But if you can't even type the word "cocksucker", you probably shouldn't be watching this show.