Lileks Gets Good Again

I’ll admit that I’ve been a bit worried about James Lileks.

For some reason, the past few Bleats have been… well, not up to the usual James Lileks standard. Perhaps it was being sick, perhaps it was stress, perhaps it was just that he was running out of things to say. (Although I have to admit I checked out Eden Prairie Center at his recommendation and it is quite possibly the coolest mall on Earth…)

Well, now he’s come back into top form. A haunting selection:

That’s the winter of 03: she’s at her little table, concentrating hard at her iBook, dressing up Mr. Potato Man; I’m at the island working on my iBook, flitting around and soaking up data, and the TV volume is set low, the screen showing old men in good suits in elegant rooms. They say nothing. We sit, and work, and wait for war.

He’s right – this is a bizarre time. I never thought I’d see the day when I was not only worried about jobs and school, but also what would happen if al-Qaeda detonated a dirty bomb, or released anthrax into the Mall of America, or something equally horrifying. Now, that’s exactly the way things are.

Perhaps I was fortunate to grow up in a time of relative peace. After all, my parents lived through the "Duck and Cover!" days of the Cold War when engines of unimaginable destruction were parked only 90 miles away.

Still, I don’t think anyone could imagine that 40 years later we’d see American airliners used as suicide bombs.

It’s a strange world, and a lot of the old rules don’t apply. The old ideologies just don’t seem to fit anymore. America can’t be its own island ever again, and the world has become a lot more complicated than peace = good and war = bad.

And now what do we have left? To sit around and wait for war.

At least this time the war will be at our choosing, and not held because somebody in Iraqi intelligence decided to slip al-Qaeda a canister of smallpox.

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