Thursday, May 10, 2007

Last Lileks

Daily Quirk: See you in the funny papers ...

Even if you've never lived in Minnesota, as I did for two years earlier this decade, it seems like a lot of people have heard of or read James Lileks. I've been reading his column pretty faithfully for more than six years now, since before I decided to move to the Twin Cities, and I can remember quite distinctly the feeling of skipping to the Star-Tribune's metro section to see if it was one of his days. I also loved to read Kim Ode and Al Sicherman while eating my breakfast. And now all three of them are gone, one voluntarily moving to new things, another retiring from the game altogether, and the third, Lileks, unceremoniously bounced from column duty to straight news in what Dave Barry called the equivalent of the Miami Heat pulling Dwyane off the basketball court so he can keep stats on the sideline.

Those in the know may realize the irony in me being sad for Lileks, whose happy-talk column in the Strib was the friendly face of a man whose online work and Newhouse columns often stood for things to which I am opposed. And I suppose if this demotion of his makes the happy warrior's outlook a bit bleaker, and thus he becomes less funny, and thus his message is less appealing, well, that's one for "our side." But I'm sorry to see him go out like this.

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