I loves me some James Lileks. His website is pure hilarity, in particular the "Institute of Artificial Cheer." His daily Bleat is an exercise in what a great writer ought to sound like when he's keeping a journal. In fact, I'd like to be James Lileks when I grow up - he's got a beautiful kid, a job as a professional writer and an adoring fan-base, a knockout wife who's a lawyer, affording him the chance to stay at home with his daughter, play video games, and write hilariously funny, well crafted and insightful stuff about the world.
But. Sometimes he's a conservative old crank who takes potshots and liberal straw men. Today:
The world will not be changed by a CD that combines African beats with spoken words of Kurt Vonnegut. In fact the world may be damaged somewhat. It?s all harmless, of course, but there?s one phrase on the packaging that sums up the mindset of the participants:
Our unity is in our diversity.
You can smell the spilled bong-water, can?t you?
I?m not saying people of different faiths can?t live together; obviously, they can if they want to. But the idea that diversity alone contains the prerequisites for unity is freshman-dorm talk.
Note that the packaging on his CD did not actually say "Diversity alone contains the prerequisites for unity". What they said was " our unity is in our diversity". Not that it says, "ours" and not "everyone's". It's a neat sentiment about how the music of the world may be different, but springs from the same place - the human heart.
What it's not is a liberal multi-cultural assault on the supremacy of the white male and good ol' fashioned yankee values.... which is how Lileks seems to take it. Freshman logic rules of languages would seem to make that clear. Whatever the case, I'll keep reading him, because even when he's cranky, he's hilarious. And every now and again he's so spot-on *right* that it's inpsirational. ( And I mean "correct" not "right wing" - though that's probably true too...)