Just a quick note: Readers of James Lileks’ Bleat know by now that his wife just got canned from her job, and today’s Bleat shows the typical uncertainty one goes through when one’s household income takes a big hit. Glenn over at Instapundit has suggested everyone hit James’ tip jar; I second that emotion.
Back in the day, James helped me by being a marquee name for an online humor site I created for AOL. It was a nice arrangement; he lent me his credibility, I paid him money. We’ve been friends since. Later on, his site and the Bleat specifically were inspirations for me creating my own site and starting up the Whatever, and beyond that there are a number of other parallels between his career and mine: We both write books, have worked for newspapers, went to live in DC and then got the Hell out, and dote on our wives and precocious children. When I want to figure out what I’ll be doing about a decade up the time stream, I just see what he’s up to (and that includes his hairline). We’re obviously not the same person — just look at our politics — but I tend to think of him as a pretty good example of a good life, well lived. And of course, he’s a fine writer to boot.
If you’ve ever enjoyed the Bleat or one of his books, go leave him a nice tip. James is not claiming poverty or hardship, nor is he suggesting that what’s going on in his household is the end of the world. He’s not even asking people to hit his tip jar (aside from the fact that his tip jar exists at all). My suggestion about you leaving him a tip isn’t about that. It’s just a way to let him know you appreciate the Bleat, and that he and his lovely and talented wife will soon see the backend of this blip, and in the meantime, here’s what you’d pay to buy him that drink you’d undoubtedly have together if you happened to be in Minneapolis at the moment.
Anyway, that’s my pitch for James.