Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


TGO's Michigan @ Notre Dame Recap (Part One of Two)



The Upshot: Charlie Weiss is Fat.

In response to my earlier complaint (on this blog, two days ago) about a distinct, and growing, lack of space here at Camp TGO, I began gutting the study about 5am Sunday and failed to finish the job, because that is how all my 5am projects end; unfinished.

You would have to know the layout of my home to know how ludicrous it is, but the bottom line is that a small, afterthought of a room was built off the kitchen some years after the house itself was completed, and this room became a sort of catch-all for whatever the previous owners were either too lazy to trash in the first place or intended to use elsewhere before having sold the house. In any event, I moved in (29 January 2002) long before this space was actually ready for me, and in response to talk of the debris in the Sun Room (as I called it then), I muttered something noncommittal about how we could take care of it in the Spring.

By Summer 2002, after about six months of keeping all my books, magazines, and archive materials stacked in the hallway leading to the bathroom, I decided something had to be done. So up traipsed my landlord and his fat son to remove all the old mess, whereupon I removed the old carpet, painted, laid down new carpet, and threw some blinds over each of the seven windows. (That’s right, seven windows. I told you this house is fucking ridiculous.)

As swift and efficient as all that sounds, I had to practically be beaten about the head and chest by my buddy Mike the Jew (who, irritatingly enough, is much more motivated by the mundane task than I am) to finish all the work once it began. Without his help, and that of my former editor Shane Hollister (who I seem to remember basically installing the carpet), the room would have never been finished. It helps to know people more handy that yourself, especially if you’re lazy.

In any event, it became the study. Its acoustics are the best in the house, and consequently TGO Radio was recorded there (in these instances, becoming the study-o), but due in equal parts to space limitations and international intrigue, has been the one room in the house that has never – NEVER – taken any definitive shape. (My front room, by contrast, has remained in the same configuration for years, and will likely stay this way until I either move out or die.) The poor study is stamped through, has books dropped upon its floor, desks slid around on its carpet, computer equipment and radios moved in and out…. It’s a sad, undisciplined mess, now made even worse by the boxes and boxes of books and magazines I have scattered hither and yon throughout both the kitchen and the study. As a place of research and writing, it deserves so much better than me....

I’ll be in South Bend Saturday afternoon for the Michigan @ Notre Dame game, so keep an eye out for me on the teevee. I’ll be the one (outside the Michigan student section, that is) not rooting for Notre Dame.

By the way, speaking of that, Charlie Weiss is fat. Before the Georgia Tech game a few weeks ago, some poor ABC cameraman took it upon himself to get a lingering shot of Weiss as he walked out onto the field, show from just below crotch level and looking up, in what may have been the most unflattering shot in television’s vast and sad history. Charlie Weiss has bigger man-tits than should ever be permissible on a man paid so handsomely to whip talented young men into outstanding physical condition. Mix in a Slim Fast, you disgraceful, fat bitch.


Question: Are you going to write a column or essay about 9/11?

Answer: No; and I should remind the reader I’ve never written about 9/11 and won’t until it comes time to write a political autobiography. Oh, I’ve mentioned it quite a few times in passing over the years, but I’ve never thought it an especially worthwhile use of my time to write the three millionth version of the same column everyone else on my side has been writing for five years now. (Coincidentally, this is why I’ve never written about Bill Clinton at any substantive length. You can only say he’s mentally ill in so many ways before you end up simply parroting the last guy.)

Anyone taking the occasion of the fifth anniversary as their cue to clog newspapers and websites with their general recollections of the terrible day, or of Arab terrorism specifically, is taking the easy way out and ought to be drummed out of the Society of American Opinionists (which is much too lax about letting people join, anyway, and would do well to trim its ranks by about 90 percent).

Anyone compelled to write should stop, take in the ceremonies at Ground Zero, and think about what they can do to become better people. Or better yet, think about how you can make someone else’s life better than it was today, September 10th. Instead of writing a tedious, poorly thought out, 5,000-word screed no one will care about, why not write a sizable check to some worthwhile charitable organization?

Just please take the occasion to leave well enough alone and leave this very important matter to actual news desks and relevant opinion pages across the country. That’s all I ask. Thanks.


Another issue of Atlantic Monthly arrives in the mail, and so grows my pile of “must read very soon” books and magazines, which never seems to get any smaller. I consider it a crime against intellectualism that I subscribe to Atlantic and not National Review, but the simple fact of the matter is that NR costs more to re-up than I can comfortably pay at any given time, something along the line of sixty dollars, so subscriptions to that fine publication tend to lapse. And if Atlantic thinks I’m going to continue this arrangement for anything more than thirty bucks a year, their subscription department is on The Crack.

Tucked neatly next to Atlantic was an invitation from The New York Times to join their incredibly shrinking readership at the super-dee-duper, mega-fantastic, booyah rate of so-and-so much a year … or six months, or whatever. This letter barely crossed my retinas before it dropped harmlessly into the recycling bin. I manage to keep up with the Left just fine without having to poison my daily life with The Times; and besides, if so inclined I could just subscribe to The Nation, which contains a percentage of the Communist loving freakfest at a fraction of the cost.

Currently reading Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, on loan from the library. You should visit your library more.

Among the many books currently sitting on the main desk in the front room awaiting my gaze: Londonistan by Melanie Phillips; Neoconservatism: Why We Need It by Douglas Murray; Why America Slept by Gerald Posner; Dylan Thomas: A New Life by Andrew Lycett; The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue by Robert Klein; Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight by Howard L. Bingham and Max Wallace…. It goes on like this. There are seven or eight others I didn’t mention, but of the group the book I feel worse about not reading if Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, which I hear is excellent, but which has been sitting here on this desk, virtually untouched, for well over a year while I concerned myself with other things.

Sometime last weekend I officially grew too large for my home. The study is too cramped and there is simply no more room for the books not only mentioned above, but for those already read and awaiting shelving. And the Lincoln research (more about this in a bit) is confined to a little corner, but will soon enough grow out of control and will have to be kept … somewhere else.

So I look around Camp TGO. Who needs two desks in their front room? One, where I’m sitting now, is where I spend the majority of my waking hours at home; the second – to my left, on the other side of a deep, comfy chair – houses a second computer setup that hardly ever calls for use, but simply cannot be kept anywhere else due to space restrictions. If I moved this second desk back to the bedroom, for example, I’d perhaps be tempted to stick a piece of exercise equipment in the empty space, which in record time would become the most expensive coat hanger in the house.

What utterly ruins the study, other than the fact it’s too small, is a third desk (this one’s an antique, and I wouldn’t part with it for your life), on which I plan to write Lincoln’s Tomb when the time is right, and my magazines. There is absolutely no good reason to keep a four-year run of Sports Illustrated that began about a decade ago, for example, but I’m always reluctant to part with any book or magazine in which I could learn, or re-learn, something in the future. And since that could be said about virtually anything I read … well, you see the problem.

These, while of some personal import, all exist to distract me from Abraham Lincoln, so I must address that book’s progress. Sometime in early August, Leonard Steinhorn (of “Leonard Steinhorn is a nitwit” fame – buy his book, The Greater Generation, here) helped me put together an introductory letter, the purpose of which will be to interest literary agents so much they’ll be hording outside Camp TGO and rushing the joint to take me on as a client. When it was presentable, Steinhorn said it sounded interesting and offered to forward it to his agent, which I found (and continue to find) extraordinarily flattering. So, off it went to said agent, and I began working on a synopsis, because agents and publishers need those, too.

Finally the other night it occurred to me I was rushing the project and needed to slow down significantly in order, in the end, to do the subject any justice. Obviously I have only a working knowledge of the publishing industry, but I know enough to know that rushing things will lead to a very poorly researched book. I called Steinhorn’s office at about 445am and left a voice mail, thanking him for his help with the letter, but said that I needed to slow down, adding as an aside that I don’t think I’m smart enough to write this book. (Which, by the way, is true.)

So that’s the update on Lincoln’s Tomb; I’ll probably be researching for another year, and hope to begin writing next September.

In the meantime, I’m getting an occasional itch to write and don’t know what to do about it.