Republican Convention 2008

Twin City Rockers

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Like Cap'n Ed Morrissey, I was an honored guest at James Lileks' 50th birthday bash, a well-catered, well-valeted, and surprisingly frigid (or not: this is Minnesota) event co-sponsored by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. A giant banner of Lileks was pinned up on a tent for guests to sign: Dave Barry signed on his forehead.

The special musical guest was John "Five for Fighting" Ondrasik, a purveyor of what the kids call Norwegian Black Metal, I think. He sat down at a piano and played some of his hits, rewriting the occasional lyrics to pay tribute to his host, as in the opening of "100 Years.": "I'm fifty, for a moment." In between songs, Ondrasik talked about the fun he was having at the RNC. "My wife and I were walking into the convention," he remembered, "and got delayed by some… 'peace' protestors." Knowing laughs from the crowd (Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Glenn Reynolds). "They were chanting 'John McCain, 100 years! John McCain, 100 years!' And I thought, 'that sounds all right!'" He waxed about playing at military bases in places that the United States had liberated, like Guam, and wondered what the Middle East would be like if we finished the job of liberation and reform. Hopefully, "somebody will be playing this song in Iraq in 100 years."

Ondrasik was sensitive about talking politics in front of so many bloggers, so he joked at his own expense. "Musicians are some of the last people you should take political advice from," he said, slightly above convicted felons. He played an encore of "Superman" and waved off stage. "Let's elect John McCain, people!"

NEXT: Bristol Palin and the Underestimating of Social Cons

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  1. I love Lileks writing about matchbooks,postcards and other ephemera. Did he show off the collection? At 50 he can’t be one of those people who just acquire scans of stuff.

  2. huh, based on the column he had in the star strib, usually about what he observed while shopping @ target the week before, and his gallery of regrettable food i would have never guessed he was a conservative and guest on the hugh hewitt show!

  3. Lileks was funny, but he started losing his mind right after 9/11. The guy fell hook, line, and sinker for the anthrax story plants that even now look to have been manufactured, so shoddy, self-contradictory, and numerous are the leaks coming out of the FBI. He was also happily guzzling the administration’s swill in the case for Iraq-Al Queda links, checking his brain at the door. It was as if 9/11 totally caused him to lose his mind. I realize a lot of people went that way, but somebody who professes to be a journalist ought to be especially guarded whenever the topic is war.

  4. I love Lileks writing about matchbooks, postcards and other ephemera.

    So do I (and food!). I hate him writing about politics or culture (except for an article about April Levigne being “punk” that had me LMAO).

  5. I know I got her name wrong. I couldn’t care less.

  6. You need a little jump of electrical shockers

  7. Rob@1:59,

    Exactly. Talented powerful writer, shoddy neocon gearbox.

  8. James Lileks, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved? Sounds like a great time at ScoldFest ’08

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