Horror of horrors! The Man from Fuddles, who once hit the financial skids so hard when his wife was temporarily between high-paying corporate lawyer gigs that he was forced to dismiss the scullery maid who tended to his woodwork, has lost his job!
Well, okay, not really. What has actually happened is that Lileks, who is lucky enough to have had a cushy gig as a daily humor columnist in an age of belt-tightening for the newspaper business, has been told, basically, to shit (that is, do some actual work to justify your massive salary) or get off the pot (that is, find employment elsewhere). Is the Strib trying to get Jimbo to quit his job? Almost certainly, say people who have been in the same position; in a lean business, you have to do something to make the fattest employees earn their salaries. For most people, this would probably be a good thing -- after all, all Jimbo has to do is drop the folksy homilies and start cranking out the rag-bashing in quantity and he'll be on the Scaife gravy train for life. And it's not as if some horrible injustice has taken place; he wasn't censored, or fired for his ethnic origin, or accused unjustly of sexual harrassment, or framed for a crime he didn't commit. He's merely been shunted to a job he's too picky to do in an attempt to unload his massive salary. It happens to millions of people ever year, and you never hear boosters of our fabulous capitalist system say boo about it.
Except, of course, when it happens to one of their own. Horrified at the prospect of a fellow ideologue actually having to earn a living in a competitive job marked like the rest of the rabble, the Northern Alliance of Greater Wingnuttia has gone berserk, rallying around the fallen hero who has been tragically forced to do his job. Accusations of liberal treachery are all around; commands are being issued to Missourians and Californians to cancel their subscriptions to a newspaper based in Minnesota. As far as I know, no one has yet managed to detect the blood-soaked hand of al-Q'aeda in all of this, but over at Hooty Hoo's, there are serious accusations that the treacherous Jew Soros has conspired to buy off the free press so as to silence the brave voice of James Lileks. Without his massive salary, the terrorists will no longer have to fear the scanning of old postcards and the tut-tutting about insufficiently deferential Target clerks!
Would that all of us were lucky enough to have such friends in high places. More than once, that ol' invisible hand of the marketplace has pushed me out on the street and into the unemployment line, and never was Hugh Hewitt there to make sure I bounced back better than ever. Now that's what I call welfare! To Lileks' credit, he has the good grace to be ashamed of all this.