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Thanks, Montreal counter guy, for making a rocky night a little less so. So Scott Johnson at the Free-Market News Network and Hugh Hewitt from Town Hall don't much like David Remnick's recent Comment on Bush, the press, Nixon, and national security, and here's why (from Johnson's post):

Hugh Hewitt sends a hoot of derision in the direction of David Remnick and his ludicrous New Yorker column "Nattering nabobs." Hugh's column is "The decline and fall of the bemoaning empire." (Hugh interviews John Podhoretz on the Remnick column here.)

Remnick's column provides a case study in liberal hysteria of the kind that Tom Wolfe mocked in his aphorism (recently recalled by Eugene Volokh): "The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Eruope." Remnick ominously invokes the specter of Richard Nixon and the Pentagon Papers case to suggest that the Bush administration has set out to "stifle the press."

Hewlett begins one sentence, "And Remnick explains it all for his fellow Manhattan readers..." This tired, cheap line is common in conservative criticism of the magazine. Come now; we've all seen the red-blue map of America's erratic dots, not to mention dotty errors. There's a New Yorker reader somewhere near you, friend. Not to mention that we've been joined by some other boroughs. If you lived here, you'd be home now!

Meanwhile, New Yorker contributor Derek Van Gieson, a fascinating illustrator from Kalamazoo, just put out a limited-edition book called Journey by Ferry to Celibate City, or Thigh Town. From the Kalamazoo Gazette (lucky is the paper with two Zs in its name!):

In the past few years, Van Gieson's pen-and-ink imagery has graced the pages of New Yorker, including an illustration for a review of the film "Enduring Love" in November 2004, which he called a "tough one" since he hadn't seen the film and had to base the drawing on photos and reviews of the film. Another piece appeared in The New York Times Book Review on May 4, 2003, and accompanied a review of Graham Swift's "Light of Day." It was an illustration of a woman with a Mona Lisa look and a most morose man. He also illustrated the cover of up-state New York arts magazine Chronogram in October of 2003.
"I'm not sure where they'll file [Celibate City, $13,] in a bookstore," he said. "I think the catch phrase for the book was 'literary and arts honky-tonk.' ... It's wall-to-wall photographs, drawings, short stories, and the drawings relate to the short stories. You're constantly bombarded with new ideas and new imagery."

On Van Gieson's awesomely scrawly website, under Archives, check out his Buddy Holly Fish. Look in "Shutdown Vol. 3," too, for a fine employment of beer bottlecaps. I really, really like his Photography page too (frames, or else I'd link 'em). Powerful stuff.

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