James Lileks, one of the most amusing (and brilliant) conservative writers on the Internet, goes beyond the pale in his remarks about Michael Moore:

"I don't hate Michael Moore, I pity him -- he's going to die in 15 years of a massive coronary on a cold tiled bathroom floor, awash in the blasts of his emptied bowels, his autopsy photos posted to The Smoking Gun's new 3D holographic photo section."

As I told Lileks in e-mail, it's both mean-spirited and stupid. Many overweight people will live long enough to dance on the graves of the pinched mopes who looked down at them from their underfed faces.

Additionally, wishing death upon a political antagonist is truly loathsome, even if it's just hyperbole. My response echoes that of Tom Tomorrow: "Wow, is that ever a coldblooded piece of prose."


oh calm down. He didn't wish death on Michael Moore. He described how he thought Michael would check out. We all die. This isn't cruel, just life. ;)

I recommend staying away from movies such as "Heathers" Mr. Cadenhead. The fit of apoplexy that they would put you in would probably be fatal. Head lolling, tongue swelled in your throat, and popcorn strewn everywhere. Last words were said to be "How dare they...ack!"

Am I supposed to be disappointed that Lileks has another reader? I described him as both "amusing" and "brilliant," so it should come as little surprise that I am a strong fan of his work. I'm not a particular fan of Michael Moore, outside of his films.

If the situation was reversed, and Moore had penned such a revolting and unnecessary personal attack on Lileks, I would've felt the same way about it.

I agree. Michael Moore is a joke; his ideas and opinions couldn't withstand scrutiny by reasonably intelligent 10 year olds.

Too bad his talents (humor, writing ability) are not exercised in a better way.

What a disgusting piece of writing. Lileks should be ashamed to have ever penned it.

As for Michael Moore, at least he is addressing issues that the mainstream won't deal with because they are part of the problem. We live in a country that is in the midst of one of the greatest grab for wealth in its history. This is at the expense of the lower and middle class. The really funny part is that so many stupid white men have bought into it.

They think its about reducing governemnt, and taxes. What it really is about is handing back taxes to the rich while cutting government for the people who really need it. The real difference between Democrats and Republicans: Democrats support welfare for the poor and needy, Republicans support welfare for the corporations and the rich!

You may think Lileks' remarks beyond the pale but nowhere is he "wishing death upon" anyone.

How is this wishing death upon someone? Sheesh. Lighten up!

While Lileks says he doesn't hate Fat Basta...I mean Michael Moore, I doubt he cares all that much about being mean to him. Moore has done far worse. I thought the line was pretty funny. And how can an author's reading comprehension be so bad as to think Lileks is wishing death on someone?

Whether it's wishing, predicting, contemplating, or lamenting the prospect of Moore's premature death, it's still loathsome.

"Moore has done far worse."

Even if that were true, who cares? One of the most juvenile things about political discourse is the rationalization that your own bad conduct is excused because your opponents are doing much worse. There's something to be said for people who can disagree without being so disagreeable. Unfortunately, at the moment it can't be said of Lileks.

I'm not sure I should waste any more time on someone who has difficulty typing his name, to say nothing of his trouble forming a cogent and rational argument. However, I'd love to hear more on the idea that I'm a delicate flower.

The people in Heathers are fictional. Moore is not. Lileks could look forward to the death of countless fictional people -- and some real ones -- and provoke no ire from me. However, when he does so towards a political antagonist, he joins the many people who degrade our politics with needlessly abusive rhetoric (Ann Coulter, I'm looking in your direction as I say this). I think it's possible to put Moore in his place without mocking him for being obese and predicting that it will kill him in 15 years. (I note that Lileks appears to be one of those skinny people who likes to rag on fatties.)

Incidentally, Moore is a favorite target of Lileks largely as a consequence of some remarks Moore made post-9/11 in which he was joking about dead people. I guess you should tell Lileks to lighten up too, "Chrris".

Rogers: You are a delicate flower, at least as far as politcal satire is concerned. If you think what Lileks wrote was beyond the pale, which wished death on Moore about as much as I was wishing you'd die on your popcorn, then CSPAN must be far too hard for you to watch. Politics is not H.S. debate team. And what is funny greatly depends on the particular ox being gored. The 2nd or 3rd third thought that nearly anyone has looking at Moore is, "This guy is heading to a cardiac arrest." Slovenly, rude, overweight, prone to temper tantrums; Moore is a great dead in the bathroom joke in the making. Lighten up. And save "beyond the pale" for something more important. Like Bill Clinton and Monica jokes.

Oh, I own up fully to being a lousy typist. Result of typing fast, lots of caffeine and little time. It isn't even a cheap shot :)

Re the original Lileks piece on Moore. Moore wasn't joking. And if it was a joke, the day after thousands of people were murdered, then I quite happily wish the bastard chokes on the next BBQ wing he eats.

Geez look what happens when one points out that St. Lileks has feet of clay. While I suppose it does evoke a certain hard-headed realism to chide the naive about the true coarseness of contemporary political discourse, those prone to doing so should remember to disinfect themselves after emerging from the swill.

Seems to me that he was stating the obvious, rather than "wishing it so".

If I see someone one second away from getting in a fatal car accident, is it hateful to think to myself, "That person is going to get in a car accident"?

No. I don't even know who this guy is, but he said he pities him ... As it appears his assumption about Moore will likely bear true in the end (it's a reasonable prediction), I don't see anything wrong with him mentioning it - or pitying Moore for his likely end.

Chris: You keep mentioning C-SPAN as if it's a place where abusive rhetoric and bare-knuckle politics are openly practiced. Have you ever actually watched the network?

You seem to think there's no middle ground in political discourse between "high school debate team" and "my opponent is a fat guy who will die in the bathroom of a massive coronary." There is -- most commentators, politicians, and activists can oppose people, policies, and ideas without the meanness of spirit that Lileks demonstrated yesterday.

Even our most bellicose advocates will occasionally acknowledge boundaries of decency. For instance, Rush Limbaugh recently apologized personally to Hillary Clinton for his treatment of Chelsea Clinton during the first Clinton term.

On his television show, when Chelsea was around 13, Limbaugh held up her photo and called her the "White House dog.

Under your principle that anything goes in politics, I guess that remark about Chelsea is fair game.

Moore's repeated statements of contempt for those who died on Sept. 11th and their families hardly makes me muster up any sympathy for him or anger at Lileks' words, especially considering that the lefties crying foul over this have been curiously silent in outrage about Moore and Rep. Maxine Waters, an actual lawmaker, who wished for the death of Strom Thurmond.

Rogers - Limbaugh has apologized to Hillary personally for it. She has accepted. Let it go.

Hey Rogers -- are these people friends of yours, or are the vermin swarming?


Thanks for introducing me to Lileks. This guy is great. Reading your comments helps me understand why it is difficult to have a conversation with many of my left wing friends. They seem to be able to read into my words motives and ideas that the words themself do not support, and resort to personal attack when I question that interpretation. The answer is to just have light conversation if you want to remain friends.

That is too bad. A spirited conversation is much more interesting with someone who has different ideas and is willing to engage intelligently.


Either you have a great sense of humor or you make my point about some of my friends. I really did mean thanks for bringing my attention to another, as you say "amusing" and "brilliant writer." It is possible that statements can be made without an ulterior motive.

An extreme example of reading meaning into a statement that the words do not support would be me saying "Wefare may not be the best way" and the response "So you want children to die!" Of course knee-jerk right wingers do the same thing and I find it just as annoying. I just wish it were more possible to have longer genuine exchange of ideas before degenerating into personal insults. I have actually changed or modified my opinions after such exchanges of ideas.

For clarification, when I wrote "your comments' I meant all the comments in this section. Sorry about the loose wording. Thanks.

Add a Comment

All comments are moderated before publication. These HTML tags are permitted: <p>, <b>, <i>, <a>, and <blockquote>. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA (for which the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply).