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The Summer Doldrums
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Jonah Goldberg

Dear Readers (and very rich people or very illiterate people who have this column read to them):

We are officially in the Summer Doldrums. Historically, this slow news period is when media types clean out their desks, organize their closets, and replenish their supply of “medicinal” whiskey. And, this year is no exception. I mean, you know there’s no news when Fox starts spending an inordinate amount of time explaining what the Dingell-Norwood version of the patients’ bill of rights is.

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Anyway, I know you people come to this space mostly for the tasteful nudity (which also explains why so many of you leave disappointed). But I’m just not up to a column today, let alone the nudity. So, if you want to leave right now, I will understand. Only, please try to come back Wednesday. There might be free shrimp.

For those diehards who’ve decided to remain — hence forfeiting any right to complain about the high-doggerel level of this column — I’d like to make a few announcements and then go to bed because I’m under the weather.

Anyway, here we go:

Goodbyes: Our trusty and valued editor Neil Seeman has left NRO to return to lands up north for personal reasons. He was an extremely valued member of the team and will be missed — though normally we treat employees who leave us the way the Amish treat hookers. In order to stretch this process out, we will announce his mail-order replacement another time (she has been hired, so please don’t send resumes unless truly obscene amounts of cash are attached).

Also, as you may have realized by now, The American Spectator Online is gone, kaput, gone the way of the dodo and Hillary Clinton’s sense of humor. This is a shame because we welcomed the competition from a friendly rival. Still, we — ok, I — would like to take credit for crushing all competitors in our path, but the unfortunate demise of the Spectator, by all accounts, has nothing to do with us.

Hellos: Much like the Russians who declared war on the Japanese only after we dropped the big one, The Weekly Standard has finally decided to put out a full-time shingle on the web. Sometime this September, they will launch something new and improved. We think it’s about time they joined in on the digital full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice. Besides, John McCain can use all the help he can get. Welcome aboard!

Birthdays: Today is the birthday of Mr. Whipple (A.K.A. Dick Wilson) who became famous for saying, “Don’t squeeze the Charmin.” He is 85. It is also the birthday of Anita Hill, who became famous for saying her boss was rude. Coincidentally it is also the birthday of Eleanor Smeal, the former president of NOW, who said that Anita Hill’s boss wasn’t qualified for anything. But, she never said “Don’t squeeze the interns” to Bill Clinton. It’s not Bill Clinton’s birthday, nor is it his brother Roger’s. But it is Frank Stallone’s birthday. He is another mediocre singer and brother of someone famous. Stallone sang, “Far from Over,” the song from Staying Alive and, in a sense, Bill Clinton’s office-opening ceremony this afternoon. Frank also starred in several films including Return of the Rollerblade 7 — despite the fact no one knew the Rollerblade 7 were missing. Other birthdays today include, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry Ford, and, of course, Hilary Swank. It is also the birthday of my friend Nick Schulz, politics editor of Foxnews.com ([email protected]) — who will be very unhappy that I’ve encouraged thousands of people to wish him a happy birthday.

Entirely useless trivia about color: In the film Sixth Sense, all supernatural occurrences are foreshadowed by the appearance of the color red — red sweaters, red balloons, red doorknobs, etc.

Oranges — the fruit, not the color — serve a similar purpose in the Godfather movies; they anticipate death or near-death events. Vito Corleone is shot while purchasing oranges. Later, he dies while making a silly face with an orange peel. In Godfather II, the senator gets set up for a murder rap after playing with oranges in Michael’s office. Also, Johnny Ola brings an orange into Michael’s office before the attempt on Michael’s life. Also, in the first Godfather, Tessio has an orange tossed to him during the wedding scene and is eventually murdered for being a traitor.

As far as I — and Felix Unger — know, “orange” is the only word in the English language which doesn’t rhyme with anything.

This is main reason why there will be no oranges at my wedding.

This brings me to the shameless pleading portion of this Potemkin column.

Wedding Arrangements
As long-time readers know, I will be getting married in less than a month. The repercussions here are huge. First of all, this means that the Chief Speechwriter and Senior Policy Advisor to the Attorney General of the United States of America is so barmy, so daft, so addled as to marry the likes of me. What this means for the future of freedom is anyone’s guess. All I know is that I better hurry before she realizes the cheese has slipped off her cracker.

Many of you have kindly asked where we are registered, other than with my parole officer. Don’t worry about that (though those merry pranksters at KSFO in San Francisco did read from our registry on the air, which was sooo helpful). Still, if you feel compelled to do something nice, there are a couple things you could do.

You can bug your local paper to carry my syndicated column or, if it already does, send them some encouragement (the Washington Times is testing it right now and they could stand some positive feedback).

Or, you could help me come up with some “best of” columns. My honeymoon will be from August 26 to September 9 and I will not be filing any columns, because, well, it’s my honeymoon. But I don’t want you people to forget me, so we’ll be running some “G-File Classics,” “Goldberg Flashbacks,” or some other euphemism for retread columns. If you have some favorites or if you want to take a trip down memory lane, you can find all of my old columns in the archives. Please send your nominations (with URL) to [email protected].

Cross-Country Fiesta
During the wee hours of August 16th, I will leave with my friend and former colleague Doug Anderson and Cosmo — AKA notorious D.O.G. to drive cross-country to Friday Harbor, Washington for the wedding. Our route out has been settled. DA and D.O.G will make our way to Chicago or beyond on the first day. From there, we will visit/see/drive-past-while-eating-large amounts-of-drive-thru-Taco Bell: Madison, WI; the Badlands and BlackHills of South Dakota; In Wyoming we’ll see Devil’s Tower, Cody, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and the Tetons where Cosmo will make his first kill. From there we’ll head to Mt Rushmore, Craters of the Moon, Sun Valley, the Saw tooth range, Coeur d’Alene, and all sorts of other places that look like what ANWR is supposed to look like. Then, we’re off to Friday Harbor, Washington where the nuptials will take place so long as Jessica doesn’t come to her senses.

I have been inundated by invitations to dinner, drinks, hunting, and, on occasion, to have my ass kicked. Thanks for almost all of them. Unfortunately, on the way out we can’t really spare much time for any of these things.

However: After my honeymoon, I will be driving back cross-country with Cosmo alone. I hope to visit and write about all sorts of cool stuff on that trip. The route and story ideas for that have not been settled, so please keep suggestions coming (though I will pass on the ass-kickings).

Lastly, thanks for the kind notes about my ad-libbed speech to the Young America’s Foundation. Alas, I missed it myself. Which is why I will be sending a request to C-Span at [email protected] to ask them to rerun it. You could do that too, right after you wish Nick a happy birthday.



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