Friday, June 10, 2005

Now That You Mention It

Lance Mannion's description of James Lileks reminded me of something.

First, here's Mannion:

It's come to Roxanne's attention that Lileks is starting a second blog, one devoted to fear-mongering, hating, and paranoid raving.... I understand Lileks' decision. He's been doing the virtual equivalent of running into the kitchen to chat merrily on the phone with his mother while he stirs the soup on the stove and then in a sudden panic attack dropping everything and leaving the soup to burn while he flies to the bedroom, dives under the bed, and cowers there, jibbering, raving, cursing the fates, and praying to God to save his sorry, flat butt.

Readers find it distracting.

His more sensible fans, who enjoy, inexplicably, his maunderings on the joys of mall living get annoyed by the hiding under the bed stuff. His Right Wing fellow under the bed hiders can't fathom why he'd ever crawl out from under there with them.


Well, yes -- to all that. It reminds me of an account of another coward/chickenhawk/schizo type I've read lately, one from antiquity:

I am convinced that this brain-sickness accounted for his two contradictory vices -- overconfidence and extreme timorousness. Here was a man who despised the gods, yet shut his eyes and buried his head beneath the bedclothes at the most distant sound of thunder; and if the storm came closer, would jump out of bed and crawl underneath... Despite his fearful threats against the barbarians, he showed so little courage after he had crossed the _____ and gone riding.. through a defile, that when someone happened to remark: 'What a panic there would be if the enemy suddenly appeared!' he immediately leaped on a horse and galloped back to the bridges. These were crowded with camp servants and baggage, but he had himself passed from hand to hand over the men's heads, in his impatience at any delay.


Try to guess who it is. I'll leave the answers to subject and source in the comments.

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