Friday, Feb. 13, 2009


bleat is the work of James Lileks, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and serial collector of strange and wonderful pop cultural ephemera. The blog is a daily diary of a somewhat anal retentive Fargo native doing ordinary things like dropping his daughter off at school and going to meetings at work, punctuated by gleeful dumpster dives into pop culture history. There's an impressive and curiously evocative collection of old match books, lots of campy print and TV ads from the black-and-white era, a detailed look at weird currency from foreign countries and what it reveals about the local populace, and an alarmingly extensive gallery of interior decorating horrors from the 70s. If all of this seems like an exuberant waste of time, then you're getting the idea. It's the perfect way to kill that interminably long hour before you knock off work.

Sample bleat post: I've never been convinced of the link between lather and shampoo-power. I am, however, convinced of the absolute necessity of studying commercials to understand any era; it's what they show, what they don't, what they assume, what they tout as new. Today, class, it's Prell.

Entry you'll never see: I recently came into possession of a mint-condition Partridge Family lunch box. Unfortunately, it doesn't shed any light on the style or cultural assumptions of the early 1970s.