Happy Seasons!

It’s our last podcast for 2019, (but evidently not the last one of the decade) and we do our best to cover the ridiculous and the sublime. For the former, we call upon the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the leading authority on all things impeachment (you should also be listening to his podcast which this week features a fascinating interview with Devin Nunes). We get the skinny on all of the machinations, strategizing, gamesmanship, and a prediction on the longterm effects (spoiler alert: nothing). Also, do not ask Byron about the robo-calling bill Congress just passed, because he doesn’t know a damn thing about it. OK?

Then, a total gear shift as we are joined by Joseph (or if you are friends with him, Jody) Bottum, the author, poet, and all around oracle on all things Christmas (visit his Amazon page and buy a few of his stories, won’t you?). Needless to say, it’s a much deeper and spiritual conversation than the one in the first half of the show.

Finally, thanks to you our faithful listeners and especially the ones who are Ricochet members for supporting the show, our advertisers, and our site. We literally could not do this without you and we have some special events planned for 2020, our 10th (!) year of podcasting. Wow.

Music from this week’s show (handpicked by James Lileks from the 1965 Goodyear Tires Christmas Album): Sleigh Ride by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme

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There are 38 comments.

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  1. James Lileks Contributor

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads. 

    • #1
    • December 20, 2019, at 4:04 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    • #2
    • December 20, 2019, at 6:30 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Blue Yeti Admin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    Today I learned that Lileks’ grandfather was the inspiration for this scene from The Empire Strike Back. What I want to know is who told George Lucas about Grandpa Lileks?

     

    • #3
    • December 20, 2019, at 6:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. kedavis Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    Ricochet’s got a time machine! Git ’em!

    • #4
    • December 20, 2019, at 6:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. kedavis Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    Today I learned that Lileks’ grandfather was the inspiration for this scene from The Empire Strike Back. What I want to know is who told George Lucas about Grandpa Lileks?

     

    Really? I’ve heard him tell that story several times, including on Ricochet.

    • #5
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:14 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Arahant Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads.

    “That’s nothin’.”

    • #6
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Arahant Member

    Always love hearing from Mister York.

    • #7
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:19 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads.

    “That’s nothin’.”

    Does he top Jonah Goldberg on the Remnent a few months ago when he kept giving the wrong discount code for the ad?

     

    • #8
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:28 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Arahant Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads.

    “That’s nothin’.”

    Does he top Jonah Goldberg on the Remnent a few months ago when he kept giving the wrong discount code for the ad?

    No.

    • #9
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Blue Yeti Admin

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads.

    “That’s nothin’.”

    Does he top Jonah Goldberg on the Remnent a few months ago when he kept giving the wrong discount code for the ad?

    For the record, the mistake was all mine, not James’. I had failed to change the title of the upcoming spot from the one that ran last week and James based his segue on the title, which once he started on the copy for the spot made no sense. If you are interested in hearing it, I preserved this moment (and a few others) for history at the very end of the show.

    • #10
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:37 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    For the record, the mistake was all mine, not James’. I had failed to change the title of the upcoming spot from the one that tab last week and James based his segue on the title, which once he started on the copy for the spot made no sense. If you are interested in hearing it, I preserved this moment for history (and a few others) at the very end of the show. 

    Steering the host wrong? Ten points!

    • #11
    • December 20, 2019, at 7:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Django Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    If we’re voting, I vote “yes”. I don’t always agree with him, but he is very perceptive and has a way with words. And, I’m given to understatement. 

    • #12
    • December 20, 2019, at 8:56 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Samuel Block Support

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Do stick around for the outtakes, in which your host learns – twice! – the perils of the Cold Read when it comes to ads.

    James! You underestimate how much we like you guys. (And we find your lack of faith disturbing.)

    Merry Christmas, gentlemen.

    Edit: Admittedly, having had too much to drink this evening, I misread your comment as “Do not” stick around for blah blah blah…

    Still though, Merry Christmas!

    • #13
    • December 20, 2019, at 9:48 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Samuel Block Support

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Are we fortunate to have @jameslileks or what?

    The man is special.

    That’s all I’ll say.

    • #14
    • December 20, 2019, at 10:07 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. James Lileks Contributor

    Thank you all! I blush in your general direction. And let us not end the years’s podcast season – which we haven’t yet – with hat tips to EJ’s endless ingenuity, Yeti’s ability to wrangle the palaver into a solid package, and the utterly different but equally perspicacious interview skills of Rob and Peter.

    • #15
    • December 20, 2019, at 10:23 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. Samuel Block Support

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Thank you all! I blush in your general direction. And let us not end the years’s podcast season – which we haven’t yet – with hat tips to EJ’s endless ingenuity, Yeti’s ability to wrangle the palaver into a solid package, and the utterly different but equally perspicacious interview skills of Rob and Peter.

    Yes. They’re especially special too.

    For the record, I’m on team Peter. He’s practically my favorite person that I’ve never met, full stop – I only say that because I don’t want the rest of you to think I’m just throwing flattery around frivolously. (Flatterers are all the way down into the 8th circle of Hell – No thanks!)

    • #16
    • December 20, 2019, at 10:35 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Peter Robinson Founder

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    For the record, I’m on team Peter. He’s practically my favorite person that I’ve never met, full stop – I only say that because I don’t want the rest of you to think I’m just throwing flattery around frivolously. (Flatterers are all the way down into the 8th circle of Hell – No thanks!)

    Samuel, you really are throwing the flattery around. 

    But I’ll take it.

    Merry Christmas, everybody!

    • #17
    • December 21, 2019, at 12:01 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Samuel Block Support

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    For the record, I’m on team Peter. He’s practically my favorite person that I’ve never met, full stop – I only say that because I don’t want the rest of you to think I’m just throwing flattery around frivolously. (Flatterers are all the way down into the 8th circle of Hell – No thanks!)

    Samuel, you really are throwing the flattery around.

    But I’ll take it.

    Merry Christmas, everybody!

    I know… I’m doomed.

    But, in this case, I think this may be one of those pot/kettle conundrums. (And, furthering my defense: I’ve had a little too much wine this evening.)

    Merry Christmas!

    • #18
    • December 21, 2019, at 12:07 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Kevin Schulte Member

    Wonderful episode. 

    However, the exit song ? That wonderful rendition, it was utterly ruined. RUINED!!!! 

     

    • #19
    • December 21, 2019, at 3:41 AM PST
    • Like
  20. FredGoodhue Coolidge

    Merry Xmas is like Happy Seasons; it’s a way to be economical in words. The alternative is Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/New Year.

    • #20
    • December 21, 2019, at 4:44 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Wolfsheim Member

    I became aware of Joseph Bottums through First Things but had never heard him speak before. Please invite him back.

    Christmas has what I would call its “Proustian moments,” as suggested in the podcast. Of course, they vary greatly and unpredictably from person to person. C.S. Lewis’s “joy” cannot be automatically experienced by rereading Squirrel Nutkin. And such must not become the focus of one’s longing for the spirit of Christmas, which is, of course, the celebration of the Incarnation.

    I confess that I do not appreciate most American Christmas music, regarding which I cannot distinguish the merely tacky from the sentimental. I love the old German, French, and English carols, and when I hear the latter sung, as though to celebrate just how “hip” and talented the famous modern performer is, I cringe with Scrooge-like mutterings. And such “secular Christmas” music as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is worse than vulgar; it sends a terrible message.

    I live in Japan, where department store clerks wear Santa Claus caps but where all but the tiny Christian minority has next to no idea what Christmas means. In coffee shops, Christmas music à la Lady Gaga is played ad nauseam. And yet there is something deeply moving about attending mass with Japanese Christians, for whom the celebration is all the more meaningful. (By the way, the First Noel sung in semi-classical Japanese is much better than it is in English. I look forward to it every Christmas Eve. À chacun son goût!)

    • #21
    • December 21, 2019, at 7:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Well , that was fun ! 

    • #22
    • December 21, 2019, at 7:46 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Bishop Wash Member

    FredGoodhue (View Comment):

    Merry Xmas is like Happy Seasons; it’s a way to be economical in words. The alternative is Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/New Year.

    Some of my friends point out it isn’t Christmas yet and joke we should wish people a “Penitential Advent, you miserable sinner”. 

    • #23
    • December 21, 2019, at 7:56 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Arahant Member

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    Some of my friends point out it isn’t Christmas yet and joke we should wish people a “Penitential Advent, you miserable sinner”. 

    I’m for that.

    • #24
    • December 21, 2019, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. RufusRJones Member

    This is really good on how the Democrats are gaming impeachment. 

    ‘Talking impeachment: Freedom Caucus Members on the Judiciary Committee’ on #SoundCloud #np https://soundcloud.com/user-671880160/judiciary-audio-final 

    • #25
    • December 22, 2019, at 4:08 AM PST
    • Like
  26. RufusRJones Member

    Ricochet Audio Network: For the former, we call upon the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the leading authority on all things impeachment (you should also be listening to his podcast which this week features a fascinating interview with Devin Nunes).

    Remember how all of the Never Trump Republicans blamed Trump for losing the House of Representatives? At around seven minutes he explains why that is not true. The Democrats lied about Nunes accusations, the media reinforced it, the FBI director reinforced it even though it was all true. They painted a picture that the Republican party was in bed with Putin or lying themselves. Then they fundraised off of it. 

    Furthermore, many of those losses were due to staggering outside money and vote harvesting etc. I posted a video about it here a few weeks ago.

    It wasn’t even close to being all Trump’s fault.

     

    • #26
    • December 22, 2019, at 7:41 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  27. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Wonderful episode.

    However, the exit song ? That wonderful rendition, it was utterly ruined. RUINED!!!!

     

     

    Yeah Kevin – what were they drunk, high, ??? when they recorded that puppy?

     

    • #27
    • December 23, 2019, at 8:39 AM PST
    • Like
  28. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):

    I became aware of Joseph Bottums through First Things but had never heard him speak before. Please invite him back.

    Christmas has what I would call its “Proustian moments,” as suggested in the podcast. Of course, they vary greatly and unpredictably from person to person. C.S. Lewis’s “joy” cannot be automatically experienced by rereading Squirrel Nutkin. And such must not become the focus of one’s longing for the spirit of Christmas, which is, of course, the celebration of the Incarnation.

    I confess that I do not appreciate most American Christmas music, regarding which I cannot distinguish the merely tacky from the sentimental. I love the old German, French, and English carols, and when I hear the latter sung, as though to celebrate just how “hip” and talented the famous modern performer is, I cringe with Scrooge-like mutterings. And such “secular Christmas” music as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is worse than vulgar; it sends a terrible message.

    I live in Japan, where department store clerks wear Santa Claus caps but where all but the tiny Christian minority has next to no idea what Christmas means. In coffee shops, Christmas music à la Lady Gaga is played ad nauseam. And yet there is something deeply moving about attending mass with Japanese Christians, for whom the celebration is all the more meaningful. (By the way, the First Noel sung in semi-classical Japanese is much better than it is in English. I look forward to it every Christmas Eve. À chacun son goût!)

    It was sad that he and First Things were not a fit but that happens sometimes even when you wish the best for both partners. Do you ever go to Nagasaki for Christmas?

    • #28
    • December 23, 2019, at 8:41 AM PST
    • Like
  29. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Dont worry @jameslileks, I will be doing another solo Christmas myself as I sadly seem to do these years, with the absence of family.

    I will be going to Church service and thats likely it, with my few relatives far away.

    I used to host the Orphan party but to many people got themselves new families these days to participate in that anymore so its moved to Christmas eve.

    I am going to bake my Turkey and down some Scotch for the hollidays.

    • #29
    • December 23, 2019, at 9:09 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Samuel Block Support

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Dont worry @jameslileks, I will be doing another solo Christmas myself as I sadly seem to do these years, with the absence of family.

    I will be going to Church service and thats likely it, with my few relatives far away.

    I used to host the Orphan party but to many people got themselves new families these days to participate in that anymore so its moved to Christmas eve.

    I am going to bake my Turkey and down some Scotch for the hollidays.

    I vote that you crash the Christmas party of the Ricochet member closest to your location.

    • #30
    • December 23, 2019, at 9:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes