Direct Link to MP3 file

There’s only one more show until the big live extravaganza (where there’ll be plenty of swanning, apparently). In this prelude to our big night in Los Angeles, we discuss the blackballing of Mike Huckabee, snow days in Washington D.C. (courtesy of guest Jonah Goldberg), umlauts vs. diaereses, and…puppies. Then, Victor Davis Hanson drops by to opine on Obama, entitlements, and whether he’ll ever run for Governor of California. He didn’t say no! 

Music from this week’s episode:

Swan Lake Ballet Suite, Op. 20 by Pyor Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks.

Nice codpiece, EJHill

Help Ricochet by supporting our advertisers!

Get 15% our featured title from Encounter Books. This week’s pick is Glenn Reynolds’ The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself. Use the coupon code RICOCHET at checkout and 15% off list price.

For a free audio book on us, go to

Subscribe to Ricochet Podcast in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed.

There are 48 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. EJHill Podcaster

    Mr. Lileks … Are you just happy to see us?

    • #1
    • January 23, 2014, at 1:05 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. James Lileks Contributor

    Apparently I am giving birth to an apple.

    • #2
    • January 23, 2014, at 1:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Fredösphere Member

    I hereby join Jonah in denouncing the anti-diaeresis bigotry on display in today’s podcast.


    • #3
    • January 23, 2014, at 1:42 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. DocJay Inactive

    Check out the unit on that guy.

    James Lileks: Apparently I am giving birth to an apple. · 32 minutes ago

    Coo coo cachoo Mr. Robinson.

    • #4
    • January 23, 2014, at 2:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Crow's Nest Inactive

    A package deal, I see.

    • #5
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. Profile Photo Member

    Meant to post this up top. Better late than never. Here’s Zoë, now hero to the coveted title of America’s Dog.

    • #6
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Israel P. Inactive

    Hidden among your mentions of pop culture and literary references that are meaningless to people today, was James’ reference to “Israel is Palestine.” I am pleased that out podcast team knew this and do not take that for granted.

    It is truly unfortunate that it is not known today.

    Back in the 1920s-30s-40s, “Palestinian” meant “Jew.” The local Arabs considered themselves part of the wider Arab nation, or self-referenced according to the places they came here from after the Jews created a viable economy.

    • #7
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:24 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Stephen Dawson Inactive

    How funny that one can ‘swan’ around in high society. Back in the mid-1970s when I was briefly a member of the Australian Army Reserve, our infantry tactics (still largely in thrall to the then recent Vietnam War) involved a great deal of walking through possibly ‘enemy’-held bushland. That was uniformly known as ‘swanning through the dongo’.

    • #8
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor

    What I learned listening to the Ricochet Podcast today: A group of geese is a “gaggle,” a group of elk is a “gang” – A group of Ricochet contributors (Prager, Sajak, Lileks, Goldberg) is officially an “Embarrassment.”

    • #9
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:49 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Joan of Ark La Tex Member

    Gentlemen, I have to say. The ladies of Ricochet are highly impressed by thy ….flexibility. 

    • #10
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:51 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    Crow’s Nest: A package deal, I see. · 33 minutes ago

    It could have a lot uglier.

    • #11
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Crow's Nest Inactive
    EJHill: It could have a lot uglier. · 0 minutes ago

    I was sort of hoping for Lileks in full swan regalia giving a segue whilst riding a segue. 

    But this is excellent as is.

    • #12
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    James Lileks: Apparently I am giving birth to an apple. · 2 hours ago

    That’s a long travel from the neck. 

    • #13
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. DocJay Inactive
    Crow’s Nest: A package deal, I see. · 33 minutes ago

    It could have a lotuglier. · 5 minutes ago

    I remember years ago when you asked me how I got so many girls and I revealed the secret of the apple in the speedos on the beach. I should have been clearer because of how upset you were when you returned from that beach with the apple in the back.

    • #14
    • January 23, 2014, at 3:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. EJHill Podcaster
    Majestyk: What I learned listening to the Ricochet Podcast today: A group of swans is a “gaggle…”

    And do you know the major difference between swans in America and swans in the UK? (NO GOOGLING!)

    • #15
    • January 23, 2014, at 4:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Profile Photo Member

    Also, here’s Rob’s tribute to legendary Paramount producer A.C. Lyles from Martini Shot, his weekly commentary on KCRW:

    <object width=”212″ height=”134″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”424″ height=”268″></embed></object>
    • #16
    • January 23, 2014, at 4:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor
    Majestyk: What I learned listening to the Ricochet Podcast today: A group of swans is a “gaggle…”

    And do you know the major difference between swans in America and swans in the UK? (NO GOOGLING!) · 54 minutes ago

    Swans are the property of the Queen?

    • #17
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    Nice touch with Swan Lake at the end. I still can’t hear that without immediately thinking of the 1930’s Universal horror movies that used it as an opening cue under the title cards.

    • #18
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. doc molloy Inactive

    Lileks- The larger your vocabulary the richer your cultural database is…

    Ludwig Wittgenstein — ‘The limits of your language are the limits of your world.’

    • #19
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Basil Fawlty Member

    Finally. My years of subscribing to Bryan Garner’s listserve have finally paid off. Diaeresis has the accent on the second syllable. You must have bedwetting on your minds.

    • #20
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. doc molloy Inactive

    Well I’m 61 on the 27th and I clearly remember Cagney and his dance style.. I just watched Footlight Parade on DVD and Cagney makes that flick come alive. And I believe it was in Yankee Doodle Dandy where Cagney playing George M Cohan in retirement says to a passing group of kids the Variety front page he’s reading.. they query what it means and he explains the headline: STICKS NIX HICK PIX 

    But here’s Cagney with Hope inspired by Yankee Doodle.. Michael Jackson stand aside and dare I say it I think this is where he got his moonwalk movement from.

    • #21
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. EJHill Podcaster
    Majestyk Swans are the property of the Queen? · 34 minutes ago

    Every last one.

    • #22
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. Basil Fawlty Member
    James Lileks: Apparently I am giving birth to an apple. · 4 hours ago

    He’s just auditioning for the remake of Top Secret!

    • #23
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. doc molloy Inactive

    On the origins of swanning around

    • #24
    • January 23, 2014, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. Crow's Nest Inactive

    Between the swans and the giraffes, we have quite the Ricochet menagerie.

    • #25
    • January 23, 2014, at 6:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Nick Stuart Inactive

    The podcast I would pay to hear is Adam Carolla doing a long form interview with Victor Davis Hanson (90 minutes with VDH, skip the fluff). They have such similar thoughts about the state of the State of California (each expressing those thoughts in their own inimitable fashions).

    Anybody who can hook that up will be doing a mazel for the masses.

    • #26
    • January 23, 2014, at 6:10 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. ParisParamus Member

    Palestinians flipping almost instantly from Jew to Arab was the tip of the spear that has brought us global warming = colder.

    • #27
    • January 23, 2014, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Petty Boozswha Member

    Bruckheimer’s Pearl Harbor was the most obvious rip off of Titanic – beyond the point of trying to be it’s sequel.

    • #28
    • January 23, 2014, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Funny that you guys should bring up the shelf life of popular culture references. Maedel von Aue has become a big fan of the Marx Brothers’ movies, the best of which are now approaching 80 years of age. There are some references she doesn’t get (“..those five kids in Canada”) but by and large she gets all of their jokes. There are, based on my data sample of one six year old and the enduring popularity of these films, of Shakespeare’s comedies (or those of Aristophanes) elements of the humor that are timeless. Whether my daughter gets the obscure in “Night at the Opera” or understands that the mad doctor in that Bugs Bunny cartoon is visually modeled on Peter Lorre or not is as important. 

    • #29
    • January 23, 2014, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Joseph Stanko Member

    Rob, Rob, you Southern Californian, how little you grasp of San Francisco politics.

    You called the Google busses an “unalloyed good” for the city since they encourage wealthy Googlers to live in San Francisco.

    Are you completely unacquainted with the concept of “gentrification?” Rich people living downtown is bad for the city, don’t you see, because it drives up rents and prices out the natives who have lived in the city for generations. The tech boom is bad for the city, because it makes living there unaffordable for anyone who doesn’t have a job at a software startup.

    The city would be better off without them. Then it would be a nice, quiet, affordable place to live — like Detroit.

    • #30
    • January 23, 2014, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • Like
  1. 1
  2. 2