Lee Siegel is God

September 2, 2006

You Know What Bugs Lee Siegel and Me?

Filed under: Our Evil Culture — sprezzatura @ 10:03 pm

Perhaps nowhere in the entire universe does light shine as particularly brilliantly as it does in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (Do you see how I mentioned that it was the Upper West Side of Manhattan? That’s so you rubes in flyover country can follow along.) The light is at once diffuse and focused, in the way that light plays in the hair of the 16-year-old Uma Thurman of my mind. The light illuminates the miasma created by the combination of taxis, hobos, and pastrami peculiar to New York City, until blessed sunset brings us to night.

Then, everyone comes out to play–the Hispanic kids from somewhere other than where I am, and old people, and young professionals, and here’s where I’d insert some dazzling simile that would truly destroy the pretentions of that schmuck, Ezra Klein, but I can’t because I’m too distracted by…T-SHIRTS.

How odious the sight of these benighted things! Next to them, a baseball cap is practically a white coat with tails. It was bad enough when they would simply bear slogans–“Big Johnson’s Surf Shop,” for example, or perhaps “Hard Rock New York.” But now people will wear T-shirts that have no writing on them at all.

The blank T-shirt insinuates that perhaps not all of life is about saying things. And wearing a T-shirt in inappropriate places–like while playing tennis, or moving furniture–says that you are a person who doesn’t feel the need to wear a suit and tie.

I could go on and on, but Lee’s imaginary cat is yowling again. Oh, the difficult life of sprezzatura. T-shirts and imaginary cats, oh my.



  1. Number of times Heraclitus wore a t-shirt: zero. It is not clear if he ever wore a baseball cap, as his life has come down to us only in fragments. Also, Lee Siegel once tutored Uma Thurman.

    Comment by zudz — September 2, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  2. What brilliant prose! I swear I can hear that cat crying as real as if it were in this very room!

    Comment by See Legal — September 3, 2006 @ 1:48 am

  3. Oh, the green glow of the pastrami. And t-shirts, of all the garments ever invented the worst, with the possible exception of jockey shorts and white sox.

    Comment by Hattie — September 3, 2006 @ 1:56 am

  4. Please note that “Bugs Lee Siegel” is not, *not*, I say again, NOT a sockpuppet of “Bugsy Siegel”. Honest.

    Comment by Raven — September 3, 2006 @ 2:28 am

  5. The fact that people would wear T-Shirts rather than purchasing closets full of marked-down designer jackets that are completely to unique to New York City is clearly a crime worse than all of those committed by Hitler, Stalin, and postmodern academics put together.

    Comment by Scott Lemieux — September 3, 2006 @ 2:35 am

  6. Take heart, Spritz, the scorn heaped on me for a couple of actually quite well managed retreats, first at Fredericksburg and then at Gettysburg, was not nearly as devastating as the rain of lead we endured from the Rebs. And today there are still pigeons shitting on my statue in Central Park.

    Comment by Franz Sigel — September 3, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

  7. Ach, but what of wearing a t-shirt *with* a jacket? Not to church (horrors, no – though I’m the only man with a tie on at my local parish, most Sundays) or to work- no, I mean about the house, out casually? I hesitate to ask, but does that ensemble meet with divine condescension?

    Comment by Charles — January 23, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  8. Great post, amazing looking blog, added it to my favorites!!

    Comment by apoliDiva — December 13, 2009 @ 10:27 am

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