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James Lileks

James Lileks was born in Fargo North Dakota, the son of Norman Rockwell and Betty Crocker. He attended the University of Minnesota for seven years, attending class for five; at the Minnesota Daily he started writing a column that has continued in the Twin Cities market for thirty years.

After college he used his English Major to find employment as a convenience store clerk, but soon left the world of actual labor for a series of jobs spent typing fiction in small, cloth-covered cubicles. He has been a columnist for City Pages, the Pioneer Press, Newhouse News Service and is presently a columnist for the Star-Tribune, where he also runs the blog.

He has published eight books – two novels, two collections, and four retro snarkfests based on his pop-culture history project, The Institute of Official Cheer. The Institute, a blog called “the Bleat” and many other time-wasting diversions can be found at He is married with one child and one dog and lives in Minneapolis under the southeast approach to the airport. 

Latest riffs by James Lileks