What do you do when you need a vacation?

I like going to Hawaii. But not like Honolulu. Gotta go to an area where there’s no radio, you know? Because everywhere I go I’d feel like, “I better go to the radio station and see what’s up.”

So you take your vacations in a media blackout.

Pretty much.

What would you do if you weren’t doing this?

I was thinking about being a lawyer. I interned at a law office and I was like, “Nah.” They were slaving away on basically the litigation-type thing. I don’t know if I could be that passionate. The only thing I feel that way about is music. I come from a family of teachers, and that seems to be my natural inclination.

The Up Above professor emeritus at Cal State Long Beach?

Or teaching drums to kindergartners. (Chris Ziegler)


Hugh Hewitt, Dick

In journalism, rewriting the same story earns you a browbeating from your editor, but look what that strategy earned Hugh Hewitt. For the past decade, the Irvine resident repeated his Categorical Imperative—the Los Angeles Timesis leftist—expanding it over the years to include the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and pretty much every daily paper in America except the Moonie-owned Washington Times and the Anschutz-financed Examiner tabloids—and saw his career explode. First came the slot on KCET-TV Channel 28’s Life and Times during the 1990s. Then followed the Hugh Hewitt Show on KRLA-AM 870, syndicated to more than 70 radio stations across the country. Recent profiles in the New Yorker and Newsweek. A guest appearance on The Colbert Report. Adoration from thousands of conservative bloggers. Book deals. Speaking engagements. A professorship at Chapman University. And, as of this year, the role of editor for, the Right’s Associated Press. Pretty good for a man who started as a ghostwriter for Richard Nixon, worked in the Reagan White House, then made national headlines as executive director of Nixon’s Library and Birthplace after he proposed banning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward from the premises (even the Dick thought that was excessive and overruled his zealous underling). Hewitt doesn’t really even need to work anymore: all he needs to do is post a couple of comments on his widely read site, whine about the MSM (mainstream media to us normal folks) on his show, or interview a couple of Los Angeles Timespunching bags—that’s you, Joel Stein and Jonathan Chait—and a thousand blogs parrot their master’s voice, frequently linking to the very media Hewitt so maligns but depends on for his career like a remora depends on a shark. (Gustavo Arellano)


“You’re fine on this curve,” Lamborghini Orange County service manager Grant Johnson says as we fly down Edinger in a black 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo, not a car in front of us, me in third gear nearing the ton. “It can handle it.” He should know; this is his job, and he does it well. Not a hair moves in his dry pompadour as I futz around with a $300,000 car I don’t own. (“Do you have life insurance?” general manager Vik Keuylian asked me as we left the building. I’m not sure if he thinks we might crash—or if he’ll take care of me if we do.)

This is what his day feels like: it feels fast, even though I’m just sitting around. The exhaust note behind me is an unearthly howl, and I’m only loafing: halfway to redline on the tachometer, halfway through the transmission, which is shifted through paddle levers that sprout from the steering column just like on a Formula One car. Johnson, who took us sideways through a turn just moments ago—the hard downshifts kicking us in the tuchis, the massive Brembos on each corner just starting to lock—must be unruffled, but I don’t know. I’m not looking at him; I’m doing what you have to do in situations like these. I’m watching the road, which, like the gasoline in this beast, is disappearing at an alarming rate.

Like all Lamborghinis, this is not a car you drive to get somewhere. You drive it because you’ve arrived—somewhere—and now you wanna leave, real fast. Sometimes, as Flannery O’Connor once put it, “where you are isn’t any good unless you can get away from it.” You can do that, but quick, in anything Lamborghini makes, and everyone I meet at this dealership has the happy, floaty air of someone on an adrenalin rush: someone who, like me, has either just driven one of these Italian exotics or is about to.

“I own everybody’s Lamborghini,” Johnson brags as we ooze down the dealership driveway in the Gallardo—the first all-new Lambo the company has dropped since being bought by Audi in ’98. “We just got back from a driving trip up north. We went up Highway 1, doing maybe 100 miles a day on those twisty roads. Passing people, we were doing 100 miles an hour in some of those turns.” Jealous?

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