Greybird

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Everything posted by Greybird

  1. Several million have dissented, or are dissenting, from your "aggregate." Try avoiding this casual collectivism, please.
  2. {AncientJoke} Who do you mean with that "we," Kemosabe? {/AncientJoke}
  3. On Friday, December 16, 1983, I went to the movies thoroughly drunk. (To get the proper charge out of this silly tale, you have to realize that it takes a lot to get me drunk, between the physiognomy evident in the avatar at left, and a pronounced dislike for getting more than a relaxed buzz from alcohol. Thus, the adjective has only really applied to about four or five occasions in my life since I could legally drink. ... But I digress.) It was after the annual Christmas party held by my employer — actually, the larger trade association which controlled the smaller one that directly employed me. All my colleagues had contempt for the pretentiousness and power-sucking of the Bigger Boys, so several of us gathered in the subterranean Billy Goat Tavern to get the taste of the soirée out of our mouths. (Yes, admirers of "SNL"-when-it-was-actually-funny, THAT Billy Goat Tavern. "Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger, no Pepsi, COKE" — that one. ... But I digress again.) After two hours of some of the best beer and conversation I'd ever had, I weaved up the iron stairs to a windswept Michigan Avenue, somehow managed to cross between the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower without being mowed down, and climbed onto the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus. In one of the few times a single, unaccompanied thought wandered into the foyer of my neocortex, I remembered as the bus passed the Christmas-light-strewn trees: That new movie is playing at the Lincoln Village. I was gonna go see it. Wonder if it'll matter that I'm in the bag. So I got off and staggered north, to the theater, rather than south to the subway station. I bought my ticket and slumped into the seat, winter coat next to me (it wasn't very crowded), and expected to be mildly entertained as the previews unwound. Two hours and thirty-five minutes later, I walked briskly to the theater door, stone-cold sober. With the greatest feeling of exhilaration I'd yet experienced, I kept walking, six blocks east, to the John Hancock Center. I paid for an observatory ticket, itching to get up to the 100th floor. I stood for another hour gazing in rapture at the lights of Chicago, streaming gloriously away in three directions, with the long-conquered lake sitting in azure silence. What a magnificent civilization we live in, I kept saying to myself. After climbing down from that emotional high, which I've never had to such a degree before or since about any work of art, I finally headed home. That was a pretty good day. ... What movie, you ask? Well, do you think I'm going to let you just take in that passive bit of information and pre-judge it? You'll have to at least click here and find out a little about it for yourself.
  4. You may not believe me, but I told my brother hours before the results that the Iowa fix was in: Mittens, then Lubricant, then Paul. What few will acknowledge is that as far as delegates, which is what matter more than a highly visible straw poll, the three candidates did about equally. Paul is very much electorally alive. Genocide, as in Santorum's call for nuking Iran, seems to be what sells most readily among Christians in Iowa. I am abashed yet again about ever having been, as I was until age 19, a Christian growing up in Iowa.
  5. Not much useful information as yet in this thread. Let's correct that: Alongside Night is indeed downloadable for free, as a 3.1 MB .pdf, at alongsidenight.net. (And, yes, Neil wrote the opening poem, meant to suggest an epigraph, even though it isn't one.) Neil has at least partial production financing in hand, and has begun principal photography. Some interiors have been shot, including at a TV station. Although some of the casting has been done (including Kevin Sorbo and some who acted in "Lady Magdalene's"), no casting has yet been announced for the two core characters, the teenaged protagonists Elliot and Lorimer. A release of a first cut is planned for mid-April 2012 at George Mason University in Virginia. This will also be shown at various film-festival events. A more polished version for commercial release is planned for Summer 2012. Here is his 13 December press release:
  6. "All" is neither "fair and balanced," nor a mere "rhetorical flourish." You do not speak for, among others here, me. I have thus disrupted your assertion of a unanimous viewpoint. (And if such an assertion was not your intention, you should have said so.)
  7. Eric Dondero Rittberg — his full name, and you can judge for yourself just how much of a paper trail he wishes to avoid by freely swapping surnames — was long ago fired by Ron Paul. He actively turned against Libertarian Party efforts to achieve ballot status. He has posted continual neoconservative bile against anyone remotely Paulian in viewpoint, under dozens of screen names, at Liberty Post, Free Republic, and other sites (those names having to do with being repeatedly banned for incivility and abuse). Rittberg is one of the most repulsive characters it has been my misfortune to even meet, let alone have to work with on occasion, in 35 years of libertarian activism. For what it's worth to note this. I would advise skepticism about any such insider account. Jim Peron, for one, has strenuously denied Rittberg's veracity as to the trip noted above — and that's with Peron now thoroughly detesting Paul. "We are all"? "Our concerns"? Refrain from such facile collectivizing, please. It is precisely his non-interventionist (NOT "isolationist") stands that bring the greatest hope for peace, and engender and earn the greatest support for him, from multitudes of people. Including many who, such as I, have wearied from fighting the assumed Objectivist support for neoconservative warmaking, which infests a host of O-sites.
  8. Yes, by that point in the series, Earl Hamner (John-Boy's real-life analogue) had moved on to other projects, and the talents left behind to steward his first highly personal creation through the last four seasons were notably mediocre. My father and Hamner were roommates at the Cincinnati College of Music, and kept sporadically in touch. So you can imagine what was obligatory viewing at our house. And gladly so, at least until Richard Thomas left at the end of his seven-year contract, and the character left "for New York," and the show — even for the Reeds — never really recovered. But, oh, those early years. It earned the lion's share of its emotion, many times over. Reminds me, it's time to put in our tape of "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" (the pilot) once again. Not swappable in those first few years, from that pilot until John-Boy went to college. They retained distinct personalities, but with seven adult and seven child roles, too many in the core cast just never got enough plot attention, out of sheer logistics. That could have improved after the departure of John-Boy, Grandpa, Olivia, and others from the ongoing stories, but the writing staff was sub-par, as I noted. Earl tried to ameliorate this, but had far too much on his producing plate, as he lamented to my father.
  9. When films are "ripped," condensed in file size, and placed on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent, it's extremely rare for any of the special DVD/BD features to be included. (Except for subtitles, which are placed in separate files. On perhaps one out of fifty, a second audio track for a director's commentary.) I take it that those who avail themselves *a-HEM!* of this mode of access — whether to gauge disc transfer quality, sample a film before a purchase, or defy a bankrupt concept of "IP" — aren't missing much by not having several hundred such affirmations being included. Such postings do often include a scan of the front cover of the DVD or BD disc ... though rarely the back cover. Does anyone have such a scan of the latter, to show this philosophic and esthetic copywriting gaffe from the Gang Who Couldn't Market Straight? (And is offering replacement case inserts. Too late, really.)
  10. The only corrective is to put the military members in a position where they do not require "care packages." That is, to bring them home at once. He is unarguably correct, both historically and in our experience since Nine Eleven. It has come to the point of inflicting verbal and even physical abuse in public venues, notably at sports events, for not making such obeisance to governmental symbols. Somebody in academe finally has the cojones to say this out loud! Suffolk University is not a governmental institution. No one is coerced in order to pay his salary.
  11. Aside from GHS's highly plausible "Melvin & Howard" scenario sounding the best so far (or at least the most cinematic), let's not forget the factor that nobody's mentioned thus far: copyrights. They're clearly the foundation of what is making Peikoff so confident as to his Popery. He can quash anything beyond "fair use," and a great deal that's within fair use, if sufficiently pissed off (such as suppressing a rock band's naming itself "Atlas Shrugged"). Does Kira Peikoff, soon, become the "intellectual heir"? She'll get the "intellectual property," which in the case of Atlas, for example, runs until at least 2052. Unless Congress, for this purpose a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, extends the copyright terms yet again.
  12. He just came along about a century too early to see the Congress of the United States in action, that's all.
  13. Oh, that's just great. NOW what do I do with the dozen nonrefundable tickets I bought for ARI's Straw Poll next month? So that people could be recruited to come to Irvine and stuff the ballot box for you? I guess I'll just toss them in with the 300 I bought for Ron Paul supporters. ... ;)
  14. The evidence of (any of) the senses becomes profoundly meaningful, and far from a philosophic prop or truism ... ... when, all your life, you haven't yet had it. One of the most moving moving images I have ever seen. (Thanks go to George — I did see it yesterday elsewhere.) I nearly immediately thought of one of Rand's most brilliant essays, about the willful philosophic deafening of the conceptual faculties, as thoroughly as this woman's ears had been: "Kant versus Sullivan" (that's Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher), reprinted in Philosophy: Who Needs It. Science, unfortunately, can't fix the damage that has been done to our conceptual faculties. It might get us further away from some of the destroyers. When will Virgin Galactic build its first Moon habitat? Not soon enough for me.
  15. Hmmmm. ... Maybe Comrade Sonia is behind all this. 8-) Mark Hunter, a long-time member of this site (user Mark), is the owner and sole writer of ARI Watch. Why not ask him your questions directly? He posted above, after all. He's not forthcoming on the site about personal details — in these days of the Net becoming a Panopticon, I can't blame him — but the forthrightness, clarity, and supportive citations of his essays pretty much speak for themselves, as substantial reasons to read them. That's entirely apart from his effective decrying of the religiousity, abusiveness, and (yes) neoconservative war-savagery worship practiced by ARI, its principals, major supporters, and beneficiaries.
  16. You can read the one-act play, most definitely by Murray Rothbard, here, with a context-setting introduction by Jeffrey Tucker. The clip above may be from the 1986 performance noted on that page.
  17. Steve Chapman notes an unexpected source of reassurance, in the best tradition of iconoclasm. You might extend thanks to a peaceful Muslim you know — and you likely know one — at least before this week is out. (Yes, even you, Bob/Baal.) This ought to be aimed especially at the likes of Detroit News neocon columnist Debbie Schlussel, who said on Osama bin Laden's death: "One down, 1.8 billion to go." Roast in hell, bigot.
  18. About the jingoism I expected, thus far. Did any of you actually read this article? ("Icky"? You can't even think of a more pungent, descriptive, even onomatopoeic word for your viewpoint? Why be so boring, let alone inaccurate?)
  19. Food for thought by Tom Engelhardt.
  20. Well, when did you stop beating your wife? {rueful over-assumption-meme smile} ... I am doing no such thing. I get tired of principled, substantive discussions devolving into vendettas on his part. GHS is actually worth some replies, much of the time. Most people who post here are not. When it comes out that, in the current instance, his discourse on Bourne is a sideshow to condemning Raimondo and associates sight unseen — he is not the same man or the same writer he was thirty years ago, he's far more accomplished — I see it as a waste of GHS's intellect and of our time. He's anchoring himself in conflicts with the now-long-dead, either topically or as persons, usually both. I don't have to like it, and I don't like it. I'm enjoying the analytical and discursive pleasure of McElroy actually being out in the cut-and-thrust arena of applying libertarian and individualist principles to current events, and to broader topics of State abuses. (Such as an excellent overview of the historical and current perniciousness of passports.) She has Freeman Online, Mises.org, and FFF pieces published every week. I get flagged to these on Facebook, a social medium George has disdained. George isn't out there in the arena. I tend to have more of a "crush" on those who are. Certainly as far as putting them on my daily reading agenda.
  21. And how are we to discuss what is, inescapably, a political act without doing so? Animadversions on mourning, as such? Where would that get us? I notice that you've already jettisoned your own request (see #9), but I still won't be taking part.
  22. Everything circles back to interpersonal vendettas, then, and yet again. That's what this comes down to. You're not truly judging Raimondo and associates and what they're actually doing at Antiwar.com. You're judging past set-tos you've had with them. (Which weren't all conducted in the tones you use to describe them. I was a member of the LP Radical Caucus, and your portrayal of it is highly distorted.) That focus has a direct and major consequence: When you stop looking at what an intellectual in the arena is currently doing, which may indeed be more productive than they'd been in the past, you make an indictment from a now-dead past going forward. When it's a matter of judging moral character, that might be relevant. (Though hardly sufficient, when it ends up ignoring current actions.) I'm seeing you, though, George, as with others more O-Orthodox, making the past override the present. Moral judgment may not be appropriate at this juncture. Gauging effectiveness at rhetoric, expression, topicality, or analysis might well be. Ahab had his whale, pursued beyond all reasonable context. Most of the Orthodox Randroids still, forty years on, have their Branden and Branden. And you, as you finally admit here, have your Raimondo — as you do your McElroy. Assuming that your past nemeses are still your nemeses, and ought to be everyone's nemeses, without looking at more current evidence of their productivity, wastes time and life. Our time, and your life energy. I'm not in the mood to abet vendettas, which is a stupid waste. It's also too damned hot to do so. So proceed with your Argument from Ignorance about what Justin Raimondo, whom you apparently don't care to sample as to current work and milieu, is up to. I've had enough as to engaging it.
  23. Who at that site assumes "that Rothbard did all this for them"? I see much use of Rothbard's and other libertarians' emphases, especially by Justin Raimondo, the site's editorial director and featured columnist. That's not the same as making an assumption that Rothbard "did" their thinking for them, as they see it. That is, unless you're identifying "the antiwar.com crowd" with, specifically, Raimondo. He wrote a biography of Rothbard (An Enemy of the State) that was far from academically distanced, certainly admiring, but by no means fawning or subservient to his viewpoints. I doubt Raimondo would have undertaken that effort if he hadn't been impressed, for rational reasons, by Rothbard's achievements, theoretical and personal. (Few are like Robert Caro, who spent decades on a still-unfinished multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, while personally despising the man.) What you're expecting more generally, though, is somewhat unreasonable: that this site should indeed engage in extensive, deliberate "fundamental thinking and original theoretical work." That's not its place nor its intended role. It brings together news links, bloggers, analyses, essays, and commentaries, while encouraging activism and personal networking among those broadly opposing war. It's not a site for a university-level symposium. It doesn't exist even to do minimal investigative reporting, let alone original research or philosophizing. I still believe that your seeing "Randolph Bourne Institute" as its parent organization's name made you assume, to some extent, that it was someplace dedicated to the ideas of Randolph Bourne. It isn't, nor is it thus focused on Murray Rothbard and his particular distinctions, beyond Raimondo's column (and only occasionally then). And one look at the roster of columnist contributors — it's right there on their main page, every day — should tell anybody who's even mildly aware of just how diverse the voices are in this supposed "crowd." You can try to put the likes of Pat Buchanan, Tom Engelhardt, Ron Paul, and Nat Hentoff into the same jack-in-the-box container, George, but they'll just spill out under pressure of their many differences ... ideological, tactical, and stylistic. They are only brought together on matters of war and related idiocies, not on other topics. Your talking of a "crowd" suggests an ideological conformity that fits the fever-swamps in the brain of this thread's starter, not any reality.