Your TAS Dollars at Work


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2. Barbara Branden and James Kilbourne embarked on some weird alcoholic intervention where it was not wanted.

Jim,

You know, I don't mind mentioning this kind of thing, but I really get tired of the "repeat the lie until it takes" mind game. Perigo does this on purpose, but you swallow it and repeat it because you refuse to be precise in your thinking on this. You are the perfect sap Perigo looks for (and rejoices in when he finds one) to spread his manipulations of facts.

For the record and for the umpteenth time: James Kilbourne wrote "Drooling Beast" and published it on SoloHQ accusing Perigo of being an alcoholic. Barbara did not write "Drooling Beast" and she did not co-author it and she had no part in it. Perigo made a public statement saying why he let it be published. Barbara, misunderstanding his statement and thinking that he was admitting to a problem, posted praise and encouragement AFTER Perigo commented.

Was Barbara concerned about Perigo's drinking back then? I think so. Many were. I was. Perigo had a habit of posting a bunch of incoherent malicious crap cussing this person and that, then the next day saying he was sorry, that he had imbibed too much. This happened over and over and over. It was embarrassing and troubling for a so-called Objectivist leader to keep doing that. Do you want quotes? They abound.

Did Barbara plot with James Kilbourne to make an intervention? No. They were best friends, but that was all James. On the contrary, Barbara had been falling out with Perigo to moderate his irrational crybaby tantrums because of a spate of regulars leaving SoloHQ back then—but she defended him in public at the same time. This is all on record for anyone to read. Do you need quotes? They abound, too.

I know for a fact that Barbara had no intention of making a public issue out of Perigo's drinking. I was an insider back then and she was very clear about this. (Hell, Perigo was announcing to the whole world, time and time again, that he drank too much, anyway.) Yet the lie persists that Barbara promoted an intervention. She did no such thing.

I am pretty sure she was glad James did it, though. I know I was. SoloHQ had been turning into a lunatic asylum of infantile behavior that made snarky Randroid put-downs look like Southern hospitality by comparison.

Michael

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I am not going to Portland. I don't spit in my own face and I don't have any respect for people who do it to themselves.

Sometime tolerance goes too far.

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I'm hoping to go to Portland and had planned to do so before I heard any of this. A friend is giving a musical presentation that I really want to see. I've never met Lindsay, nor followed any of the conflicts, and so know little about him. 95% of the reason I go to Rand Camp each year is to see my friends (all of which I made there) and meet new people. I have gained a huge amount of value from these friendships, even though they're long-distance. I feel sad that others feel so strongly about Lindsay's attendance that they're not going to go now - I shall miss you.

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I predict that we'll be treated afterwards to big photos of Hudgins and Perigo arm in arm, grinning like old buddies. :sick: How low can you get?

I guess we'll find out before long.

I'm wondering how this latest attempted rapprochement between TAS and former bitter enemies is going to interfere with the purported peace feelers this past October between Hudgins and Yaron Brook of ARI. I mean, now that Perigo has dumping on Peikoff and his DIM Hypothesis (and this dumping alienated Hsieh and Company), aren't Brook and ARI going to look more than a bit askance at Hudgins cozying up to Perigo?

I'm glad I'm not the one trying to tap-dance through all this!

And Chris Grieb, you are right. This is Tolerationism run amok! Sanction of the Victim on steroids!

It's nice that we have Kelly's Kanyon to retreat to, while the fools spit in each other's faces and tear each other down. Thanks again, Kat and Michael -- and here's to a safe, sane, productive, joyous OH-EIGHT!

REB

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Fran,

I would never want to discourage you from attending an event where you can meet up again with your friends and hear talks and performances that you've been looking forward to.

Still, I hope you can understand why the decision to invite Lindsay Perigo has cast a pall on the event for some of us here.

Robert Campbell

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Roger,

Maybe the behind-the-scenes negotiations with Yaron Brook have stalled. I can't imagine a rapprochement between TAS and ARI so long as Leonard Peikoff is in the loop.

Robert Campbell

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My suspicion is that Yaron Ed meeting was a one time deal. I would be curious what the reaction of the harder liners like Schwartz and Leonard.

I may rethink when the full program is made available but Lindsay in definitely a problem.

Lindsay is going to see this as a vindication. I think that is a very bad idea.

Lindsay may use this to revive SOLO a very bad idea.

I can't see a plus side for TOC and their mission.

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I'm wondering how this latest attempted rapprochement between TAS and former bitter enemies is going to interfere with the purported peace feelers this past October between Hudgins and Yaron Brook of ARI.

REB

I didn't know peace feelers had been put out between TAS and ARI! Does anybody have any further information on this? And yes, I would be massively disappointed if inviting Lindsay were to destroy this.

Edited by Fran
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It's funny, I had my own moment where then TOC tripped my anger trigger (and Ellen was arguing that I was offbase that time and she was probably right) and I didn't attend for awhile.

Jim,

Let's be clear on what I told you:

(1) Rather amusedly, I told you that you'd stomped out of the lecture too soon. (Your exit was noticeable, hence the "stomped"; it was toward the beginning.) Had you stuck around, you'd have heard David Ross's blistering summing up, and then Larry's quiet-toned commentary (;-)), also Larry's own talk that evening (which I think you missed).

(2) I believe I indicated that I thought you'd written TOC off too soon, with your decision not to attend for a few subsequent years.

However, I think you were right in objecting to TOC's having put that lecture on their formal agenda to begin with. Their having done so was symptomatic of lack of knowledge of "what's what" in physics and of beguilement, on the part of people without the expertise to assess, by the "20th-century physics must be corrupt" attitude (now coming to full fruition with Harriman's offerings).

It's funny that people are making TAS up to be composed of these personality issues.

I think that that is so imprecise a view of what's involved here as to be ludicrous.

I notice your saying in a further comment that you're looking forward to Perigo's aesthetics talk. Do you have any idea what his attitude on aesthetics is? Have you ever read his...harrangues, how else can one describe them?...on the subject? For TAS to sponsor a presentation by him on issues of art is a reversion to the bad old days when people were raked over the coals for discrepant tastes from "approved" art; it's reversion to all that was worst in the Objectivist scene when AR was alive. And Ed Hudgins at least ought to know better.

(Re Perigo's second talk, I repeat, that's analogous to sponsoring Victor Pross giving a presentation on how to write; the sheer idea of Lindsay Perigo of all people discoursing on "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists"...reminds me of Arafat being awarded the Peace Prize; admittedly, it's not that degree of offense, but I think it is the same type of offense.)

Ellen

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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Lindsay Perigo of all people discoursing on "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists"...reminds me of Arafat being awarded the Peace Prize; admittedly, it's not that degree of offense, but I think it is the same type of offense.

I think that is an apt characterization.

Regards,

--

Jeff

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One shouldn't look at the selection of speakers or who one associates with from the point of view of "movement politics". Having known or at least met all of the major players in the different "factions", I can tell you that their actions are based on their convictions, not on the kind of considerations that several people have mentioned, rather cynically.

Lindsay Perigo has in the past given some very effective speeches, even if the intellectual content is 'thin' or unoriginal or something we've heard before. I have heard at least two. I attended one in the nineties in San Francisco (an IOS one day conference). I don't remember if his 2004 speech was the other. Will is quite correct to ignore any attacks or bad blood and to select someone who can give a stem-winding, inspirational, and eloquent speech. When you go to a summer conference you don't want to hear just dry-as-dust academic talks. You want to be moved and uplifted. And IOS-TOC-TAS has always been lacking in that, in having a stable of ongoing "star" speakers of enormous power and eloquence year after year.

The problem with Lindsay is whether he would actually give an uplifting and powerful speech this time. If memory serves, when he gave his earlier speeches there was an element of idealism and benevolence to them. And the ill will and the fights and expulsions out of drunkenness or anger are a reason NOT to hire him, not because TAS resents the criticism, but because they are a suggestion that he has gone downhill and may not be able to recapture "the old Lindsay".

More importantly, regarding his two topics: 1) It's not clear that only "romantic" music is good or how he's defining the term -- does it mean if Lindsay likes it, it's "romantic"? Is he going to include that insulting and inappropriate and hostile remark about only morons disagreeing? More fundamentally, it's hard to give a persuasive pure 'lecture' about the virtues of music. You have to play it. And if you do that, even short pieces of music soon chew up an hour and there is not enough time for discussion. 2) There is not only a single problem with Objectivists, namely intrinsicism. Moreover, what would he have fresh to say on a topic that has been well-covered before?

In both cases, it doesn't sound like a lot of new or original material. Instead he was selected, I strongly suspect, more like a motivational speaker, to be "a draw" and rally the troops.

That's a legitimate function at a summer conference, but if, instead of getting people to come to a conference because of him, if even a few stay away because of him that defeats the purpose of his being a "draw". And if his denunciatory, settling-of-scores side emerges, it doesn't inspire or rally the troops either.

On top of which, in the long run you win by finding the best ideas and the best minds and supporting them, developing them, helping *make them* into stars. That's the only road to a bright future.

It's unfair and enormously demoralizing to those of us who had more original or more carefully reasoned or more substantive proposals which were turned down.

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What I really most enjoy about this list (and others as well) is to take the time to write a page-long thoughtful analysis of something and get only a cutesy joke pretending to missunderstand or nitpick an isolated metaphor back in return. Casting pearls before wolves?? B)

Really makes me feel visible: Only of value as the source for a joke rejoinder which took 15 seconds to write.

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Phil,

It's not that no one is heeding your take on the issue. It's just that some of us are kind of written out on the subject just now. And Wolf has been fairly consistently on tangents during this discussion.

I generally agree with what you wrote. The only reason with a semblance of plausibility for putting Mr. Perigo on the Summer Seminar program is his past skill as a motivational speaker. And it isn't just that Mr. Perigo has been involved in low political intrigue, or that he has been acting like a complete jerk in public--his very manner of doing these two things indicates that he has lost his touch when it comes to oratorical uplift.

You would think that Will Thomas, or Ed Hudgins, or someone at TAS would have listened to the audio of Mr. Perigo's speech at the Borders bookstore in July 2006 before making this disastrous decision.

Robert Campbell

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Phil,

I appreciate your effort, but I agree with Wolf. Rallying the troops is not enough. I don't see this as a good stand-alone reason.

For example, Adolf Hitler gave good motivational speeches. Hugo Chaves gives good motivational speeches. Should TAS invite Chaves? He certainly would be a draw. Guaranteed sell-out.

(Hey! This last was a great unintended double entendre: sell-out ticket-wise and sell-out intellectually.)

:)

Michael

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The time that I entered into the solopassion chat box (that Perigo mentioned when he first attacked me early in 2007), he was talking with someone about finding a "spy" within the TAS to discover its finances.

Think twice before dealing with Mr. Perigo.

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What I really most enjoy about this list (and others as well) is to take the time to write a page-long thoughtful analysis of something and get only a cutesy joke pretending to missunderstand or nitpick an isolated metaphor back in return. Casting pearls before wolves?? B)

Really makes me feel visible: Only of value as the source for a joke rejoinder which took 15 seconds to write.

Not really, sir. I asked you to think about what you said. No metaphor implied or accepted. You spoke of attendees as troops. Why? Are they sheep to be shorn of contributions to sustain these absurd beauty pageants? I accept that attendees are genuinely inspired -- but to what end, or as Dagny would say: What for?

This thread asks why him and not me? I concur completely. Why Linz and not Wolf DeVoon, for instance?

Go ahead. Explain what the troops get out of this institutionalization of Rand's achievement which none of the grandees have equaled.

W.

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> For example, Adolf Hitler gave good motivational speeches. Hugo Chaves gives good motivational speeches. Should TAS invite Chaves? He certainly would be a draw. Guaranteed sell-out. [MSK]

> And don't forget Goebbels, who was also a master orator. [DragonFly]

Guys, one of the key skills in having a good conversation with someone is to not jump down their throat by taking a phrase out of any likely context. This is what is called having a "charitable interpretation" when reading someone. Otherwise all attempts at communication are an exercise in frustration. Since no one, especially in informal writing, can anticipate every possible misunderstanding, the fair-minded reader always tries to come up with a benevolent interpretation of what a writer meant when you read him in full context.

It should be obvious when I say that a good motivational speech is of value that I mean one whose content is *not Nazi* in nature. If you would only think before posting and try to ask yourself, "Gee, what kind of context might explain Phil's statement that a good motivational speaker is of value at a summer conference?", you would not even post the two remarks I quoted above.

In fact, though, in this case even -that- effort of interpretation is not necessary because my post already made clear the kind of speech I was talking about, if you would only ... PLEASE!, PLEASE!, PLEASE!... take two or three minutes to reread before firing off a reply. I said: "a stem-winding, inspirational, and eloquent speech...You want to be moved and uplifted...[in] his earlier speeches there was an element of idealism and benevolence.." [Coates]

Gee, Michael and DF, what do you really think? Do you honestly believe in a fair-minded reading of my post that an Oist audience would be moved and inspired by a speech by Hugo Chavez, Hitler, or Goebbels?

Or (if you've heard them) that LP's two speeches from previous years I referred to were like those of HC, H, and G?

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Phil,

Let me be clear. I have nothing but contempt for Perigo. He is a disgusting fraud, a proven liar and a malicious two-faced jerk with quite a public history to prove these evaluations.

I see no way to analyze any attempt to defend him as anything but the following three possibilities:

1. The person defending is a minion

2. The person is blind (for whatever reason)

3. The person is trying to make appeasement with blatant irrationality from lack of moral convictions

Do not expect anything but harsh words from me on this. This crackpot has fooled enough people and I will not be any part of appeasing the continuance of that.

If you think Perigo has value as an Objectivist, go for it. TAS obviously does. I will not lend my name to that kind of crap.

Michael

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Let me add a fourth possibility that I just thought of:

4. There are some people who hate the Brandens so much that they would sacrifice their own integrity and profess to find value in Perigo as an Objectivist just to give vent to their spite. These are people who know right from wrong and choose the wrong on purpose out of hatred.

Michael

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Let me add a fourth possibility that I just thought of:

4. There are some people who hate the Brandens so much that they would sacrifice their own integrity and profess to find value in Perigo as an Objectivist just to give vent to their spite. These are people who know right from wrong and choose the wrong on purpose out of hatred.

Michael

Well, Linz himself doesn't hate the Brandens; he used them to leverage himself up, first one way then another. I'd think better of him if he actually did.

--Brant

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Guys, one of the key skills in having a good conversation with someone is to not jump down their throat by taking a phrase out of any likely context. This is what is called having a "charitable interpretation" when reading someone. Otherwise all attempts at communication are an exercise in frustration. Since no one, especially in informal writing, can anticipate every possible misunderstanding, the fair-minded reader always tries to come up with a benevolent interpretation of what a writer meant when you read him in full context.

You're a fine one to talk, Phil. Like Will Thomas and David Kelley, you persist in calling my efforts rationalistic -- and like them, you do not attempt to understand or ask for clarification, but instead dump on me your own preconceived notions of what I must be saying. He who lives by the sword...well, you know the rest.

I agree with Michael Kelly on this. There is nothing good that can or will come out of Lindsey Perigo's appearance at TAS.

REB

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