Wednesday, October 4, 2006

DEBATE AT LOLITA BAR: "Do Celebrities Have a Right to Privacy?"

It’s a special JINX/RLC/IHS combo-event Wed., Oct. 4 (at 8pm) as the monthly debate run by the (non-partisan) Jinx Society is hybridized with a gathering for all New York-area libertarians — and the whole thing is timed to coincide with the New York Film Festival.

It’s two levels of intellectual adventure at Lolita Bar on the northeast corner of Broome St. and Allen St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (one block south, three west of the Delancey St. subway stop), as downstairs sees a debate between actress/blogger Jill Friedman ( and comedienne Jen Dziura ( on the question “Do Celebrities Have a Right to Privacy?” (moderated by Michel Evanchik and hosted by Todd Seavey), while upstairs sees a gathering to chat about principles and pragmatism one month before the mid-term elections, organized by the Republican Liberty Caucus. Fueling it all (for those over twenty-one), the $500 worth of free alcohol (be sure to pick up your Jinx drinx tix) made possible by the support of the Institute for Humane Studies. That means IHS alums are especially welcome, including those with a special interest in media.

Indeed, people wishing to combine the film, liberty, and debate aspects of the evening might want to chew on this question: since Variety reports ( that Angelina Jolie has now been confirmed to play the lead in a movie version of Ayn Rand’s libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged, will Jolie see the irony in playing a defender of liberty when in real life she recently encouraged press censorship in Namibia? And will she draw upon her experience as part of a torrid real-life love triangle to make the plot of Atlas seem more vibrant?

If Jolie is a hit as a laissez-faire capitalist Rand character, perhaps other A-list actors will soon want to consider playing one of these Fifteen Richest Fictional Characters, compiled by Forbes.
Speaking of Rand-influenced creative types, here, at long last, is comic book creator Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Give Me Liberty, Sin City) on NPR discussing how 9/11 boosted his patriotism (would that the thuggish Hugo Chavez had waved a copy of Sin City instead of Chomsky at the U.N.):

Speaking of comic books, at ACSH we could still use a cartoonist for an assignment illustrating shortcomings of radical environmentalism, if you know anyone interested.

And speaking of 9/11, here are two articles by me about two of the less-often discussed aspects of that terrible day:


Architecture (this one, made possible by the Phillips Foundation, will also appear in the December cover-dated issue of Reason magazine):

And speaking of Reason, note that my friend Ted Balaker from the Reason Foundation has a book out about how to end traffic congestion and why you aren’t fully free if you can’t get where you want to go.

Meanwhile, Christine Whelan (who should really bring all of her friends from the group Lead 21 to the Oct. 4 event mentioned above) has a book out about Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women (as I intend to if I can find one who’s sane, finds me attractive, and definitely doesn’t want children):

No word yet on whether Christine’s next book will broach the more taboo topic Why Really, Really Smart Men Run Up Against the Troubling Statistical Fact That High-IQ Males Are More Common Than High-IQ Females (Just as Low-IQ Males Are More Common Than Low-IQ Females, Since Female IQs Tend to Bunch Up Closer to the Average, the Male Bell Curve Having Longer “Tails” and Thus Both More Geniuses and More Idiots), Making Really Smart Women a Very, Very Hot Commodity Though You Wouldn’t Know It from the Complaining Some of Them Do, but there’s only so much she can cover in one book, and she’s already put years of research into this one, so check it out.

And if you’re a smart nerd who’s lonely and you have a lot of spare time on your hands, you might want to spend some of it reading my all-time favorite comic book miniseries, now available online. Behold the Michael Moorcock-influenced and Grant Morrison-influencing Adventures of Luther Arkwright (for less than ten bucks). Created two decades ago but still cutting-edge, it’s like Doctor Who + Crisis on Infinite Earths + David Bowie, which is to say, nearly perfect and very much the sort of comic I’d want to do myself someday if I delved back into the business.

P.S. One more thing smart people of all stripes might want to consider doing with their spare time is participating in another special Jinx event (I’m not saying it’s more special than the Oct. 4 one described above, but come to both and see what you think) taking place Nov. 8 — on that day, we’ll meet on the second Wednesday of the month instead of our traditional first Wednesday, so that a panel of politically-diverse folk can give their reactions to something that will have happened the day before, namely, the potentially epochal mid-term elections.

If you’d like to represent your political “faction” (we’ll have just one from each, as defined by me) in a panel discussion on “What Do the Election Results Mean?” — and you have the guts to wing it a bit, since of course you won’t actually know what the results are until the night before the discussion — let me know and maybe we can use you.

In the meantime: see you Oct. 4.

(NOTE: The above was sent as a mass e-mail in the days prior to the debate and was posted on this blog retroactively in April 2007. Click here for other Debates at Lolita Bar.)