Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dionysus/L.B. Deyo Dichotomy


Week of Vexing Individuals: Day Two — Conservative?

From January 25-31, I’ll look at individuals who somehow complicate our ideas about property rights or capitalism — in alphabetical order.

A shameful irony behind the Debates at Lolita Bar I host is that despite being organized by a property advocate, me, they grew out of meetings of the infamous and shadowy Jinx Society, an organization dedicated to “urban exploration” — i.e., chronic trespass in and around buildings, ruins, bridges, and tunnels.

Witness these excerpts from a now ten-year-old article about Jinx, starting with a quote about sneaking into events at hotels from co-founder L.B. Deyo, now head of Austin, TX’s Dionysium events (which I urged an Austin libertarian couple who came to our recent intellectual property debate to attend when they get back home):

“Know in your heart of hearts that you have every right to be there. One time I was on an elevator at a luxury hotel when some kids got on. I thought, ‘these troublemaking kids have no right to be in this hotel. I bet they aren’t even staying here.’ So naturally if any staff member hinted that I might not be a guest, I would be outraged.”

The agents of Jinx take a hotel raid seriously. “We don’t do raids just to pass the time. We’re busy people,” explains LB Deyo. “Upper-class intelligence. Business and corporate intelligence. The people who stay in upper-echelon hotels are often the people we need to find out about.” The people they need to find out about, or the Enemies of Jinx, are a scrap-heap of organizations including Freemasons, Mensa, Mother’s Cafe, and the PTA [and the U.N., as readers of the Jinx book, Invisible Frontier, well know].

Jinx ties the groups together by pointing out, “Whether their crimes are aesthetic, as with Birkenstock, political, as with the Khmer Rouge, or spiritual, as with the Scientologists, these subversives have worked for the corruption and the ruin of humanity and human culture!”

…Humor is far from the mind of Jinx. “Wouldn’t I,” asks LB Deyo, “have rather been beside a warm fire with a beautiful woman and a bottle of cognac, or poring over Swift?” His question lingers, staining the air with visions of fluffy towels and sipping martinis with the New York elite. “The only moral act in war is to end it, and we know no acceptable way to end our secret war with the Enemies of Jinx than to win it.”

Nietzschean? Dadaist? Surely Dionysian, surely boundary-crossing. But wait! Also conservative, as his avowed policy preferences have suggested in the past? Preparing for the Obama era ahead and its possible socialistic implications, he recently e-mailed this stark vision of the future:

Property: A bloodstained word, synonymous with rapine, cruelty and white supremacy, soon to be consigned to the viler, less progressive passages of history. Our children* will know of property only as a long-forgotten evil, like the Black Death or Three Dog Night.

*Rhetorically, of course.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Great to hear that the Jinx Society is still in business. I joined back in 1999, when I started getting interested in photography. This seemed like one way of getting photos from the interesting places and angles that are seldom seen.

After 9/11 increased security and a general need not to inconvenience security types who were already stressed out made that idea unworkable, but Jinx Society emails got more interesting politically. They still have that kinda paranoid edge