Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inflatable Ape Against the Machine


Yesterday, as my last four blog entries show, was a brutal orgy of death, bringing news (or remembrance) of the passing of Fr. Richard Neuhaus, Patrick McGoohan (a model of stoic yet smirking rationalism for me as a teen), Ricardo Montalban, and (in fiction) Bruce Wayne, not to mention my credibility as a blogger, since I think I attributed to Jesse Walker an anti-GOP article written by someone else — and had to be corrected on some details about Neuhaus by Jesse’s fellow Reasoner Brian Doherty (this mere days after vowing on this blog not to criticize Reason’s Kerry Howley and her fiance Will Wilkinson anymore and thus thinking myself a beacon of good will toward Reason).

As a sort of compensation to the Reason crowd — and an affirmation of life in this dark time — I hereby link to the newly-produced video version of a story I loved since it was first mentioned as a Brickbats item in print in Reason magazine long ago: the story of an inflatable ape fighting back against ludicrous anti-inflatable ape regulations. (As if primates didn’t have enough problems fending off boring boss Bob and Robot.)

But some would argue that an illegal inflatable ape is not a subtle enough argument to deal with all possible objections to a property-based regime. Indeed, some would argue that property itself does not gleam with a self-evident clarity as a moral-political ideal beside which others appear unworkably muddled or arbitrary (community, religious sentiment, majority rules, hereditary monarchy, aristocracy, the Kennedys, etc.). To make clearer those things that are inevitably (even if unfairly) viewed as complex and baffling, humans instituted amongst themselves the thing called academia, where some wrestle with political science, philosophy, law, and other means of navigating messy and conflict-riddled human interrelations.

And so tomorrow, instead of an inflatable ape, I take a look at polisci professor Jacob T. Levy.

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