Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Freedom Watch for Punks

Much has changed since 1992 when I was, I believe, the first person to interview the MTV VJ Kennedy about what it was like to be the sole Republican VJ at MTV — not to mention what it was like to be the girl with the Republican elephant tattoo and a crush on Dan Quayle (I saw her make an appearance at a record store once, and it took me a while to figure out that the thousands of people outside the store were there not to see her but to see Green Day, who I was not interested in meeting).

Back then, she was a passage in an article I wrote for Chronicles (the paleoconservative magazine that I believe David Boaz pronounced “unsavory” the very first time I met him) — and Kennedy was also the quirky, bespectacled, alternative rock-playing proof that hip conservatives were possible, albeit rare.  Tonight, long since turned into a full-blown libertarian and famous person, she was the delightful final guest on the hump-day edition of Freedom Watch, in its special week of daily broadcasts (today’s also featuring Thomas Sowell, author, among other things, of Knowledge and Decisions, which is a marvelous, Hayekian look at libertarianism as the best way of coping with the decentralization of information in society).

Even then, I was fascinated by the tension between the benefits of global pop culture and the benefits of local tradition — and were it not for that rationalistic, somewhat detached admiration for the latter might well have been some sort of across-the-board imperialist-capitalist (to get back to the underblogged theme of this month) bent on turning all the world into a spaceage mall like something out of an MTV video.

P.S. Instead, I remain torn on matters of foreign policy and globalization — and so make a fitting organizer of tomorrow night’s (Thur.) epic Debate at  Lolita Bar about whether there can be benign imperialism.  Be there and help resolve the fate of the world.

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