Monday, February 28, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #24

I'd trust her implicitly 
And think she may own Synchronicity,
But she'll best avoid publicity 
If I end these poems on this note of simplicity. 

And so we reach the conclusion of this "Month of Lovers" on, a necessary retort to some very ignorant critics erroneously calling me an undateable jerk last year -- including the Washington Post, which some folk, more sensitive than I, might consider reason in itself to feel put-upon.  

But like Socrates, I have always known that in some sense no harm can befall a good man.  I have never been out for money, glory, or universal acclaim -- just the assurance of always being able to sleep with a sound conscience, something which I suspect many of my critics have never done -- and something I dare say makes me just a little bit dangerous (when necessary) by the sold-out standards of most media and politics types.  I think you know that when the time comes for someone to say that the Satanist cyborg transvestite is in the right, and the bipartisan consensus forged by the heroic spilling of the blood of America's most popular movie star is wrong, you can count on me. 

So, say any nasty thing you like, creepy-looking hag-duo of the Washington Post gossip column (or Tourette's-like Moe Tkacik of City Paper, or numerous others) -- I was still in the right, protecting potential fellow-victims as yet unknown and probably helping a substantial number of them by putting my little public warning on record…which is the sort of thing good people will stoically do, even when hated and feared by the very world they have sworn to defend.  

Speaking of which, let us turn our attention to the exciting philosophical and political upheaval across the world in March's entries, though maybe some prose (just plain prose) about current or future romantic activities will find its way into the mix, too -- either here or on Twitter or Facebook.  Collect 'em all to find out!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #23

I learned the hard way that little of her persona is real,
Yet I once dreamt of making her home my home.
I think Asperger's may have queered that deal
And makes her say "marsh land's my favorite biome."

Nerd note: Am I just reading into this sequence from the recent Big Bang Theory episode "The Love Car Displacement"?  But no more of that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #22

It's a little odd that I've dated only a few libertarians,
One who briefly worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration,
And, as if to further prove I'm just drawn to contrarians,
This one, who had worked as an intern for the Clinton Administration.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #21

She's a spunky dynamo,
And if I get this wrong, I suspect she'll let me know.
She's a sorta politico,
And if spirit physically embiggened, she'd really be due to grow.

Jamaican culture addendum (since this lady, who was not my ex of Jamaican ancestry, ended up going to Jamaica with me): Austin Petersen pointed out to me this amazing video of a "demon child" soothed by reggae.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #20

It's all about art with this dame,
The painting, the sculpting, some crazy thing with flames.
Has some weird friends, but I learned to like 'em:
Poets, dancers, and some with hair just like Lydon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #19

Even the brainiest ones
Sometimes admit they had witchy beliefs in youth.
As an adult, she's still fun
But now discards beliefs for which there's no proof!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #18

I suited up for our big trip to Vegas,
And I think she deliberately dressed like a pricey whore.
Fine with me -- it stays there, I guess.
The gamblers, they can gawk, but later on, I see more.

Religion note: Oddly enough, this one later converted to Mormonism -- a thought sure to go through my mind when I see Parker and Stone's stage musical The Book of Mormon in six days. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #17

I'm not convinced she's truly a nerd,
Though she uses Jedi tricks on my people.
Whips out her Star Wars action figures,
And our resistance...grows...feeble.

Manhattans Project note: And speaking of people's most sacred beliefs, tonight at the monthly social gathering I host for media and politics people at Langan's (47th just east of 7th), frequent attender David Russell will be the "guest of honor," allowed to make his case for a few minutes in favor of: Catholicism and collectivism.  (I am a diplomat, clearly, for all the good it does me.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #16

Never thought I'd date a disgruntled postal worker,
And from the start things were fraught by her resistance.
Y'know, in retrospect, the most miffed I ever saw her
Was when I caused her to walk an overly long distance.

Schedule note: And if you dislike government bureaucracies, you can gripe about them tomorrow night (Mon. the 21st) at Langan's (47th east of 7th) from 7-10pm at our monthly Manhattans Project gathering of people interested in politics and/or media.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #15

Wasn't trying to start a fight or anything, 
But this one got a tad volatile.
Both wanted it to be enlightening, 
But she soon wanted to crush me to molecules.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #14

She was a beatnik in France, non?
Zee black clothes, zee jazz, zee art -- just so!
And her interest in science, it would -- 'ow you say? -- grow!
And zat helps make her zee kind of lady zat, well, I like to get to know.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Politics Last Week, This Week, and Next Week

 •This past weekend saw me in DC for the Republican Liberty Caucus (timed to coincide with the slightly larger but less philosophically accurate CPAC), affording me the chance to bond with Dan McCarthy of American Conservative (who readers of this blog may recall as the paleolibertarian voice to my right-libertarian voice in combat with Kerry Howley's left-libertarian voice in Reason a couple years ago, though now I can think of nothing but the debt), Chuck Moulton, Norm Singleton, Tom Walls, New York City Councilman and Thor fan Dan Halloran, and many more (with brunch cameos by Paul Taylor, Elizabeth Terrell, and even a couple non-libertarians the next day).  Surely, victory is at hand, or at least strange anecdotes.

•This clueless passage from a Washington Post piece that notes Ron Paul won the straw poll at CPAC -- but is still a CPAC "loser" because of his limited appeal -- summarizes part of Paul's speech in a way that shows how hard it is for a libertarian to get even someone as savvy as WaPo politics writer Chris Cillizza to understand (even at a basic grammatical level, I suspect) what we're saying:

...odd pronouncements such as "Government should never be able to do anything you can't do"...

Paul means "...anything you don't have the right to do to each other as individuals," though I suspect Cillizza thinks Paul was saying "Government should not do the impossible."

•Tomorrow the Washingtonian mountain comes to the Manhattanite Mohammed, as the writers affiliated with the conservative Phillips Foundation gather here to listen to Jay Nordlinger, Heather Mac Donald, and other speakers on media topics -- including me on how to comport oneself on TV (based mainly on my experience as a producer).  And a cute libertarian has moved here permanently, I see -- but no more about that for now.

This coming Monday (Feb. 21, 7-10pm) brings the monthly Manhattans Project social gathering I host at Langan's bar-restaurant (47th just east of 7th), which will have as its contrarian guest of honor David Russell, who will briefly make the case for Catholicism and collectivism.

•Even Russell's most papist arguments will not stop me from feeling a small pang of sympathy for Mormons one week later, though, when I attend the stage musical The Book of Mormon from the creators of South Park.  Yes, Mormonism is insane and I look forward to seeing it mocked, but I have long felt that people who just take it on faith that a carpenter rose from the dead -- and will similarly resurrect them one day -- calling some closely related sect nuts is clearly the pot calling the kettle heretical. 

•And speaking of combating biases, I liked this carefully thought-out Jacob Levy post (and the resulting comments thread) about bias in academia, even if it may be too dismissive of the prior John Tierney piece on the topic.

•In the more popular encouraging-biases department, I only just realized that three years ago on my blog I reviewed a book (as a mere addendum to a review of a book by Jonah Goldberg) that was an awesome, pretty darn libertarian, overview of the rise and fall of history's major empires, written by none other than Amy Chua, now famous as the "Tiger Mom" author who has left us all, even Euro-American adults, frightened that we may yet be raised by East Asian women (Tracy Quan calls her the Eastern Hegemommy and gives me a shout-out in the process).  Small world.  Small world periodically conquered by Asians.  The Goldberg and Chua books were both projects overseen by Adam Bellow, as is the recent Goldberg-edited Proud to Be Right, containing my "Conservatism for Punks" essay.  You really ought to purchase that so that you will understand.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Month of Lovers, Lady #13

Ah, luck be a lady tonight!
Or at least don't get too kooky tonight!
My mellowness-craving nerves can't always handle the fright,
But a warm-hearted, fairy-like lass, she does none of it from spite.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #12

Her mom at one time dated a famous rocker, 
And part of her inheritance, besides brains, is those good looks --
I mean those of her dad and hot mom, who I believe made this daughter -- 
Though I must say, the slight resemblance to the rocker, sometimes it spooks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #11

She wrote a Valentine to her Dad once,
After decades in flux.
Always felt his absence dearly,
And that may be the crux.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #10

Them feral cats is wily,
So the wizened men say.
She tried to trap them with fish,
And all but one got away.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #9

Another couple's wedding,
Upon meeting the first time.
Kinda racy -- surely crossing some line.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Virginia Is for Lovers...of Liberty! (Todd at RLC, plus: political links)

This photo is Todd Seavey speaking...about John Galt -- but see me live and in person tomorrow if you like (but sign up first, after looking at my head here).

I'll be at the Hilton Arlington (right at the Ballston Metro stop) speaking to the Republican Liberty Caucus (Sat., 9:45-10:25am), then hanging out for exactly twenty-four hours before finally having brunch on Sunday at the hotel's restaurant Dan & Brad's (no sign-up necessary for that part), if you want to catch me while I'm around. 

I know there will be different RLC factions present tomorrow, including perhaps some religious conservatives, but if there were really a God, would he let this movie about dueling drivers from Hell exist?  Amazingly apt factoid about Nicolas Cage's twenty-four year-old co-star in Drive Angry, Amber Heard, from Wikipedia, though:

At the age of 16, her best friend died in a car crash and Heard, who was raised Catholic, subsequently declared herself an atheist, due to the influence of the works of Ayn Rand.  Dropping out of school at the age of 17, to go to New York to start a career in modeling, she then relocated to Los Angeles to get into acting.

Heard publicly came out as a lesbian at GLAAD's 25th anniversary event which she attended with girlfriend Tasya van Ree

In short: Amber Heard, hot young lesbian libertarian atheist de facto method actress in a fast car bound for Drive Angry.  Maybe I should see that [UPDATE: Rumors she may play Red Sonja, too].


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #8

She makes you steer clear of her temper,
Bred by centuries of mountain combat.
You dare not seek to fi all of her semper
Yet want to mount her like a wombat.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #7

An opera singer turned cantor, in a Mexican eatery for a peso.
When she said the food was just so-so,
I realized, "Mesa is mezza mezza, according to the mezzo."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #6

Oh, yay!  This one's a crowd-pleaser, could even work as a clown --
Could talk about lint or fast food and I'd never frown!
Also, we considered adopting a monkey.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #5

In retrospect, a woman with roots in Denmark and Lebanon
Was probably destined to be troubled.
Disdained pop culture like she'd just disembarked from Avalon.

Film note: During a trip with this ex, I made a side-trek to the so-called Ackermansion in L.A., a house filled with monster movie memorabilia by the now-deceased writer/editor Forrest J. Ackerman (it had a tinsel-covered Cylon in the living room as its Christmas tree when I was there) -- and this great New Yorker profile of Guillermo del Toro suggests that he has consciously turned his own L.A. home into a successor to the Ackermansion.  Cool.  You really sense his love for his craft -- including his Lovecraft.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Selections: Ten Capitalistic Works (including: TODD ONSTAGE TODAY!) Book Selections of the Month (February 2011)

1.  Before getting to the actual capitalist books, a capitalist performance art piece must be noted: Don't Tread on Me, directed by Chelsea Knight -- and featuring me among the performers (you can see the director directing me in the nearby photo, in fact).  That's today at 3pm (well before any stupid sporting events) at Momenta Art, 359 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg (and for cowardly Manhattanites, note that the Bedford Ave. stop is the first one into Brooklyn on the L train at 14th St. and that the performance -- which is FREE -- should be over within an hour).  It's the perfect way to celebrate Ronald Reagan's hundredth birthday -- and remind yourself what sort of principles Republicans should be sticking to instead of engaging in globe-damaging protectionism for the sake of one Alabama sleeping bag company, like Sen. Jeff Sessions.

I will be reading excerpts from Reagan's fantastic 1964 pro-Goldwater speech "A Time for Choosing," a.k.(quite rightly)a. "The Speech."  One of my fellow performers will recite from a Palin speech -- though not from her unduly, even absurdly criticized "blood libel" comments (if being falsely accused of being part of a murderous conspiracy that took the life of a child is not the time to use the wholly philosemitic phrase "blood libel," I don't know what is -- and I care enough about editing to notice that more than one media outlet, including Politico, irresponsibly made it sound as if the phrase "blood libel" is routinely deployed by anti-Semites, when in fact it is the anti-Semites who think there was actual blood, not a libel, and so have no reason to use the phrase, any more than 9/11 Truthers would have reason to use the phrase "nonsensical conspiracy theories," save ironically).

(Without the live performers, the installation aspects of the piece -- including video of me -- will also run from noon to 6pm each day this coming Thur.-Sun., the 10th-13th.)

2.  Though I am not an Objectivist, I loaned the aforementioned director, a very open-minded leftist keen on fostering more civilized political dialogue, the copy of Objectively Speaking that I received from the Ayn Rand Institute.  It's a book of most of the major interviews done with Rand over the years, even ones from newspapers who talked to her when she was just an opinionated young Russian immigrant girl. 

(And if you are a sick little monkey and this Rand volume doesn't contain the kind of blatant references to sadomasochistic sex you've grown to expect from Rand works such as her Nietzschean play, which I saw recently at Hofstra, Night of January Sixteenth -- in which the main couple bond via rape threats and later her wearing of a scalding-hot platinum dress warmed in a fireplace -- I am informed of the existence of a book called Sex for America: Politically Inspired Erotica, though I have not read it.  It may contain what scum like you need.  As Valentine's nears, recall my entry from last year about the rough sex tropes in Atlas Shrugged, which are more pervasive than a casual first encounter with the novel might suggest.  I haven't read the graphic novel adaptation of Rand's more chaste Anthem, pointed out to me by Ali Kokmen, who also notes the video trailer for it.)

3.  Speaking of opinionated Russian immigrants who admire Objectivism, my friend Michael Malice, who likely cannot be stopped, has co-written another book, Concierge Confidential: The Gloves Come Off -- and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen, about all the shocking things co-author Michael Fazio had to know to be truly helpful to hotel guests.  And I am in the acknowledgements, always good for sales.

4.  Malice and I met -- along with several other interesting people, as it happened -- at one of Jeffrey Friedman's small annual seminars for libertarians, and Friedman's journal Critical Review recently published an issue on problems with deliberative democracy (people may just get more nutty the more they debate, to make a long story short), a copy of which I left with green local-democracy enthusiast Pagan Kennedy in Allston, where she swears she is not running for alderman. 

5.  At long last, the movie adaptation Atlas Shrugged: Part One is on the way in two months (Tax Day, April 15, to be precise), likely playing only in a commie-run art house theatre near you, ironically, but we'll see.  And we'll see if $10 million and a cast of near-unknowns is enough to get the long-overdue job done. 

Taylor Schilling, the woman playing Dagny, is apparently dating Zac Efron.  That could help with publicity.  The fact that the screenwriter has thus far done horror movies and videogame reviews actually slightly encourages me.  A poet would make me more nervous.  It also occurs to me that with the budget being so tiny, they should simply set it in THE PRESENT (hope, change, etc.) instead of attempting some art deco alternate universe. 

And if they're trying to save money, they should just let libertarian thinktank staffers play all the extras and bit parts for free.  'Cause you know they'd do it, though it'd look like a world overrun by Asperger's cases instead of second-handers and parasites.  Well, then again, that could work. 

The Ayn Rand Institute released a volume last year called 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand, with various celebrities explaining her influence on them, including Raquel Welch, who, had she played Dagny back in the 1960s, might very well have altered the entire course of human history for the better, possibly preventing the Johnson and Nixon presidencies and hastening the collapse of Communism.  Welch says of Rand's novels, according to an ARI press release:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #4

Apparently, the best way to seduce a virgin in those days,
Even for a man with conservative ways,
Was wielding a book filled with Frankfurt School Marxist essays.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #3

She lived for a time in Japan, as open-minded Brown students do,
Unfortunately, she also believed in an Age that was "New,"
And so it was her Shirley MacLaine fanhood I'd grow to rue.

•Politics addendum: Speaking of Japan, this Japanese sketch, pointed out to me by Austin Petersen, captures the intrusiveness of airport security so well you don't even need to speak the language to get the jokes. 

•Also, for the handful who might be wondering after reading the above: no, it's not Jonny Skye, but Jonny's name would certainly work well in a poem, and she's very cute.

•And speaking of Brown: the Brown in New York alumni group hosts an event at Anthology Film Archives on Thursday next week (Feb. 10), from 6:30 to 9, honoring up and coming Brown filmmakers, and as a veteran of the Brown Film Bulletin, I think I should represent.  Perhaps I will see you there.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #2

A healthy balance of the rational and the creative in her combined,
Mild-mannered and to decency inclined
Yet dared to suggest, "Why don't you come up and Seavey sometime?"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Month of Lovers: Lady #1

She described herself as a theatre mask -- half-smiling, half-frowning.
Contrary tensions were there, emotional and cultural.
A pattern recurring like Groundhog Day -- from my lovelife's very founding?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Month of Lovers, Month of Liberty

•Lynn Rosen's current play, Apple Cove, contains a reference to the adage about the man who felt sorry for himself for having no shoes -- until he met a man with no feet. 

Similarly, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because of the unexpectedly large modern dance component in Don't Tread on Me, the libertarian/conservative-themed stage performance I'm in (see nearby production still) this coming Sunday (3pm) at Momenta Art, 359 Bedford Ave. near the Bedford Ave. L stop in Williamsburg -- and I was worrying about Superbowl kick-off time, since, smart though my friends tend to be, some of them might still care about sports and thus worry (needlessly) that if they came to Don't Tread on Me they wouldn't get out in time to see the big game. 

But then a man reportedly got his leg severed at the 77th and Lexington subway stop in my neighborhood -- which means he can neither do modern dance nor kick a football in the Superbowl (absent prostheses) -- and now everything seems fine.  It's going to be a good show.  I almost wish I could carry that leg with me as a lucky charm now, but director Chelsea Knight is in charge of props. 

•Luckily, I will just sort of be swooshing around like Superman rather than dancing in the conventional sense, which makes me a bit like Apple Cove actress Allison Mack's co-stars on Smallville and a bit like the dueling British guys who were up for the role of Superman in next year's Superman: The Man of Steel movie reboot.  Henry Cavill got the nod, but apparently Matthew Goode was considered, which I think would have been strange, since he's best known to nerds as the fascistic Ozymandias from Watchmen, and you don't want to get too fascistic with Superman. 

•Speaking of Nietzschean figures, you have to enjoy the story of train robber turned expatriate punk singer Ronnie Biggs, even if you do not approve of him.  He yet lives, but we lost another UK music great this week when John Barry of James Bond score fame passed away (after giving us perhaps the coolest-ever electric guitar movie theme).  And speaking of James Bond scoring...

•A couple of my entries during last month's "Month of Haters" were directed at the so-called PUA (Pick-Up Artist) community, an online society of males who, long story short, try to act like jerks in order to get lots of women to sleep with them, then spend a huge portion of their time insulting other men for not behaving like them (time that you'd think they'd be spending with their lovely girlfriends or wives). 

And I don't doubt there are plenty of women who like jerks -- I've seen it with my own eyes, even seen an avowed feminist psychologist fall for "the negs" -- but I also