In the grand scheme of things, elections are an arbitrary,
overrated chronological dividing line – but this month’s are as apt a time as
any to make good on my long-threatened
hermitage from the Net.
stop blogging, Facebook-updating, Facebook-group-participating, tweeting, and
even e-mailing for now – except to notify people about once a month of the
latest Dionysium event (and probably to review a book or film once in a while).
I won’t be idle – on the contrary, the times demand more
focused attention on larger-scale projects (articles, ghostwriting, etc. – to
which I’m happy to add something FOR YOU if you pay me).
If I am to rescue this culture, I must
perform labors grander even than the ones imagined by those who preceded me in
the Crif Dogs bathroom seen in the adjacent photos.
Here are a dozen things to consider in my quasi-absence:
(1) My e-mail address
remains the same
(first name last name at Earthlink dot net) despite my
profile picture getting another update, as seen above.
I will try to bombard you
less but will still be receiving and will probably notice
messages via that medium faster than others.
(2) I have learned
important things during my comparatively short two years of using Facebook and
, lessons about linearity and argumentation and how both break down
under the pressures and speed of modern media, lessons applicable to incipient
It probably also makes it
easier to follow a movie like Cloud Atlas
(which I liked – as I did Skyfall
though both got negative reviews from contrarian Kyle Smith).
Still, having been joke-exiled from a notorious
anarcho-capitalist Facebook page in the past few days makes this seem like a
good time to quit all Facebook pages and warn the world that it may take me a
while to respond to messages and requests sent via that double-edged,
(4) And yet, if irked libertarians tried to get him fired
for saying that, one other libertarian
would likely defend him
(and anyone threatened with expulsion from a
publicly-funded, First Amendment-bound university for unpopular ideas), namely
Greg Lukianoff, who warns against campus censorship in his new book Unlearning
, all proceeds from which go to the speech-defending group FIRE.
If they do so, I would imagine there will be many meetings
in the near future involving government bureaucrats saying, “Why, these people
What’s wrong with them?”
(7) As some of my Facebook pals subversively-comedically
“troll” each other, I ask them to remember
and honor the world’s most important troll religion
, now over thirty years
old: the Church of the SubGenius, whose out-of-the-blue ad on MTV
startled the world twenty years ago.
can’t be considered the first
religion, though, not if that ancient snake-puppet cult Alan Moore follows
Rev. Jen Miller’s Troll Museum
is a totally separate phenomenon.)
(8) I blogged almost daily (about two days out of three,
really) from the Republicans’ ouster from Congress after the 2006 elections
through the re-election of Obama in 2012.
The one encouraging thing I’ll say about that span of time is that it
began with the Republicans barely aware that they were entering a period in the
wilderness (with the wars continuing and the financial crisis on the horizon)
but ends with many of them talking about libertarianism
as a possible route out
(and about a possible Rand Paul 2016 presidential
run – not that any one politician or election can solve our problems, as even
some liberals may now realize, despite four years of truly shocking,
self-abasing hero-worship on their part).
And he’s right, you know.
Civilized people do not govern one another.
I must make a more concerted effort in the
years ahead to teach mainstream Americans the basics of anarcho-capitalist
thinking, which is, after all, just basic commonsense economics.
On the bright side, I finally realized that Obama reminds me
Tupac), and there’s some reassurance in that.
At least we are sometimes oppressed by geeks.
(9) Not only am I so
geeky that I’ll still be posting Dionysium and Book Notes entries here
while mostly “offline,” the truth is that I already know what the theme of next
month’s book entries will be. So be here
for my “Month of Dogmatism,” as we look at an article on that subject from Critical
Review plus the books The Righteous Mind
and the olive-branch-extending Free
Hey, it’s funnier
than Andy Borowitz. Everything is. The only way I can explain the complete
absence of jokes from his pieces is that he is actively hoping people will mistake his “parodic” news pieces for real ones,
providing the dupes with additional ammunition against the Republicans. Facts don’t matter much to the left anyway. Why should they matter to a man falsely
claiming to be a humorist, or to his readers?
One would hope the absence of both facts and jokes mattered to his editors, but apparently that is not the
(11) Since my real
message is basic econ and its implications for individual freedom (and why
government must be abolished), you could also occupy yourselves with CEI’s great
six-minute I, Pencil: The Movie,
based on the classic essay (itself reportedly inspired by meditation in turn
influenced by LSD culture) explaining the unplanned yet interconnected nature
of a market economy.
I question whether
even Nobelists need to know math, given Krugman’s recent praise of the days of
91% tax rates. And so I need to consider
more seriously how best to explain to a credentials-worshiping world that I do
in fact have a better understanding of economics than this Nobel Prize
winner. (Let the rich make money, then
take almost all of it away? Sure, why not? Can’t see how that would affect incentives at
all or might have proven unsustainable in the long run if it had endured more
than a few years, Paul. You’re a
genius. Why do the evil Republicans keep
mounting their irrational attacks on you?
They must know there are no
other countries, such as Canada, to which a businessman could easily flee these
days – more easily than ever, in fact – if threatened with 91% tax rates.)
(12) They can put
you in jail for breaking their laws. They
can’t (yet) jail you for changing your mind. Do it.
If you are a liberal (in the modern,
welfare-statist sense): change
this very moment.
And if you are a
libertarian or conservative, do not despair over the next four years. We are seeing some phenomena that are better than a
Romney presidency likely would have been.
Not only is Rand Paul talked about as a new force to be reckoned with in
the Senate (pushing spending cuts, drug legalization, fewer wars, and
immigration reform) but we have petitions from multiple states urging
secession. Fantastic. Given our federalist system, that may be our
best hope anyway.
And there’s the
whole Petraeus/Middle East multilayered mess to watch. Who ever would’ve thought we’d enter this President’s second term asking how
much he knew about the al Qaeda attacks of September 11 and when – and what the
role of the FBI and the CIA were in the disaster?
And if you are a believer in the paranormal, you can also change your mind.
The second most
important thing I learned about humanity from spending a lot of time online
over the past couple years (after learning that people have a lot of stupid
political arguments) is that no amount of terrible YouTube videos, no matter
how blurry and Rorschach-blot-like, will ever convince people that we lack good
evidence for Bigfoot or UFOs. Luckily, just
as the James Randi Educational Foundation offers a prize of over $1 million for
any demonstration of paranormal powers
and finds (surprise!) no takers, Spike TV now offers $10 million for
irrefutable Bigfoot evidence (as a promo for their new show 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty). Not holding my breath. (I will also offer you $20 trillion for
evidence there’s a God.)