Monday, January 20, 2014


In addition to liberating people from evils like racial violence and oppression by the state, at least some of my fellow libertarians are keen to liberate people from laws enforcing patents and copyrights, viewing them not as extensions of property but as unnatural restrictions on others’ recycling and recombination of ideas.  This view jibes well with the social media era’s love of memes, trolling, and parodies.

People inclined to that anarchist view should love the 80s prankster band KLF (which may stand for Kopyright Liberation Front), and I think their entire epic Wikipedia entry well worth reading.  For a couple decades, I picked up info about them in tantalizing bits and pieces, including their origins in a stage production version of anarchist Robert Anton Wilson’s sci-fi/conspiracy-theory novels The Illuminatus Trilogy and their notorious -- and legally-doomed -- sampling of the entire song “Dancing Queen” for an album that they were subsequently court-ordered to destroy.

The libertarian impulse comes in forms both anarchist and bourgeois, though, and back around the same time that I (and some of my favorite peers, it turns out) were reading Robert Anton Wilson in college, I was also getting to know straight-laced future architect Dave Whitney, who I finally saw (after a few weeks of wondering) in the teaser sequence at the end of the episode of This Old House that aired (at least in NYC) on Saturday, January 18 – so he should figure prominently in the next episode at the very least, working on the “Arlington Italianate” house project in Massachusetts being featured for several episodes of that series. 

Dave’s not just an old New England stick-in-the-mud, though.  He’s also the guy who told me about strange artist/architect/poet Madeline Gins, who recently passed away, for instance -- not to mention numerous punk bands.  Perhaps history will see it all as part of a broader nerd culture (and if so, perhaps someday the extremely clever song “Nerdy Boys” by Candypants will be elevated to its rightful place in the musical firmament). 

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