The courageous Hong Kong protests have already been criticized by writers at the Guardian and Jacobin, giving you some idea how far the Western left is willing to go to defend communism, or at least throw some cold water on its critics. But then, the roots of both Western and Eastern communism can be traced back to bad philosophical ideas as old and influential as those of Plato, who saw a top-down, rigidly ordered society as the ideal. Our corruption is deep.
Plato is being put to odd use elsewhere, too, I’m told: Blondie’s Chris Stein used at least one Barnes and Noble appearance about his new photo book, Negative, as an occasion to play the crowd a song combining rap and a recording of John Malkovich reciting Plato’s allegory of the Cave. Troubling.
Luckily, if the Ebola doesn’t get you, you have other imminent entertainment options:
(1) I don’t know if or when I will organize more onstage events of my own, but please consider as a long-awaited substitute seeing me on one of the political yet humorous Electoral Dysfunction discussion panels, such as the one taking place this Saturday (Oct. 4) at 7pm at 123 E. 24th St. at People’s Improv. We will likely discuss Ebola and other events of the week such as that White House fence-jumper and the UK entering the fight against ISIS.
(2) That event’s the day prior to the Sunday, Oct. 5 “rogue taxidermy” festival at Bell House in Brooklyn, for those keeping track. (Or if you can’t make that, perhaps you’ll enjoy watching this oddly bold squirrel pitting two cats against each other. Clumsy, clueless nut-eater, or brilliant strategist?)
(3) Saturday a week from now, Oct. 11, anarcho-capitalist law prof Stephan Kinsella and other libertarians are in town to speak at LibertyFest (11am-6:30pm at Warsaw concert hall in Brooklyn, 261 Driggs Ave., $25).
(4) Of course, that Saturday is also the middle of New York Comic Con, so you can be forgiven for being uncertain which event to attend.
(5) All of these options, though, are probably better than being at the marriage-to-herself ceremony Julia Allison performed at Burning Man in August, going on (as is so often the case) to write an ostensibly impartial article about the whole festival for the New York Times just recently, almost certainly with the aid of a ghostwriter and without mentioning her self-marriage ceremony at all.
I am reminded of the time I met a Times reporter who covered antiwar rallies and was also an organizer of antiwar rallies, though Burning Man is hardly the Iraq War. And there are worse reasons to travel to the desert than seeing a woman marry herself -- beheading women, for instance. Here’s that surprisingly straightforward, frank Vice interview with a young Canadian who traveled to join ISIS and who says we’ll all soon suffer for it (h/t Franc M Pohole).
Here’s hoping our taxidermy, self-marriages, comic conventions, and onstage political comedy all endure.