Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Belated Introduction

Back before I started getting all of my news from Skippystalin, I discovered Seattle's alt weekly The Stranger. Most alt weeklys are only good for the classifieds and the show listings and are ignored by most people. Seattle is different. It's so different, in fact, that I discovered The Stranger while living in Chicago and having no use for the classifieds and show listings half a continent away.

In the comments at the slog, that's the Stranger's blog, someone asked why an Objectivist would be reading the Stranger. That's an easy question to answer, and my answer bears repeating here. I think this is probably not the first time I've told this story in this space, but it's important enough to tell again.

It was Dan Savage's articles on the Aaron Palmer story (2nd article here) that made me a regular reader of The Stranger, and rummager of the Savage Love archives posted there. Those two articles I just linked are the best things ever written on the evil of prohibition (or the drug war as some are still calling it).

Then there was The opening chapter of Dan Savage's Skipping Towards Gomorrah.

I think this pretty much closes the case on the Stranger as the only real newspaper in America.

It opens up another question which the voices in my head refuse to shut up about.

Q: "So Luke, why have you never introduced yourself in this blog as an Objectivist?".

A: I didn't want this blog to be about that. I don't agree with Ayn Rand's views on Swear words (I'm a fan), and some other things, but the main reason is that advocating a particular philosophy is a task best left to the pros. The Ayn Rand Institute and bloggers like Diana Hsieh, Ari Armstrong, and Gus Van Horn are doing that better than I could. I wouldn't expect them to approve of this blog, because I don't. I see blogging as a fun outlet and also an exercise that's worth my time. I do think my take on things may occasionally have value to some, otherwise I wouldn't publish it, but I don't want to add my name to a list of serious activists until I'm ready to actually be one. Since I'm not a professional writer and have professional plans in a very different direction for the next many years, I don't see myself contributing substantially to the kind of serious letter writing that these bloggers are doing. That's why I'm only now identifying this fake-name blog as one written by an Objectivist.

Q: "So why should an Objectivist get all his news from Skippystalin, who is pretty clearly not one?"

A: That's another writing assignment that I've been putting off. I'll go into more detail on this later, but the short answer is like this: Advocating for a better future requires keeping an eye on the culture of the present day. This is a frustrating and painful chore. Skippy is the absolute best therapy for this frustration. His People v. Paris Hilton is one of the better examples. And go here if you want to see the best case for getting all your news from Skippy. History is another good cure for the panic that can set in when looking at current events. If you think the present world is fucked, you haven't really digested the history of the 1930's and 40's. You really don't know what fucked is. But now I digress and I have New Years shit to do, so all of you have a happy new years!!

No comments: