libertarians on the high seas, a hollywood payday for a local pariah, and the decline of john barrymore

…As far as I can tell, every society demands its members give up certain freedoms for the good of others. The Amish, as I think we discussed, can seem like they live a libertarian life if that’s simply defined as low-tax and low-cop. But, try showing up wearing a red silk shirt and feathered cap for the barn-raising and they’ll seem quite the opposite…

What started out as a nice little post about John McCain has developed in the comments section into quite a substantial conversation on the pros and cons of libertarianism. I’d made an offhand comment about wanting to lure the libertarians into the sea with the promise of lawless aquatic colonies, and it kind of took off from there… And, at this very moment, it’s being suggested by an MM.com reader that those wanting to live the lives of true libertarians pack up their guns Ron Paul shrines, and move to Sudan. I love a good-natured quarrel, and thought that you might appreciate this one.

The quote above comes from MM.com favorite, Ol’ East Cross. As it was better than anything I would have come up with tonight, I decided to move it up here to the front page. For what it’s worth, I’m inclined to side with him against the forces of libertarianism. I’ll admit that our government oversteps its bounds regularly – I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU – but I don’t think that government by its very definition is evil. Sorry if it makes me sound like a pansy, but I like the EPA, the FDA, FEMA and their ilk (when they’re fully funded and run correctly). I like knowing that someone will pick up if I call 911. I like knowing with at least some degree of certainty that no one will dump nuclear waste in my backyard, or sell me meat contaminated with rat feces. These things, I reckon, are good… Anyway, if you’re interested, check out the thread. Maybe I’m just impressed by the novelty of a libertarian exterminator who can “talk pirate,” but I found it pretty cool.

And why are all exterminators Libertarians anyway? Might it have something to do with the neurotoxins in the pesticide?

There’s a lot of stuff I wanted to mention tonight, like the fact that a much maligned, recently paroled Ypsialnti landlord might get rich with the help of the great John Barrymore’s little granddaughter, Drew, but I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open… So, I’ll leave you with this trailer for the 1933 film “Dinner at Eight.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great film. I wanted to share a clip with you showing Barrymore in the film, playing a washed-up alcoholic actor (much like himself at the time) contemplating suicide, but I couldn’t find one. So, this will have to do. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and speaking of Kircher, how perfectly ironic would it be if he turned out to be Ypsilanti’s economic savior? What if our real promise as a community turns out not to be the well-kept historic district, our young creative population, or Water Street, but the dilapidated rentals of David Kircher that the City fathers have been working so diligently to seize and rehabilitate? What if Ypsi becomes Hollywood’s favorite community to typify rustbelt despair?

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16 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if you really get the sense from the trailer, but “Dinner at Eight” is an incredibly dark film for the period. Really interesting.

  2. mark
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    And I love OEC’s idea. I think it would make for a fantastic episode of “Amish Punk’d.”

  3. Paw
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    For the good of Ypsi I’m going to remove the siding from my house and start shitting in my yard.

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    In the interest of partial disclosure, Brackache is one my dearest friends. You all are being subjected to debates he and me have been having in bars and backyards for years. They usually end with us crying in others arms (or lack of arms) declaring that we really just want the same things…

  5. Pam Paw
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    “Start” shitting in your yard, Paw?

    Did you forget why I left you?

  6. Sammantha
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Sound stages on Water Street?

    A spinoff of the Wire shot in Ypsilanti? Season one could be about Kircher and the forces aligned to take him down.

  7. egpenet
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    If you’re making a Hollywood movie with a union crew … you gotta shoot it in a pro-union location, where the SAG, AFTRA and TEAMSTERS can breathe. Go West of US 23 and it’s non-union from there.

    Needless to say, going south of the Mason-Dixon line into so-called work free territory is a tough sell, though it can be done for a price.

  8. Brackache
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    My cries for attention on someone else’s blog have been foolishly appeased! Moohahahaha!!!

  9. sam
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Thanks for all the info about libertarians. I was browsing through a bunch of political websites and blogs (mostly liberal ones) and I came across your blog and find it to be very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like huff post, and other news sites like politico. Do you know of any that cover politics and the environment? I saw earthlab.com which has mostly environmental info but some politics. I took EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I was pretty easy to use (and it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any other blogs you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites or any ones with green info?

  10. Dirtgrain
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got to be categorized. Somebody, tell me what I am.

  11. Posted May 23, 2008 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Categorize yourself in a few easy questions: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz-score/quiz.php

    Gives a two-axis political system – economic policy and social policy.

    Shorter than others, but like all has its faults and detractors. Take with grain of salt.

    -Adam

  12. Brackache
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The default category for humans is “unprincipled dick-hole” so you better get affiliated fast.

  13. freeman
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    I didn’t read the comments on that other thread, but I hope none of y’all view John McCain as being even remotely libertarian. I’m libertarian and I’d rather saw off my genitals with a rusty butter knife than vote for him.

    Some libertarians, believe it or not, are anti-corporate, pro-union/labor, eco-conscious, cooperative rather than atomistic, and generally nice people. Like me, for example. Hell, I consider myself anti-capitalist despite advocating 100% free enterprise (which does not and has never existed in this country – privledged capitalists, like the state, hate competition), although I suspect my definition of capitalism isn’t very common.

    If the notion of free market LEFT-libertarianism seems odd, check out this recent blog entry by former Ypsi resident Charles Johnson for a taste of such thinking. He does a good job of taking a pro-corporate libertarian from Macomb County to task for engaging in knee-jerk union bashing.

    If a gunman forced me to vote mainstream or be liquidated, I’d choose Obama. If Hillary beats him out for the Dem nomination, I’d tell the gunman to just shoot me. Hillary seems to be nothing but a Republican in Democratic drag.

  14. The Exterminator
    Posted May 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    mark — to be fair, not all exterminators I know are libertarians. However, every exterminator I’ve ever met has a habit of talking to himself when left unattended. Sh-sh-sha-shaw.

  15. mark
    Posted June 1, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    ….If only Barrymore were coming to Ypsi to film Grey Gardens.

    [I’d forgotten until just now that she and Jessica Lange were attached to that project.]

  16. Emilia Bush
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Oh, how I miss Old East Cross.

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