Thursday, January 8, 2015

Feardom: A Review

I may have an inkling as to why the United States is dominated by a two-party system, and I’m going out on the limb in my thinking: Potential third parties are filled with loons.

I, of course, am a potential loon, having grown tired of the shenanigans of both mainstream US political parties. Additionally, repeated application of Facebook political tests consistently reveal I agree more with Ron Paul (or, as it should be written, apparently, RON PAUL) than anyone else. Clearly, I should have my head examined.

Then I read Connor Boyack’s “Feardom,” and have come to the conclusion that the version of the Election Night Special skit performed on Monty Python’s “The Final Rip-off” album is far superior to their television version embedded here.

Oh. And libertarians are a bit loony. Just like the rest of us.

Not that Boyack doesn’t have good points: We should be discerning in our consumption of news and be willing to question what news and politicians tell us is right. But as Boyack cautions us agains the hobgoblins of fear and sheppleness required of the media and bad, icky government, he fails to realize in writing that he’s trotting out the boring ol’ hobgoblins of libertarianism, mainly the evils of the social safety net, police “often” SWATting the wrong house and fomenting fear and distrust and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and the idea of any kind of government outside of the Ron Swansonesque man sitting at a desk deciding who to nuke.

Boyack’s solution to whatever problem out there – increased love, empathy, whatever you choose to call it – is also admirable. But it’s all couched in the traditional libertarian hobgoblinism of sheeple too complacent and whatever for peace and contentment and hamburgers and such who aren’t going to do anything at all to fix things because they’re not smart enough. But love, right?

I’m being harsh and snotty here, of course. Because Boyack does bring up a very important example of the love he’s talking about: Israeli Ronny Erdy with a small group of activists uploaded posters to Facebook telling folks in Iran “we will never bomb your country, we [heart] you.” The effort brought about a positive reaction throughout the Middle East that transcended the narrative put forth by news media and governments. A good thing, yes.

But as far as libertarianism in writing, I have to go with P.J. O’Rourke’s “Parliament of Whores,” where the solutions are ample as well as the humor and hopelessness.

From the editor in me: Boyack needed one. He mentions the film Monsters Inc but adds an apostrophe (Monster’s Inc) and misspells the name of Miep Gies (as Miep Giles) and misrepresents her as the sole person who hid the family of Anne Frank, when it was rather a group of Anne’s father Otto Frank’s friends and office workers who hid the family from Nazi persecution.

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