Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I Wanna Be a Crazy Drunken Minarchist...Well, Anarchist Anyway

by Joe Miller

I had kind of a fifth-grade moment earlier today. While reading Crooked Timber, I came across this post by Belle Waring. She's responding to a bit of lunacy from Eugene Volokh in her usual extremely witty way when, out of nowhere, comes this:
Now, I say this in the full knowledge that Eugene Volokh holds all sorts of views on many topics with which I completely disagree. Furthermore, since some of these views concern matters of serious moral import, I would seem to be pretty well committed to the idea that he is, in some sense, a bad person. But, in real life, we share polite aquaintanceship with all sorts of people who think all kinds of wrong and crazy stuff. We just don’t usually have to hear about those crazy things. At a party we will edge away from the crazy “let me tell you about my views on minarchy RIGHT NOW” guy. Then again, we might have a great time discussing the latest Italian election results, say, or poor draft choices recently made in the NFL, with someone who was, in fact, a crazy minarchist, but who didn’t go out of his way to tell you about it. Unfortunately, the blogosphere is like an extended drunken party in which the probability of you having to hear the crazy minarchist’s theories about government asymptotically approaches 1. But while it’s appropriate to get into high dudgeon if one of the Catallarchy guys (maybe they’re actually anarchists, but never mind) says something you find morally repugnant, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to start picturing him to yourself as some sort of moral monster, slavering away in a basement. (Unless it’s Captain Ed, in which case, go right along.)
So why the fifth-grade (that's grade five for you Canadians out there) moment? That's about the age at which boys and girls kind of start to notice one another but aren't really quite sure what that should entail. So sometimes a girl who likes a boy will demonstrates her affection by teasing him mercilessly. Actually, boys are probably far worse about this sort of thing than girls, but bear with me here. This is all fine and good...when you're the boy that the cute girl is picking on. Hey, at least she's talking to you! But when you're the boy who has to stand by and watch the cute girl pick on someone else while she totally and completely ignores your very existence, well that's less good.

The relevance? Okay, here's my somewhat embarrassing admission: I have a huge crush on Belle. Don't get me wrong; I've never met the woman in my life, have no idea what she looks like, and know that she's happily married to a way better philosopher (and blogger) than I am. (In a strange coincidence, John Holbo is colleagues at National University of Singapore with one of my contemporaries from grad school at UVA. He's also a way better philosopher than I. This is getting depressing.) Anyway, Belle is, well, disgustingly smart, very, very clever and delightfully witty. She's also a philosopher (she studied Greek philosophy at Berkeley). And a poet. And a chef. And, in case you're impressed by this sort of thing, she's also descended from both Peter Stuyvesant and Jay Gould (the railroad guy, not the naturalist).

Look, I'm pretty realistic about this sort of thing. I know that Belle Waring is never, ever going to read my humble little blog. And if she did, she'd just say some super smart thing that would expose the marginalness of my competence to all the rest of the world. But she called the Catallarchy guys crazy drunken minarchists. So now I really want to be a crazy drunken minarchist. At least then I could enjoy having the smart girl pick on me. So how about it, Jonathan? Want to add me to your roster? I'm already an anarchist (of the Simmons rather than the Friedman variety, but still). I know that a number of readers of this blog can readily attest to the drunken part. Given half a chance, I'll drink bourbon like it's going out of style. I promise to work really hard on the crazy bit. Maybe then Belle will point out some of my morally repugnant posts.

Oh, and by the way, Brian Doss responds to Belle's post here. Brian is also pretty smart and pretty witty. That's probably why Belle picked on him. And not me. Bastard.


Blogger Matt McIntosh said...

Yeah, Brian's such a hunk... er, I mean...

I have to commend you Joe, I would never have the nerve to kiss the ass of my crush publicly like this. Of course now you're certain to never meet her.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Brian Doss said...

I met her at a blogorama last year when she was in the states visiting. She seemed pretty cool. Nya nya. :D

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Glenn Quinn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous glenn quinn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Miller said...

Don't be too impressed. I'm not sure that my traffic justifies calling this public.

I can't remember if I said it before, so just in case: bastard.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Joe Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous qlenn quinn said...

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8:20 PM  

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