June 16, 2008

Meee-ooow!—In what has got to be the cattiestiest interview since the Cheshire Cat took on the Cowardly Lion, Gore Vidal displays his utter contempt for the New York Times. In answer to “€œWhy do you think that critics have traditionally praised your essays more than your fiction?”€ good ol”€™ Gore throws the question back in the interviewer’s face, averring:

“€œThat’s because they don”€™t know how to read. I can”€™t name three first-rate literary critics in the United States. I”€™m told there are a few hidden away at universities, but they don”€™t print them in The New York Times.”€


My favorite: Q:”€œYou live in California , where last month the State Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage . As someone who lived with a male companion for 50-plus years, do you see this as a victory for equality?

A: People would ask, How could you live with someone for so long without any problems of any kind? I said, There was no sex.

Q: Were you chaste during those years?

A: Chased by whom?”€

That old devil Vidal, he’s not about to let them get the better of him, not even when the interviewer says “€œWell, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.”€ Vidal’s retort: “€œI doubt that.”€

Ron Paul Update “€“ The Paulistas aren”€™t going away any time soon, however much the neocon-controlled party apparatus would wish it. While the McCainiacs are warmongering it up in Minneapolis, the Paulists will be whooping it up across the river in St. Paul “€“ where else?—on the campus of the University of Minnesota, at their own convention. And, as US News reports, the GOPers have plenty to be worried about in November when the Paulistas either stay home or vote for Bob Barr.

Quote of the Day “€“ “€œHow is that no one questions the constant calls for energy autarky of the most primitive sort? If some paleocon wants to hinder trade with Mexicans, he is denounced as a bigot. If some neocon wants to hinder trade with Muslims, and wants to murder them too, he is a defender of national security.”€ “€“ Lew Rockwell, on LRC.

Bad Idea of the Day “€“ David “€œthe Commissar”€ Frum reveals his choice for McCain’s Veep: none other than Rudy Giuliani, who spent $50 million for one delegate. Why Rudy, apart from the fact that he hired the Frumster (which may have something to do with his awful showing)? Well, “€œbecause he shares the vision of a practical, reforming, war-winning Republican Party that inspires John McCain, plus the stronger-than-usual grounds for hoping that he might be the rare candidate who can make a difference in an essential state—in this case, New Jersey.”€

Translation: Rudy’s an opportunist, a closet liberal, and (best of all, from the Frummian perspective) a frothy-mouthed warmonger. But what’s this about enabling McCain to carry New Jersey? We”€™re talking about a candidate so weak that he didn”€™t even make it to the February New Jersey primary. But that’s the kind of political “€œexpertise”€ Rudy was paying for back when Frum was on his campaign staff (as Director of Smears) “€“ which goes far in explaining why the Guiliani effort will go down in history as the Edsel of political campaign.

Bodrum is Heaven “€“ I spent a week in the beautiful Turkish town of Bodrum last month, where I spoke at the annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society, and I originally had a long blog entry which described the wonders of the atmosphere, the white-washed town nestled up against the cerulean blue of the Aegean, the wonderful hotel with the best food I”€™ve ever eaten and a pool and garden to die for, and, last but not least, a star line-up of speakers, including mostly European libertarians and a few Americans such as myself “€“ but my computer ate it! Yes, the dog ate my homework!  At any rate, I have never been to a more enjoyable conference “€“ no, not ever “€“ and I”€™ve been a lot of them, let me tell you.

My host, Professor Hans Hermann Hoppe, and his beautiful wife, Gulchin, were most accommodating: they entertained us endlessly, and the time seemed to pass all too quickly. Oh yes, and the speakers “€“ well, go check out the program, which was packed with fascinating talks from a host of European types who offered a whole other perspective on issues from foreign policy to cultural matters. A highlight of the conference, for me, was meeting Mr. Sean Gabb, a delightful guy, and his lovely wife and child: Sean has the thankless task of leading Britain’s Libertarian Alliance, and he’s also a teacher and a sometime novelist. Quite the conversationalist and an all-around delight.

At any rate, contact the Society for the schedule of the next conference: you won”€™t want to miss it.




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