my foul-mouthed mother

A few days after a certain blog post back in November, my mother phoned.

Caller ID told me who it was, which she knows, but she still began the call by announcing herself, “This is your foul-mouthed mother!” And then she burst into laughter.

She was referring to this:

bad words

@$$#*|&!

Well, I can’t find where it is, but somewhere on the Mises.org/blog rules, we are advised to avoid language we wouldn’t use in front of our mothers. I can accuse my own mother of many things, but linguistic prudery is not one of them. At least, not now, and not since I was a teenager, more or less.

Back in college, I had a girlfriend who was writing me from her summer job as a waitress. She said she was serving a middle-aged woman and her teenaged son, who apparently had nothing to say to each other. They didn’t look angry or uncomfortable. Just not interested in talking.

My girlfriend wrote me to say that she had seen the exact opposite of how she imagined “Hilary and Brian at dinner.”

(Hilary is my mom’s name and Brian is the B in BK.)

She was right, too. I think she may have been present for the following dinner exchange:

Hilary: Are you thesis or antithesis?

Brian: I’m synthesis!

Hilary: Oh, that’s what they all say …

Anyway, I’m sure that the Mises.org blog keeper wouldn’t object to any of that. What he would object to is what my mother forwarded me tonight in email:

Fukitol

Cherchez Far�

I discovered Fran�ois-Ren� Rideau (aka Far�), the French libertarian who runs Bastiat.org, when I was searching for the March 1969 Playboy article, “The Death of Politics” by Karl Hess.

I put a bunch of Far�’s quotes on my website and pointed some French-speaking friends to his website: fare.tunes.org.

Portrait de Fr�d�ric BastiatOnly today did I learn Bastiat.org is also his, so I’d apparently already been using one of his websites without realizing it.

Far� himself wrote me to correct an error in one of my BlackCrayon essays, in which I mention both Fr�d�ric Bastiat and Gustave de Molinari.

(Bastiat was Mises to Molinari’s Rothbard.)

((If you don’t know what that means, imagine I’d called Bastiat Socrates to Molinari’s Plato — except you’d have to imagine Plato as an anarcho-capitalist rather than as the spiritual father of central planning.))

(((OK, maybe I should have said Bastiat was Plato to Molinari’s Aristotle; that captures the ideological vector a little better.)))

Anyway, I just now learned that Far� has started his own blog.

He writes some entries in French and some in English.

Maybe this will inspire me to improve my French, since (1) his French entries are relatively short, and (2) I’m interested in what he has to say (which is not always the case with other French-language stuff on the web).

Here I quote one of each:

� Sacraliser c’est immoraliser

D�clarer une chose sacr�e, c’est interdire de la comparer � d’autres choses. C’est donc refuser de faire des choix rationnels d�s lors que cette chose est en jeu. C’est appeler � l’acceptation irrationnelle d’un certain comportement pos� a priori en �vacuant les alternatives sous le joug imposant de l’autorit� morale. Bref, c’est de l’intimidation.

Le refus de choisir rationnellement n’emp�che pas l’�mergence de dilemmes concernant la chose sacralis�e, il emp�che juste la prise de d�cision rationnelle pour r�soudre au mieux ces dilemmes, et lui substitue la foi superstitieuse en certaines r�gles de conduites accept�es arbitrairement, et qui font alors l’objet des manipulations de trafiquants en bons sentiments, ma�tres chanteurs, et autres escrocs.

Sacraliser c’est immoraliser: c’est nier la dignit� morale de l’homme, sa libert� et sa responsabilit�, face aux choix qui concernent pr�cis�ment les choses les plus pr�cieuses de son existence.

La prochaine fois que vous entendrez quelqu’un utiliser le caract�re sacr� de la vie (ou autre) comme argument, ou s’indigner mais comment peux-tu faire cette comparaison? — ne vous laissez pas prendre au pi�ge. C’est pr�cis�ment parce que la comparaison est possible, et offre une conclusion d’une �vidence �crasante, qu’il y a choix moral de votre part. Votre sort d�pend de votre capacit� � �chapper aux bourreaux qui prennent votre conscience en otage.



� Positive Thinking

Another important way in which americans are free and french are not: in public messages, whether in ads or in public venue regulations, the main way that people are enticed to do things, in the States, is you can do it, you can help preserve the environment, you can achieve something for yourself, etc. In France, it’s you must, whether you like it or not, you cannot, because someone who knows better than you has decided it this way. Of course, this is more visible in public regulations than in private advertisements, since the latter always rely on the good will of the consumer. Still, even french ads more often than not resort to bad conscience and other forms of self-loathing. This is not something to be found in the States.


more of Other People's Blogs

Recently, my OPB activity has primarily been among people I either know personally offline or people I know with a certain familiarity online.

  • My friend and former regular movie-viewing partner, CJ, who claims he can get his hands on The Berlin Batman for me (!) spends all his time directing plays. (Maybe he’s still writing them, too. I’m not sure. I haven’t kept up on the latest.) Anyway, he apparently found time to watch the commentary on the DVD of X-2, which led me to review my own favorite DVD commentaries.

  • Doctor Furious asked if marketing is necessary in a free market and I answered — risking, as I saw it, the embarrassment of learning that I had yet again missed the point. Turned out I didn’t. This time.

  • On blog.Mises.org (which by the way, my friend AC is now involved in hosting!) Stephan Kinsella takes exception to my “But”…

  • And that same friend and former business partner, AC Capehart, a good man and a good geek who has helped carry me through tough times with encouragement and support when such things were otherwise few and far between, now has his own blog.

    Ten years ago, AC and I learned that we were interviewing for the same job — peon webmaster at a game company — in our parallel attempts to escape the basement computing at the University of Virginia. I think neither of us wanted to be “that guy” who’d have a good reason to have trouble sleeping after things shook out. The manager hired both of us. He said he’d never experienced such a thing: AC spent much of his interview talking about how talented I was, and I’d spent my interview talking about AC’s talents. Guy figured we must be a fantastic team so he sacrificed a graphic artist from his head count and hired the both of us. (It was also weird for him, as it is for so many, that we each go by initials rather than proper names.)

    Anyway, a few weeks ago, Mr. Capehart started a blog, and I was caught off-guard by what a good read it is. AC is talented in many ways, but I’d never considered him a particularly compelling writer. Apparently, that’s because I’d only seen his textual equivalent of corporate-speak. In his own voice, he’s something else. See, for instance, his analysis of the game like virtues in the latest @Home distributed computing project. Or his lessons learned and not-yet-learned about how we can and should treat other drivers. (I have yet to add my 2� on the perils of principled driving.)

OPB … did I leave anyone out?

more of Other People’s Blogs

Recently, my OPB activity has primarily been among people I either know personally offline or people I know with a certain familiarity online.

  • My friend and former regular movie-viewing partner, CJ, who claims he can get his hands on The Berlin Batman for me (!) spends all his time directing plays. (Maybe he’s still writing them, too. I’m not sure. I haven’t kept up on the latest.) Anyway, he apparently found time to watch the commentary on the DVD of X-2, which led me to review my own favorite DVD commentaries.

  • Doctor Furious asked if marketing is necessary in a free market and I answered — risking, as I saw it, the embarrassment of learning that I had yet again missed the point. Turned out I didn’t. This time.

  • On blog.Mises.org (which by the way, my friend AC is now involved in hosting!) Stephan Kinsella takes exception to my “But”…

  • And that same friend and former business partner, AC Capehart, a good man and a good geek who has helped carry me through tough times with encouragement and support when such things were otherwise few and far between, now has his own blog.

    Ten years ago, AC and I learned that we were interviewing for the same job — peon webmaster at a game company — in our parallel attempts to escape the basement computing at the University of Virginia. I think neither of us wanted to be “that guy” who’d have a good reason to have trouble sleeping after things shook out. The manager hired both of us. He said he’d never experienced such a thing: AC spent much of his interview talking about how talented I was, and I’d spent my interview talking about AC’s talents. Guy figured we must be a fantastic team so he sacrificed a graphic artist from his head count and hired the both of us. (It was also weird for him, as it is for so many, that we each go by initials rather than proper names.)

    Anyway, a few weeks ago, Mr. Capehart started a blog, and I was caught off-guard by what a good read it is. AC is talented in many ways, but I’d never considered him a particularly compelling writer. Apparently, that’s because I’d only seen his textual equivalent of corporate-speak. In his own voice, he’s something else. See, for instance, his analysis of the game like virtues in the latest @Home distributed computing project. Or his lessons learned and not-yet-learned about how we can and should treat other drivers. (I have yet to add my 2� on the perils of principled driving.)

OPB … did I leave anyone out?

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