Anthony Gregory on Rand Paul’s historic filibuster

RandPaulFilibusterTVAnthony Gregory and I have never met in person, but we used to spend hours at a time with each other in IM, discussing libertarianism from almost every angle. He was often astonished by how little I knew about current events. We developed a shorthand for this preference (or flaw) of mine: “history, not news” — which meant that I was very interested in events once they were no longer current.

When I gave up my very heavy public-radio habit (as I said in my house-husbandry article for LRC, “I’ve discovered an inverse correlation between my economic literacy and my ability to tolerate NPR”), I developed an aversion to the news in general. Around the same time, I discovered an unexpected love of history.

So Anthony did this great video for the Independent Institute about Rand Paul’s heroic filibuster, and I meant to blog it when it was news, but apparently (if unintentionally) I had to wait until it was history:

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5 Responses to Anthony Gregory on Rand Paul’s historic filibuster

  1. Mike Reid says:

    What do you think the chances are that the outro music is by Gregory himself?

  2. Scott Lahti says:

    “discussing libertarianism from almost every angle”

    That recalls my jesting c. 1983, with a couple of my friends from the NYU libertarian orbit, over the propensity among our fold for doctrinal hairsplitting over matters of rights and justice: “Here’s another question: if I kill you, do you have a right to kill me back?” Now I’m laughing, thinking of the language an earnest Rothbardian of the period would have used in a no-doubt instant reply: “Yes – or more precisely, your heirs and assigns do”.

    “He was often astonished by how little I knew about current events”

    Cf. me in mid-January 1991, after driving overnight from Charlottesville to Lansing in order to join my family there for a drive the next day to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to attend the funeral of my paternal grandfather. The old plaint, “Don’t you know there’s a war on?” was in my case literal when my family informed me that the air campaign of the Gulf War had been underway for a good day or so. Music on cassette over my long drive midwest, had, happily enough, copper-plated me against an otherwise-likely breach in the defenses of my inveterate isolation from broadcast news.

    We developed a shorthand for this preference (or flaw) of mine: “history, not news” — which meant that I was very interested in events once they were no longer current.

    [bkm quote from 2004] “I’ve discovered an inverse correlation between my economic literacy and my ability to tolerate NPR”

    That reminds me of a passage from my review at Amazon.com of Memoirs of a Superfluous Man
    by Albert Jay Nock:

    “Be warned, though: after reading his MEMOIRS, you may find your cultural habits changed forever. You will never again feel the need to acquire an opinion of Tom Friedman’s latest essay in best-selling globaloney so as not to be caught short at the next round of cocktail-party Book-of-the-Moment-Club ‘conversation.’ You will never again think of an Ivy League graduate or a Ph.D. on the one hand, and an educated mind on the other, as being in any way synonymous – even in theory. And you will never, even for a moment, confuse your daily NEW YORK TIMES habit with an instrument of mental cultivation – if, in fact, you retain it at all. And you may find yourself doubled over in helpless laughter the next time some Volvo-driving professional describes the programming on NPR as ‘serious intellectual radio.’ And you will leave your first astonished reading of Nock with a silent question, addressed to every teacher and writer to whom you have hitherto entrusted the fertilization of your mind: ‘Where (or why) have you been hiding Albert Jay Nock all my life?'”

  3. Scott Lahti says:

    And for more in the “news. not history” vein, see “The Endless Cycle”, a current BBC Radio 4 three-parter discussing how “Driven by changes in technology and in news culture itself, and as the news cycle becomes ever faster, the question of what News is is also about how we consume it, and who ‘we’ are becoming as a result.” And in reprising the question supplying the title to an earlier Marcusian post, yes, there is a “stereotypical doctor in the house” packed by the documentary’s participants, in the form of psychotherapist Adam Phillips, whose profession, I often think, might be put to wholesome use de-programming, so to speak, quite a few among those breaking-news addicts who love their crisis-mongering, outrage-fabricating 24/7 cable channels in ways that tend to spill over into social and domestic life in ways that are often anything but wholesome.

  4. Scott Lahti says:

    “this preference (or flaw) of mine: ‘history, not news’ … meant that I was very interested in events once they were no longer current”

    A sentiment taken to heart in the titling of this review of Harvard Square by André Aciman:

    When the Present Is Past It Looks Much Prettier

  5. Pingback: The Power of Habeas Corpus | Invisible Order

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