Archive | April, 2018

Never Merry When I Hear Sweet Music

It used to be a common practice for soundtracks to play “funny” music in certain scenes to, I guess, let the audience know that something funny was happening.

Some examples: at 1:55-2:08 in this clip from To Have and Have Not (1944); at 1:58-2:22 and 7:01-7:17 of these clips from the original 1960s Star Trek; and at 3:41-3:56 and 4:46-5:17 of these clips, likewise from Star Trek.

This practice has always really annoyed me; for some reason I’ve found it much more distracting than a laugh track, which I’m generally able to tune out. I’m not sure at what point in screen history this stopped being common practice, but I’m very glad it did.

Left-Libertarians at Libertopia

[cross-posted at C4SS and BHL]

Next month (3-6 May) in San Diego I’ll be speaking at the Libertopia conference, which is back after several years’ hiatus. Here’s my topic and abstract:

Hoppean Libertarianism as Right-Wing Tribalism: A Critique
Roderick T. Long

One of the main conduits by which many libertarians in recent years have been drawn into the orbit of the Alt-Right is the work of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. I argue that Hoppe’s views on such matters as racial difference, immigration, monarchism, and the desirability of culturally homogeneous communities are systematically mistaken, as well as incompatible with a libertarian understanding of human action.

My Molinari Institute / Center for a Stateless Society / Alliance of the Libertarian Left / Bleeding Heart Libertarians colleague Gary Chartier will also be speaking; here’s his topic and abstract:

How to Think About the Constitution
Gary Chartier

Libertarians often defend particular theories of constitutional interpretation. But, at least for those who are skeptical about standard defenses of state authority, there’s a prior question: are we obligated to follow the Constitution? If we’re not, I suggest, then there’s no right answer to questions about the right way to read the Constitution. Instead, we should make constitutional arguments likely to advance liberty.

Other speakers include David Friedman, Scott Horton, Jeff Tucker, Spencer MacCallum, and many more. Check it out!

Never a Note, Never a Trill

A tantalising bonus scene from Star Trek: Discovery has been released. I have no idea why this wasn’t included in the final episode; it’s pretty significant for the plot, and it would have made a great post-credits scene for the season finale (and given that the show’s on a streaming service, they’re a bit more flexible as to running time than a standard network show would be).

SPOILER WARNING: Do not watch this scene unless you have finished watching the entire first season of Discovery:

I Was Somewhere Around Barstow on the Edge of the Desert When the Memes Began to Take Hold

I’m back from my travels. In addition to my panels, I hung out with old friends in (though not from) San Diego, revisited old haunts (Ocean Beach, Cabrillo Monument, Old Town, Little Italy, Coronado, and Balboa Park), discovered two excellent breakfast places for terrific omelettes (Harbor Breakfast and Curadero), and rediscovered a third (Breakfast Republic).

On Sunday I rented a car and drove to Las Vegas across the Mojave Desert (via Barstow, indeed) for my next conference. It was wonderful to see Western vistas again, with horizons as they should be (i.e., far away, and featuring mountains peeking out behind mountains peeking out behind other mountains).

In Vegas I hung out with the Molinari/C4SS contingent. Randy Holcombe and Mike Munger both gave very left-libertarian presentations about crony capitalism, though they fell short of drawing the full left-libertarian anarchist moral.

A Trout in the Milk

Here’s a screenshot from the new Bullwinkle trailer:

And here’s a photo of my beloved Prague:

Notice any similarities?

(The Prague Conference on Political Economy is going on right now – wish I were there!)

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