Paleo Retiree writes:

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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11 Responses to Linkathon

  1. Toddy Cat says:

    If you define “conservatism” as the classic “Throne and Altar” conservatism of the 19th century European reaction, no we don’t. But America does have a conservatism of its own, on its own terms, and one could argue that even “Throne and Altar” conservatism was merely a reaction to the French Revolution, rather than a true organic growth, just as American “conservatism’ was a reaction to the rise of the New Deal state and the threat of global Communism. Put in those terms, almost no one has “real” conservatism. But to be honest, I’m not sure what difference it makes. According to Deneen, I’m a “Right-Liberal”. Ok, so what? Conservatism isn’t really a political philosophy anyway, and European “Throne and Altar” conservatism would not have looked conservative to a Byzentine Roman of 900 AD, not at all. So color me unimpressed.


    • Conservatism’s a slippery thing … One political scientist I like (Jeremy Shearmur) argues that the U.S. has never had a genuinely conservative tradition. Instead we’ve had two brands of liberalism: market liberalism (today’s Repubs) and welfare liberalism (today’s Dems). Patrick Allitt (whose series for the Teaching Company I liked a lot) takes a more pragmatic attitude — something along the lines of “conservatism is what people who call themselves conservative do.”


      • Toddy Cat says:

        “Conservatism is what people who call themselves conservative do.”

        There’s a lot of truth to this, and personally, I get tired of the endless conservative navel-gazing on this issue. No wonder they keep getting beaten! I’m not sure if I’m a true “conservative” or not, and personally, I don’t care. I believe that societies work better, architecture is more beautiful, religion truer and more satisfying, and people’s lives happier when they are informed by tradition – not blindly following tradition, not enslaved to tradition, but informed by a decent regard for tradition, in whatever field it may be. If this makes me a conservative, fine. If not, that’s OK too. Having to label everything is part of how we got into this mess. By the way, thanks for the links. You always manage to find stuff that makes me think.


  2. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    I once got into a giant argument with a gf who insisted that Jenna J. was “exploited.” I had to repeatedly point out that she was a successful performer and businesswoman who, in all likelihood, was really grateful for her career. The more I argued, the deeper my hole got. I don’t think I got laid that night.


    • Marilyn Monroe was exploited. Jenna Jameson is a savvy businesswoman who knows what she’s doing.


    • There are a few things that amuse and infuriate me about the usual discussions about porn and porn performers. One is the assumption that everyone who isn’t a porn performer is the very picture of mental and emotional health. Sure, if you nose around the porn world you’ll find drug abusers, people with unhappy family backgrounds, etc. But are you really telling me that you won’t find similar things if you nose around, say, the respectable media world? As someone who spent decades in it, I can testify that there’s plenty of drugs, booze, and unhappy families in it.

      Another thing that annoys me is the presumption that the critic knows better what these people should be doing with their lives. First, that’s … presumptuous. Second: really? Porn performers of the usual DVD-porn-performer type are often working-class people. If they weren’t doing porn they’d be kindergarten teachers, mechanics, bouncers, waitresses. But, because they’re attractive and can do sex in front of crowds and cameras, they get to go the porn route instead. Do you really want to say to them: “No, you don’t get to use your beauty and talent and sexiness. Instead, I hereby sentence you to a lifetime of being a security guard and/or barmaid”?


  3. agnostic says:

    Nudie movie girls may not have suffered abuse, but they are greater drug users. And more narcissistic than other women (“it’s all about me”), hence the high levels of self-esteem, etc.

    That this is narcissism rather than just being mentally healthier can be seen in their response to someone reminding them how shameful their job is, like something where you’d die if you found out your daughter, sister, or wife were doing it. The response is dismissive, like “Well someone else would do it anyway, might as well be someone hot like me” or “Well I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I do whatever I want,” etc. Not mulling it over and maybe changing or maybe not, depending on how much they valued the shamer. Just blanket dismissal.

    Same response as tort lawyers.


  4. agnostic says:

    In related news:

    “Of the 174 juveniles arrested on prostitution-related charges in Los Angeles County in 2010, 59% were in the foster care system, according to Probation Department statistics.”,0,7344639.story

    Our culture’s obsession with porno chicks makes for nice 3am bull sessions, whether you’re liberal, conservative, feminist, or otherwise. Are they exploited or not? Do they need rescuing, protection, and so on, or not? But the fact that those debates are bull session material means that there’s no immediately clear answer, and are probably of little importance.

    Underage hookers, and teenage runaways in general, are a larger and more obvious problem, even though their job is similar enough to shooting a porno. They really do come from bad backgrounds, are in a more miserable state now, and could definitely benefit from community or government involvement in their lives.

    Conservatives and feminists seem to have lost focus on real problems like this, where tangible and meaningful results could be achieved, and to have shifted to more symbolic debates that just signal to the audience what school of thought the speaker belongs to.


  5. Zimriel says:

    For the Conservative tradition in America: George FitzHugh. Also Robert Lewis Dabney. For the distaff side, Myrta Avary. Or any one of dozens of other statesmen and -women linked at the other U.R. . . .


  6. Pingback: Whazza Conservative? | Uncouth Reflections

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