Tuesday, January 30, 2007

DRUNKS WITH GUNS. The Ole Perfesser done wrote hisself (well, collaborated on) a paper, all about why Communitarians should hook up with the People of the Gun to make everyone, will-he nill-he, join a militia -- and not a statist militia-in-name-only like the National Guard, but something more like Boy's Night Out with shootin' ahrns.

It is strange that the Perfesser puts so much effort into reaching out to Amitai Etzioni and the Bowling Alone crowd. How many citizens out there proudly identify themselves as Communitarians?

One wonders why the Perfesser didn't tap into a more potent symbol of armed self-reliance: The Black Panthers of California. Back in the day they cheerfully exercised what was then the right of all Cali citizens -- open carry -- until Governor Ronald Reagan freaked out on whitey's behalf and signed the Mulford Act removing that right in 1967.

Oh wait, I'm sorry. One doesn't wonder at all.

There are all sorts of highlights in the document, but I especially liked the quote from an Andrew Lytle novel which the authors say "captures the spirit of community present in militias":
It wasn't long until riders from every section of the county came in, some of the younger and more spirited men shouting and taking on. But you'd see sober gentlemen of middle years, sitting straight in their saddles, ride by in a running walk as if they rode to musters every day. Those too poor to own stock, although there were not many of this condition, straggled in on foot.... Kin would meet that hadn't seen one another for a year or more; and the women would hardly run through the ailments of children and servants, with just a running start on the marriages and baptizing, when the musters came to an end. Such jollification you never saw. There were dinners on the ground, and red-mouth barbecue pits. The groceries knocked out the tops of their liquor barrels, and red whisky ran down gullets like rain after a dry spell.
Two things: first, it is amazing that the Perfesser, who is always going on about the latest electronic doo-dad he purchased (or had purchased for him by loving fans), would sigh over this low-tech, backwoods Arcadian scene. Were he transported back to such a time and place, he would probably go mad within days, holed up in his cabin trying to make a steam-powered iPod.

Second, if a combination of loaded semi-automatic rifles and whiskey running "down gullets like rain after a dry spell" is what the Perfesser is after, I say let him try it in Knoxville first. I am content to watch the fireworks from a distance.

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