L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 152, December 17, 2001
NOW THAT'S JUST MEAN!
The Sounds of Silence
by L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to TLE
It has fallen strangely quiet around my house these days.
For quite a number of years, since sometime early in the Clinton Administration, I've had a radio in each room in my home (yes, even there) so that no matter what I was doing, or where I was doing it, I could listen to various commentators ripping huge, bloody slabs out of left-wing socialism and its vile, cartoon-like cast of advocates and promulgators.
It was fun, at a time when all else about politics was definitely not. I'd begin each morning with a Denver talk show host I don't like very much, chiefly because he isn't a very good conservative and he blames it on the claim that he's a "social" libertarian. Trust me, a libertarian he ain't, not of any kind. He's an amoral pragmatist of the lowest sort, a self-confessed "sports socialist" -- meaning he'll gladly steal your money to build any stadium that sports corporations want built -- and sucks up to anyone he perceives has some political power.
When I'd had enough of him (as Paul Harvey says, he'd want me to mention his name), I'd turn to a different station and listen to Rush Limbaugh. Rush was the one who started me listening to talk radio, mainly because -- unlike the previous feeb and most left-wing radio creatures -- he was never rude to his callers unless they deserved it. True, I disagreed with him fully half of the time, but it was a very different half than I was used to disagreeing with, and I enjoyed that.
I always felt (and still do) that Rush more or less saved America from the Clintons by transforming them from whatever they had wanted to be in history and the public eye, into what they were: a pathetic, fun-house mirror image of Evita Peron and her consort, an incontinent, priapic, bloodthirsty, murderous, Stephen Kingish version of Bozo the Clown. These days, of course, I wonder who'll save us from George W. Bush.
After Rush -- most recently -- I'd listen to Michael Reagan, a man of whom it might have been written that his mind wanders, but it's too weak to get very far. Reagan's just as ignorant of history, economics, and the law as any public school teacher or the hairsprayheads reading local TV news. He's almost illiterate, to boot. Reagan's malapropisms outnumber Limbaugh's eight to one, as do his embarrassingly absurd pronouncements about abortion. The last time I listened to him he was loftily proclaiming that a clone can't have a soul, although he never offered any explanation as to how he'd arrived at that doubly silly conclusion.
Before Reagan, I listened to G. Gordon Liddy. I probably agreed with him more of the time than anybody else on talk radio. His view of personal honor and courage are very similar to mine, almost Klingon in quality. He's extremely well-educated and articulate, with a wicked, subtle sense of humor. He's a former military officer and FBI agent. He's a lawyer who's also been a convict, and that's got to count for a great deal -- more lawyers ought to be convicts. However, both of the nearby radio stations that carried his program changed to a horrible country-western format, and that was the end of my listening to the "G-Man".
I hate even to contemplate what Michael Medved must sound like now.
I've written about Ken Hamblin, the "Black Avenger", before. In one sense, he was a breath of fresh air, in another -- especially in his mindless support for whatever the cops want to do our rights, our property, and our lives -- he was an old wheeze. I don't know how he's faring. He got squeezed out of his home market, Denver, by a coalition of white bedwetters and a lynch-mob he infuriated by calling "quota blacks", mainly for saying what so many had seen in the past, but few had had the guts to say, that America's inner cities are deliberately kept in the state they're in -- where nothing ever gets better and no problem ever gets solved, but everybody gets his government welfare check -- because they're intended as breeding grounds for Democratic voters.
Hamblin's also reviled for having said that every liberal should own his own Negro, and that the reason there's such a disproportionate number of black people in prison and on Death Row is that "They did it!"
It would be hard even for Walter Williams to top that, but I'm not listening to Walter, either, these days, and I'll tell you why. Every one of the individuals I've mentioned so far (I don't know for sure about Walter and I don't really want to find out) supports this evil and irrational war the Bush Administration is waging on two fronts -- against ten-year-old goatherds and pregnant women in Lower Slobovia, and against the Bill of Rights at home -- and I do not want to hear it.
I'm not interested in the war news, either, thank you. This isn't World War II where at least we confronted the Nazis and the Empire of Japan. It isn't even Korea or Vietnam. I know the news already, and so do you. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we bombed another impoverished Neolithic village to dust, and the Enemy is on the verge of collapse (exactly where he would have been if we'd never fired a single shot). Having suffered more from "friendly fire" than any enemy action, we will sooner or later create a government that suits us and conduct a "phased withdrawal" that will never end because it will never really begin.
On the homefront, anyone who doesn't have one of the new computers that leaves an identifying cybermarker on whatever government-approved website he or she happens to visit, will be compelled to register his or her computer immediately with the Heimatsicherheitdienst -- the Office of Homeland Security -- purely in the interest of saving us all from terrorism, you understand. All hard drives will be scanned during the registration, and any offensive files will be erased. They'll put a white paper band around your monitor that says, "Sanitized for your protection".
By the way (more future news), the ATF is extremely sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused by the month-long shutdown of the federal firearms purchasing registration system. There's a war on, don't you know, and they have a personnel shortage. Too many people have been transferred to the FBI, where they're busy reading your e-mail.
No, I'm not following the war news, thank you. I get enough of that crap from the Internet already -- mostly from former friends of mine I once foolishly believed were libertarians -- which is why the radios in my home have not been turned on since September 11. Rush Limbaugh isn't the most dangerous man in America any more, he's just a pimp.
What I find myself doing, instead, is listening to Christmas music on MSN.com while I answer my e-mail. Did you know there are symphonic versions of both "Jingle Bell Rock" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?" Nearly every day I dream of having my own radio show. I've come close to doing it, once or twice. People who read my articles and books know the range of my interests, talents, and education. And the professionals who interview me usually compliment me, off-mike, on my voice. I've even been considering the possibility of doing it over the Internet.
Something has to be done, and that's for certain. Exactly like the once-great, now-fallen newspapers that came before them, the nation's conservative radio hosts used to be voices of dissent, opposing the growing tyranny of an all-devouring superstate. They used to be for freedom.
Now I guess it's up to us libertarians.
Anybody got a spare radio network they can lend me?