The more I think about it, the less respect I have for the trite, and supposedly pragmatic, attack some people make on tattoos. It goes something like this: “How will that look when you’re 80?”
Basically, who gives a rat’s ass?
My suspicion is that by the time one gets to 80 years old, other areas of concern–like pooping regularly without help and figuring out whence that scratchy hair in strange places came–will dominate. You won’t be worried about whether or not your Celtic Cross still looks just as good as it used to!
The condition of your tats, and frankly, what anyone else thinks about how they look, won’t be in the Top 25 Things About Which to Worry. On top of that, let’s say you got that tattoo at 30. I submit that 50+ years of enjoyment ain’t too bad. Of course, YMMV.
With the recent release of the first part of the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged (see Matthew Alexander’s review on Prometheus Unbound), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) — via LearnLiberty.org – brings us this interview with Professor Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, on how Ayn Rand fits into the classical liberal tradition.
In this video, Prof. Burns explains three classical liberal themes in Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged: individualism, suspicion of centralized power, and free markets. These themes come to life through the novel’s plot and characters and give the reader an opportunity to imagine a world where entrepreneurship has been stifled by regulations and where liberty has been traded for security. Burns ends by reviving Rand’s critical question: do you want to live in this kind of world?
I mentioned Dorothy Day in passing in yesterday’s post. Specifically I named her as part of the Catholic pacifist-anarchist tradition. A couple of readers asked about whether or not Day was actually an anarchist, as they had always heard she was a socialist. I referred one reader to a short article on Day that noted her status as an anarchist, but I didn’t feel that was adequate.
By chance, my wife who is working on an unrelated research project about feminism, happened to pick up some books about Day at the library today. One of the books is The Moral Vision of Dorothy Day: A Feminist Perspective by June E. O’Connor. I thumbed through it and found the following passage, which I think provides a far more satisfying explanation of Day’s views:
Although she preferred the words libertarian, decentralist and personalist to anarchist, Day’s attraction to anarchism was an enduring one. With Peter Maurin and others, most notably Ammon Hennacy and Robert Ludlow, Dorothy Day sought fundamental changes in the structure of society by minimizing the presence and power of the state and by arguing on behalf of personal initiative and responsibility expressed in direct action.
Whether acting alongside of or in spite of Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day believed in the power of the person as the starting point for the good society. Day described anarchism as being “personalist before it’s communitarian: it begins with living a disciplined life, trying to be what you want the other fellow to be.” Day admitted that although one must assume responsibility oneself, the fact is that many others will not. When they do not, one must simply try to understand them, given their sufferings and their backgrounds, and accept them.
…Anarchists are not so much politicians or sociologists as they are moralists; their stand is not so much political and economic as it is spiritual and ethical.
[Well, anarchists aren't politicians at all, but this is still a nice observation about anarchism.]