July 10, 2001
As I push further into my fourth decade,1 less and less happens
the way I anticipate.2 Nothing bad, mostly, just disconcerting.
Take my work situation (please).3 I figured the slump chronicled
on these Web pages would have pushed me into
a chronic struggle, the kind that can result in taking one's meals at the
Yet so far, the biggest ordeal was the commute for my last contract. I
worked in the office of Guerra DeBerry Coody, a San Antonio advertising/media
firm next to the Riverwalk (created by James Joyce during a lull in his writing
career).4 There, around the ides of June, I wrote the user guide
for a software program, InfoCaesar. That application combines a search engine
with the database creation capabilities of a program like RoboHELP.5
InfoCaesar is neat, or will be once the developers fix its errors.
Meanwhile, I turned down one prospective job: I was asked to run for governor
OK. You can stop laughing now.
Seriously, C. David Eagle, Travis County Libertarian Party chairman, asked
me about campaigning in the 2002 election.6 Though intrigued,
The 1990 nominee, Jeff Daiell, is willing to run again.7 However,
Eagle and the other "partyarchs"8 want someone fresh (I know,
they don't come any fresher than me). In particular, they want someone who
can present a respectable, conservative image. The gubernatorial nominee
would be largely a paper candidate, while the Texas LP concentrates on down-ballot
races. Moreover, the Texas constitution makes the governor perhaps the weakest
in the union; he's not really expected to do much of anything, which is how
Texas survived "Dubya" and the annoying "Ma" Richards.9
I still declined. The problem isn't my politics. It's my sociocultural
baggage. My roots aren't deep enough. I'd be automatically designated the
"smart-ass Yankee carpetbagger"10 running against "two authentic
sons of the Lone Star State."11 (In this race, Gov. Rick Perry,
R-Haskell, and Tony Sanchez, D-Laredo or Marty Akins, D-Marble Falls.)12
Realistically, there's no way I could overcome that barrier outside of Austin
and the "Telecom Corridor" north of Dallas.13
Too bad Russell Means chose otherwise. The Indian activist-turned Hollywood
actor-turned resort manager sought and received the gubernatorial nomination
from the New Mexico LP.14
Whether he can retain the nomination is another matter. New Mexico law
prohibits convicted felons from seeking office. Means has a felony conviction
in South Dakota from his earlier days as an Indian activist that could be
pardoned — if his political enemies feel magnanimous.15
Moreover, Means has more baggage than an Samsonite warehouse.16
As an activist, Means switched repeatedly between declaring his rights as
a U.S. citizen and declaring his rights as a member of an independent sovereign
nation.17 Ultimately, he can't have it both ways.18
Then, in the mid-‘80s, when he lost his original non-Indian supporters
for fighting the Sandinistas, he declared in Reason magazine that his Indian
outlook was compatible with libertarianism.19 That's accurate,
to a point.20 Nevertheless, Means has never passed up an opportunity
to denounce the “Eurocentric” mentality that “dominates American society.”
Here's a passage from his autobiography:
Today, the dominant society in America is based
on believing [original emphasis] things – a linear mathematical concept
which comes from the head. Indigenous people share beliefs, but our actions
toward everything in the universe are governed by our feelings …. 21
Means' denunciation extends to the "unbridled free market,"22
"industrialization,"23 and even writing, as a form of "cultural
genocide."24 I doubt even Ishmael Reed, with whom Means shares
a provocative but inconsistently libertarian outlook, detests writing.25
Most recently, Means opposed Italians holding a festival in Denver, that
might refer to Columbus, as a form of “hate speech” not protected by the
The big question is why Means affiliates with the Libertarians, most of
whom favor what he denounces, and by his estimation, are “limited by their
linear, Eurocentric male mindset.”27 Perhaps the New Mexico LP
is dominated by whites indulging in guilt, “that corrosive vice of the civilized
during the twentieth century.”28
Means particularly focuses derogation, then and now, upon U.S. Rep. Ron
Paul, who defeated Means for the 1988 Libertarian presidential nomination.29
Means’ autobiography and interviews are peppered with errors and misrepresentations
toward Paul. (I met Paul in 1996. He is a consistent libertarian, a true
patriot and a man of honor – not a distinction I usually bestow upon officeholders.)
For example, Means and his supporters like to deride Paul as a crypto-Republican
using the LP as a vehicle to maintain his political career.30
In fact, Paul's involvement with the Libertarians predates Means’ by many
years, and Paul remains a lifetime LP member.31 Meanwhile, Means
sought the 1984 Republican vice presidential nomination as the running mate
of pornographer Larry Flynt. So Means himself is a former Republican-turned
Libertarian, which he conveniently neglects to mention outside of his autobiography.32
Means also claims in his autobiography that Paul lost his old seat in through
redistricting.33 In reality, Paul was unchallenged in his last
race for a House seat that had been redistricted by a Democratic Texas Legislature.34
Paul then ran for U.S. Senate in 1984, losing to Phil Gramm.35
The other big question is why Means chose New Mexico for his brand of politicking.
If Means continues to play the race card, it'll be part of a losing hand.
The Mexican political elites of the Democratic machine play the race card,
too.36 And as Catholics, they're less receptive to being guilt-tripped.37
Unfortunately for Means, guilty WASPs are a minority in the state.38
Also, Means’ vision must compete against advocates for a separate Southwestern
nation, “Aztlan.”39 The Aztlan vision implicitly excludes a place
for an Oglala/Lakota “patriot” who's relocated for business reasons.40
Unlike Means, however, the savviest Aztlan advocates are willing to use Anti-Federalist
and states’ rights arguments – i.e., Eurocentric arguments.41
The only end Means will accomplish is turning the New Mexico LP into a
I turned down such a spectacular career in politics in the confidence that
other opportunities abound. For instance, Austin businessmen are trying to
lure their California counterparts, according to the Austin Business Journal.42
The more the merrier, I say.
Those new employers, fleeing the days (and nights) of the locusts, will
find more vacant office space.43 Of personal interest: Dell is
moving out of the Plaza 35 offices where I worked earlier this year.44
Also of personal interest: Trilogy Software Inc. seeks to move out of its
headquarters and into the nearby offices where I worked as a contractor for
pcOrder (back when there was a pcOrder).45
The June 6 issue of New York Press contains an interview with elfin singer-songwriter-actor
Paul Williams, who is mounting a comeback.46 Now, while it's true
that if the Culture Wars were fought for real, and the equivalent of the
Nuremberg Trials were held, Williams would have to receive some sort of punishment
for inflicting upon the world "The Love Boat" theme and several tunes squawked
by Barbra Streisand.47 On the other hand, Williams did appear
in "The Loved One" ("The motion picture with something to offend everyone")
and "Phantom of the Paradise," the best film ever made about the rock music
Not to be outdone, the June 11 New York Observer contains a lecture by
Jerry Lewis, who managed to span the gamut of his personalities in just a
couple of hours. Hey, lady!49
Ain't it Cool News reports MTV will set its 11th season of "The Real World"
in Chicago.50 Doesn't the city that gave us David Mamet, Sun Ra,
Lou Rawls, Mike Royko, and John Belushi deserve better?51 Maybe
the cast can volunteer for the Chicago Crime Commission, which is on the
verge of dissolving because nobody thinks the Mafia operates in the Windy
City anymore, according to the July 2001 Esquire.52
Elvis Costello has released a new CD, a collaboration with Swedish mezzo-soprano
Anne-Sophie von Otter.53 The CD is the sonic equivalent of a Swedish
modular furniture piece. I'll stick with Per Madsen Design just the same.
James Ellroy, the self-described "demon dog of American literature," is
on tour flogging his new book, "The Cold Six Thousand."54 I caught
Ellroy at BookPeople, where he read excerpts and answered questions ranging
from the murder of Robert Blake's wife to his literary style, which he's
refined into a long string of short, rat-a-tat-tat sentences in hipster lingo
about various thugs and psychopaths hopped up while beating the fillings
out of suspects and witnesses.55 Dig it, daddy-O.56
Collector's Choice Music has has reissued a two-fer of albums by the recently
deceased Jack Lemmon.57 Yes, that Jack Lemmon. It is, dare I say,
an odd couple.58
1 Coupland, Douglas. Microserfs. New York City: Regan
Books, 1995: 15.
2 Foss, Nicolai J. “Austrian and Post-Marshallian
Economics: The Bridging Work of George Richardson.” 1996. Rpt. in Economic
Organization, Capabilities and Co-ordination: Essays in Honor of G.B. Richardson.
Ed. Foss and Brian J. Loasby. London: Routledge, 1998: 153.
3 Youngman, Henny, and Neal Karlen. Take My Life, Please.
New York City: William Morrow, 1991.
4 AAA Texas TourBook. Heathrow, Fla.: AAA Publishing,
1998: 126; “Car Dealers Sign With Guerra DeBerry.” Adweek Southwest.
7 Feb. 2000: 8B; Joyce, James. Finnegans Wake, corr. ed. 1967. Rpt.
New York City: Viking Press, 1982: 3.
5 Kobler, 238; Meade, Jim. RoboHELP 7 for Dummies.
Foster City, Calif.: IDG Books Worldwide, 1999.
6 Eagle, C. David, and Dan Eisler. Letter to Travis County
Libertarians. 28 Jun. 2001.
7 “Libertarian Candidates Nominated.” AAS 10 Jun. 1990:
8 Hess, Karl. “Factions: Something for Everyone.” LPN Spring
9 AD No. 20 (Aug. 27, 2000); “Arthur, Chester Alan” [R.W.
Bradford]. “Election ’90: How Freedom Fared.” Liberty Jan. 1991: 21+;
Eisler, Dan. “The Eyes of Texas.” E-mail to Arik Hesseldahl. 24 Jun. 2001;
Fehrenbach, T.R. Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, rev.
ed. New York City: Da Capo Press, 2000: Ch. 23; Hummel, Jeffrey Rogers. Emancipating
Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War. Chicago:
Open Court, 1996: 305, 313-315; Smith, Evan. “Two Fisted Texans.” Mother
Jones. Mar./Apr. 1996: 60.
10 AD No. 21n6 (Oct. 1, 2000).
11Eszterhas, Joe. American Rhapsody. New York City:
Alfred A. Knopf, 2000: 404-405.
12 King, Michael. “Political Trampoline.” AC 6 Jul. 2001:
28; Smith, Amy. “Looking for Tony.” AC 8 Dec. 2000: 34+; Stutz, Terrence.
“Years of Political Experience Culminate in Governorship.” DMN 22 Dec. 2000:
13 AD No. 21; EAD No. 11n2 (Jan. 11, 2000).
14 Trager, Jonathan. “Russell Means Launches Bid for Governor
of New Mexico.” LPN Jul. 2001: 1; Tyrrell, Steve. “Means Registers to Vote.”
Santa Fe New Mexican 6 Jul. 2001: A1.
15 Means, Russell, and Norman J. Wolf. Where White Men
Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means. New York City: St.
Martin’s Press, 1995: 341; Trager, ibid.; Tyrrell, ibid.; White, Richard.
"It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American
West. Norman, Okla. U of Oklahoma P, 1991: 586-588.
16 Beirne, Mike. “Samsonite Packs Starck for Saucy Travel
Gear, Eyes ‘Lifestyle’ Badge.” Brandweek 9 Oct. 2000: 6.
17 White, op. cit., 580-586.
18 Wolfe, Alan. “Alien Nation.” TNR 26 Mar. 2001: 30-36.
19 Arthur. “The Libertarians’ Quandary.” Liberty
Aug. 1987: 36-39; Dodge, Larry. “Russell Means.” Reason Aug./Sep.
1986: 20-25; Francis, Samuel. “The Other Face of Multiculturalism.” Chronicles
Apr. 1998: 37; Means, op. cit., Ch. 47-48.
20 Benson, Bruce L. "Enforcement of Private Property Rights
in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government." JLS Winter 1989: 1-27.
21 Means, op. cit., 536, 545-554.
See also Bradford. “The Liberty Interview: Russell Means.”
Liberty Mar. 1989: 17-20.
For a critique of Means’ critique, see Reisman, George.
Education and the Racist Road to Barbarism. Oceanside, Calif.: Second
Renaissance Books, 1990.
22 Means, op. cit., 480.
23 Ibid., 553.
24 Ibid., 545.
25 Martin, Reginald. Ishmael Reed and the New Black
Aesthetic Critics. New York City: St. Martin’s Press, 1988.
26 Bradford. “Russell Means What?” Liberty Dec.
See also Vargas Llosa, Mario. "Questions of Conquest:
What Columbus Wrought, and What He Did Not." Harper's Dec. 1990: 45.
27 Means, op. cit., 482.
28 Johnson, Paul. Modern Times: The World From the Twenties
to the Nineties, rev. ed. New York City: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991:
For another explanation behind the nomination, see "Big
Government Libertarians." Rothbard-Rockwell Report Nov. 1994. Rpt.
The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray
N. Rothbard. Ed. Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises
Institute, 2000: Ch. 16; Rothbard. “Freedom is for Everyone (Including the
Despised ‘Rightists’).” Liberty Mar. 1988: 44; Rothbard. “Life or
Death in Seattle.” Liberty Aug. 1987: 39-42; Sheldon, David. “The
Matter of America.” Idem., 42-44.
29 Arthur. “Convention Notes.” Liberty Nov. 1987:
9; Barone, Michael et. al. Almanac of American Politics 2000. Washington,
D.C.: National Journal, 1999: 1549-1552.
30 Arthur. “The Libertarians’ Quandary”; Bradford. “The
Liberty Interview: Russell Means”; Dentinger, John. "Strange Bedfellows:
The Libertarian/Conservative Misalliance." Liberty Mar. 1988: 37;
Means, Autobiography, Ch. 46; Robertson, John. Conversation with Eisler,
Ron Friedlander and Fred Hagen. 18-19 Dec. 1991. Cited in Eisler. “Reader
blasts ‘The New Libertarian,’ Anarchy.” Letter. The Oregon Libertarian,
Feb./Mar. 1994: S1; Eisler. “Win a Free Trip to Eastern Oregon!” Letter.
The New Libertarian Apr. 1994: 7.
31 Arthur. “The Only Libertarian in Congress.” Liberty
Jan. 1997: 37; Arthur. “Ron Paul Runs Again?” Idem., Nov. 1991: 44; Doherty,
Brian. “A Principled Maverick.” TAS Nov. 1999: 14; Paul, Ron, and Earl C.
Ravenal. “Nonintervention and the Reagan Foreign Policy – a Dialogue at the
LP/10 Convention.” Libertarian Review Nov./Dec. 1981: 27-28.
32 Means, Autobiography, Ch. 46.
33 Ibid., 485.
34 Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa. Almanac of American
Politics 1982. Washington, D.C.: Barone & Company, 1982: 1098-1099;
Barta, Carolyn. “Republicans Sweep Statewide Offices.” Texas Almanac 2000-2001.
Dallas: Dallas Morning News, 1999: 418-419; Congressional Quarterly’s
Guide to U.S. Elections, 2nd ed. Ed. John L. Moore. Washington, D.C.:
Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1985: 1055.
35 Barone et al., op. cit., 1550; Congressional Quarterly,
ibid., 1102; Frum, David. “Righter Than Newt.” ATLM Mar. 1995: 81; Judis,
John B. “What Sort of President Will Phil Gramm Make?” GQ Nov. 1994: 208-215+.
Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, succeeded Paul to represent the
22nd Congressional District. Barone et. al., ibid., 1569-1572; Lawson, Guy.
“ ‘I Look Mean.’ ” GQ Jun. 2001: 188-193+.
36 Barone et. al., ibid., 1065; White, op. cit., 320, 593,
595-596; Williams, Linda. Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and
White From Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP,
37 Gottfried, Paul. “The Religious Foundations of the Managerial
Therapeutic State.” Telos Summer 1999: 3-28.
38 Zoretich, Frank. “Southwest Shall Secede from U.S.,
Prof Predicts.” Albuquerque Journal 25 Apr. 2001: 4.
39 White, op. cit., 595-596; Zoretich, ibid.
40 Means, op. cit., Ch. 1-2, p. 554; Tyrrell, op. cit.
41 The Complete Anti-Federalist, Vol. I-VII. Ed.
Herbert J. Storing and Murray Dry. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1981; Kilpatrick,
James Jackson. The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1957; Zoretich, op. cit.
42 Piasecki, Mary Alice. “Groups Target Silicon Valley.”
ABJ 29 Jun. 2001: 1+.
43 Hudgins, Matt. “Occupancy Rate Drops.” ABJ 6 Jul. 2001:
1+; West, Nathanael. Day of the Locust. 1939. Rpt. Novels and Other
Writings. New York City: Library of America, 1997: 239-389.
44 Hudgins. “Dell to Put Space on Market.” ABJ 29 Jun.
45 AD No. 26; Hudgins. “Trilogy Gives Up Space.” ABJ 6
Jul. 2001: 3+.
46 Taylor, J.R. “Paul Williams.” NYPR 6 Jun. 2001, online
47 EAD No. 9n23 (Oct. 23, 1999); P. Johnson, op.
cit., 421-422; Salenger, Jon. “Paul Williams.” Retro Hell, 246; Steyn,
Mark. “Barbra Does Blackouts.” National Post 25 Jun. 2001: A14; Streisand,
Barbara, and Kris Kristofferson. A Star is Born. Monument/CBS 86021,
48 The Loved One. Filmways Pictures/MGM, 1965; Phantom
of the Paradise. Dir. Brian DePalma. Harbor Productions, 1974; Salenger,
49 Goldman, Andrew. “The Professor’s Still Nutty.” NYO
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50 Johnson, Hillary, and Nancy Rommelmann. MTV’s The
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already announced they're coming to Chicago.” 19 Jun. 2001. Ain’t It Cool
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51 Ciccone, F. Richard. Royko: A Life in Print.
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52 Kurson, Robert. “The Chicago Crime Commission.” Esquire
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53 Costello, Elvis, and Ann-Sophie von Otter. For the
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54 Ellroy, James. The Cold Six Thousand. New York
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55 AD No. 27 (May 23, 2001); Ellroy. American Tabloid.
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56 Beaulieu, Trace et. al. The Mystery Science Theater
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44; Ellroy. “Out of the Past.” GQ Nov. 1993: 258.
57 Harmetz, Aljean. “Jack Lemmon, Dark and Comic Actor,
Dies at 76.” NYT 29 Jun. 2001: A1; Collectors’ Choice Music Catalog
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Music WWCCM0205x, 2001.
58 The Odd Couple. Paramount, 1968.