Ted McAllister was puzzled (in a nice way) about some of the features of my post about his pro-Bohemian post. Because he wasn’t man enough to post his concerns on our site and boost our fabulous ratings even further, I’m not going to link his comments. Nonetheless, his questions should be obvious from my answers.

Ted—Maynard G. Krebs—from the semi-classic 50s show DOBIE GILLIS—was famous for his beard (sure sign of a Beatnik in the 50s), his slovenly dress, and especially his aversion to work. Russell Kirk, whom I also admire, couldn’t really hold a normal job. The same might be said of numerous professors, but Russell even found being a State U. professor too stultifying. Kirk’s political judgments are very uneven, and that’s not why anyone serious would read him. There are others who are masters of prudence but are boring otherwise, like the used-to-be-underrated Eisenhower or even the erotically challenged Bob Dole. Burke, to recall the controversy at our ISI conference (where our Ralph Hancock was accused of caricaturing in the Straussian mode the great Edmund), scores really high on the prudence-meter and at least moderately high on the bohemian one. But he’s the exception who proves the rule. Otherwise, it seems we BOHEMIANS are pretty close to agreement about having more natural and loving lives, which are even possible in McMansions and megachurches in the suburbs of our South (or at a university with a bizarre name in Malibu with a stunning view of the ocean and fit California girls). And we agree on not getting way existential about the farm. I’m no Lockean, as you know, although we’re stuck with what the judicious Ralph called Locke’s inconvenient partial truth about our freedom.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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