Thermomixed Up, Part 8: The Rich Buddha

(Previously, Parts 1,  2,  3 , 4,  5, 6 and 7)

In the comment section of a previous post, on the subject of living one’s convictions, I suggested that former Gentleman Freddie deBoer did not possess a complete set of male genitalia, and in turn, Freddie accused me of being a pathetic, privileged, pornographer yachtsmen who lacks the standing to speak on the value of hard work.

Not very gentlemanly.

What percipiated this unfortunate exchange was this dilema posed by Freddie:

[I]f someone showed up with money to fund careers and let people live as political thinkers, raising families on a middle class existence, many from across the political spectrum would leap at the chance. But… if you have to choose between prominence and influence on one hand, or ideological purity and freedom on the other hand, which will you choose? It’s easy to say the latter. It’s harder to actually live with the consequences.

Freddie and I hold opposing views on this question of what’s easier to do when you can’t support a family with the fruits of your convictions.

Freddie believes it’s easier to write what you’re told to write and cash your paycheck. I believe it’s easier to get a job as truck-driver (or boat-captain) and do your political writing on a Blogger account.

Freddie, I’m sorry I insinuated that you are a coward and suggested you “grow a pair”. It was uncalled for, and I regret it.

I also apologize to my fellow Gentlemen and the readers and commenters here at the League.

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23 thoughts on “Thermomixed Up, Part 8: The Rich Buddha

  1. Hi David-
    I think Freddy’s point was that the latter option seems easy until you have to tell your child that this year won’t be the year they get new shoes for school, or Christmas presents, or 365 dinners. You may still disagree, but I am sympathetic to what I think might have been his larger point, which was not which choice was right, but rather that it the latter option might be easier said than done, especially for people who have never had to actualky deal with those consequences.

    More to the point, kudos on a stand up apology. Were you able to speak with Freddy directly?


  2. Freddie believes it’s easier to write what you’re told to write and cash your paycheck. I believe it’s easier to get a job as truck-driver (or boat-captain) and do your political writing on a Blogger account.

    Far be it for me to defend Freddie, but this is so unfair. Freddie was actually being uncharacteristically (for him) sympathetic to the plights of think-thank people in that comment. In real life, Freddie IS the guy who does his political writing on a Blogger account precisely because he’s allergic to being told what to write.



  3. I would think there’s considerably better evidence that Freddie lacks a complete set of genitalia.  His “Oh have I have suffered” shtick is thoroughly annoying, especially since when he fleshes it out, one discovers that, well, no, he hasn’t, so much.  But no doubt he feels everything much more deeply than us lesser folk.


  4. The apology was a stand up thing to do, but I still think you’re missing Freddie’s point, part of which (the lesser part) was that not everybody has the opportunity to be a boat captain if their movie-making career doesn’t let them say or do what they want. You are, to all appearances, a pretty privileged dude, which makes your opinion about what someone should do when forced to choose between providing for one’s family and remaining ideologically pure somewhat suspect. I’ll put it this way: a guy who thinks a $500 piece of equipment that doesn’t even work unless it’s added to tens of thousands of dollars worth of other equipment is getting of cheap probably doesn’t have the sort of perspective required to make this call.


        • Oh nonsense. Freddie is speaking in the very narrow and privilaged context of how political think tanks are funded and the Koch take-over of the Cato Institute, and in a thread started by a well-educated, culturally well-placed man who’s a partner in a two-income, one child household.

          The struggles of every man this is not. If Jason (and other who aspire to “live as political thinkers”) cannot afford his conscience, then none of us can — and what a pitiful poor world that would be.


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