Dear ITT Ideologist: Libertarian Clubbers and Privacy Violators

Pete Karman

(Illustration by Terry Laban )

Dear ITT Ideologist, 

Ever since I was a tyke I’ve felt entitled to anything I could grab. For instance, I used to swipe my little sister’s dessert and enjoy watching her cry while I ate it. As a result, my friendships are few. My therapist suggest I join a social or political organization to overcome my isolation. Do you have any suggestions along that line?

–A. P. Pall, Louisville, Ky.

Dear A.P.,

You sound like a perfect candidate for a Libertarian club, a place where avid types like yourself get together over coffee and pastries to exhibit their shrewd ruthlessness. These evenings typically end in duplicity and threats to get even. To keep their confabs from becoming too heated, members narcotize themselves by reading the turgid prose of Ayn Rand. Occasionally, they are roused from stupefaction by one of Rand’s more fiery pronouncements, such as: What are your masses but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it?” Inspiring phrases like these draw a chuckle and a rehashing of rumors about Rand’s purported dominatrix proclivities. 

Libertarianism holds that humankind’s greatest accomplishment is private property and its Bible takes the form of property deeds, stock certificates and other instruments of ownership. Libertarians josh that they would rather read a hundred mortgages than two pages Atlas Shrugged.

Dear ITT Ideologist,

I recently posted on Facebook a painstakingly detailed and intimately illustrated recounting of my sex life, my complete medical history, revelations about the secret sins of my family going back several generations, and, of course, my financial accounts and tax returns. This was meant strictly for my friends, neighbors, classmates and fellow workers. I was shocked to learn that Facebook has permitted this personal information to circulate freely on the Internet. You can imagine my mortification. Is there any action I can take to stem this gross violation of my privacy? 

–Lou Quacious, Blabber, Ala.

Dear Lou,

You’ll be happy to learn that, faced with increasing complaints like yours, Facebook is issuing a simple, 185-step set of controls that will better able you to manage the personal information that you have entrusted to this faceless corporation. By the by, is that stuff you do on that video with farm animals, rubber and pulleys painful?

Commercial Note:

A British royal of my acquaintance is offering access to her uncle, Lord Snively of Clutch, at 50 quid the event. Contact this column should you be in need of courtly contact.

Pete Karman began working in journalism in 1957 at the awful New York Daily Mirror, where he wrote the first review of Bob Dylan for a New York paper. He lost that job after illegally traveling to Cuba (the rag failed shortly after he got the boot). Karman has reported and edited for various trade and trade union blats and worked as a copywriter. He was happy being a flack for Air France, but not as happy as being an on-and-off In These Times editor and contributor since 1977.
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