May 6, 2006

"Uh. I'm sorry. I've called you that before and I got away with it."

On Open Source Radio, last Tuesday, I was introduced by the host Christopher Lydon like this:
"Ann Althouse is a lawyer and a libertarian among many other things..."

"Oh, I wouldn't call myself a libertarian. But go ahead."

"Uh. I'm sorry. I've called you that before and I got away with it."
(This comes about 21 minutes into the audio, streamable here.)

I suppose you should object to labels the first time. Why didn't I? Since I've started blogging, I've heard myself called a lot of things, and I tend to ignore really nasty things. (Why call attention to people who are insulting me?) Non-nasty things, I'm afraid I just let go too. At least it's not nasty. So why ever object? And why didn't I object to being called a lawyer? Am I closer to being a lawyer than to being a libertarian? I did practice law once, for two years, over two decades ago. But I've never been a libertarian. Haven't you noticed? How could you tell? For one thing, you need to take account of all the things I never talk about! If I were a libertarian, I'd have ready opinions on lots of topics that, in fact, I never write about. There are many problems that, for me, provoke only this thought: If it were my job to solve this problem, I would work on it, and, in this process working on it, anything I have to say about it now would be something I wouldn't waste my time on.


Jennifer said...

If you have to absorb "stinking white bitch", Libertarian would seem innocuous by comparison!

I heard that exchange on the program and loved his explanation.

Billiam said...

What ever happened to courtesy? especially to women? not to be the typical knuckle dragging Neaderthal, but, I was raised to show deference to women, as well as to speak respectfully to anyone I was conversing with, whether I agreed with them or not.

bearbee said...

I find it amusing when people attempt labels and those labels contradict other applied labels. Objecting to the label du jour inconsistently and every now and then will keep things humming and everyone on their toes.

David said...

Sounds like the person was more interested in a 'cute' tagline than in researching your bio and weblog site.

Apparently this guy is more interested in getting a laugh than conducting an intelligent discussion.

His loss.

Ann Althouse said...

David: Lydon does a great show, I think. It is put together a bit quickly, but I'm impressed by the subjects chosen and the guests he manages to line up. A lot of ground is covered in one hour too. Subscribe to the podcast. It's good!

Dave said...

Why don't you think you're a libertarian? You certainly seem to have a lot in common with some of them.

Am I missing something?

SteveR said...

Ann: Libertarian? No

I'm sure he's busy and when I heard that, he obviously seemed to not really know that much about you, or at least as much as those of us who read your blog regularly.

Seven Machos said...

My favorite blogs seem to be managed by people who I would call an assemblage of semsible, sophisticated, and in my view reconstructed Democrats -- people of the left, or formerly of the left who aren't caught up in labels and calling conservatives evil. To me, Althouse falls roughly in these parameters.

I am pretty conservative/libertarian, but I read few conservative blogs. Too many conservatives also want to just call the other side evil and be done with it.

Also, libertarians don't get taken seriously so it's suicide to get yourself labeled that way, even if that's what you are.

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: "Why don't you think you're a libertarian? You certainly seem to have a lot in common with some of them."

Read the original post. What don't I blog about?

Too Many Jims said...

"What don't I blog about?"


Menlo Bob said...

I heard the podcast on Wednesday and noted your objection. For what it's worth, it seems to me that Lydon is lockstep with liberals and feels no need to label them. You, on the otherhand, present him with a problem. You work in an occupation compatible to Lydon-types, but hold to views so unlike them that a label is necessary for purposes of distinction. Conservative--that's harsh. Throw her into that vague category of libertarian and be done with it. Yours was not the only mistake Lydon made. He seems unreliable...and that voice, ugh.