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Who the Fuck is Frank Zappa?

Born on this day — the radical individualist that was FZ. Look out for the forthcoming Who the Fuck is Frank Zappa? movie and also The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa hologram tour. Also well-worth a read is Barry Miles’ excellent biography reviewed by the redoubtable Camille Paglia in the NYT. Barry MilesCamille PagliaConservatismcultural criticismFrank Zappafree speechLibertarianismmusic

George Santayana

Born on this day: here are his SEP and IEP entries. Oddly enough neither lists Noël O’Sullivan’s nice little book, an overview by Max Teichmann here. “Catholic freethinker” was the playful label Bertrand Russell affixed to George Santayana, and a back-handed tribute to the readiness of the Spanish-American to examine, respectfully, many other systems of thought…

Oakeshott: born on this day

For those who’ve never read that most subtle, cultivated, humane and refined of minds Michael Oakeshott’s concerns resonate as deeply as ever. For the novice, I’d recommend his mid-career Rationalism in Politics, a most elegant collection of essays. A more difficult, but for me the vital underpinning cutting across all his work, is his equally elegant and…

Hume the humane

Julian Baggini on Hume. Hume was always suspicious of what he called ‘enthusiasts’ and it is perhaps telling that the meaning of this word now has an unambiguously positive meaning . . . To be an enthusiast in Hume’s sense is to forget one is human and act as though one were a god, sufficient in…

Conservative Moments

One of the contributors to this volume, the very excellent historian of ideas Efraim Podoksik, has alerted me to this about-to-be published title. Don’t let the typos on Bloomsbury’s page detract you. Conservatismefraim podoksikhistory of political thoughtLiberalismMark GarnettMichael OakeshottPolitical philosophy