Holbo in Austin, Talking

by John Holbo on September 13, 2012

When I walked in the door, a nice lady, walking out, smiled brightly and said ‘Howdy!’ So it seems I’m in Texas – Austin, to be specific.

I’m giving a talk tomorrow, if anyone cares to come and listen. Talk title is: “Liberal, Conservative, Utopian: Political Philosophy and its Missed Contents”. Talk is based on longer manuscript stuff slated to be published eventually – one always hopes. I’ll see about posting that stuff, a bit later, in draft form. For the talk I just turned my unmanageably large ms. into a series of sub-New Yorker gag cartoons, because it wouldn’t fit otherwise. It’s a surefire strategy for talk success! (It’s not like you can refute a cartoon, after all.)



J. Otto Pohl 09.13.12 at 5:59 pm

Where are the cartoons?


John Holbo 09.13.12 at 6:28 pm

I’ll post them later. Those who attend the talk get to see them first. (Of such small privileges is a full life eventually filled!)


J. Otto Pohl 09.13.12 at 6:33 pm

Pay for my ticket to Texas and I will go see the talk.


Substance McGravitas 09.13.12 at 6:36 pm

GHANIAN LETTER. Don’t fall for it.


SEK 09.13.12 at 7:05 pm

It’s not like you can refute a cartoon, after all.

Just watch me.


Caroline Abbott 09.13.12 at 7:21 pm

Say hello to my friend Eldon Eisenach if you get a chance — best wishes to all for a stimulating conference.


LFC 09.13.12 at 8:28 pm

As long as we’re doing this: say hello to my old friend (somewhere between an old friend and an old acquaintance) Alan Gilbert if you get a chance. (Btw, I’m not as old as he is. ;). )


Russell Arben Fox 09.13.12 at 8:28 pm

John, will this talk features some of the same Colonel Blimp cartoons that you used in that panel on conservatism that you and I and Henry Farrell and Damon Linker and Scott McLemee were on, years and years ago? If so, cool–I’ve always hoped what you produced there would get published someday. Wish Austin was closer; I’d blow off class tomorrow to get down there, if it wasn’t an eight hour drive.


rf 09.13.12 at 8:48 pm

My Aunt actually lives in Austin and I don’t get to see her much. Could you pass on my best? :) (I put a smiley in there so my good humour wasn’t mistaken for snark, although I feel it weakens the gag – which is hilarious)


John Holbo 09.13.12 at 8:50 pm

Hi Russell, yes the Blimp stuff is in there. This stuff is descended from all that. I’ll send it to you. An 8 hour drive would be excessive on my behalf.


John Holbo 09.13.12 at 8:53 pm

How about if I just greet the whole city on behalf of the entire crooked timber readership. I could wear a sandwichboard to that effect.


LFC 09.13.12 at 8:55 pm

sounds good


tatere 09.13.12 at 9:35 pm


Sam Alexander 09.13.12 at 9:58 pm

When I walked in the door, a nice lady, walking out, smiled brightly and said ‘Howdy!’

Did you respond? She might have been asking “Howdy?” not simply saying “Howdy!”

I ask simply because the last time I howdy’ed a real Texan he replied with, “I’m fine,” which I was not expecting but makes sense in retrospect.


phosphorious 09.13.12 at 10:59 pm


But if you see Frank Gannon, make a point of NOT saying “hi.”

He knows why.


Willie Buck Merle 09.13.12 at 11:42 pm

Keep your wits about you on 6th street & such.


Western Dave 09.14.12 at 1:37 am

Came late to the Teen/Movie Western thing and comments are closed already (wtf?) and can’t believe you all made 100+ comments and nobody mentioned Valley Girl, Gregory’s Girl, or Red River all of which are totally awesome.


Tom Hurka 09.14.12 at 2:54 am

If you’re in Austin go hear some goddam music one night — “live music capital of the world” and all that. Last conference I was at there all the younger folks were “too tired” and I had to go hear Neko Case all by myself.


ChrisTS 09.14.12 at 4:12 am

Austin, according to self-proclaimed “real Texans,” is not Texas. :-)


engels 09.14.12 at 5:26 am

Give my regards to this guy:


Jana 09.14.12 at 10:59 am

When I walked in the door, a nice lady, walking out, smiled brightly and said ‘Howdy!’

I love action prologues.


bianca steele 09.14.12 at 1:02 pm

What kind of sandwichboard? Bring back some barbecue or chili for the rest of us?

I had some luck with the “Firefox not refreshing CT main page” problem if anyone’s interested, btw.


LFC 09.14.12 at 2:28 pm

Just for the record: the people named @6 and 7 (‘say hello to X’) are participating in the conference. (Things got out of control after that.)


Salient 09.15.12 at 4:52 pm

(It’s not like you can refute a cartoon, after all.)

This was just begging for somebody to charge the stage with a magic marker and scrawl a giant X over the projector screen, crying “I REFUTE YOU THUSLY!” But yeah, it’s also why any lefties interested in successfully infiltrating a major media outlet should probably angle to install a political cartoonist, not a reporter/editor. Not much money in it, but surely if you can get by with cartoons of people using Al Gore’s book as fireplace kindling on a winter’s day, you can get away with pretty much whatever you want. Can’t refute a cartoon, but a cartoon can pretty much refute anything.


John Holbo 09.17.12 at 10:33 pm

Well, I’m finally back home in Singapore. Trip took a bit too long, with a forced layover in Tokyo. Also, as you may have read, there was a bomb scare in Austin, as a result of which I was deprived of audio-visual accompaniment. (But I still got to say my piece, just in Sanford Levinson’s living room, and at slightly less than full length.)

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