My exchange with “Jayne Cobb”

Today, we descend into the dubious ground of celebrity name-dropping…

One of my favorite things that’s ever been on television was “Firefly,” the space western (you have to watch it to grok that description) that lasted less than a season several years ago — which says about everything that needs to be said about commercial television.

My favorite character on the show was Jayne Cobb. Actually, he’s my public, admitted favorite character. My actual, secret favorite is Kaylee, but being a happily married guy, I don’t want to admit that, so my official favorite is Jayne.

Jayne is, that is, was played by Adam Baldwin, who has a Twitter feed that differs from other Hollywood actors’ in that you won’t read Tweets like, “Yoga class was awesome today! Off to a lunch, then rehearsal.”

Mr. Baldwin tweets about politics, and from a decidedly, shall we say, muscular conservative perspective (even though he apparently once Tweeted this).

Last night, I saw this post:

Adam Baldwin @adamsbaldwinAdam Baldwin

“Repressive Tolerance”: -> -> -> = #RepressiveCivility

This really impressed me. I hadn’t heard that phrase since I had studied the absurd theories of Herbert Marcuse, the intellectual father of the New Left, who game up with the Orwellian-sounding concept of “repressive tolerance.” Which, in my paraphrase, means that liberal societies are repressive because they manipulate people by being… tolerant. In other words, they absorb, co-opt and redirect revolutionary fervor by not particularly caring about it. This makes people who really, really want to be angry revolutionaries even angrier, of course, because it makes it impossible for them to keep others angry. You’re a revolutionary — red rag on your head and everything — and you’re like, “We demand reform!” and the maddening liberal society goes, “OK, here’s your reform,” and next thing you know, nobody cares enough to show up at your revolutionary cell meetings, and you’re like all ticked. OK, go read another definition if you don’t like that one.

We UnPartisans are often amused by the silly things that theorists come up with on the right AND the left, and Marcuse was one of the leading unintentional jesters of the left.

Anyway, I was impressed enough to reTweet this:

Brad Warthen

@BradWarthenBrad Warthen

Wow! A TV actor citing Marcuse! RT @adamsbaldwin: “Repressive Tolerance”: ->>…

And to my amazement, I quickly got this reply:

Adam Baldwin @adamsbaldwinAdam Baldwin

@BradWarthen Herbert Marcuse, an #IntellectualMoron –>

So I’m like:

Brad Warthen

@BradWarthenBrad Warthen
@adamsbaldwin Oh, I agree, Adam. I just thought it was cool that you mentioned him. Haven’t run across his silly concept since college…

Because I’m thinking, “I don’t want to tick off Jayne Cobb. You know how he is.” And then he’s like:

Adam Baldwin @adamsbaldwinAdam Baldwin

@BradWarthen Seen this one:

Of course, the Obama/Alinsky connection wasn’t new to me, although I don’t fret about it the way people on the right do. But I then answered with these two Tweets:

@adamsbaldwin Nope, but that reminds me. I’ve been meaning to read the recent biography of Alinksy, “Radical”

@adamsbaldwin Of course, since it’s written by Nicholas Von Hoffman, it’s an “homage.” But if you know that, it still can be informative…

I figured I’d better add that last bit, since he was likely to dismiss it from such a source, and I wanted to head that off.

Then, I went home for the day, and didn’t get any more Tweets from Mr. Baldwin. Nor did I send any. But I enjoyed it while it lasted. And now, I’ll be interested to see whether an exchange like that with someone with almost 50,000 followers will boost my own followership (and ultimately, blog readership, which for me is the point of social media).

Can’t tell yet…

30 thoughts on “My exchange with “Jayne Cobb”

  1. Brad

    Well, this is extra cool. After this post went up, @adamsbaldwin Tweeted this:

    #FollowFriday!–> | RT @BradWarthen“My Twitter exchange with ‘Jayne Cobb’ (@adamsbaldwin, that is)…” –

    … and also started following me. Which means that about a dozen of HIS 50,000 followers started following me as well, such as Miles above. (Personally, I still haven’t figured out how that FF thing works, but it does seem to work…)

    So let me say, welcome to all of you (if you got this far).

    And thank you, Adam Baldwin! I appreciate the boost.

    This puts me very close to my own first 1,000 followers. Now that I’m at 982, it’s just a matter of days now, I figure…

  2. jfx

    This also puts you very close to Donald Trump. I noticed Mr. Baldwin is following him. Only a matter of time before The Donald busts up in here. This blog is about to jump the…ah hell I’m sick of that phrase. Mary Worth killed it.

  3. Phillip

    Marcuse may have the last laugh yet. We may be reaching a stage in world history where the inherent incompatibility between capitalism and democracy, each followed to its own logical end, becomes apparent. One of the two has to bend a little bit in order for the two to coexist? Which will it be?

  4. jfx

    I didn’t know about Marcuse, but if his Wikipedia entry is mostly accurate, it sounds like, hardcore post-WWII Marxism not withstanding, he did some good work for the Allies during and after the war.

    Guy was apparently anti-Nazi to the core. Also hated being called the father of the New Left. Not my cup of tea, necessarily, but hardly an “intellectual moron”, either. You listenin’, Adam Baldwin? You and Trump ready for a throwdown?

    Is there such a thing as muscular rationalism?

  5. Brad

    And Phillip — my explanation, based on my memory from my course in “U.S. Social and Intellectual History after 1865” back in college (probably my favorite course ever), was a little off. You should follow the link above for an explanation of what Marcuse meant — which, I’m afraid, was still offensive. Mine is closer to the bastardized definition (co-optation) that evolved from it.

    But I’m leaving it up because, as with the one the other day, I like my explanation better. Life is more pleasant if you take Marcuse and Brown (my professor spoke of “Marcuse and Brown” so often that it sounded like one person), with a big spoonful of irony.

  6. Brad

    OK, Burl, now I AM getting excited. Joss Whedon just Tweeted this:

    Poll results: In what form would you like to see Firefly return? -> Television series: 42%, Serenity 2: 15%,

    I followed the link, and it was a poll site that I had trouble getting to work. But I’m pumped that he’s raising the question…

  7. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    I think it’s better as TV than a movie. It’s the ongoing relationships among/between(for the Fowler purists) the characters far more than the plots….

  8. Phillip

    I agree with Kathryn—besides, a movie is just a one-time thing, 2 to 3 hours and that’s it. We want at least a few more YEARS of Firefly. Plus, it might keep Adam Baldwin too busy to indulge his Beckian flights of paranoia.

  9. Brad

    If only Wash had been hanging out in a “hospitality district” that day they landed on Miranda… although, come to think of it, if he hadn’t been there flying like “a leaf on the wind,” the rest of them wouldn’t have landed there safely…

  10. Brad

    I wonder what it would take to get the whole crew together to renew the series. “Mal” says he’d do it, even though he’s already got a show. “Jayne’s” working pretty steady, too — but then, he usually is. “Kaylee” always sounds like she’s working, on Twitter, but I don’t know what it is she’s doing. That leaves “Zoe” and “Inara” among the surviving crew members, and I haven’t heard anything from them lately. (And oh, yeah — the Tams, if you don’t think their story line has played out.)

    I’m guessing the pay would have to be pretty good to get them all back together — that, and a contract guaranteeing a certain number of episodes. They’ve been burned before.

    Of course, we’d have to get “Saffron” away from Mad Men…

  11. Scout

    Inara is the evil head V – Anna – on V right now. It is such a completely different character that I did not even realize it was the same human being until I read it. But it really is her.

    River was on Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, but that got canceled. But now she is on The Cape. Seems like I saw the doctor somewhere too, but I can’t remember where.

    Can it be a prequel so Wash can be there?

  12. Phillip

    @Scout, yes a prequel, so they can also bring back Shepherd Book. For all the young actors whose careers Whedon jumpstarted (Fillion…see his turn as Caleb the Preacher in the late BTVS episodes…Alison Hannigan, David Boreanaz), one of his most inspired casting moves was finding a great role for good ol’ Lt. Ron Harris.

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