The vast wasteland that is modern television is filled with the dredges of the worst ideologies, the sort of collectivist, socialist drivel that’s torpedoes plenty of good ideas and made bad ones even more unwatchable.
Fortunately, there’s a guide that picks out the diamonds glinting among the drudgery: Miss Liberty, a Web site and weekly newsletter freaturing the best in libertarian movies and television shows. The site hosts reviews of films featuring the classical liberal themes of limited government, lassiez faire capitalism, and individuality and news about upcoming or proposed releases.
The best part of Miss Liberty though, is its weekly e-mail newsletter called “Miss Liberty’s Film and Television Update”. The newsletter opens with commentary by its author, Jon Osborne, usually involving a review of a current movie or some theme in libertarian media as well as his personal picks for the week.
The meat of the update is a seven-day round-up of television shows with libertarian themes from the explicit, often raunchy humor of Comedy Central’s South Park to classic movies from the 40s and 50s running on AMC, to libertarian journalist John Stossel’s weekly ìGive Me a Breakî feature on ABC’s 20/20. It also mentions when similarly themed movies are playing in the theatres.
Each featured show — the newsletter averages about a dozen — is rated twice on a scale of 1 to 5. The first rating reflects how well it illustrates libertarian themes and concerns, the second deals strictly with its entertainment value. It often takes special care to note shows or films that are particularly popular with Objectivists.
Not surprisingly, science fiction and fantasy offerings are often featured in the newsletter. Recent favorites include The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with its battle against the tolitarian rule of Sauron and his One Ring and the X-Men, which features a government that fears and seeks to oppress its mutant citizens.
The site’s author has published a companion guide to the newsletter, a book called Miss Liberty’s Guide to Film & Video. It reviews over 200 libertarian-themed movies and TV shows, and it’s on my wishlist at Amazon.com.
Overall the newsletter is a great resource for anyone who espouses the virtues of liberty, and who is eager to find a guide to the digital desert.