Announcing #DogShirtTV: #BookShirts
Join us on September 18, 2023 for the launch of #BookShirts, the first show on the revived #InLieuOfFun network.
Yes, the time has come to launch the first of what I hope will be a number of successor shows to #InLieuOfFun. I’m calling the new network #DogShirtTV—so Newsmax and One American Network beware!
And the first show, which should really scare the shit out of them, is going to be called #BookShirts. And it’s gonna be conversations with the authors of books I am reading.
You’re all invited. Here’s how it’s gonna work.
Each time I schedule an episode of #BookShirts—and this one will take place on Sep. 18 at 8:00 pm Eastern time—I will announce it on #DogShirtDaily. I will also post a live-stream link to the #InLieuOfFun YouTube Page—which you should all follow.
In this case, the livestream link is here:
This link is available to anyone. The public can watch for free.
To participate in the conversation, however—to ask questions, either in writing or orally, to be part of the Greek Chorus, so to speak—you need to be one of my cherished paid subscribers. For you guys, there is a Zoom invitation below to the webinar in which the conversation will take place.
I ask that you please not share the Zoom information with non-subscribers.
The idea of #BookShirts is going to be to have serious conversations about new books in the format we have been using for Lawfare Live and which Kate Klonick and I forged in hundreds of iterations of #InLieuOfFun: that is, improvisational and wholly unscripted—with active audience participation.
I also plan to use the series to discuss books that aren’t new but that I have recently read and found compelling for one reason or another. For example, as I continue my research on American authoritarianism, I will be definitely inviting some authors of books related to this subject on the show.
I was eager to start the series, however, with this new book from Sean Mirski, an attorney in town whom I have known since he was a Lawfare student contributor years ago. Sean is a really bright guy and has been working on this book—which is a riveting read, by the way—for a number of years. I am delighted that it is finally out and ready for discussion. Here’s the publisher’s description of it:
What did it take for the United States to become a global superpower? The answer lies in a missing chapter of American foreign policy with stark lessons for today
The cutthroat world of international politics has always been dominated by great powers. Yet no great power in the modern era has ever managed to achieve the kind of invulnerability that comes from being completely supreme in its own neighborhood. No great power, that is, except one—the United States.
In We May Dominate the World, Sean A. Mirski tells the riveting story of how the United States became a regional hegemon in the century following the Civil War. By turns reluctant and ruthless, Americans squeezed their European rivals out of the hemisphere while landing forces on their neighbors’ soil with dizzying frequency. Mirski reveals the surprising reasons behind this muscular foreign policy in a narrative full of twists, colorful characters, and original accounts of the palace coups and bloody interventions that turned the fledgling republic into a global superpower.
Today, as China makes its own run at regional hegemony and nations like Russia and Iran grow more menacing, Mirski’s fresh look at the rise of the American colossus offers indispensable lessons for how to meet the challenges of our own century.
A few matters about which I know that #InLieuOfFun fans are probably wondering about:
First, I haven’t decided yet whether, in the long run, I will be using Zoom or Crowdcast or something else for this project and other #DogShirtTV offerings. I am still talking to the good folks at Substack about using some capability they are developing for this purpose. But as that tech isn’t ready yet, I’m inclined to start on Zoom.
When we started #InLieuOfFun, Crowdcast was dramatically better than Zoom for streaming purposes. That has changed in the years since, and it is no longer clear to me that its advantages are significant. When we polled Lawfare material supporters about their preferences, I surprised to see that Zoom was the overwhelming favorite. There’s a poll below for paid subscribers about their prefered platform. I’ll be interested in whether there is a strong preference.
Second, I also haven’t decided yet what time of day #BookShirts and other forthingcoming #DogShirtTV shows will be happening. The initial episode will take place at 8:00 pm Eastern, but that’s kind of a placeholder. I’m interested in reader input on this question as well—from everyone up here and from paid subscribers below:
Third, I know what you’re all wondering: What about Kate? Kate, as some of you may know, is in Paris these days occupied with a number of other projects. She may well choose to get involved in this one, of which she is aware and very welcome to be as involved as she wants to be; I certainly hope she will, but because of certain other commitments, she probably will defer involvement. Both Scott Shapiro and Genevieve DellaFera are also invited to be as involved as they want to be.
Fourth, I also don’t know how often I’m going to do this. The goal is to do it regularly but there’s a rate-limiting step, which is how quickly I read.
Fifth and finally, I also hope—as noted above—that this will be the first of several shows I will launch, all based on the same format of availability to all but with participation by subscription only. Some of these shows will be hosted by me. Some may be hosted by others.
So stay tuned. And subscribe—and participate.
#YourMusicOfTheDay today is this rather gorgeous performance of “Lachrimae” by John Dowland (1563–1626), in which Christopher Morrongiello performs on a lute attributed to lutier Wendelin Tieffenbrucker (German, active 1570–1610). The lute was made in Padua, Italy of yew, spruce, ebony, maple.
Acting #BeastMaster Paul Rosenzweig has sent me a spree of beasts over the weekend, so I’m actually a few days behind now. That is fine. An abundance of beasts is the very essence of biodiversity.
Today’s #BeastOfTheDay, Paul writes, “is a two-fer selected and identified by one of my traveling companions, Jan Van Lohuizen (who has taken to calling himself the #DeputyActingBeastMaster).”
Mr. Van Lohuizen, by the way, is now formally granted this title.
“The larger beast is the Cape Buffalo, one of the big five to see in Africa,” Paul writes. “Extremely dangerous, they can fight off lions sometimes. Perched on his head is the Red Billed Ox Picker who, as the name implies, picks insects off the oxen. A great example of natural symbiosis.”