In Memoriam: Dan Weiner
Libertarians seem to tend toward the negative end of the emotional spectrum -- and with some justification. Given our values, our goals, and the increasing disdain most of society shows toward them, it's difficult to be positive about our prospects, and happy (let alone "content") with our chosen lots in life. So much is Serious Business that many among us seem to have lost the joy in life that is commonly described as "youthful", but I maintain should last throughout one's life. That's one reason -- among many -- why Dan Weiner was delightfully different.
I first met Dan online, when he began participating in the Liberty Round Table discussion list. I'd heard of him through his work with the Pink Pistols prior to that, and frankly was unsure what to expect. Some gays are so focused on their cause that they seem to have little use for others who view things in the broader context of individual liberty for everyone (a criticism that applies to many other "special interest" groups), and I'd seen other individuals like that come and go in fairly short order on our list. Dan was irrepressible from the start, joining in to the free-flow of discussion with flair and good humor. He didn't seem to care that we weren't specifically interested in "his" cause, I think because he understood that his cause falls under our broader "cause" of individual liberty for all, worldwide.
The first time he launched his "attack chihuahuas" on another LRT Knight, I knew we'd found a kindred soul. Dan's ability to be wonderfully irreverent fit in with our laissez-faire spirit, and I imagine many a list member's spirits were lifted as the jihads continued, alliances shifted, and the chihuahuas were launched again and again.
Dan was also a doer in the freedom movement. In addition to his work for the Pink Pistols, he worked on the committee to draft L. Neil Smith for President, and took on the thankless, demanding task of editing The Libertarian Enterprise. I saw just a few of his writings, and since I'm in a different corner of the world than where Dan lived, never saw him in action at a rally or protest. But I know he did them, because I heard of them, or saw word of them, sometimes in the most unexpected places on the web.
The Liberty Round Table conclave of 2002 was graced with Dan's presence, albeit a somewhat brief one. The trip wasn't easy for him and his old car, but he wanted to see -- in person -- the kind of rabble-rousers he'd fallen in with. I think he was pleased. I know many of us at that conclave were very pleased to get to know Dan more fully. He added humor, insightful observations, and his unique style and perspective to our conversation. We'd hoped for more opportunities to have him at our campfire, to tilt at more windmills with another exuberant Quixote in our midst, but that was not to be. Dan died October 29, 2003.
Dan Weiner talked the talk, and walked the walk. He delivered his best, every day, and with fine style. His joy in life and freedom are hard to find in freedom fighters. He is greatly missed by family, friends, and his fellow Liberty Round Table Knights and friends.