Friday, February 24, 2006

The Cross Parts 6&7 @ New Ruskin College

Lecture Notes:
The Cross: Christian and Buddhist Meditations on Death

Part Six

Wait a minute. . . . What have I been thinking . . .! It had nothing to do with spelling errors did it? That was just another excuse . . .

Now I get it! Just another way to demean me, to diminish, to marginalize . . . and to justify your misconduct. A justification.

Not enough to break into the Colonial Motel and go through my papers (see Intel Ops., see Psy. Ops.); Michael Weiner had to let me know he had the stolen notebook (drop little hints during his radio broadcast less then 24 hours after the burglary) . . . and then later we got: ‘Oh, by the way you misspelled apocryphal.’ (see also The Stolen Notebook Archive at the Moynihan)

It was all part of the same game: The process of destroying a man. As if we needed another demonstration, at the end of the bloody Twentieth Century, of the principle that if a group of powerful people unite they can destroy another.

Most of you have no excuse . . . --- Ah . . . (By which I mean, that is, most of the regular visitors here at New Ruskin, for whom the site was originally created; they have no excuse. (This website was originally established for a small group of media elites who were “in the know” about what was being done to me. I wanted to embarrass the ones who were intentionally interfering with my life, by drawing the attention of their peers among the media elite, to them and their misconduct. But now we have so many “civilians” (or noncombatants) visiting this site, we must remember to specify who we are talking to. Now we have two audiences.)) I am referring to you, the media elite.

Counselor: Oh, two audiences. That must make you feel important . . . ?

You can not excuse yourselves by claiming to be ordinary men. You are not. You want the standard, our expectations, to be lowered for yourselves now that it is convenient for you, to escape judgment, and then you want us to raise the standard for everyone else! (It has been said that the political genius of Clinton and Bush can be seen in their ability to manage expectations, i.e., to lower them. Clinton did not accomplish much and we did not expect that he would accomplish much.)

You are the elite but you want to be judged by the same standard as the common man. Consider for example why you are still visiting this web site? I mean the reason other than the macabre spectacle of a man deprived of his livelihood, driven into poverty, despair, ending ultimately in his death, . . . however it should turn out . . . Quite a spectacle. (see Last Will and Testament)

Your visits to this site, (and its mirrors, (oh, yes, I track the downloads, page by page)), proves my point. Besides the stolen notebook recall your keen interest in those letters of mine fifteen years ago to the Senate, and the President, and all the rest of our rulers, (see the Math Project and New Ruskin College Project Archives at the Moynihan).

Why still visiting? Why such interest? Because of this fundamental fact:

Your grudging acceptance that I represent, mediocre though I may be, those others, that “other” 95% (or 88%) who are not earning seven figure incomes, are not on television and radio, do not have newspaper columns, are not millionaires, do not even know any millionaires at all, who are not you, in fact not like you at all, and all those like you, your friends and colleagues, the elite. (“I realized that I have not know anyone since High School who had a SAT score under 1400.”(Name the elite “media personality” for five points extra credit.))

This is after all why Dr. Murray and Dr. Hernstein wrote their book, The Bell Curve: To remind the elite that their assumptions about the world are only possible because of your statistically unique genetic combination. Because the base pairs aligned up at a few key locations of your chromosomes just so, you have “merit.” You vainly think you “merit” this windfall which is after all only a statistical fluke, the outlying fringe of the bell distribution. You represent at most 12% of the population, and more likely just 6 or 8%. You confuse your experience of the life, your way of thinking, your world view, for that of the rest of humanity: the other 88% or 95%.

This is why you are here at this website. And this is why the original letters received so much attention. Not because I am such a genius. No! Because I am ordinary or as that Senator would have it, (I recall he was from Nebraska): mediocre. Reading me is like opening a window to the world, and all those others, the mediocre, the ordinary, the people.

Learn how the other 88% think.

But of course this is also why some setout to destroy me and why the rest of you, who knew about what was being done to me, simply watched, did nothing, and found it all so “amusing.” The very same qualities that caused you to read me in the first place were the very same qualities that allowed you to dismiss me. I did not count. Ordinary. Mediocre.

The bottom 88% have no rights. And even to say so is to be boringly obvious; it is all mildly vexing. ‘Really, does he expect to be taken seriously?’ Right? ‘Can you imagine? It thinks he has rights?!’

We do not figure into your thinking. Just look at your laws! The rules of society are all slanted to the advantage of the elite, the ones who control the government, the corporations, society itself. You were intrigued to learn about those others, and also at the very same time resentful. (I got what I deserved is what you think.)

But then Murray and Hernstein were marginalized also. Racism, sexism, were among the charges thrown at them by this very same elite. Exactly the very same people whom they were trying to reach. And the real and important issues which their book raised and examined were simply ignored, or demeaned, diminished, marginalized.

I like that. It gives me some comfort.

I am in good company.

Part Seven

Yes, in good company.

The people of Darfur are another example of people you do not care about. The millions of Mexicans who illegally enter the US and must live a life in the shadows because you do not care about them nor their rights. (They have none.) You do not care enough to control your own borders. Nor do you care what effect the unregulated movement of labor has upon your “fellow countrymen”. Because they are not your fellow countrymen. You do not care about them either. To say nothing of the millions in Mexico who might have lived better lives but for your indifference. The children in Pakistan’s mountains shivering in the cold. Africa . . .

At one time it was thought that economic development, the heaping up of capital for future investment would benefit all, but you no longer believe in capitalist progress, nor in savings. Just as your social lives are self-absorbed so this is reflected in your “economics.” It annoys you to have all these examples conflated. You have distinct and separate reasons why you are indifferent to all these different people in this world of suffering. You are indifferent to the blind orphans of Bangladesh, the people of Africa --- all the Third World because --- well, because they are the Third World aren’t they? They are too many for your sympathy.

You call it compassion fatigue. You are fatigued. At least you are not openly contemptuous of their suffering. You do not call them the “Turd World” as does Michael Weiner. But you secretly enjoy his “openness.” You can not yourselves engage in his cretinism but you would like to. You can not keep from smiling: ‘“Turd World” Yes, that’s good.’ (This is called The Revolt of the Elites (Christopher Lasch, 1996).)

The President of Iran calls for “wiping Israel off the map” and you go on with your lives oblivious to the danger because you are oblivious to all of us. The blind orphans in Bangladesh, yes, and your neighbor down the street, the whole world of suffering and torment . . . it is all so boring for you . . . isolated as you are by your seven figure capital accounts . . . by your cynicism . . .

The national debt, the housing bubble, the pending collapse of Social Security and pension system, of . . of . . . of everything and everyone. You ignore me!? You ignore everything!

Mr. Oliphant for example. Another Harvard. How is it that one graduates from Harvard and then spends the rest of ones life writing a newspaper column? Ought we not expect more from a Harvard graduate? The great American novel or something? But again the meritocracy runs only in one direction. He can set any standard he likes for us, but we dare not ask him: Where is your life’s work? Newspaper columns? Is that all? Shouldn’t a Harvard have done something more with his life?

Mr. Oliphant appears regularly on the Imus show. And like Senator Hatch, (“I’ve heard what you do to some of your listeners”), Mr. Oliphant knows that Imus has harassed me for years and he does not care. He knows that Moslems have been called “stinking animals” on the Imus show, knows that Imus has repeatedly called for the nuclear incineration of the Middle East, knows and does not care. Imus helps sell Mr. Oliphant’s books. But shouldn’t we expect more from a Harvard graduate? Just kidding.

Any day now Mr. Oliphant might drop a “Turd World” of his own on Imus or where ever he goes.

(Answer for the extra credit question: Howard Fineman.)

Lehrer and Russert and Schieffer are all Imus regulars . . . to be continued . . .