According to polls about a third of the US population (not to
mention the rest of the world) think, or at least suspect, that 9/11 was an
inside job, and McKinney was the only candidate who has even mentioned the
possibility. Of course I'm glad that Obama has spared us the catastrophe of
McCain, but this time I decided to indulge my "conscience"--that is, vote for
the person I would really like to see in office--because it was pretty clear
to me that Dumbo had decided on Obama, and in the long run we will never break
the yoke of the two-qua-one party system unless we vote outside the box.
One could even argue that a McCain victory might have hastened
the “revolution,” but that would not have been a reason for me to vote for
him. Being over 30, I prefer the slower, less violent road, and it seems to me
that Dumbo, too, has decided not to lock us up just yet, which might well have
been the consequence of another stolen election and ensuing popular rebellion,
civil war, and martial law. What would follow that I don't know, and--here's
the point--I don't think Dumbo knows either. This, more than anything else, I
feel, explains Obama's victory.
Dumbo is obviously a rogue, and no one denies his technical expertise, but I don't think he's really very bright, not at least in the way that Orwell depicted Big Brother or Huxley Mustafa Mond--who are, after all, fictional. Dumbo is real, and human. In religious terms we are used to equating omnipotence with omniscience, and I will leave it to theologians (like David Griffin?) to play with the idea on that level. Here we are talking earthlings, and I submit that power and intelligence in humans correlate only negatively, if at all.
If we are a shade more optimistic we can believe that Dumbo
really doesn't know what he's doing. In that case, while we may have gained
some breathing space with Obama, Dumbo has, too. If he has just a little more
smarts than he has displayed in the last 8 years, he may realize, if only
temporarily, that he hasn't thought it through. The Cheney lobe has been
telling him to go ahead and turn the whole world (starting with the USA) into
Guantamo, and he has taken a big step in that direction, but what then? Does
he really know what he will do with the New World Order, once he gets it? Let
us hope that this inkling of self-doubt, this spark of intelligence, has
penetrated. It will not save us from him, because as Orwell said, the goal of
Power is Power, so it will not be long before the Cheney lobe dominates again.
But time is of the essence.
If Dumbo has shifted into a lower gear, as we can hope, there is a certain amount of risk involved for him. Judging from his track record since 9/11 he must feel pretty confident, but Hope is always a dangerous commodity. With someone like Obama, it could get out of hand. People might begin to demand more than Dumbo is willing to give us. It might even affect the charismatic leader himself, if he has not sufficiently internalized the lesson of JFK, which is that Dumbo's wars are not to be challenged by mere presidents. I don't think there is much chance of that, frankly, but it's a straw to clutch.
Rather than hope for salvation in the form of a leader on a white
(or black) horse, I think we should concentrate even harder on spreading the
truth about 9/11. Nothing else reveals Dumbo as clearly as this, and nothing
else is easier to do, thanks to the 9/11 truth movement. At some point,
intelligence will triumph over power. This may be a matter of "faith," but if
you don't have it, you're part of the problem. That's the long and short of
Which brings me to what seems to be becoming a recurrent theme
with me: homo academicus.
Maybe that's because I've spent most of my life in universities but have
participated less than wholeheartedly in what Pierre Bourdieu calls the
"reproduction du corps." One of my grad school professors put it more bluntly
when he accused me of being unwilling to do what is necessary to become a
scholar, or something to that effect. Another one told me I was the most
stubborn student he'd ever had. I don't remember what the specific problems
were in either case, but in retrospect I can see that in the end they were
correct, and that even though they didn't mean to compliment me, I now
consider those judgments to be in my favor.
When I was in my twenties and the draft board was breathing down my neck, since I was in college and still reverent of academia, I listened to people like McGeorge Bundy when they told us that US national security was at stake in Vietnam. Even JFK, I remember reading somewhere, said that McGeorge Bundy was one of the most intelligent people he'd ever met. Who was I to dispute this? The Bundys, the Rostows, the Kissingers (thank God only one of the latter so far) came from MIT and Harvard, the most venerable institutions in the country. I was thus left with the conclusion that by opposing the war I was either an idiot who could not understand what these geniuses were telling me, or I was a coward and a traitor, deserving only jail or exile. The CO review board decided I had no moral ground to stand on because I admitted that I would resort to violence if necessary to save my life or that of my wife or child, which according to McGeorge et al. was precisely the case in Vietnam.
Is it any wonder that I was confused? But since I was also
stubborn, one big question stuck in my brain for many years: How could smart
people be so fucking stupid?
Fast forward a quarter of a century, when I happened to see a TV
about the JFK assassination. I woke up, like Rip Van Winkle, and found that I
also had the answer to the question that I had never managed to completely
forget: They weren't stupid, they were lying.
A few years later, in 1993, I started corresponding with
Chomsky. This was a painful experience which left me, to this day,
ambivalent in my feelings about the man (see
and actually brought me back to the same question I'd had
many years earlier, only now applied to someone I truly respected and thought
I agreed with, except on a single issue (JFK). I could not believe that he was
lying. I still can't.
Then came 9/11, and now we have 100 million Americans who
question Dumbo's version of 9/11, to say the least, but Chomsky is not one of
them. Since my background is in linguistics, I look around to other linguists,
the most famous of whom, like Chomsky, are considered as and consider
themselves not just "word birds" but experts on the human mind ("cognition"),
and as "progressives" or at least "liberals," if not as "radical" as Chomsky.
I am thinking, for example, of George Lakoff and Steven Pinker. Where are
their opinions on 9/11? Why is it that they seem to have no opinion on this
subject, or if they do, that it is so naive (if that is the word)? Pinker
begins his latest book, The Stuff of Thought, parroting the official
version of 9/11 and apparently accepting it as truth:
This from a person of his intelligence, of his renown, of his
expertise on the subjects of language and the human mind?
Is it any wonder that I am again confused? How can they be so fucking stupid?
Is there any other way to put it? Any other way to couch it in
psycho-babble or in some sort of theoretical "construct" that would make it
any different from this, from exactly what it looks like and sounds like, and
is? What else can you call it but stupidity--unless they are lying?
Uninformed? That just doesn't work with these guys. They have informed
themselves. It has been 7 years, for crissakes. David Griffin alone, to take a
fellow academic, has written 7 books and many articles about it; they need
only have read one.
I rest my case. I know how it makes me look. Who am I to question
the intelligence of people like Steven Pinker, George Lakoff and Noam Chomsky?
I have a neighbor with Down's syndrome whom I sometimes help across the street
at the bus stop, a life-threatening affair because the cars whiz by oblivious
to the speed limit or the safety of pedestrians, much less those with Down's
syndrome. He once referred to these drivers, quite vehemently, as "idiots,"
and I realized that for him this was anything but an idle remark considering
how often he must have heard that epithet applied to himself.
He was absolutely right, of course.