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MOMENT OF TRUTH

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

First of all, allow me to apologize: I apologize. Thank you for allowing my apology.

Now, imagine a driveway up the spine of a hill. The top of the hill is a plateau, surrounded in every direction by an abrupt drop-off, so the only way up or down the hill is the driveway. Otherwise, it's a cliff on all sides.

There's a gate at the bottom of the driveway with a combination lock. When you leave the plateau area, you lock the gate. When you want to enter, you first have to unlock the gate, open it, and drive your car up to the top of the plateau. You can leave the gate unlocked until you leave.

Imagine that, when you leave, you have to back all the way down the 45-degree, narrow incline, and it's a pain in the ass because the space between the gate posts is just a little wider than your car.

After you back through the gate, you get out of the car and close and lock the gate. Then you drive off to wherever you want to go. Hamburger Mary's. The library.

But what if you were backing down, stopped the car and got out and locked the gate before you had backed through it? You would have locked yourself in, at least until you unlocked it and let yourself out.

For some reason it struck me as ... striking... that if you do something before a certain spatial/temporal line is crossed, it can cause some inconvenience. If you try to light the burner before turning on the gas, it will not light. If you try to do brushwork before dipping your brush in paint, you will not apply pigment, but only hear a mild scratching noise at most.

Physicists and stoners have long wondered about the arrow of time. What is it about our limited perception that makes us experience time as moving only forward? I would like to ask: what about the arrow of space?

Events have a spatial sequence, not just a temporal sequence, and our rootedness in space, our experience of space as keeping locations separate from each other, is intimately tied to our experiencing time as keeping moments separate from each other. Time and space are metaphors for each other in that sense.

Time has an end for humans. It's when we croak. Space has the same end. When you're out of time, you're out of space. There was no time in your life when you skipped over a few inches of space. Your lifelong trail through space is as continuous as your trail through time, and at the end of life, you run out.

If you could experience time out of sequence, you would also be experiencing space out of sequence. But you can do neither. You can be missing some time from your life, if, say, you black out. But the spacetime before the blackout will be earlier than the time after the blackout, and the time and space in between can be reconstructed if you exert the effort. Like they did in the movie, "The Hangover."

Okay, what about teleportation, which seems a bit more feasible than time travel, which currently doesn't seem feasible at all. Let me address this technological speculation: first, if an object could be turned into a signal at point A and then back into the object at point B, it would still have covered the distance and taken the time, just in the form and at the speed of a signal. If somehow teleportation were achieved through quantum entanglement, and the object could appear instantly at any point B, well, I regret to inform you I am barely competent to engage in the discussion we're already in the midst of, so I can't really say, but my feeling is, we would probably solve the time-out-of-sequence problem at the same time as the space-out- of-sequence problem. There's a reason for this, but I would have to Google it, and I'm not inclined to do so. I'm sure it has something to do with particles not always being when and where you'd expect them to be, that Heisenberg thing, I'm guessing.

The real lesson here, assuming there is one, is that you can cause yourself a lot of trouble by doing things in the wrong order. You could lock someone in a bank vault by mistake, and have to wait till the end of the three-day weekend till the vault- opening person showed up. In a world where space could be traveled out of sequence, the poor sole in the vault could just blink themselves outside. But then, what good would a vault be if people could just blink in and out of it?

The idea of the bank vault relies on our sequential limitations. If you could get the money out before they closed the vault, you could rob the place blind. The vault principle assumes that time and space must be experienced in sequence, from now to later, from near to far.

But when you think about how quickly technology is progressing, it's a pretty flimsy idea, the bank vault. All it would take to defeat it was a small change in the nature of a person to adhere to sequential reality.

There's always the mind. You can remember the past, and you can remember faraway places. And you can imagine things. Some say that imagination is the mind remembering the future. You can also imagine a future place. In fact, there's really no way to imagine a future time without simultaneously imagining a future place. How would that work otherwise? Would you just imagine a future date? Like a number on a calendar? Well, that calendar has to exist somewhere. A date is really just the name of a date. An actual date is attached to a place, duration, actions, feelings, temperature, threats, pleasures... y'know: stuff.

As it stands, the slightest error in keeping your actions in order, temporally and spatially, can have dire consequences. Don't shut the vault before you leave! Shut it after you're outside of it. You could be the person who's going to come up with the cure for the boogie-woogie flu! If you starve to death in the vault, humanity might just perish from wantin' to holler when the joint's too small.

Anyway, just a friendly reminder that time's arrow is also space's arrow. They're the same arrow. You can't get from Monday to Wednesday without going through Tuesday, just like you can't get from The Village to Central Park without going through Midtown, unless you're crazy or a good swimmer or have a lot of time on your hands. And when it comes down to it, who has surplus time? No human, that's for sure. And you've just burned a few minutes of yours listening to this drivel. For that, I apologize. I probably should have apologized in the first place. I think I'll go back in time and do that.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

There were several momentous legal cases heard this week, one about gerrymandering, one about public unions, one about keeping Muslims out of the country, and it was clear they were going to require careful consideration and intense analysis by the nation's most vital legal minds. Instead they were heard by the Supreme Court.

I'm appalled by SCROTUS, the Supreme Court Republicans of the United States. They're awful. And there are officially going to be five of them now. They're rotten, those SCROTUS.

I'm here to complain about Mitch McConnell stealing the Supreme Court seat from Obama. I'm here to say what everyone is already thinking and saying. But I'm here to say it on This Is Hell. I'll tell you what I think about Mitch McConnell. Now, if a Democrat had done a version of what Mitch did, and thwarted a Republican jerk from appointing a rightwing ideologue to the court, I would've said, Good job, comrade! Except, in Mitch's version, Obama wasn't a particularly left-leaning president, and Merrick Garland, whom Obama put forward as a sop to the GOP, anyway, was no left ideologue. But apparently being reasonable, compromising, polite and black are not things the GOP will allow to go unpunished. How many times did Obama learn that? Or, rather, experience it, because he never seemed to learn anything.

No Democratic leader would refuse a president his constitutional right to nominate a justice for a newly-empty seat, and, not since FDR at least, would any Democrat ever commit such a blatant violation of Constitutional and Congressional norms regarding the court. Certainly these days Dems wouldn't dare poke the GOP hornets' nest. They're keeping their powder dry. They got so much dry powder they don't know what to do with it all. And they're keeping it dry until the end of the world, which they think will be sooner if they keep their powder dry enough. Keep the powder dry to hasten the end times.

The GOP on the other hand is willing to burn their powder at the drop of a hat. They'll do anything to get what they want. The Dems are ready and willing to do nothing to get what they want, despite having done nothing, and yet not having got what they want. All the Dems have is a surplus of dry powder, over which they've erected a bulletproof dome to make sure it never ignites. Dry powder for dry powder's sake. There might not really even be any powder there. I've never seen any evidence of it. Maybe powder is like mental acuity: if you don't use it, you lose it.

Now waffling Agony Kennedy is retiring. Say goodbye to Constitutionally protected abortions. Thanks, Obama. Say goodbye to what's left of the voting rights act, organized labor protections, and Muslims getting visas. Oh, wait, that already happened this week. All right, well, say goodbye to freedom of the press – I mean, we weren't using it much anyway. It was just sitting outside, chained to a fence post, getting rusty in the rain, and someone even stole the seat and the front wheel. But have no fear, at least our powder's dry!

You know what you can do with that powder? Put about a foot's depth of it in a bucket, mix it with some water, put your feet in, let it harden, and throw yourself off a pier. It's the same result as keeping your powder dry, only quicker. And your surviving kin can reuse the bucket!

At least we won't have to hear Dems bellyaching about everyone having to vote for one of their Wall Street candidates for President out of fear of the court turning solid conservative. What's the point now? The court is a mess. You got Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, and ... I'm guessing... Stephen Miller. Maybe David Duke. Thomas, who just sits there waiting for the conversation to be over, Alito, who's like Scalia without the personality, Roberts, who's like a cop, and the next SCROT will be a race theorist, I'm sure.

Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan are the last remnants of reason on the court, and Ginsberg is in a race with Clarence Thomas to see who can live longer with their pre-existing condition, old age on the one hand and spiritual morbidity on the other. Kagan and Sotomayor will live forever, or at least until the rightwing patriots start assassinating anyone with an opinion that doesn't line up with the new pledge of allegiance, which says you agree to the superiority of Christianity, the dollar, and the white race.

It really is a worry, this fascist regime. There's already a plague of violence being perpetrated by cops and unstable white post-pubescent fledgling misogynist fascists. Be prepared for it to get worse. You hear? Be prepared for the violence to get worse. You know, these are violent, easily-misled people. There's always a huge percentage of violent, stupid, thoughtless, confused people in any nation. And eventually, thanks to whatever system that nation has for installing crooked imbeciles to rule its acreage, a prize-winning dancing swine of exceptional greed, mendacity, and shameless grandstanding inevitably gets his tiny hands on the tiller, willing to incite with lies and vicious rhetoric the cruel and cowardly of the land to take to the streets and punish the innocent.

And it's coming. It's started. Black people will tell you it's been going on forever, but that's just because for them it has. So they're biased.

But as already-here as it is, more and worse is coming.

For some of you this will mean getting into fighting shape. Or maintaining and sharpening your battle skills. For people like me, it means being prepared to cry and bleed and run and hide, sharpen my first aid skills, my bedside manner, and refresh my memory of recipes for preparing dumpster food and road kill.

I'm not saying we won't win. I'm saying I will be injured, and our new socialist candidate for Congress with undoubtedly be shot at by at least one 20-something white man. Remember all the people they assassinated in the 50s, 60s and early 70s? Guns fever.

It hurts to know that so many of our fellow citizens are willing to scapegoat helpless people. It hurts to watch our children, our journalists and friends murdered in cold blood. It hurts to get beaten, so I've heard. It hurts to have your child or your mother taken from you by belligerent authorities who are accountable to no one.

Because, when it comes down to it, who would hold them to account? The president's a vicious, vain idiot, useless for anything. Our legislature is made up of crooks who buy and sell influence, certainly worthless as a safeguard against tyranny, which they have shown they're all too willing to welcome. And now the final domino of the judicial branch has fallen.

Dump is a man who never met a deadly sin he could resist. And now Agony Kennedy is retiring, allowing Dump to seat another pervert on the bench. Let's see if the worthless, impotent Democrats, who are as complicit in this fiasco as anyone, can muster a show of resistance. It'll be half-hearted, though. It's beginning to seem a lot like Republicans are just the party that happens to be thuggish enough to carry out the crimes the Dems are fine with but too genteel to commit. For all the lack of energy they devote to stopping the GOP, they are rewarded a thousand-fold in lack of results. Which seems to suit them just fine. Let the GOP be the enforcement arm of the Democratic party. Dry powder is their brand.

The worst is yet to come. Crappy days are here again. Vulgarity is just around the corner.

It suddenly occurs to me that I may be overreacting. Dump hasn't even nominated anyone for Kennedy's seat yet. It may turn out to be another Souter, someone for whom the principles of law are more important than the ideology of the creature who nominated him. Or it could even be some great Mahatma, whose grace and gentle example of compassion will move the SCROTUS to change, to free their minds and attain enlightenment.

Yet have you read the three female justices' blistering dissenting opinions on the current decisions? Especially Kagan's on the Muslim ban? Have you read Justice Kagan's blistering dissenting opinion on it? I have not. I heard it was blistering, and I didn't want to get a blister.

But can even a Mahatma or a Thurgood Marshall succeed in expanding the stunted souls of the SCROTUS where these three mighty women have failed to make even a dent in their stolid skulls?

There's a lot of wishful thinking there. I like wishful thinking almost as much as I enjoy positing the worst. It keeps the mind nimble and the heart from sinking. Try it. But don't get too optimistic, unless you're a fan of crushing disappointment. I'm going to get back in shape for crying and bleeding. I'm already bleeding money, so that's a start.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

The Jews, my people. Such a stiff-necked people. You want to own the Holocaust, I get it. You don't want to share the word "concentration camp." Yeah, that makes sense. Those little children at the southern border aren't being forced to do labor, so we can't call them labor camps. They're not being exterminated or worked to death, so we can't call them extermination camps or death camps. We can call them "internment camps," because it's like they're in prison. But not concentration camps? Because that's our word? Even though they're being concentrated into a camp? That's not enough for you? You think they invented the concentration camp just for Jews in Europe in the 30s and 40s? I won't go into the historical error you're making, there's a Slate article for that.

What I'm going to beat you up about is, just don't be so morally superior. Don't hold your suffering over others. We're on the verge of losing the special victim status associated with the Shoah, and holding onto "concentration camp" doesn't really help. All over Europe and here in the US, new rightwing nationalist groups are firmly establishing themselves. It's not just anti-Semitism they're peddling, either, it's anti-foreigner, whatever they decide a foreigner is. And I want them to know that, if they're concentrating people in camps, or if they're beating people up, or making anti-foreigner laws aimed at "strengthening the borders," whatever they want to call it, it does resemble the rise of fascism in Europe in the 20s and 30s of last century. This is what it looked like.

They want to say, "Look, this is a special problem, these Latins or Muslims, or whatever, so a little nativist suspicion and anti-immigrant rhetoric here or there is okay, it's not a sign we're on the slippery slope toward Hitler, Franco, Vichy or Mussolini. Let's at least rehabilitate love of country! Our country for us! America first. Is that so bad? At least we're not keeping people in concentration camps." Bee ess. It's the same old fascism they're constructing, and if you aren't behind calling them out for their attempts to put a white Christian dictatorship in place of our nominal democracy, take your silly asses home. Don't worry, they'll come for you later. Want to wait till you're packed into a cattle car to Wyoming to call them what they are? More fool you.

And my black friends, is it really so important, as we're heading down the street to beat up the KKK, to stop the conversation and talk about the white privilege of those marching beside you? I believe it's necessary to remind everyone of the very special racist dependency the US has, and capitalism has had, since the beginning, on the owning of, domination over, freedom to murder, and dehumanization of black people. We must know this, it's important knowledge. We have to know all the details of capitalism's crimes if we're going to tear it apart and build a new thing that doesn't commit the same ones. But right now we're swinging baseball bats, can we just be one force as we wade into the ocean of creeps?

And everyone, do not forget the singular structure of the Holocaust. It was the systematic dismantling of citizenship and status as human. Very instructive. Instructive how definitions transform the humanity of people. Yes, from the beginning, when black people were brought as slaves to labor in the Americas, back in the 16th Century, they were defined as less than human. And they're still defined that way in the USA today. But how does such a thing start? Watch how quickly an otherwise stable society of citizens can choose one characteristic and define as subhuman any group bearing it. Watch the lead-up to the Nuremberg Laws. And Jews, look at the Black Codes. Wonder how a cop gets away with an obvious murder right there before your eyes on video?

Remember. And listen. Remember. And listen. We're all targets of the fascists. We teachers, we queers, we advocates of the poor, we whistleblowers, we women, we white Christians who resist. Shonda Rimes is many things: a producer, a performer, and contingently a first-class citizen, when she's in the right room. What would it take for her economic privileges to be stripped entirely from her, when white male privilege officially becomes the only privilege? Will it be Whitelandia? Will it be Atwood's Gilead? Shonda knows the signs of current racism. But will she see the signs of a coming Kristallnacht? I assume she will. She's astute and aware. Let's all be that aware.

So can we not, with the hypotheticals? I know, that was just a hypothetical, but just bear with me. "If he'd been white, he'd be alive today." Probably. But does that change anyone's mind? All a fascist has to say is, "Not my cousin, the sleeveless tweaker." Or just make up some lie. Or another hypothetical just as imaginary, if not as persuasive to someone who already agrees with you.

Last week we talked about how pride and heroism were hallmarks of the ongoing Black Captivity. Black people are both victims of oppression and heroes that triumph over it, and it would be absurd to ask them to relinquish either aspect. On the other hand, the Jews of the Holocaust, though there were many heroes among them and much brilliant and brave resistance by them, are hanging onto their special victimhood, and not without reason. It's crucial that we not lose sight of the unique break with a certain type of functional peaceful civilization that the rise of the Nazis became. It's like when someone goes from being a functional alcoholic to a full-on raging drunk. Or some white community goes from being everyday racist to wiping out an entire black city in Oklahoma. It's an important change to recognize!

No, nationalism is not okay. Walls are not necessary, unless you seek to abuse people on the other side of them without the repercussions being felt within your borders.

We need to learn from all oppression and all resistance to it, and we can't afford to divide our ranks when Dump decides it's an emergency and we must forego elections for now, at least until this or that issue is resolved.

From the moment the founders allowed slavery to exist in the new nation, the Constitution was infected with a fatal flaw. Black people are still suffering from it. Jews, is it as important to you to hold onto the word "concentration camp" as it was for the colonies to hold onto slavery? Are you willing to scuttle the possible triumph over tyranny so you can continue to profit... from what? What doth it profit a Jew to maintain a monopoly on concentration camps?

From the moment the founders failed to guarantee economic equality to all, the Constitution was infected with a fatal flaw. The poor are still suffering from it. Is it really necessary, person of color with a place to live and a salaried profession, to tell a white working-class woman that she's privileged? What doth it profit you?

And while I'm at it, hey, dude, is it really necessary to assert "not all white people" or "not all men," when people who are not white or men are trying to address, or even just point out injustice? Just ask yourselves, all of you, is it necessary, or is it petty? I know sometimes others seem petty, but just think how much less petty you are by not engaging them at that level.

But if you're really just a petty person deep down, think of this: by keeping silent, you're actually being patronizing, because you know that bringing up your petty thing will be too much for them to ignore, and lead both of you into a fruitless battle of pettiness. See how superior you are, saving them from that? It's all in how you look at it, ya petty prick.

We need everyone. If you could get all the victims of barely restrained capitalism to march with all the victims of white privilege and all the victims of queer-phobic discrimination and violence, and all the people against gender discrimination, and all the men and women who would rather do something worthwhile than merely contribute to the girth of a stockholder's portfolio, and all the people who oppose war, you would have a confrontation to end all confrontations. There would be no stopping us.

We have to start calling out the needless use of victim identity to make useless points. Oh, sure, it's easy for me to say, I'm white. Well, then I guess the conversation is over, because I can't not be white. At least not till the cracker army notices I'm a Jew.

We need the heroism and pride inherent in the resistors of the Black Captivity and other ongoing systemic oppression, and the stigmatizing indignation of the righteous victim of the unique historic moment, to sound the alarm when the Cross starts to bend its arms into a swastika.

From the moment Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, our government declared it official policy that treason was permissible for those of a certain status. From the moment the Supreme Court made its decision in Bush v Gore, we saw the last pretense fall away that the Constitution was a functioning safeguard of the people's voice in choosing who occupied the top executive office in the land. From the moment Mitch McConnell refused to even hold a hearing for a nominee for SCOTUS brought forward by the first black president of the United States, we saw the racist far right tear the dry paper mask of the rule of law from the already fleshless face of democracy.

Whoever was supposed to look out that such things not happen, the Democrats, the press, or us, allowed them to happen. Now the slope is so slippery we can't get a grip. We'll need to salt it, carve stairs in it, or just burn it down, to even get back to where we started, which isn't where we want to be anyway. So let's agree to disagree on all but this: things have been wrong and getting more wrong at least since the rightwing assassinated the threats to their power back in the 60s. We're going to make a whole new, better, more inclusive, equal, and kind society. And we're not going to let petty differences divide us. No, not all the differences mentioned above are petty. But almost any difference, no matter how serious, can be wielded in a petty way by a small-minded person. Don't be that person!

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Last week I talked about the artifacts by which we remember both the Shoah and the Captivity of black people in the west. This week I'm going to talk about their comparative aesthetics. The Shoah is mainly urban, industrial, scientific, Norse, Protestant, art deco, sado-masochistic/black leather, red, black and white. The slavery chapter of the Captivity is mainly represented in earth-tones, with hints of blue, and the dripping green of kudzu, rural, agrarian, folk, Southern Baptist, sun- dappled, outsider and itinerant artsy, colonial, linen, and bondage sadist.

The biblical character Moses figures in the liberation theology of both, though ironically more so in the Captivity than in the Shoah. The Shoah's iconography of liberation tends more toward the Maccabean than the Mosaic. Although there are both armies and solitary figures of liberation associated with both mass atrocities, in the Shoah the main figures of resistance, the partisans and the Allies, are armies, akin to the Maccabees if anything biblical, and the downfall of the bureaucratic/industrial enemy is a military one; while Harriet Tubman, guiding her people to freedom through the Underground Railroad as the Moses figure of the Captivity, looms large; liberation depends on the courage and perseverance of individual heroes in the face of interpersonal if pandemic human hatred, hatred that was enacted anew every time an individual crime against dark-skinned humans was committed.

While the portrait of Nazism is painted against a background of policies and laws under which a dormant, innate anti-Semitism was enabled to emerge, giving a great multitude of Europeans permission to commit the crimes they'd always wanted to commit, the institution of slavery was considered the economic end, the means to which was the manipulation of hatred that turned people against their better natures, although this diagram of hatred has since transformed to one more closely resembling the Nazi license model as the Captivity has moved from its slavery phase into its Black Codes, Jim Crow and current carceral/more obviously genocidal phases. Does society make us racists? Or does it merely allow us to act out our inborn hatred of the Other? The answer isn't limited to those choices, especially now that we no longer diagram human nature as reducible to a solid or binary thing but as a spectrum, and a fluid one at that.

Considering the question of why the Shoah has so much cachet and attractiveness in the media imagination versus the Captivity, you could point to the urban and industrial setting of the main chapters of the atrocity against the Jews, the relatively brief and discrete amount of time the Shoah is popularly considered to have begun and ended, the whiteness of the victims, and the fashionableness of the perpetrators.

The SS were stylish in an art-deco fashion. The art deco eagles and lightning bolts and skulls gave their entire project the air of putting a modern spin on an age-old psychopathy. Nazism seems a perversion of style, a perversion of art, of industry, medicine, science, and government. Perversion is hot.

Slavers, on the other hand, had abominable style. Colonel Sanders is not a trend- setter. His outfit was not designed by intellectuals with an eye toward cool and sleek. And the hick or hillbilly style of the overseer and the sweaty, night-raping master is hardly the stuff of sex clubs, the dominatrix, or anti-authoritarian bikers or Finnish homoerotic illustration – it has not transferred to TV and movie coolness, sexiness, and leisure pleasures, however perverse. The most fashionable things to come out of slavery are Frederick Douglass's look and the Henleys worn by runaway male slaves in the TV show "Underground." The entire wardrobe design for "Underground" was excellent, but especially those Henleys, and it's a shame the show ran for only two seasons, as it might have infused slavery with a little more style.

Another missed opportunity was the ill-fated but brilliantly, and perversely, titled "Birth of a Nation" of 2016, which was buried by the tone-deaf response of director Nate Parker to accusations of rape. That the rape itself was the true tragedy would go without saying, but one has to say it, because it's gone without saying for so long no one even misses its mention anymore. In discussions of entertainment and the aesthetic questions of persecution, actual crimes are often concealed and lost in the folds and textures of the spectacle.

This is not to say that fetishizing the beautiful bodies of black men and women hasn't been inherent in the Captivity, from the actual advertisement, appraisal and sale of those bodies in historical reality to their titillating appearances in schlocky exploitation movies. And, although there is a thread of discourse that attaches the most dehumanizing racism to white objectification of black bodies, the overall aesthetic appreciation of those bodies as athletes, dancers, models, and simply examples of human beauty, is viewed today as virtuous, as black voices have become and continue to be more integrated into the mainstream of critical discussion and the popular arts. This is opposed to the popular view that the sexualizing of Nazi imagery and derivative bondage fashion is a perverse, impure indulgence, and of course there is nothing beautiful about the victims of Nazism, Spielberg's male-gaze- heavy pornographic disrobing of Jewish women in the Auschwitz shower scene in "Schindler's List" notwithstanding. The Nazi attracted to the genetically filthy Jewish woman can hardly survive in our culture, although it does have an analogue in Jungle Fever, and other fevers, the racist attraction of white men and women to the "exotic" and "savage."

The singular fact is, the Captivity narrative says that black people are proud of who they are, are strong and beautiful, which pride and beauty fed the hatred of the inferior white oppressor, who envied black excellence, fetishized it, longed to dominate it, either own it or destroy it. Black people are the heroes of their oppression narrative, too strong and beautiful to be allowed freedom by the white world. No wonder black nerds love "The Incredibles."

Jews actually fear this type of narrative spin, as much as they also desire to add it to the Shoah story. The idea that Jews had greatness and therefore Hitler found it necessary to crush it borders on blaming the victim, or worse yet, playing into the age-old and still-current trope that Jews are sinister geniuses who have actually always engineered all the misery the goyim experience, and, well, maybe they should be exterminated. Maybe they even brought it on themselves purposely to cash in on victimhood!

The poetics of black strength, beauty, talent, and genius in the face of oppression may be what holds the Captivity story, as a story, back in comparison to the Shoah. The Shoah is about victims surviving, by chance, not merit, the industrial, stylish, sexually psychotic machine of extermination and genetic purification. The Captivity is the story of brilliant beautiful people achieving psychological and physical liberation through their power and will, and only partly by chance, if at all.

What makes this a weakness is not merely the way it's perceived by the racist story- consuming public, or the continued albeit dwindling dominance of the entertainment industry by Jews, though we cannot by any means discount these forces. It's also our current preference for stories that reflect the futility of fighting against fate and God and a heartless, unfair world. Stories of coming to terms with futility are very fashionable. They're considered a challenge to dogmatic religion, to the doctrine of temporal retribution, to social Darwinism, and therefore more mature than stories of triumph. Listen to Terry Gross's recent discussion on Fresh Air of Paul Schrader's new movie, with the now old and venerable Schrader and the appropriately aged Ethan Hawke.

Ironically, with everything else going against it, the story of Captivity suffers from the shallowest of narrative concerns: happy endings are for babies. But since the Captivity still continues, its captives have little choice but to confront it with hope. How else are black people to survive their ongoing persecution if they don't see themselves as heroes in the story? It's all very well for Jews to sing of their age-old victimization and being surrounded by enemies when they can always point to Freud, Einstein, and any number of celebrated intellectuals, the invention of Hollywood, making the desert bloom in an entire colonial nation they founded as recently as 70 years ago. If black people were to peddle that same notion today, while nations on their original home continent still suffer the repercussions of colonialism, and manipulations of post-colonialism, would be to tempt defeat, just as they're on the cusp of either gaining ground or losing it, a balance that we might wonder if the dominant economic powers would like to preserve.

The Shoah gains in comparison by having the clear defeat of its villain so many years in the past. With that under their belt, Jews can wallow in ambiguity and self-pity all they want. They know they've outlasted the biggest threat they'll ever face, despite their constant worry that it can happen anywhere. Yes, it can, but it's unlikely to happen to the Jews, or only to the Jews, or at least that's the popular understanding, these former victims of the world's greatest evil who now seem to have so much going for them.

Black oppression is global, institutional and ongoing, and in a very real sense it's especially harsh in the USA. Jewish oppression is regional, sporadic, and globally disorganized, more an acute mental and social infection than an entire economic system. Those differences feed different appetites in the dominant culture. Jewish oppression is perverted, stylish, powered by scientific and industrial tools and intellectual structures. Black oppression centers around misdirected virility, passion, jealous desire, powered by whips, sails, paddle wheels, quaint colonialism and plows. Jewish oppression is existentially ambiguous, which is narratively fashionable. Black oppression is heroic, which is considered not complex enough to be fashionable, especially as humanity faces extinction due to its own ingenuity. Even superhero movies were trying to downplay or complicate heroism for a while. Strangely, we're attracted to stories in which we're bound to lose, just when we need the opposite.

These aesthetic aspects are all insidiously backed up by racist and anti-Semitic tropes, some buried deep in the cultural collective dream and some more obvious but ignored or twisted or turned into memes or running gags on sketch comedy shows. But they're shallow concerns. Whose victimization is more sexy or sacred is a shallow question, but it does hint at persistent problems of privilege. The Jews have had a 3000 year head start, and although the Captivity began long before the Shoah, the Jews, partly due to whiteness, established an advantage in the business of imagery in the West that keeps them ahead of competing narratives of oppression. But the challenge represented by the oppression of black people is coming into a renaissance, black creators are establishing themselves more visibly and with more artistic freedom to play with genres, metaphors, and satire, as the Civil Rights movement and white resistance to it are struggling through their most recent iteration. If nothing else, there's going to be more great art. If anything, the Jewish cultural contribution is languishing, a ghost of its former post-war dominance. Tony Kushner is more a playwright than a Jewish playwright or even a gay playwright, While Donald Glover is a multifaceted black genius. The marvelous brilliance of James Baldwin is being revisited. Meanwhile, Phillip Roth is dead.

In part three, next week, we'll look at the re-emergence and future of anti-Jewish and anti-black movements: the nationalists and white supremacists, and how enemies of fascism might cut them down at the root.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Several times I've heard and read complaints that the Jewish Holocaust is treated with more sanctity and inviolability in the media than slavery, by which I and apparently everyone else mean the capture, captivity and transport of black Africans from the African continent to the Americas, especially the United States, and their forced labor and unconscionable persecution here. Recently a friend of mine posted bitterly on the ol' FB about Kanye's record being the hottest one in the country right now despite his airing of the moronic and offensive opinion that slavery was the choice of the enslaved. This friend opined that, had Yeezy said the Holocaust was a choice, there would've been hell to pay. And he's probably correct. I say probably because it's a hypothetical situation, not because there's much doubt in my mind.

I won't go into the very valid reasons he came up with for this disparity. I'm more interested in how the Holocaust is perceived in the cultural imagination compared to perceptions of the Captivity, which is how I will refer to slavery per se, but also the repercussive subsequent persecution of black people in the USA. Though distinct historically, I think the various stages of the persecution deserve to be linked, and I think so because of things I've read and heard from black intellectuals and personalities and persons I respect, and because of evidence supplied by the behavior of white people around me, which seems to be worsening thanks to behavior and rhetoric of the current inhabitant of the White House.

I can already tell this will be at least a two-part discussion, so I'll confine this week's part of it to examining the amount and type of documentation of the Holocaust, or Shoah, and that of the Captivity.

From its first discovery by Allied soldiers at the end of WWII, the horror of the extermination of Jews and peoples of other qualities unacceptable to the Nazi culture revealed itself like a hidden shame. The Nazis did their best to keep their industrial mass murders a secret, fearing that even their own people, trained though they were to hate deviance from Aryan perfection, would balk at such massive horror.

And yet, being a supremely self-admiring bureaucracy, it was nevertheless considered essential to document the progress of the cleansing of the Reich. The Nazis destroyed all the evidence they could as the Allied victory became inevitable, but they'd done too thorough a job keeping track of their project.

Films of camps, of piles of corpses being bulldozed, photos documenting the entire effort from humiliation of Jews by their neighbors, children held at gunpoint, windows smashed, buildings burned, prisoners packed into cattle cars, prisoners laboring, starving, digging their own mass graves. There are documents recording the shipping, delousing, gassing and incineration of people, the reports of Nazi doctors, and the Stroop Report detailing in words and photos the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto. And there are the writings of the survivors, and the aforementioned documentation by the liberators of the camps.

That's what we have of the Shoah. Of the Captivity there's even more evidence. The slavers weren't ashamed of what they were doing, it was commerce, although they kept documentation of certain of their activities, such as raping, to a minimum. There are ships' manifests, diagrams of human cargo arrangements, advertisements for the sale of black people detailing their marketable features, for the return of runaway slaves, artifacts like shackles and chains, etchings and prints. Slaves were supposed to be kept illiterate by law, but despite the law, writings of slaves and former slaves document the kidnapping from their home, the appraisal and sale of adults and children for labor and breeding, the separation of families, the cruelty of overseers and owners, the destruction of culture, torture and mutilation, systematic dehumanization. If there are surviving films documenting this slavery stage of the Captivity, I'm not aware of it. It was too early in history for that.

After slavery, though, there's even more evidence. Ku Klux Klan members seemed keen to keep their identities hidden under hoods, but the pride of the many white people who hunted down black people, innocent or not of violating the written and unwritten rules of apartheid society, and tortured them to death, is evident in the photos on postcards and holiday cards they sent to their friends and family members, where they stand around the mutilated, burnt, and/or hanged corpses of their victims, flashing big, victorious smiles, as if they've won some athletic competition, or caught a big fish.

There's ample documentation of violence and ghettoizing from the beginning of the Great Migration north through today. There's photo-documentation and written accounts of white people, civilian and official, committing mass attacks on black communities, even destroying entire towns. There are videos of police killing black people under circumstances no white person would find coming to a lethal conclusion, albeit such records are often released by law enforcement only under public pressure. Much of this violence is documented by fellow black citizens. And there is a long record of the incarceration of black people far out of proportion to their demographic representation in the United States population as a whole. Most of us are familiar with evidence of the Captivity over at least the past sixty or seventy years, even if the non-black portion of the citizenry fails to keep it foremost in its consciousness.

All of this is by way of saying, it certainly isn't a disparity in the amount of historical evidence that might account for the supremacy of the Shoah in the popular mythos of persecution. We have plenty of evidence of both. But why do Yad Vashem and the other Holocaust Museums have such officially recognized gravitas and narrative cachet, while museums devoted to the mass crime of slavery are few and little known, and even the Smithsonian's National African American Museum of History and Culture only opened in this century?

Possible answers are hinted at in the discussion above, but certainly don't lie in the quantity of documentation. In describing the documentation itself, we're already touching on the quality of the record and the pictures it paints. Next week I'll talk about the differing aesthetics of the two mass atrocities. That's where the real fun starts.

Until then,

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Who among us has not said, "I hate this city" or "I hate this town" when an idiosyncratic characteristic of the place gets on our nerves? When the smell of urine in the subway station in Manhattan offends our nostrils, or the anti-Semitism at a bakery in Paris ruins our mood, or a West Hollywood transsexual prostitute's callous ridicule wilts our ardor?

And who among us has not said, "I hate this country" when a Trump supporter threatens to call ICE on a customer at TGIFriday's for ordering a margarita with excellent pronunciation, or in India when some martinet at the airport delays you in a bureaucratic hazing ritual for overstaying your visa by three hours, or in Australia after tripping over a homeless kangaroo in the gutter?

And who among us, when witnessing the cruelty of nature or humanity, disease or war or volcano or medical malpractice, had not said, "I hate this world" or "life's a bitch?"

Our love is like a ship on the ocean, and we're sailing with a cargo full of love and devotion. But the ocean is an ocean of lies. They call the United States a nation of laws, but it's an ocean of lies. The fish are tainted with it. We've spread it to the rest of the world, to an extent, but nowhere is the falseness more highly concentrated than here.

It begins in our education system, which has little to do with schools and everything to do with media. If education consists of all the information we pass on to each other, then we spend the most money by far educating each other about crap we want to sell each other. Financial services alone spent $17 billion last year educating us about how to make our money magically turn into more money. Think of all the blood and treasure that went into selling burgers and lotions and herbal nonsense and cars with autopilot that crash into the police for you.

"Wake up to what matters: Alicia Silverstone, With a New TV Show, Proves She’s Not Clueless." That was on the front page of the New York Times online last night. News that's fit to print? That's what matters? Alicia Silverstone? This will grow your hair back, make you slender, make all three, count them, three kinds of women pursue you down the beach. Everything is a sales pitch. And we're used to it. We know it's all lies, but we accept that everyone will lie to us. We acknowledge the farce.

The ads are bad enough, and there's the soft, elegant state and capitalist propaganda of the so-called responsible media, but there are talk radio stations and entire networks of rightwing garbage that are no better than the exhortations to buy or sell gold that punctuate their hour-long festivals of prevarication.

How can being lied to every second of every day not have an effect on how we deal with each other? Here, in the USA, the wild west of capitalism, you'd think that nothing is ever given out of kindness, only out of self-interest, the self-interest of the faceless organism whose stated purpose is to take as much of your money and give as little as possible in exchange.

It trickles down from the Mount Horeb of profit motive, swells into a mighty river of bootstraps, entrepreneurship, and rugged individualism, and spills out into the sea, where we are navigating between icebergs of disastrous Ponzi schemes and reverse mortgage ripoffs, all while the very water on which we float is lies.

Our love is like a ship on the ocean. But should our ship founder, we'll drown in lies, or be devoured by beasts that thrive in the medium of lies. They call them sharks. It's a testament to human psychological resilience that so many of us find trusting relationships with each other, surrounded as we are unto every horizon by lies, lies, lies.

We find friendships, self-esteem, creativity, poetry, we fight for justice, we question authority, all the while bombarded with false promises and con jobs. It really is a miracle. When you find someone who really cares more about their integrity as a person than about how much they can squeeze out of their fellow people, that is someone you treasure. And if you don't, you're drowning. How do you even live?

There are those who come at it from another angle, and ask, how do you live if you're not always looking to gain the most while surrendering the least?

Maybe these forces are opposed in each of us. Extreme altruism can leave you without the necessities of existence. Too little altruism and you're nothing but a selfish monster. If I am not for myself, who am I? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?

In a world 78% covered by an ocean of lies, though, Donald Dump is the perfect King Neptune. He arose from the ocean, and rules it appropriately, loudly exaggerating his abilities, making claims on which he can't deliver. No wonder his supporters continue their support. They're even more used to being lied to than the rest of us. Of course Budweiser isn't the King of Beers, the claim is meaningless. Of course Dump isn't going to make Mexico pay for an impossible wall, the claim was meaningless when it was made. These are the people who drink the commercials along with the Hannity and Dobbs. They drink seawater. And everyone knows that drinking seawater makes you mad.

Surrounded by mad, shrieking idiots drunk on the ocean, it's hard to remember the importance of the cargo we're carrying, hidden below decks. Sometimes we forget that the most important things are exactly the things moronic inspirational memes, despite their intensions, drain of real meaning. Hang in there baby, Friday's almost here. We have to cross this ocean, survive the lunatic wrath of Neptune, and deliver our cargo of love and devotion to the other shore. Not all of us will make it. Not all of the beauty in the world will survive unexploited or unmutilated. The world itself might end, or our ability to live on it. But what choice do we have?

I hate this world.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Imagine you're having a hard time getting laid, for whatever reason. And you really really want to have sex, for whatever reason. But you don't want to pay for it, for whatever reason. Many people, women and men and every gender you can be, might go through a period like this, or even an entire lifetime like this, and it's sad. It's frustrating for them.

People come up with a variety of strategies to deal with the frustration. Some have sex with flashlights, some entice members of other species, some mope and wallow with the same enthusiasm which might propel others into non-sexual or subliminally sexual or quasi-sexual activities such as mixed martial arts or papier- mâché crafts or arson. But to some, nothing can take the place of having sex, even if they've never had it before.

Certain young men refuse to have sex with anyone but beautiful young women, to use their phrase. Well, it is best to have sex with someone you're sexually attracted to. But beautiful young women are a small part of the population. I mean, it depends on your definition of beautiful, I guess. But these young men seem to mean women who fit a particularly rigid definition of commercial hetero-normative female attractiveness. Being rigid during sex works, but being rigid about who you'll have sex with is a recipe for dissatisfaction. There are so many kinds of bodies and minds. But I'm probably preaching to the converted here.

Incels, or "involuntary celibates," are a group of men in their early twenties and perhaps older who blame their celibacy on rejection by the women they feel should rightfully be theirs to do with as they please. They want to go back to an imaginary time when they believe beautiful women had no choice but to pair with men like them. I'm not sure who these guys think they are that they would meet the criteria for mating in the situation they've convinced themselves once existed. They blame feminism and multiculturalism for ruining the good thing they would have had if only they'd been born in an imaginary past when women were so dependent that they would sign up to sleep with just about any white man for their entire lives just because that's what was done. These heterosexual males believe that, if they had a time machine, they could go back to a society in which they wouldn't be lonely and sexually frustrated, because women's opportunities for happiness were limited. And not all women, mind you. Beautiful young women. They believe they would have been feeding at a trough of the plentiful beautiful women who did what any man wanted them to, back in medieval times or maybe the 1950s.

I sympathize with their being lonely and sexually frustrated. Almost everyone is one or both of those things at some point in life. No one can fault them for their dissatisfaction at being in either condition. But when the answer they've come up with to address their dissatisfaction is not only blatantly, historically, psycho- sexually wrong, but disrespects, even in just the rhetorical realm, the rights and physical safety of others, a civil observer can only wish them to keep themselves to themselves until they grow out of it.

The cherry on this garbage sundae of bad theory is a personality named Jordan Peterson. This Peterson personality is kind of a cult leader for these intellectually and sexually impoverished gents, the way Leo Strauss was once the center of the lives of a lot of University of Chicago students, but Peterson has much less of value to offer.

The incel swamp of misogynist ideas has spawned a lot of violence. Incel chat groups valorize Elliot Rodger, 22, the U of C Santa Barbara student who went on a shooting spree out of vengeance for being sexually rejected by certain women, ending with him blowing his brains out, as a hero. Alek Minassian, 25, who plowed his car into a crowd in Toronto, killing nine people, was an incel zealot.

So what's the solution? Well, there's been talk lately of the redistribution of sex. You know, the way socialists would like to redistribute resources so no one suffers starvation or homelessness, these gentlemen would like to redistribute beautiful young women's bodies to themselves so they don't suffer from their own narrow view of attractiveness. It's like if socialists wanted all the fresh salads to be given only to public schoolteachers. If salad was a living human being. And if schoolteachers did nothing but complain and obsess about salad never letting them eat it. And sometimes violently assaulted or killed salad, or anyone standing near salad, out of revenge for sentient chicken Caesars refusing to be eaten by them.

There's no denying that these guys have toxic views of others and themselves. They have very toxic views about vaginas, which is a little ridiculous since by their own admission, and by definition, they don't have any hands-on experience with them.
I understand how sex can seem like a matter of life and death, especially if you subscribe to a Darwinian view of human sexual and social hierarchy. Sex is how we create more of our DNA. Not being able to replicate your DNA can feel like threat to your survival.

A moment's thought, though, could bring the realization that replicating your DNA is really not such a big deal. Who cares if your zygotic shplasm gets passed on to another generation? What's so great about you, snowflake?

Sexual need is real. However, if you're going to consider worthless every possible way of dealing with that need, aside from your fantasy ideal based on an infantile narrative about human society, you are only hurting yourself. Until you hurt others. And then you need to shape up intellectually and emotionally, or someone else is going to deal with you. I don't know what to do about Jordan Peterson, who is old enough to know better, but I don't think chemical castration is the answer. I know no one suggested it was, but it might be something we should think about it, now that you mention it. Also, does anyone have the recipe for Russian polonium soup?

A rite-of-passage service force of sexy female sex instructors who would initiate pubescent boys into sex, how to do it, where to put it, was something I fantasized about when I was fourteen. I really got off on that fantasy, often multiple times a day. But that's a fantasy, not like the fantasy of egalitarian socialism for all, but like the fantasy of being able to turn invisible and rob all the banks. Socialism is worth pursuing because all of our lives would be improved by its becoming reality. The contrasting fantasies are not, because they're selfish and treat women as soulless resources, and because, if you've read the literature and seen the movies, invisibility always leads to narcissistic mental breakdowns.

At the age of 22, Elliot Rodger really hadn't given himself a chance. Finding a compatible lover takes time and luck. That's why they call it "gettin' lucky." And, yes, here in the vile capitalist terror dome, wealthier, taller, slimmer, happier, healthier people can get lucky more often that those not blessed with a lot of sexual bartering capital. It's a jungle out there. A jungle! Full of animals. But if you're open to it, you can get eaten on the regular.

I'm not saying I've cracked the nut of sexual fulfillment. I definitely have not. But I'm prepared to use all the tools at my disposal, and, although I have a long way to go, I'm open to a variety of interactions with a variety of humans. It took me a long time to get this way. I'm not a people person. I have emotional and physical issues I need to address constantly. I get on people's nerves and they get on mine. But, y'know, you're stuck with yourself. That's all you've got to work with. You are your vessel on the seas of life. If you're feeling like life is hopeless, and you're upset enough to hurt others or yourself, please get help. Even people who get laid all they want sometimes need help. And you know what? No one gets laid all they want. No one gets all of anything they want. You don't have to be Buddha to learn to rise above that aspect of reality. To be Jordan Petersonesque, just, don't be a baby. Don't be a quitter. Clean your room. Stop blaming women for everything.

Now that Google's not using it, the motto "Don't be evil" is up for grabs, too. Try that. Try not being evil. It's not as hard as Google makes it look.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Listen carefully: "Among the many atrocities Dr. Mengele perpetrated on his subjects were so-called experiments "requiring" the mutilation of his subjects' eyes. The kids loved it."

Would you have a problem figuring out that one of those sentences was sincere and the other sarcastic? Would you have a problem figuring out which was which? Would you have trouble understanding the purpose of the scare quotes around "requiring" in the first sentence, or difficulty separating the momentary sarcasm couched within the sincere?

How do you know when something's plainly sincere and something's meant in some other way? In the first sentence, the words "atrocities" "perpetrated" "mutilation" and "Dr. Mengele" are tip-offs that what is being written of is not done so out of admiration. Those tip-offs are clues that the statement, "The kids loved it," is meant sarcastically, perhaps even sardonically. But if you don't read the tip-offs accurately, how do you know what's meant sincerely and what is not?

The writer relies on the reader's extra-textual associations with the tip-off words. Nazi doctors and the atrocities they perpetrated are by general consensus evil. There are, of course, some people who would argue with the presumption of consensus, but for the most part, any reader of the English language at a sixth grade level or beyond would understand the tone of the sentences, and would replicate that tone in their minds as they read. The reciter of such a pattern of tropes on the radio would be expected to provide vocal cues to aid the listener's interpretation.

Last week, more than one very intelligent person thought that I, in my Moment of Truth segment, was advocating for the rape of Bill Cosby in prison. I assure everyone that I mean this sincerely and emphatically: I do not advocate the rape of Bill Cosby or anyone else, either in prison or at any other location. And if that wasn't the problem, as one listener asserted, then perhaps it was just a repulsive essay. That I can't deny. But such an interpretation also calls into question my own reasons for presenting such a piece of repulsiveness. Did I choose the right tool for that job? And what was the job? If listeners are supposed to detect extra-textual clues, did I maybe convey a meaning that was beyond my conscious control? I wouldn't doubt it.

When I said, "It's going to be someone's job to rape Bill Cosby in prison," I meant, if someone is going to rape Bill Cosby in prison, where he would, were he not rich, be put as punishment for drugging and raping women – in a society which punishes by locking men up with other men who can statistically be expected to rape them, then rape is a tacitly official part of the punishment. By sarcastically calling raping Bill Cosby a "job" or "duty" or "burden," I meant to implicate our, or perhaps only my, unspoken acceptance of rape in prison as the normal course of everyday business.

Why was that unclear, if it was? First, I blame myself, the writer and lector, for failing to be the master of my extra-textual cues. After over 20 years on the air and 40 years plying the trade of satire, I expect more from myself.

When I said, "But on the bright side, it's redemptive revenge, that's the beauty of it. It's a healing revenge. The Jews call it tikkun: the repairing of the damaged fabric of the universe. That's what raping Bill Cosby in the ass with your dick is. Tikkun. It's a sacred act, raping Bill Cosby in the ass," why wasn't it clear that I mean the opposite? Is it because of my coarse phrasing, which is more typical of a straight cis white man's diction than we think it should be? What might make someone more unsure about my commitment against treating rape as redemptive than my commitment against a Nazi doctor mutilating children's eyeballs?

I know it's a simplistic idea, and there's a lot more that's objectionable in my essay than I mention here, but I'd say we're more certain of the unacceptability of Mengele's atrocities, which are in the past, and labeled with the negative signifier "Nazi," than we are of the idea that rape is beyond the pale. Rape has judgments of concealment and equivocation attached to it. And it happens to women, and we're equivocal about our sympathy toward women. And it happens to men, and we're equivocal about men who allow something to happen to them that happens to women. And those men are in prison, so we feel like they made bad choices. We know a Nazi was a Nazi, but was that rape really a rape? Is the consensus there? Rape abounds in our culture, and many citizens seem immune to clarity about its grip on our lives. And I'm not only talking about a lawmaker who calls a pregnancy resulting from rape "a silver lining," or other such egregious nonsense.

How were you supposed to know which of the following statements I meant sincerely and which were meant to be read as sarcasm: "[Y]ou need a professional, career prison rapist. Someone just really strong and mean, who rapes anyone vulnerable he sees. A psychotic bully. Rape is just the most extreme form of bullying, after all." If I meant the first three statements sarcastically, fine. That would go along with a reading of the bulk of the text as satire of some kind. But that last sentence: "Rape is just the most extreme form of bullying, after all," if read sarcastically, sounds as if the writer, I, is mocking the idea of bullying and its status as a buzzword in the zeitgeist. "Oh, everyone's so worked up about bullying. Hey, why don't we call rape bullying? It's someone being mean to someone else, after all."

I honestly feel that rape is the most extreme form of bullying, more extreme even than threatening to kill, because rape is not only domination through humiliation and pain on its own terms, it also contains the threat of murder. Only torture, of which rape can and often is a component, rises to this level of bullying. So I probably should have left that sentence off the end of that paragraph. What I was imagining was a reader or listener following along in disgust, whether at me or at our justice system, which tacitly punishes with rape, and then taking that final sentence at face value, albeit colored by the disgust immediately preceding it. Like a flourish of sincere intelligence atop an excremental sundae.

The complicated idea I wanted to get across was this: what we call rape culture includes rape tacitly condoned as part of our justice system, and I am complicit in the acceptance of this situation, even as I posture to condemn it. Was I having too much fun talking about dicks, butts and piñatas on the radio? Probably perversely so. It was a perverse form of fun, without mirth. I sensed myself looking over my shoulder, saying, That is just so wrong. Yeah, I replied to myself, it is.

I kept writing. What does that say about me? I think we all know the answer to that. But it also says we who are wrapped in the winding sheet of toxic masculinity have normalized fear, and in this case homophobic fear, of rape as a slapstick device. That's part of what I meant to convey. I had hoped that screed of mine was sufficiently sickening to carry a sense of gallows fatalism. That was some of what I was feeling as I set the words down. I can't deny it was repulsive. It was.

Sometimes you have to blur yourself and allow yourself license and leave yourself open to embarrassment and scorn to express your truth. That can hurt other people, but I have strong, honest, brilliant, resilient people around me. Thus I live to scribe another day. Perhaps I will live even to regret it. Or perhaps we all will.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I believe Bill Cosby's philosophy was, always be nice. Be pleasant, be calm, be even- tempered, be reasonable. Be nice, even when drugging your victims.

Revenge is a dish best served without being examined too closely. Revenge and punish, it never pays for the avenger or punisher to look too hard in the mirror.

Rape is not a joke. Rape is not funny. Rape jokes aren't funny. We know this. We know this. It's not funny. Not even close to funny. Not even when a comedian goes to prison for it. And rape is definitely not a job. At least in the society we claim to be, whether in the public or private sphere, rape is not a duty in anyone's official job description. But, we're all adults here. We know that in clandestine circumstances, off-the-books as it were, as civilized as we pretend we to be, the very opposite is true. Raping is in some men's tacit job description.

So who's job is it gonna be to rape Bill Cosby in prison? Who's gonna do that? Who's gonna take on that burden? Somebody's gotta do it. I know, I know, rape's not a job, it's a spontaneous or premeditated act of violence to assert power and control, generally by someone sociopathically resentful who lacks the emotional resources to repair their deformed self-esteem.

But Bill Cosby's going to prison. And you know if somebody's man is going to prison while Cosby is in there, she's gonna be like: You better rape Cosby while you're in there. If you haven't raped Cosby, don't come back out. You have one job while you're in prison: rape Cosby. You have one job. You don't have to buy me birthday presents or Valentine flowers for the rest of your life, but you just better rape Cosby.

This is the social contract: Cosby drugged and raped dozens of women. Dozens. I suppose I should say, "allegedly," since the majority of accusers have not had their cases heard in court. But dozens. No exaggeration. So now, he goes to prison, where people get raped a lot. He gets to see what it feels like. But somebody's gotta do it. The Jello puddin pop. Someone's gotta pop his puddin.

Men, especially white men, have been a bane to the other inhabitants of the Earth for centuries. Men have a lot to atone for. It's doubtful they'll ever make up for the cruelty and death they've doled out. It may be that only through the commission of a heinous taboo can the reputations of men be cleansed. Not the souls, just the reputations. It's too late for the soul. Like Beowulf, who had to kill, thereby sacrificing his soul to rid the land of evil, men may have only this one chance at redemption: rape Cosby.

What opportunity would you not take to at least attempt to redress the damage your kind have done to the world? You oppressors? In the past you have committed such crimes against women. The least you can do, the very least, is rape Cosby. Just rape him. Rape him in the butt or the face, with your dick. Let's say the butt, for rhetorical convenience.

Just think of Cosby's ass as a piñata. And your dick is like a dick hitting a piñata. And you keep hitting that piñata till it breaks and all the Jolly Ranchers fall out.

It won't repair what he's done. There's no doing that. But what he did was so vile and ugly, the only response is either forgiveness, which is only the prerogative of the many women whose trust and bodies he abused – no one else gets to make that call. Doing nothing is tantamount to forgiveness. And who are you to forgive? Our only choice, in society as it is, as limited as our imaginations are, is to do something ugly and vile to him in revenge.

But on the bright side, it's redemptive revenge, that's the beauty of it. It's a healing revenge. The Jews call it tikkun: the repairing of the damaged fabric of the universe. That's what raping Bill Cosby in the ass with your dick is. Tikkun. It's a sacred act, raping Bill Cosby in the ass.

And I'm not that guy. I'm just not a prison rapist. No, take the chalice away from me, Lord, I shall not drink. And anyway, I don't think I could maintain an erection for very long doing that, smackin that Cosby piñata. For that you need a professional, career prison rapist. Someone just really strong and mean, who rapes anyone vulnerable he sees. A psychotic bully. Rape is just the most extreme form of bullying, after all.

Yeah, you need a career prison rapist with a Gadsden flag tattooed on his dick. Don't tread on me. To go rape Cosby. He's our golem. Even if he's doing it for a horrible reason. It's like, if someone wanted to kill Hitler just to get his jollies skull- schtupping him, I say, be my guest. I ain't gonna be mad atcha.

Does this all not seem to articulate a spiritual logic? Raping Cosby's ass? Raping the rapist as punishment. It's not rehabilitation, it's punishment. Doesn't it seem like it was meant to be? Here's a guy who, we all know what he did, and now he goes to prison for it. And he's a comedian! Not just any comedian, but a wholesome comedian. THE wholesome comedian. Would not work blue. Now he's gonna get worked black and blue all the time.

Oh, he was on his high horse. "You young comedians, if you have to say four-letter words to get laughs, you're just not – that's a crutch, profanity." And then he's lecturing the younger people, "you know what your problem is? You wear your pants so your whole underwear shows. It's disrespectful."

No one ever got to say, Oh, yeah, old Bill Cosby, well, you know what your problem is? You give women sedatives without their knowing it, and when they fall asleep, you rape them. So you can just shut up about my underwear showing. I think someone should rape you in the butt in prison, like all the time.

Consequences, man, consequences. Know what I'm sayin? I mean, many people have that happen to them in prison, for crimes a lot less awful than Bill Cosby's.

I can't believe we're living here, in this world of Bill Cosby, the rapist. On top of everything, all the things you would have to go back in time and report to the past that they would never believe 9-11. Dick Cheney and his five heart transplants. A black president. Computers, internet, smart phones, Fukishima, Elon Musk sending his stupid car into space like a phallicly obsessed PT Barnum.

The Cassini space probe and the rings of Saturn. Hurricane Katrina, the government just left people to die. And then Donald Dump became president. The vast, breathtaking marches! The gun massacres. Global warming, the oceans are dying, the forests, the water is disappearing. Oh and to top it all off, Bill Cosby, Fat Albert, Jello Pudding, tricked women into ingesting drugs and then raped them while they were unconscious.

Ah, don't try to guess. No, way more than that. You're way lowballin, man. No. At least 60. At least 60!

I know: Bill Cosby. Cliff Huxtable. America's Dad. Yeah. Oh, yeah, but it's okay, cuz he's getting raped in the ass every day. So, y'know, happy ending.

Then again, he may never serve any time, if his lawyers can keep him out while they draw out the appeals process. Or he may evade prison some other way.

And he probably wouldn't be raped in prison even if he spent a few years there, for a variety of reasons.

Simply put, the verdict might have to suffice as vindication for the victims. And for the men of this world, our grotesque, questionable redemption might be deferred indefinitely, as it has been since the history of violence began.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!