Part 4—Future anthropologists speak: The richness of the current stampede has transformed this award-winning site.
At its start, it was devoted to critiques of the upper-end press. This new stampede has been so rich that we've been forced to make an admission:
We're now involved in pure anthropology—anthropology of the future. An anthropology which seeks to define who "we, the people" really are.
Are we really "the rational animal," as we've long insisted? The richness of the current stampede turns that claim into a joke for the gods.
Then too, there is the evidence of our recent night visits.
These visits have come to us from 500 years in the future, courtesy of a previously undiscovered wormhole in our landline "telly-phone." (We're channeling Elvis' 1956 impression of Jackie Wilson's Las Vegas impression of him, an impression Wilson performed as lead singer for Billy Ward and the Dominoes. We strongly recommend it. "Man, he sung that song!...He got a big hand on it too, boy.")
The visits have involved a group of "future anthropologists." Their story, in a nutshell:
After "Mr. Trump's Ten-Minute War of Distraction" (2018, in response to the Mueller indictments), human life, as previously known, perished from the earth. On the brighter side, the radiation blasts strangely invested a few survivors with certain time travel mental techniques, which were retained and refined in the centuries which followed.
With human life perished from the earth, survivors used these channeling skills to explore the reasons for Mr. Trump's War. As we moderns look back with embarrassment at Isaac Newton's belief in witchcraft and his attempts to turn lead into gold, they looked back at their "human" ancestors, wondering how the "perishment war" could have come to pass.
In their searches, they stumbled upon this site and its author, who they describe, in the future, as "the Herodotus of the anthropologists." It's a reference to the famous Greek whose historiography was all wrong, but who at least had started to have a bit of the right idea.
"What made you suspect that your fellow humans weren't actually human?" these travelers have respectfully asked in their nightly visits.
We've mentioned the magazine racks at the big book stores with their highly improbable number of magazine titles. Who could possibly be buying those putative magazines, we've long thoughtfully asked. Surely, we've long thought, those improbable specialist publications must be some joke of the gods.
That was one of our earliest clues, dating at least to the 1990s. This week, we've also mentioned what a certain cable news star said on Monday night.
That afternoon, Beverly Young Nelson had described a violent sexual attack on her person—a 1979 attack she attributed to Roy Moore. She was describing a criminal act, as Leigh Corfman had done before her.
Nelson's statement began to establish a pattern of sexual assault by Moore. But how odd! That night, an apparently human cable news star made history's strangest known comment.
The cable star began by citing last Friday's original Washington Post report. In that report, Corfman had described a statutory sexual assault.
Two other women said that Moore had dated them when they were 17 and 19 years old. A fourth woman said Moore had asked her for a date when she was 16.
That made four women in all. On Monday, Nelson became the second woman to describe a criminal sexual assault.
This brought the total number of women to five. It led the star to make human history's weirdest known statement, at least so far:
MADDOW (11/13/17): Remember that all five women who have made these allegations against Roy Moore have described remarkably similar types of behavior. They've all given their names. None of these women apparently knew each other in any other context. They say they have not coordinated their efforts.You'll note that the star was stretching the facts—indeed, was misstating the Post's actual claim—about those "30 other interviews."
The initial Washington Post story not only named all four women accusers, they also corroborated these women's allegations with 30 other interviews.
By now, though, plays like that were culturally required. When we spoke to our night visitors, we only cited this thoroughly ludicrous, plainly non-human assessment:
"All five women who have made these allegations against Roy Moore have described remarkably similar types of behavior."
Say what? All five women have described remarkably similar types of behavior? Sheepishly, we told our visitors that statements like these triggered the insight they were hailing, from the future, as one of history's greatest.
All five women have described remarkably similar types of behavior? Could an actual human being, as described by sacred Aristotle, possibly make such a statement?
Consider two of the women's accounts:
Nelson said she was taken behind a dark building in a car which was then parked where it couldn't be seen. Subterfuge was involved in this action. She'd been told by Moore that he would simply be driving her home, on a cold night, from the restaurant where she worked.
Instead, Moore drove his car behind the restaurant and parked it where it couldn't be seen. According to Nelson, she was then physically groped by Moore, with Moore also attempting make her perform oral sex. In the course of this criminal assault, she was subjected to physical violence of the type a person might experience in a simple street mugging. This left significant bruising.
That's what Nelson said. She was describing a criminal sexual assault with attendant criminal physical violence.
That's what Nelson said, in an act we regard as a public service, assuming her statement is accurate. Below, you see what one of the other women said. We'll edit out extraneous material perhaps inserted by the Post to help its readers stampede:
MCCRUMMEN, REINHARD AND CRITES (11/10/17): “My mom was really, really strict and my curfew was 10:30 but she would let me stay out later with Roy,” says Deason, who is now 57 and lives in North Carolina. “She just felt like I would be safe with him. . . . She thought he was good husband material.”What's what Deason said. Is that story "remarkably similar" to the story Nelson told? Asking our question a different way, could an actual human, as described by sacred Aristotle, possibly think that those two stories are "remarkably similar?"
Deason says that they dated off and on for several months and that he took her to his house at least two times. She says their physical relationship did not go further than kissing and hugging.
“He liked Eddie Rabbitt and I liked Freddie Mercury,” Deason says, referring to the country singer and the British rocker.
Could an actual human think such a thing? Adding to our puzzlement, here's the "remarkably similar" story told by one of the other women cited in the Post:
MCCRUMMEN, REINHARD AND CRITES: Gibson says that they dated for two to three months, and that he took her to his house, read her poetry and played his guitar. She says he kissed her once in his bedroom and once by the pool at a local country club.Say what? According to Gibson, she dated ol' Roy for two or three months, during which time he kissed her twice! According to Gibson, when Moore first asked her for a date, her mother said that, if Moore had asked her out, “I’d say you were the luckiest girl in the world.”
Gibson was 17; ol' Roy was 34. We moderns may not approve of such age differences, and, without any question, our modern judgments about such things are superior to those of anyone else at any time in the history of the world.
That last point goes without saying. That said, ol' Roy dated her for two or three months, with everyone's knowledge and approval, and he kissed her twice!
Instead, he read her poems and strummed his guitar. Granted, these sound like horrible dates. But on what planet does that story seem to be "remarkably similar" to the story of violent sexual assault Nelson told this week?
Putting it another way, on what planet could a human think those stories were "remarkably similar?"
Ol' Roy kissed her twice! Trust us—in an earlier, more homophobic Alabama politics, these stories would have been used, in oppo research, to drive a whispering point like this: "Ol' Roy don't much seem to like gur-ls!"
Let's hope we're past such days! That said, in what world could these stories possibly seem "remarkably similar?"
Our night visitors have answered that question all week. They say such stories can seem similar in a world where sacred Aristotle was just tremendously wrong.
For the record, our visitors insist that the cable star actually is fully human. She isn't a cyborg, our visitors say. She wasn't hatched on a distant planet. She wasn't quite built in a lab.
Our visitors tell us that we've been wrong when we've launched such speculations about other puzzling journalists down through the many long years. They've all been "human, all too human," our visitors hotly insist.
It's just that Wittgenstein was right, they obscurely say, and Aristotle, though sacred, was crazily wrong.
Crackpots like this cable star shrink in horror from the age difference in these last two stories. In a burst of crackpot runaway Puritanism, they can see no other element to the stories which have appeared this past week.
As such, these runaway crackpots reveal themselves as human, much less than human. One teenager got kissed twice; one was violently assaulted. Locked inside their runaway world, these life forms can't see the difference.
To their empty, malfunctioning hearts, those stories seem the same!
In last night's visit, the future anthropologists ruefully assailed the cultural xenophobia of folk like cable star. "It led us straight toward Mr. Trump's War," the rag-covered cave dwellers said.
Still and all, on the brighter side, they retain a sense of humor.
Was it crazy when ol' Roy Moore, age 32, dated late teens in '79? They reminded us of the film Manhattan, which appeared that very same year, in which the Woody Allen character—said to be 42 in the script—was living with his high school girl friend, who was 17.
Her parents were never mentioned. It was the 70s, people!
Up in Gotham, elite Yankee journalists loved the adorable film. But when ol' Roy went crazy and kissed a teenager two separate times that same year, he was just so horrifically wrong that his two kisses were indistinguishable from a violent act of assault.
"Face it," our saddened night visitors said. That cable star is visibly crazy, pretty much out of her mind. She did so many things, they said, to bring on Mr. Trump's War.
The heat was off all over our campus last night. Where they live, it's colder.
Tomorrow: Crackpot runaway Puritanism, with so many additional points to cover! Also, back to Mr. Lincoln's concern about "perish[ing] from the earth!"
Culturally speaking: Culturally speaking, Priscilla Beaulieu was 14 when she began dating Elvis. Elvis was already 24—indeed, well past 24 and a half.
When Beaulieu turned 17, her parents, stationed in Germany, let her fly to the States for a two-week visit with Elvis. They married after an eight-year courtship, still different in age by ten years.
Culturally speaking, was any of this a good idea? On balance, possibly not, but neither are the kinds of stampedes conducted by our legion of non-humans, whose craziness we can't see.
"Remarkably similar!" As Nelson fights for her life in that car, we'd call that inhumanly wrong.