Part 3—For decades, we've purchased such tales: On the back of The Order of Time, the reader is assailed, indeed propagandized, by the standard encomia.
First up is The Financial Times. Under the heading PRAISE FOR CARLO ROVELLI, we're told that the Financial Times once said this about that:
"The physicist known for making complex science intelligible."On that same back cover, four others recite the same story. The Scientific American is said to have once said this:
"His concise and comprehensible writing makes sense of intricate notions..."Reviewers always stand in line to say such things about those who, by the assessment of the guilds, are judged to have made-Einstein-easy.
There's little hope for these willing reviewers. Accepting this unfortunate fact, we issue our challenge to the general citizen reader:
Rovelli's concise and comprehensible writing makes complex science intelligible? Dear citizens! If you're willing to buy a story like that, what story won't you purchase?
If you can swallow that Standard Tale, which Standard Tale will you question, doubt, wonder about, even be drawn to challenge?
Which claim won't you purchase? Will you buy the claim that Al Gore said he invented the Internet? Will you accept the claim that he hired a woman to teach him to be man?
When Susan Rice discusses Benghzi, will you buy John McCain's instant account of what she said? Or will you look at the actual transcript, to see what she actually said?
When creeps on The Rachel Maddow Show side with James Comey in July 2016, will it occur to you that you are perhaps being handed the latest Loaded Tale? Will it cross your mind that an exhibitionist clown like Maddow can't necessarily be trusted?
Will it ever occur to you that you can't necessarily believe the things you're told by the people who pose as your cable news friends? That you can't necessarily believe the things you're told by groups of people jostling to maintain careers?
Along the way to the present day, will you buy the claim that Comey ("Comey the God") is the world's most upright person? Will you buy that claim when it's made, in Standard Group Fashion, about Paul Ryan, and John McCain, and even Judge Starr, before him?
Will you buy the claim that Bill Clinton is slippery, slick and "Clintonesque" in a way that others aren't? Concerning Hillary Clinton, when Chris Matthews tells you the sorts of things which are shown below, will you fail to let yourself think that something seems to be wrong inside this strange person's head?
Hillary Clinton was going to run for the Senate. Matthews was very upset:
MATTHEWS (12/6/99): I'm Chris Matthews in San Francisco. Let's play Hardball!She didn't want to fall on the bunny slope! As he continued to rant, Matthews explained the thinking behind the health care plan which Clinton had helped devise during her husband's first term:
Well, joining us right now from Washington, D. C. is author and journalist Gail Sheehy. She's got a new book, it's called Hillary's Choice. We'll get to the meaning of that.
MATTHEWS: You talk in a nice way about how Hillary never wanted to learn to ski. Now, I learned to ski at a relatively late age, and I love it. But it does involve falling. And you point out in your book that she doesn't like to fall. And therefore—
I mean, just falling, the physical act of falling in front of other people, where they see you fall. Yet she was willing to take on a seventh of the American economy with no economics training, and say that she was going to personally redefine the economic system with regard to health. How can she be afraid to fall on her butt on the bunny slope, and yet willing to jeopardize the health security of the American people without a blink?
SHEEHY: Well, I think she thought she knew what she was doing, and she thought Ira Magaziner would be—
MATTHEWS: The guy with the propeller on his head!
MATTHEWS: I mean, why did she hang around with that clack? Those guys have never been elected to anything, they've never run for anything. Why does she trust those kinds of guys?
SHEEHY: Well, she—
MATTHEWS: They're all lefties and propeller heads! They're worse than she is!
SHEEHY: Wait a second! Let me just ask you one thing. I know you don't like Hillary Clinton—
MATTHEWS: No, that's not true. That's not the relevant point. I'm asking you why did she— Why was she afraid to fall on soft snow on a bunny slope, but wasn't afraid of bringing down the health security of 260 million Americans? That's what I don't understand.
MATTHEWS: She said, “I'm going to give you universal coverage. I want to give every man who gets into this country, legally or illegally, free health care, and they're going to have to thank me for it, and bring flowers to me like I'm Evita.”...She wanted to sell it as socialism, because then she could get credit for it. She and the government, like Eleanor Roosevelt, her hero.He would call her "Evita" for years. Later in that interview, as Sheehy worried about her own personal safety, the Doctor was very much IN:
MATTHEWS: Here's the weird thing about this dysfunctional relationship, and you've been sorting this out as an author for so many months. You have one partner on the team that thinks they're always right. They think they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually and every other way. The other person believes they've never done anything wrong. If you have one who's a born cover-up artist who can't even turn in an honest golf score, and the other one who thinks she's always right about everything, God help us! As you say, Hillary's choice is the choice to be blind-sided or to be blind about the truth. What an amazing credential to be United States senator for New York!Bill Clinton couldn't record an honest golf score. Hillary Clinton had a weird approach to skiing.
I get the feeling she's got this moral superiority that somehow he [Bill Clinton] was lucky to have her, but she wasn't lucky to have him, like she could have gotten there with any guy—as that little story you tell in the book goes, any guy she could have dragged into the presidency—because she was the superior moral, intellectual and cultural and political force, and he was just some bumpkin she picked up and dragged along like a barnacle behind her rear end.
She thought he was some bumpkin she dragged along like a barnacle behind her rear end! Our upper-end, elite "journalism" would be like this for many years, right through 2016.
Were you able to watch such rants without thinking that something seemed to be wrong with this very strange cable news star? When a web site spent twenty years detailing this endless insanity, were you able to wonder why a person like that retained his status within our floundering nation's journalistic elite?
Were you able to wonder why no one within that alleged elite ever raised these points about the very strange behavior of this very strange person? Did you ever wonder why Your Darling Rachel went out of her way to say so many nice things about him a bit later on?
(Why she vouched so hard for Greta, her drinking buddy, who had served for years as The Birther King's prime enabler on Fox?)
We're skipping lightly over the roads which sent Mr. Trump to the White House. We're asking you to consider the various Approved Group Stories which were aggressively sold, and willingly purchased, as that highway was laid.
We're asking you to wonder why so many Group Stories were purchased Over Here, within the tents of our own self-impressed liberal tribe. As of November 2016, the weight of twenty-five years of these ludicrous stories sent Donald J. Trump to the White House. We're asking why this endless array of Clownish Group Stories were endlessly tolerated and bought.
Those Official Approved Group Stories have turned out to be profoundly destructive. Even today, the corporate journalists we liberals most love still refuse to discuss this topic on their precious air or in their well-known newspapers.
Now for a bit of a contrast:
The claim that Professor Rovelli is comprehensible isn't deeply destructive.
It's part of entertainment culture, full stop. It won't lead us to Mr. Trump's War, which is apparently destined to start during Ivanka's one truncated term.
(Reportedly, she appoints her father Secretary of Dispositive Global War. He starts by sending Thai divers to seize the children of Canada's PM. Reportedly, the New York Times continues to say that we mustn't discuss any possible mental illness.)
The claim that Rovelli is clear and concise won't lead to this global war. That said, it's one of the silliest stories ever told. Despite this rather obvious fact, elite reviewers stand in line to recite it. This makes the story a good example of the way our species functions.
In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Professor Harari says the invention of human language gave us two essential tools. He says it allowed our species to "gossip" and to sell group "fictions." He says these capabilities allowed our species to conquer the world.
We think the professor is right on point! Even today, it's amazingly easy to gossip and sell those group fictions.
Tomorrow, we'll return to the fiction which won't start that war. Acknowledging that it's all good fun, we'll offer more examples of the "comprehensible" things Rovelli has said.
Tomorrow: We return to the-text-in-itself!
Just for the record: When Matthews ranted about Candidate Gore and Candidate Clinton, his owner was conservative near-billionaire Jack Welch. According to press reports, his salary went from $1.6 million to $5 million as he staged these endless ludicrous rants.
We can't vouch for those reports. By the rules of the game, we aren't allowed to know how much our favorites get paid for their journalistic services.
They rail about chump change for everyone else. Their own bloated salary figures stay hidden. As they rail, they're selling a story.
Gratefully, we gulp it down. What Harari said!