WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2021
That doesn't make them bad people: Mary McCarthy may have been Lawrence's inspiration.
McCarthy once made a colorful comment concerning Lillian Hellman. We thought of McCarthy's famous remark as we briefly tried to watched our pundits perform last night.
McCarthy's comment is often cited. The leading authority on her remark describes it as shown:
Beginning in the late 1960s, and continuing through to her death, Hellman turned to writing a series of popular memoirs of her colorful life and acquaintances. Hellman's accuracy was challenged in 1979 on The Dick Cavett Show, when Mary McCarthy said of her memoirs that "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." Hellman brought a defamation suit against McCarthy and Cavett...
The defamation suit was unresolved at the time of Hellman's death in 1984; her executors eventually withdrew the complaint.
What the heck did Cavett do wrong? We have no idea!
For the record, we're going to guess that "every word" actually wasn't a lie. But we thought of that famous acerbic remark as we briefly tried to watch our upper-end pundits last night.
In recent years, our pundits have been staging one of their stampedes. They've been pretending to care about matters involving the mistreatment of people on the basis of perceived race.
For traditional, extremely well-founded reasons, we rarely use the word "lie." Still, we often think of McCarthy's remark when we watch these humans perform:
We don't believe the poses they strike. We don't believe the pious tone within which they encase their comments.
We're disinclined to believe the things they say. We've been watching them far too long.
We've been describing the work of these journalists for a very long time now. When they stage one of their famous stampedes, a process of novelization occurs. That process goes like this:
The pundits create a set of claims in support of the viewpoint they've chosen. In support of this enterprise, they'll disappear inconvenient facts. They'll embellish others.
They'll emphasize wholly irrelevant facts. They'll even invent false facts, which they recite as a group.
They'll write columns in the Washington Post in which they make baldly inaccurate claims. They'll do this to try to get young people marched away to jail.
In all honesty, this is ugly behavior. They engage in it all the way down.
(They hail the end of one "code of silence" even as they religiously maintain another. They do not report or challenge their colleagues' misstatements. It simply isn't done.)
These may be well-intentioned people—but they're people, all the way down. According to disconsolate experts, our human brains are wired to produce these types of group behavior.
Our brains are wired, these experts insist, to lead us to posture and pose on behalf of tribal dogma. We repeat the Storylines of the tribe and we come to loathe The Others. It has always been like this, we're told
We could barely stand to look at their faces last night. Their conduct strikes us as remarkably bad, but so it will remain.
With that in mind, do these pious figures actually care about matters of race? We see no particular sign that they do. To us, it simply looks like the latest stampede, with all the attendant behaviors.
In the next two days, we'll offer recent examples to explain why we say that. But of these reporters, pundits and cable news hosts, we do offer this:
Bless their hearts, as they say in the South. This ugly, insincere group behavior is simply the best they can do!
Tomorrow: A portrait of massive disinterest