SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2021
...Dvorak censors Beloved: We're forced to start with an embarrassing confession. Until events of the past six months, we didn't know that Aaron Rodgers was a bit of a self-impressed hardhead.
We thought of him, as we do of others, as "just another former Pacific-10 great." Many others called him the GOAT—"the greatest [quarterback] of all time."
Collegiately, Rodgers quarterbacked at Cal, where his running back was Marshawn Lynch at one time. Being regional chauvinists regarding such matters, we rooted for him on that basis.
This past week, it turns out that Rodgers actually is "the GOAT"—the greatest dissembler of all time.
At this site, we've been reporting on public dissembling for the past 23 years. We're not sure there's ever been a more bald-faced performance than the one Rodgers authored on August 26 of this year, when he deceived a roomful of sports reporters about his vaccination status.
On that day, he authored a world-class performance. Nothing he said was technically false, but every word out of his mouth was transparently drawn to deceive.
On that day, Rodgers was asked if he'd been vaccinated against Covid-19. "Yeah, I've been immunized," he replied, substituting one key word and thereby creating an instant false impression.
He went on to say that he wasn't going to judge the players on his team who hadn't been vaccinated. Clearly, this added to the false impression that Rodgers himself had been vaccinated.
We're not sure we've ever seen a more clear-cut case of multipart bald-faced dissembling. Depending on the relative importance of the subject matter, people who behave this way are behaving very badly.
This past week, the world finally learned that Rodgers still hasn't been vaccinated. After this information came to light, he appeared on a Wisconsin radio program.
On that program, he described himself as "a critical thinker," even as he made a series of the world's dumbest possible comments. He even toyed with the history of race, seeming to suggest that Dr. King would have lined up on his side.
Rodgers remains a former Pacific-10 great—but in the realm of public dissembling, he may be the greatest ever. Beyond that, his arrogance seems to qualify as a real piece of work. According to leading experts, he's human all the way down.
Back in August, Rodgers' dissembling was world-class. This brings us to the case of the Washington Post's Petula Dvorak.
Yesterday morning, we didn't see Dvorak's column in the Washington Post. We only saw it this morning.
In print editions, her column appeared in its usual spot, on the front page of the Post's Metro section. In print editions, the column appeared beneath a headline we'd call baldly misleading:
Tales of U.S. enslavement are supposed to frighten
Aaron Rodgers became the GOAT with last August's dissembling. We'd say that Dvorak engaged in a bit of (highly standardized) world-class dissembling too.
In fairness, Dvorak had a story in her head, and the story pleased her. So she did what we humans do at such times:
She told The Story the way she was hearing it! She proceeded to tell the story the way The Voices were telling the story—the voices all over our tribe's mainstream press, and the voices inside her own head.
Dvorak proceeded to tell the story in the way which has been mandated within our own tribe. The major takeaway had to be this:
The protagonist, Laura Murphy, didn't want her teenaged son to be taught about the horrors of slavery.
Thanks to the voices inside her head, Dvorak knew that had been Murphy's motive. Gifted with journalistic clairvoyance, she even knew how Murphy had come to think that way:
DVORAK (11/5/21): Murphy was horrified because she was probably taught about slavery the way most of us Gen-Xers were: “It happened, it was bad, it’s over. Now let’s move on to the next chapter.” She didn’t have that context to understand the historical foundation of the novel—our sanitized curriculum failed her. Today’s conflict is about fixing those shortcomings.
"Murphy was horrified because she was probably taught about slavery" that way?
Dvorak's logic fails to parse, in a way which is truly comical. That said, Dvorak's column wasn't built upon foundations of logic or fact. Her column was the latest tribute to Storyline—to the repetitive recitation of Standard Approved Tribal Narrative.
It's hard to have sufficient contempt for the contents of that column. We'll end the week with two obvious observations:
Our tribe is crawling with dissemblers. Also, The Others are frequently able to see this.
We'll offer one last point about Dvorak's column. In effect, Dvorak was censoring Beloved, a widely acclaimed major novel. She was working to keep her readers from knowing what's in the book.
Based on the quotations she offered, Dvorak had to know that Murphy had objected to passages in Beloved dealing with bestiality. Dvorak disappeared that part of Murphy's past statements. She chose to omit that fact.
All through her column, she chose to make it sound like Murphy was objecting the book's larger discussion of slavery. Where Rodgers dissembled about being "immunized." Dvorak dissembled about that.
Aaron Rodgers may be the GOAT, but Dvorak ain't far behind.
It's hard to have sufficient contempt for the way tribalists like Dvorak work. But this is the way our human brains are wired, disconsolate major experts all say—and this is who and what and all we are here in our self-impressed tribe.
Full disclosure: Regarding Dvorak's column, your lizard brain is going to tell you that none of this ever happened.
Our appraisal of QB 12 will be permitted to stand.