Friday, March 4, 2022

They is Watching

"struggle session" during Cultural Revolution

"One Graceless Tweet Doesn’t Warrant Cancellation," runs the title of linguist John McWhorter’s recent column (NYT, 3/1/22). What did Jeffrey Lieberman Executive Director of the NY State Psychiatric Institute, and Psychiatrist in Chief at New York- Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Institute say to find himself expelled from these exalted positions? Here is the quote about the South Sudanesse model, Nyakim Gatwech which was the source of the trouble: “Whether a work of art or a freak of nature she’s a beautiful sight to behold.” The shunning which occurs by Zoom these days is reminiscent of The Scarlet Letter, but the public excoriation actually also brings to mind the excesses of The Cultural Revolution in China where members of the so-called elite (like Xi Jinping’s father who was once a prominent member of the party) were marched off to the countryside for hard work and reeducation. Many of those targeted were publicly humiliated and forced to wear signs around their necks. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge similarly routed the urban intelligentsia, with their punishment ending in The Killing Fields. One thing the recent Cultural Revolution has in common with those of the past is the lack of redress. Says McWhorter about the current climate: "There's something amiss if we're now at the point that someone's career is to be permanently tarnished and perhaps ended based on a passing error, which started as a misguided attempt at praise and which has been profusely apologized for." The absence of due process, including the right to defend oneself is what’s absent from almost all of the current proceedings—or cancellations as they’re euphemistically called. Remember Big Brother? “They is Watching.”

read "Ultimate Rejection" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

and see the animation of Erotomania

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