Oh, the irony

October 27, 2010

How would it feel to wake up some morning, and find out your whole career, and the life you have built, the books you have written, etc. etc., have been based on a lie? Not just any lie, or a little white lie, but a massive, twisted lie that was developed to cover up crimes against humanity. And all along, throughout your life, you have believed this lie. It has been the basis of many of your actions, both the blind, reactive kind that you had to make from day to day, the little manoevers you invented when you found yourself in a tight spot, but also the overall, conscious game plan you have been living out since you signed up to be that person you have been and still are. An agent. An agent of what? That’s my question, really.

What would it be like to suddenly realize that the work you have been doing is one part of a criminal enterprise, and that you have dedicated your energy, all these years, to being part of the facade that conceals it from the general public.

Is that why you became a journalist in the beginning? Was that what you studied in journalism school: how to be a patsy, how to serve your shadowy masters, how to negotiate the streams and currents of deception that make up the fabric of so-called reality in our country, and the world? Did that strike you, early on, as a noble destiny? Is that why you quickly learned the ropes, cultivated all the right people, and constructed a personality for yourself designed to fool everyone, and allow you to fit in?

Did it occur to you at any stage, once you embarked on your double life, that you might be associating yourself for all time with sociopaths? That these would be the people you would look to for advancement? That you would owe your success and status to these people, and would have to obey them, please them, lie for them, for as long as you kept your job?

How would you react to the news that the exciting assignments you took on for them – the trips to foreign countries, the organizational jobs, and the nastier work of getting rid of their opponents including other journalists – helped them to maintain their stranglehold on your country, its institutions, its future? And that they and the people above them were capable of anything, would stop at nothing, not even mass murder of children, to advance their own interests?

I know how you’d react, because I’ve known you for 30 years. You’d react with denial, a shrug of annoyance, a pinched little smile that meant you have more important things to get done today than waste time on conspiracy theories, or on imagining what might have been. “Welcome to the real world,” you’d say, hanging up the phone, turning  back to your lists of people to talk to, events to organize. Yes, your lists…

You, an accessory to the rape of a whole country? One look in the mirror tells you this is an insane, vicious, personal assault– the latest in a series.

Your attention drifts to the people capable of dreaming up such a monstrous scenario: the very writers whose names appear on one of your lists. How predictable, really. That the people you have suspected all along of promoting all sorts of left-wing nonsense, would turn around and accuse you of unimaginable evil. Well, that’s how envy and bitterness erode and poison those who miss the boat early in life, and never make anything of their lives. Bitterness is etched into their faces, it pours from their every gesture, and you have become an expert at detecting those fine lines, and sensing the irrational hatred that follows you in and out of a room.

And now they’ve come up with this. You’re not surprised — how could you be? It just shows the depths to which some people will sink to justify personal failure. You’ve known plenty of them. They’re under every rock. If you stopped to listen to their ugly ranting, you’d quickly sink into a hole of depression, the one they’re in, and chances are you’d never climb out. You’d be a mess – and they know that. That’s what they’re hoping will happen. They’d like nothing better than to see you crumble into a pile of quivering rubble, and blow away with the wind. You have never succumbed in the past, and you’re not going to now. You, who have accomplished so much, and have so much more to give. You’re not going to become their victim. You will not play by their rules. You won’t give in to petty resentment, the daily diet of so many people in this town, to which you have dedicated your energies all these years. You’ve heard the rumours. You’ve been woken by late-night phone calls, with someone at the other end, whispering the word “Psychopath.” That’s what some of them call you, behind your back. They have never accepted you, never appreciated what you sacrificed by coming here. Never given you any credit for your talents. You who have responded to their mean-spirited remarks with an imperturbable calm. You who have returned their hatred with love.

You won’t let them win now.