In Reply to: Jim LaMattery's answers (reposted from MovingOn) posted by Reposter on April 16, 2005 at 16:58:25:
As much as I enjoy writing letter after letter about Mr. Jim LaMattery, the fact remains that Jim's readiness to call me obdurate has to be the most egregious example imaginable of the pot calling the kettle black. Let me cut to the chase: I want to thank Jim for his bons mots. They give me an excellent opportunity to illustrate just how sordid Jim can be. His secret passion is to judge people by the length of their affidavits while ignoring the content of their character. For shame! Jim has mastered the art of bamboozling unwary listeners by introducing names of persons and events of which they have only a hazy recollection and then making statements, seemingly documented, with such authoritative confidence that they never think of trying to clarify their own recollections or consulting a reference work. To pretend otherwise is nothing but hypocrisy and unwillingness to face the more unpleasant realities of life. His claims represent a backward step of hundreds of years, a backward step into a chasm with no bottom save the endless darkness of death. Sure, some of Jim's litanies are valid, but that's not the point.
We no longer have the luxury of indulging in universalist, altruistic principles that, no matter how noble they may appear, have enabled the most belligerent ivory-tower academics you'll ever see to undermine the foundations of society until a single thrust suffices to make the entire edifice collapse. I don't mean to imply that when Jim says that he would sooner give up money, fame, power, and happiness than perform an unctuous act, he's just plain wrong -- not "partially wrong", but "totally and utterly wrong" -- but it's true, nonetheless. On that note, let me say that there is no place in this country where we are safe from his trucklers, no place where we are not targeted for hatred and attack. I do not have the time, in one sitting, to go into the long answer as to why his serfs, when they are taken seriously at all, are considered by most scholars to be of questionable credibility. But the short answer is that his factotums are quick to point out that because he is hated, persecuted, and repeatedly laughed at, Jim is the real victim here. The truth is that, if anything, Jim is a victim of his own success -- a success that enables Jim to waste natural resources.
It's one thing to advocate measures that others criticize for being excessively callous, but wanting to create profound emotional distress for people on both sides of the issue is surely going too far. Jim can't seriously believe that the best way to serve one's country is to deny citizens the ability to draw their own conclusions about the potential for violence that he may be generating, can he? There is widespread agreement in asking that question, but there is great disagreement in answering it. I could accuse him of using self-pitying, quixotic spouters to get his way, but I wouldn't stoop to that level. I have a New Year's resolution for him: He should pick up a book before he jumps to the macabre conclusion that the purpose of life is self-gratification. There is no inconsistency here; Jim talks a lot about militarism and how wonderful it is. However, he's never actually defined what it means. How can he argue for something he's never defined? It is bootless to speculate on the matter, but it should be noted that the only weapons Jim has in his intellectual arsenal are book burning, brainwashing, and intimidation. That's all he has, and he knows it. In light of what I just stated, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that I'll tell you what we need to do about all the craziness he is mongering. We need to take a strong position on his views, which, after all, replace the search for truth with a situationist relativism based on pompous alarmism.
Never before have I encountered more bloatedly self-important prose than that which Jim produces. Several things he has said have brought me to the boiling point. The statement of his that made the strongest impression on me, however, was something to the effect of how two wrongs make a right. Who else but Jim would have the brass to impose a one-size-fits-all model on how society should function? No one. And where does that brass come from? It comes from a sure knowledge that he can retreat into his "victim" status if anyone calls him to account. Although I consistently lend a helping hand, I do not countenance challenging Jim through breaking the law -- to do so is asinine, morbid, and indefensible.
He is willing to promote truth and justice when it's convenient. But when it threatens his creature comforts, he throws principle to the wind. As part of his efforts to gain a mainstream following, he publishes the Journal of Paltry Escapism. Included alongside articles discussing history, culture, art, religion, and philosophy are endorsements of his plans to shrink the so-called marketplace of ideas down to convenience-store size.
Jim owns drawers and boxes full of legal documents, which he is convinced prove his position. Equally important is the fact that I believe I have found my calling. My calling is to stand up and fight for our heritage, traditions, and values. And just let him try and stop me. As soon as his secret agents throw away our freedom, our honor, and our future, they will have destroyed the basis for their own existence. That's the sort of statement that some people feel is money-grubbing, but which I believe is merely a statement of fact. And it's a statement that needs to be made, because at no time in the past did overweening, bloody-minded rapscallions shamble through the streets of cities, demanding rights they imagine some supernatural power has bestowed upon them. It's a well-known fact that Jim's wheelings and dealings owe much to the cock-and-bull stories of grumpy recidivists. It's an equally well-known fact that we have fallen into Jim's trap. When logic puts these two facts together, the necessary result is an understanding that Jim's manuscripts are not pedantic treatises expressing theories or extravaganzas dealing in fables or fancies. They are substantial, sober outpourings from the very soul of recidivism.
Ironically, when someone bends knee to Jim's non-negotiable demands, he pushes and pushes for more. So don't feed me any phony baloney about how profits come before people. That's just not true. The gloss that Jim's adherents put on Jim's slogans unfortunately does little to overcome the obstacles that people like him establish. We can all have daydreams about Happy Fuzzy Purple Bunny Land, where everyone is caring, loving, and nice. Not only will those daydreams not come true, but throughout history, there has been a clash between those who wish to help people see Jim's witless recommendations for what they are and those who wish to create a kind of psychic pain at the very root of the modern mind. Naturally, Jim belongs to the latter category. While we all despair over his jujuism-prone holier-than-thou attitudes, we must also remember the principles that will guide our better behaviors and higher aspirations. Teenagers who want to shock their parents sometimes maintain -- with a straight face -- that genocide, slavery, racism, and the systematic oppression, degradation, and exploitation of most of the world's people are all thoroughly justified. Fortunately, most parents don't fall for this fraud because they know that Jim says that it is better that a hundred thousand people should perish than that he should be even slightly inconvenienced. What he means by this, of course, is that he wants free reign to foster cannibalism at every opportunity. Ancient Greek dramatists discerned a peculiar virtue in being tragic. Jim would do well to realize that they never discerned any virtue in being ridiculous.
Please, please, please help me fight scurrility and slander. Without your help, Jim will indubitably inure us to slimy Dadaism. To make a long story short, some of his former henchmen say they were willing to help him reap a whirlwind of destroyed marriages, damaged children, and, quite possibly, a globe-wide expression of incurable sexually transmitted diseases because Jim convinced them that they were part of a historic mission to save the world from a malign global conspiracy -- a belief they now reject as negligent. And let me tell you, the picture I am presenting need not be confined to Jim's beliefs. It applies to everything he says and does.
He is planning to coordinate a revolution. This does not bode well for the future, because I know more about factionalism than most people. You might even say that I'm an expert on the subject. I can therefore state with confidence that there are few certainties in life. I have counted only three: death, taxes, and Jim doing some power-hungry thing every few weeks. Although this has been overlooked or ignored by the established scientific community, if Jim is going to talk about higher standards, then he needs to live by those higher standards. Better, far better, that Man were without the gift of speech than that he use it as Jim does. Better that Man could neither read nor write than have his head and heart perverted by the homicidal and noisome tommyrot that oozes from Jim's pen. And better that the cut of Man's coat and the number of his buttons were fixed by statute and enforced by penalties than that Jim should rip off everyone and his brother.
When I'm through with him, he'll think twice before attempting to cause this country to flounder on the shoals of self-interest, corruption, and chaos. His propositions are an icon for the deterioration of the city, for its slow slide into crime, malaise, and filth. If, today, the urge of Jim's war-soul can prompt him to sow the seeds of discord, then imagine, if you can, how that same soul will express itself through the thousandfold-more-acrimonious Jim of tomorrow. Some people are responsible and others are not. Jim falls into the category of "not". While self-justification may motivate power-drunk riffraff, the same slurs also work well for indecent megalomaniacs. His tirades are all too often clad in the ethically bankrupt garb of antiheroism. I'll probably devote a separate letter to that topic alone, but for now, I'll simply summarize by stating that we are at a crossroads. One road leads into the light of a bright, shining future in which stolid scofflaws like Jim are completely absent. The other road leads into the darkness of insurrectionism. The question, therefore, is: Who's driving the bus? If you need help in answering that question, you may note that if you intend to challenge someone's assertions, you need to present a counterargument. Jim provides none. As everyone knows, Jim does not play nice with others. What you might not know, however, is that his clumsy treatises can be quite educational. By studying them, students can observe firsthand the consequences of having a mind consumed with paranoia, fear, hatred, and ignorance. Finally, any mistakes in this letter are strictly my fault. But if you find any factual error or have more updated information on the subject of Mr. Jim LaMattery, Jim-inspired versions of favoritism, etc., please tell me, so I can write an even stronger letter next time.