Politics versus Deontology in the Light of a Metafiction
It has been over a hundred days since I sent each member of the Boulder City Council copies of the Death of Due Process excerpt from my Coulder, Colorado trilogy; yet not one person in direct relation to this august body, or the City Parks Department, has responded; not one, not even just to say thanks for sending it along and giving them a heads-up on the crime of institutional mobbing. Nor has intellectual curiosity given birth to an investigation by the Press as far as I can tell; the phone does not ring, the mailbox remains empty.
So, let’s try something different.
In this letter I will explore political expediency versus deontology in the nature of duty and obligation, when it comes to those in charge of the city’s reputation as a benevolent society, in terms of the behavior of the City Council toward the assurance of due process for all its citizens, as well as the correct way of handling a petition of grievance.
I want to point out that this dilemma of endeavoring to get a reasonable hearing to a case of slander involving city employees via an open, civil dialogue, by way of petitioning the city council for redress and getting no reply, is not a political problem of willful blindness so much as it is a cultural paradox, or phenomenon, that points to a metastasizing attitude of malevolence toward those in the city without the financial means or political connections to defend themselves, so that now I have no other choice but direct political action; and for me that means using my art, the written word, to reshape the culture by taking this case of malevolent slander into the public arena.
The problem, as I see it, for the Council and the city’s political and journalistic class in general, is that you cannot govern benevolently, or fight for free speech vigorously, without dealing with the underlying stories of the disenfranchised; that is if you truly desire to get public figures to act accountably towards those citizens within their purview who are without any real political power.
The problem of bureaucratic malevolence in this minor civil case may not seem to warrant any kind of particular political action in a show of genuine concern, but I assure you that this inaction references a worrisome cultural political trend of protecting the status quo at any cost that has taken hold of the city’s political elite since the Ramsey case. The indifference of the Council and the Press towards its citizens by its leadership has now morphed into a routine of abiding and condoning even the smallest criminal incompetence this much smaller case points to, and I contend is thereby indicative of a larger problem that has crept into every level of civic life; creating the cultural dynamics of a collectivist reality, in defending the quo at any cost, even at the cost of its national reputation, as some of its citizens have become collateral damage; the Ramsey’s left town, as have I … but I’ll be back!
What the situation calls for is an intellectually astute grasp of the reality that political expediency just leads to more cover ups; as of now Ms. Cole has tied John Stavley to a sinking ship. At this point those on the Council will want to ask themselves, rhetorically, ‘Do I really want to sail into the future on that ship?’ Right now, I fear, seemingly reasonable people on all sides are continuing to look at this case through a pejorative lens. However, to see the part of the iceberg that is ripping into the city’s cultural legacy requires looking at the case through a cultural lens.
In addition, the problem for the Press (in this I am addressing the editor of the Daily Camera in particular), as an advocate of the People embodied in putting forth that it is the public check on government run amok, and in being perhaps the only political voice of the disenfranchised in what passes for the elite circles of the political and lawyerly class in Boulder, is that if no one reports on the institutional mobbing of marginalized citizens, if no one takes seriously the petition I have put forth as encompassing more than me, then I believe that herd morality is now at the true core of Boulder’s cultural repose. This one a misdemeanor civil case in which the alleged perpetrator will never be seen through anything but a pejorative lens, that one an unsolved murder in which the family will never be seen as being anything but accessories to murder; both parties libeled as a result of institutional incompetence and bullied into leaving town.
Without reasonable and responsible inquiry of the government by the Press, imposed by an intellectually curious professional class or if nothing else a prurient journalistic class, the People without power and influence have little chance for justice in the City on the Hill. One has to ask, somewhat rhetorically, somewhat realistically, is the Press just another propagandist for the quo, rousing the mob from its slumber when it serves the town’s leaders interests, a power nodule unto itself, a class of cultural minders in a polyarchy of elites that picks and chooses what stories headline the tabloid, by way of choosing which people’s stories are important to the citizens of Boulder? Is the Daily Camera the Fox News of Boulder whose editorial board only speaks for some of its citizen’s interest; those with power and influence?
Unfortunately, this problem of the lack of journalistic and political accountability and integrity is endemic in our society at large. Most times the solution for both classes of professional minders is the same; those with their hands on the levers of power and those that possess a microphone of the People facilitate, and too often perpetuate and condone the irresponsible, the incompetent and even the criminal to preserve the quo. They quite literally are willing to cut off their noses, their own intellectual pursuit of the truth and justice, to spite the lone citizen with proofs, and writs, and glossy eight-by-tens with arrows and circles in hand, for the collective of the quo.
The proposition seems to be that if the charge of institutional mobbing, which may have precipitated an ex parte miscarriage of justice, is not taken seriously by the gatekeepers of the quo, those in charge of the welfare of the city, then maybe it never really happened at all. This is naive if not outright self-serving so be forewarned, the next step in this city’s political playbook, and possibly in the Press’s too, after the willful blindness gag, is that if the artist, the rabble-rouser, the outlaw writer, makes too much trouble they’ll put him in the Broken Personality Box and trundle him off to the stocks in the square and maybe even prison.
I’m going to show you where that sort fascistic cultural thinking places the People of Boulder in this seemingly insignificant civil case, in a false allegation taken too far by its employees and ignored in its devastating aftermath by its leaders, and how that affects the town’s cultural conscience as it steams full force into an Dizznified Orwellian utopia with super-clean streets and glaring smiles. I’m going to show you that world, the Underworld world of Coulder’s Collective Unconscious in a grain of sand; in a simple civil case with Dragons and Gorgons and trolls and Sméagols, at least one of each.
Willful blindness is the same as institutional entropy and, in this case it’s a cultural crime, if nothing else, against Boulder’s legacy of Peace, Love, and Understanding. This situation would be just merely pitiful if it weren’t so dangerous; Orwellian dangerous. In as much as I am dealing, at least at this point, with people that can’t seem to see, or refuse to see, beyond the political expediencies of the day. I will attempt to explain my writing, my art, in a way that might be more helpful for those that cannot understand their deontology in abiding and condoning tribalism, elitism and ideological fanaticism which is leading all of us to incomplete, unjust, Orwellian outcomes; think political double-speak and watch lists, and thought police.
Point one …
This work is presented in the Romantic tradition. It is borne on the backs of Plato and Mencius and Gnostic ideals. From the musings of a few Greeks and a lone Confucian to the chivalric traditions of the Languedoc and the Cathars it speaks to a different modality of ‘being’ in the world. From William Blake’s grain of sand poetry, to Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest and Jim Morrison’s admonition to ‘break on through to the other side’ it also speaks about the moral landscape of the metaphysical. Like so many artists before me, I’ve portrayed the hero’s journey, Austin’s journey, in the Romantic tradition.
I’ve taken a mythological redemption narrative and wrapped my story of the emergence of the Great Writer, in Jungian terms, around it; entrapped, as I am like a butterfly in the still wet amber of the current legal hunting season in the feminist’s crusade for the Toxic Male, I’ve portrayed that journey through the politically correct hysterical conundrum of current cultural trends with poetic license.
Blake used Christianity and Nordic mythology, Tolkien made it up from scratch with invented languages and all sorts of creatures both enlightened and dark; think Sméagols and Rangers. I use the Egyptian Osirus and Sumerian Gilgamesh sagas among other Near Eastern epic stories in portraying the power of using transcendent ideals to navigate the Underworld world of Coulder in the quest to find the distant shore of artistic freedom, infusing the adventure with Hindu and Buddhist and Confucian philosophical traditions of the Far East.
For instance, in the excerpt The Death of Due Process I name John Stavley as Justice Sewall of Salem fame, a mistake on my part for he should have been named as an enemy of civility from the get-go, but nonetheless I did it that way because after the infamous Justice Sewall of Salem, Mass. hung nineteen beautiful, long-necked ladies until they strangled to death he decided that maybe he’d been on the wrong track all along. The thing most people don’t realize about Justice Sewall, of the infamous witch-hunt trials, is that he also wrote the first anti-slavery pamphlet published in the United States. Ultimately, his is a redemptive narrative and in this way the use of Sewall in place of Stavley was meant to point to a redemptive narrative for all involved; including the city’s current cultural trajectory as it spirals into what looks to be the abyss of elitism, tribalism, collectivism and ultimately, totalitarian authoritarianism.
I do all of this using what I call the Haystack method. Monet painted his haystacks in all kinds of weather and in all types of lighting so that maybe, just maybe, we could see a real haystack in all its detail and refinement and glory at one sitting, like he could. Like Monet, I paint and repaint the encounter with the horrific feminine, the director of aquatics Ms. Cole, and the tyrannical patriarchy, Stavley over and over throughout the work. Monet, through his art was imparting his vision of ordinary, mundane reality in transcendent glory; through my art I’m going to show you what it feels and looks like on the end of a vigilante mob’s rope and a transcendent, artful reality that seems to be beyond the grasp of those that currently work for and lead the city, the Press included, and it’s not going to be pretty.
Point two …
The two players are both carpenter philosophers. They act in the abstract in relation to the social fabric as you and I do in as much as they both think they’re the only narrators of their own destinies. They are two philosopher Kings; one barely managing to rule the Kingdom his own conscience, and the other in touch with questionable realms of consciousness beyond the mundane and ordinary. They are quintessential Christ-like figures cast upon the shores of the Collective Unconscious of the City on the Hill. The story we are all familiar with is that Christ comes to town and is crucified as the ‘other,’ the ‘stranger,’ the ‘outlier’ and then, as he is being crucified, says unto them that can hear, ‘Father, forgive them they know not what they do.’
This form of prose is essentially dialectic and meant to show two sides of the mobbing, the alleged harassment in its thinly veiled malevolence, and the PC culture conundrum that subconsciously beacons us all into mob rule with the seduction of righteousness as we all march in lock step to a grand new utopia. You don’t necessarily need these insights to understand the predicament of being a tall poppy, in a mountain meadow full of poppies, but it helps.
Point three …
The city as a character in the story plays out in two ways; Boulder has a cultural legacy of benevolence; of peace, love and understanding, in the form of the ideals of the Beat Generation, among other folk tales, that is being misappropriated for civic propaganda and used as cover by poseurs and reactionaries alike.
Naropa’s school of disemboweled poetry is but one example of hollowed out haloes, its graduate, who has long run the local poetry slam, is one example of a poseur playing off the past without any real authenticity in the pursuit. The female editor I hired to help me with the book, a post grad English major from Naropa, who threatened to call the police on me after she learned that the story was about me, having delivered nothing in the way of editing after being paid in advance, is another.
Last year Boulder was rated as the number one city in the nation; I suspect they didn’t interview any of the Christ-like figures standing sentry on the street corners, the social outcasts of the ongoing process of financial marginalization of the outsider brought to you by the neo-fascism of reactionaries like John Stavley, for their opinion on the current state of civic affairs as they begged for change right in front of them.
The Ramsey Case, which is now infamously on par with the O.J. case out of L.A., is but another example of this malignant predicament of voiceless outcry against a civic government that is tone deaf to the cultural aspirations of its past heroes and leaders. Both of these philosophical and political attitudes are still shaping the culture of the City on the Hill; and the Beat ideals of peace, love, and understanding are taking a serious beating; in point of fact I contend they are in a coma and teetering on the threshold of death’s door.
Point four …
There are historical and literary references throughout the book.
For example, there is a passage in the book where I point out that John Stavley is acting out the Nixonian legacy of legal megalomania, and Ms. Cole is Nurse Ratched, a reference to Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
First, you would have to know that Nixon once said he was above the law because he was President of the United States and therefore the Common Law did not apply to him. You would also have to know that Ken Kesey, a Merry Prankster, was at heart a Romantic writer and that Nurse Ratcheted was trying to kill the romantic, freethinking spirit of Randall McMurphy because he wouldn’t conform to the rules and regulations of the psych ward; in this case the insanity of a Dizznified version of reality called Coulder, Colorado. Kesey was pointing to regular, conformist society as a madhouse delusion enforced by apparatchiks like Ms. Cole and John F. Stavley.
Point five …
I’m pointing to the role the artist and metafiction have in what we are teaching those involved in malevolence when we let the lying and incompetence stand. By ignoring me, my petition for redress, those in charge of leading the culture onto firmer, higher ground are, in effect, ceding the moral high ground to poseurs and reactionaries and becoming defenders of the indefensible; the Press included.
Historically, it was the role of great writers like Huxley, and Kesey and Solzhenitsyn and Thomas Paine to speak the truth boldly; Paine spent a lot of time in jail as a consequence so that speaking up is not without its pain, as in my own societal excoriation, but the true artist is compelled to this work because he knows all of us are Spartacus, and without the voice of the artist at the table of public polity all of us will be nothing more than slaves to ideologies; feminist or authoritarian or news world or market world fearmongering propaganda as we become apparatchiks protecting our property values; spying on our neighbors, casting aspersions in schadenfreude gossip, masters of lawyerly double-speak, forgetting our obligations to our ancestors in their quest for freedom by enshrining the sovereignty of the individual into the law; a citizen’s freedom to speak and think and write as he so chooses.
[Insert here the names of the current city council members as well as two members of the cricket quartet including the editor of the Daily Camera and the former head of the ACLU in Boulder pointing-out that they were defined to me as some of the leading intellectual lights of the city, and as longtime defenders of the tenets of the culture … Tolkien’s Rangers]