“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
On April 11 I published a two-tweet thread in response to MSNBC oracle Rachel Maddow’s use of the words “absurd” and “freelancing” as she described the very questionable, seemingly unjust and unethical, president-Donald-Trump-impunity-serving behaviour of United States Attorney General William P Barr in the latter part of the above video.
In a summary beginning at 20:19, intriguingly because we’re in the “year of our Lord” 2019, Maddow uses the adjective “absurd” and the verb “freelancing” to describe what she says is the latest stratagem in the Trump administration’s “epic effort to submarine” special counsel Robert Meuller III’s report of his investigation into possible Trump administration collusion with Russia in the 2016 US presidential election and obstruction of justice since then.
Maddow says “Barr’s handling of this started off weird: it is now absurd! And, he is obviously freelancing; he is obviously making this up as he goes along.”
Tweeting directly to Maddow, I first suggested that instead of “absurd” the word “obscene” would better describe Barr’s apparent justice obstructing, ethical-legal accountability barring behaviour, which Maddow had already likened to that of Richard Nixon defenders, during the Watergate scandal.
I tweeted “Heartfelt thanks for this @maddow… But your characterization of Barr’s behaviour seems off. I wouldn’t call what you’ve described absurd: I’d call it OBSCENE.”
And declaring my own status as a “freelancer”, my second tweet takes issue with Maddow’s use of the word “freelancing” to describe what I consider Barr’s full-time, president-Trump-personal-employee-like actions.
It reads “I’m similarly concerned about your use of the word ‘freelancing’. I’m a freelancer. Barr seems to be on @POTUS’ personal payroll. #BarrBananaRepublic”
I tweeted these opinions (heresies?) because from my perspective, Maddow, whose apparently unscripted, at least partly improvisational, jazzy commentary was punctuated with incredulous sniggering and similar liminal laughing expressions, was failing to communicate the gravity and urgency of Barrr’s and the wider Trump administration’s threat to America’s democratic development.
In my opinion, she had failed to model the indignation that I believe citizens of what is reputedly the world’s leading democracy, should be feeling in response to Barr’s and other Trump supporters’ very questionable attempts to deny American taxpayers and voters direct access to Mueller’s report.
As the hashtag with my second tweet suggests, I believe that despite his best intentions, the 45th president of the US, aided and abbetted by his devout Roman Catholic attorney general Barr, his devout Roman Catholic vice president Mike Pence, his Catholic schooled counsellor Kellyanne Conway, the self-confessed Christian cynic Dr Ben Carson and others possibly harbouring antisemetic, homophobic, islamaphobic and similar prejudices, risks reducing the world’s all-time greatest secular democracy to a banana republic.
Despite referencing the Nixon administration’s tactics, Maddow’s commentary failed to convince me that she is fully alert to the urgency of the crisis confronting America’s democracy safeguarding justice system and its free press.
It may also be that because Maddow demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of what had transpired under Nixon, she may have unintentionally channelled a tone of glibness or complacency.
Could I have been put off by an unintended, perhaps subliminal suggestion in Maddow’s presentation, especially perhaps, in her body language, that we had seen it all before?
I cannot say for sure.
What I do know is that the more I have reflected on Barr’s behaviour and Maddow’s commentary, the more I have come to believe that she, and by extension MSNBC, were mischaracterizing a hugely consequential historical moment (And I will be addressing the peculiar historical-political worldview of Maddow’s boss Phil Griffin at my earliest opportunity).
I believe that like the ill-fated Israeli Beresheet spacecraft lunar mission, Maddow’s ambitious commentary had crashed and burned, on this occasion.
And the pain propelling me to share my perspective stems from my sense that Maddow and other media influencers are to some extent colluding with Barr, consciously or unconsciously, by misrepresenting the seriousness of the Trump White House threat, in much the same way that the unwritten New Covenant, a key democracy dispersing principle of Joshua (Jesus) of Nazareth’s teaching and legacy, has been distorted and submarined by successive generations of his followers since at least the AD 30s.
As I make clear in my book The Bible: Beauty And Terror Reconciled (TBBTR), the conscience based, personal responsibility focused sunsum (part of an ancient African metaphysical tradition that is similar to the Qi [pronounced “Chi”, as in “Tai Chi”] of Chinese culture) or driving force of Joshua’s life-story has been mischaracterized since approximately AD 30, the year of the first “Good Friday”.
My April 11 Twitter appeal to the “strict Catholic family raised”, gay rights activist Maddow could be viewed as an imprecise-precise passing of a burden of truth I have been bearing for at least 36 years now.
It could be considered both a cry for help and a clarion call that dates back to my 1992 poem The ‘Illiteracy’ of Christ; a poem I penned in 1992 and featured on page 21 of my first poetry collection, Standing, published by Roots Academy, (the predecessor to my current Intelek International proprietary label) in Barbados in 1994.
My poem “The ‘Illiteracy’ Of Christ”. There is also a song version of this poem, which I hope to produce for lovers of meaningful music one day.
Last month I tried to get some help bearing the weight of this burden by initiating an online conversation with Ryan Bonfiglio, an Atlanta, Georgia based American theologian.
But there seems to be a Barresque barrier obstructing Bonfiglio’s engagement with me.
Perhaps my missilic missive effort to engage with him has suffered some internal messaging malfunction and crashed and burned, like the Israeli rocket Beresheet.
I do not know.
I do know that there is an irony here though, because Bonfiglio leads the public access and engagement efforts of the Candler School of Theology, at Emory University.
And while I have no reason to cast aspersions on his, Candler Dean Jan Love’s, her personal assistant Jenka Fyfe’s or any other Emory employee’s character personally, I do wonder if some seemingly unjust and unethical, politicized gender, racial, religious or related racketeering impunity-serving individual or entity has intervened.
Sadly, more than 30 years of dealing with this kind of sabotage of my and others’ New Covenant “relationship rocket” building interference obliges me to consider this possibility.
But this kind of New Covenant communication copying and corrupting has been happening since the first century AD, as I feel certain academic theologian Bart D Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus, will agree.
Having said that, if as I suspect, Ehrman, has not grasped the fact that the greatest, most catastrophic misrepresentation of Joshua’s life and work consists in the confusion of the UNWRITTEN New Covenant with the WRITTEN New Testament, he might not be as pained about the damage Christianity, its Judaism antecedent and its Islamic and other book-based successors have been doing to themselves and other segments of humanity as I am.
To be continued…