Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Art of Spin

I'm off for a week, so I thought I'd leave you with a bit of humor my parents forwarded me the other day (it's fiction as far as I know):
Judy Barnes, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana. He was hanged in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: "Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1883, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton @ NY.Gov for comments. Hillary's staff of professional image adjusters cropped Remus' picture, scanned it, enlarged the image, and edited it with image processing software, so that all that's seen is a head shot. The accompanying biographical sketch read as follows: "Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."


Blogger Richard said...

Dear Amit,

Sadly that is no joke. 'Spin', or more properly 'confabulation' is a ubiquitous phenomenon in Western Culture. Having just read The Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson and Vindicating the Founders it is clear to me that 200 years ago a great proportion of society were concerned with their moral stature. This is not the case today.

Individuals from all walks of life twist the logic of their immoral actions to suit a false self-esteem, as they sacrifice both material and spiritual values of others to their own purposes. Perhaps the most egregious individual who has done so, and of whom we both are aware, is Nathaniel Branden.

Instead of viewing Branden's behaviour as an event in the grand scheme of Ayn Rand's history, think of him as a personal acquaintance in the life of a person seeking personal happiness and success. It is at that level that their evil is to be properly grasped. They are terrible destroyers. They are capable of burying the hopes of the honest and well intended individuals, literally causing bankruptcy and a form of demoralization that is deeply spiritual. They can be soul destroyers.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Something is odd about the comment set up here. I composed a comment and on Preview it was saved, and was apparently not available for any subsequent editing --fortunately not necessary this tme.

This, the second comment worked properly.

Check it out. I don't think I did anything wrong.

7:49 PM  

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