[Marxism] Somebody didn't like my piece on Tim Russert
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jun 16 12:43:22 MDT 2008
[A Marxmailer sent what I wrote to a colleague who apparently didn't
care for it much. My comments are interspersed.]
I was neither a fan nor foe of Tim Russert, the recently deceased TV
journalist. I rarely watched his show.
So I was amazed when I read the long critique ("Tim Russert in
Retrospect") by Louis Proyect.
"Amazed", because I wondered how, and why, someone should devote so much
time to writing about the "sordid career" of a man who has just been buried.
[Gilles d'Aymery asked me to put something together, but I was planning
to write something on my blog anyhow. Despite our spat from 3 years or
so ago, me and Gilles tend to think alike. As obvious from the revolving
door on Marxmail, I don't hold grudges.]
I speculated: either Mr. Proyect is a very lonely man (with too much
time on his hands) or an absymally unhappy soul, who derives some
therapeutic relief by pointing out the flaws in fellow human beings.
[I am rather lonely this week since my "partner" is in London for a
conference. I use the politically correct term since somebody told me
that it is machismo to refer to someone as your "wife".]
I ask myself, when it is time for Mr. Proyect to be buried, or
incinerated, what will his obituary say?
[I do plan to be incinerated. Although I loved my mother dearly, I am
getting screwed by all the vultures involved with her burial. This
experience makes me want to read Jessica Mitford's "American Way of
Death", an expose of the burial industry by a long-time Communist.]
Did he have a family? If so, was he always true to his wife? Did he
ever say or do anything nasty, to hurt family and friends? Did he ever
steal, cheat or lie?
[I never stole, cheated or lied, although I do confess to be sarcastic.]
I note that he was educated at an elite school (Bard College) and now
works as a computer programmer at another elite school (Columbia
[When I went to Bard, it was certainly not elite. It was a school, in
fact, for fuck-up's who couldn't handle elite schools--like my old
friend Chevy Chase who flunked out of Dartmouth.]
He professes to be a Marxist with a passion for helping the poor, the
[I never would put it this way. In some sense I am driven by hatred for
hypocrisy, such as the kind that Tim Russert epitomized.]
I ask myself, why isn't he working at some inner city school, or in some
Third World country, helping the poor and the oppressed, instead of
sitting on his ass at Columbia University, griping about the world?
[Well, I started off working for welfare in Harlem and then taught 5th
grade in Harlem for a couple of weeks. As far as sitting on my ass is
concerned, I quite agree. I can't wait to get home and changing into my
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