Wednesday, February 04, 2009
There are sometimes strange parallels between unrelated yet "contemporaneous" events, like Blagojevich's unbelievably painful appearance on David Letterman last night and today's New York Times article about the "discovery" of a missing Nazi war criminal, the curious timing of which might lend the impression, after recent events, that Nazis live among "the Arabs" and thus justify their occasional unmitigated slaughter.
I was struck, in both the Times' account and Letterman stint, how both utterly convinced both men appear to be as to their innocence and wrongful persecution. But of course, "appear to be" is the key phrase here. What is frightful about both cases is how utterly cut off we really are from the interiority of these men, to the point where one might argue that they have no interiority whatsoever. Heim/Farid is a ghost stapled together from various bits of ephemera, from Spielbergian WWII horrors to his own, likely unsent, letters to various figures of importance around the world, rambling about Zionist plots. Blagojevich, on the other hand, is someone who has realized the value of becoming-skin, becoming-mere surface. As Letterman repeatedly notes, everyone knows that he is guilty as sin; but Rod knows that all he need do is to keep saying that he really believes he is innocent, to keep pretending he is one of us, and not an object of media sacrifice. This way the sacrifice can proceed as prescribed yet Blagojevich can hold out hope that maybe a few people on his jury will have read the message wrong-- and mistaken him for a victim.