Rabbi Hillel says when there is no hero, you be the hero. I've often considered myself that, or at least possessed of enough ego to be, but I've never flirted with the idea that I had some destiny that narrowed my focus to a singular act of purpose that might justify something like what today's nutcase has done. I've always wanted to do too much, and I've always to much enjoyed the pleasant surprise of life to ever reduce myself to an extreme act of pinpoint power. I even acknowledge my best ideas and do only a little to move them forward. It's ok for me to live for others - I have learned to serve.
But not being possessed of a great number of possessions, I began experimenting with my own imagination. I can recall the mid 80s when I became confident that I would not be able to transfer to Stanford, and realized that I would not be able to prank my way through ample spare time. I wouldn't have a real boat to bump my drunk friend off in jest, so I had to invent one in my mind. If it wasn't to be Yale for me, I would go metaphorically sailing with Buckley and God. So it has not been beyond me to entertain personal fantasies unbounded by the physics of reality; I indulge in fantasy. If my writing would be without any purpose or shape, I probably would write more of such fantasies.
What if some circumstance beyond my imagining came to convince me that my redemption, or the fate of something critically symbolic came to rest on a choice of mine to perform an assassination? That idea has crossed my mind. I've most often thought of it in the context of Robert Nozick's book in which he suggests that a man approaching death might volunteer, owing to the inevitable imminence of his own death, to make such a sacrifice that would ruin his own life. It is rather fortunate that old men most often cannot be persuaded to care enough to even keep their knees flexible through the means available to them and for the most part enjoy the liberty from responsibility that old men take. Who knows what trouble we'd have if chess in the park were not enough for Geri's cohort? But an old man might decide to go out with a blast, and as such an old man, I might. Who would I take with me?
That doesn't matter to me so much as my desire that my reasons be made clear should I not survive. Now that I think about it, I most certainly would desire to have my day in court, so as to give audience to whatever profound motivation made me act.
Still, I am convinced that in our society, such as it is, very few acts of complicated bravery could survive the contempt of contemporary news. One could not expect the likes of today's yuppies to recognize anything involving blood. They're even afraid of sugar. But even a complaint such as this I'm making about them would be lost. I could only hope that the impact of such an act would survive in the memory of another generation who might interpret my message more properly. On the other hand, how simple it would be to have me whitewashed, and my writings all redacted.
If I were to go nutty, I would have no redemption. The act itself would have to be entirely worth my sacrifice because I cannot imagine the whole truth of any motivation to ever reach the light of a reasonably sane public. If I were not nutty, I would be made to appear nutty and perhaps this very text might be used as proof. So I'll hash it.
I've probably said, after 7 years of blogging and lord knows how many rants into USENET, enough foolishness to discredit my entire self. But then again there is the context of all those years, that nobody would bother to read. And those that know me enough to love me, well what could they do?
My saving grace, in the end is rather pitiful. It is that I don't care enough to go nutty over anything other than symbolically. The rest of me is bound in canonical human emotions and typical of mankind's history. I'm easy enough to figure out because I have hewn to recognizable conventions. I am indeed a family man, a professional, a patriot, a Christian. People know enough of those things to expect in me a reasonable man. So I'd have to be particularly and extraordinarily nutty for assassination. And that would force anyone with intelligent curiosity to get through Cobb and other utterings for a reason that seems consonant with my peronality and ambition.
If I were to go nutty, people could see it coming and they'd be sucking their teeth long before I climbed the bell tower. I'm no Anakin. You wouldn't be surprised, nor would I. So... I can't even speculate about how I might go nutty. I know me. I'd implode first. Hmm. I guess that's pretty boring... But one thing you could be relatively sure of, I'd be a lone nut. I'd do it for me. There's nothing any of y'all could do for me..