I bought a used pickup last December, and due to other preoccupations, among them laziness, I have yet to give it a thorough cleaning on the inside, top to bottom, capping it off with a little stinky cardboard pine tree. Recently, while looking for something else, I found a spent shell casing on the floor in front the driver’s seat. My mind immediately thought “Warning!”
We can all pause here and do what I did – laugh at me. It obviously belonged to the former owner, who loved outdoor activities including hunting. If I were to think that shell was meant specifically as a warning for me, I would indeed be paranoid. But I do not matter. I get to live a happy life of privilege without fear of attackers. I have no enemies capable of violence. If I die in a fire, I probably left the stove on.
In a pathocracy, not every accidental death is accidental. But in a pathocracy, fear governs. Normal rigorous investigation of accidental deaths is set aside. So I carry deep suspicions about Malcolm X, Walter Reuther, John Lennon, Paul Wellstone, John Kennedy, Jack Ruby, Lee Oswald, Robert Kennedy, John Kennedy Jr., Bill Hicks, Mike Connell, Hugo Chavez, Hale Boggs, Mel Carnahan, Danny Casolaro, Dorothy Kilgallen, Lisa Howard, Gary Webb … Michael Hastings.
Suicide, car and plane crashes are common, as are lone nuts. Cancer, which we now know was weaponized in the early 1960’s, often strikes at a young age. The deaths are never investigated to a satisfactory degree.
I am far too hard on journalists – the last five on the above list were of that profession. I am smug, as I know no one will ever be threatened by my fearless accounting and tax preparation. But journalism is a profession that, if done well, requires open confrontation with power. Doing so means testing one’s personal courage and concern for one’s family. Perhaps it requires a certain naïveté about the nature of the power that they affront.
We’ll never know the truth about Hastings’ death, as power never investigates power. Perhaps it was just an accident, but as with every name on the list above and so many hundreds of others (just in my lifetime), suspicions will always linger. LAPD will investigate, and they did such a bang-up job on RFK that we know they’ll report honestly on it. FBI might take a shot at it – oops! My apologies to the families of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Ibragim Taramov for the poor choice of words.
Suspicion is not paranoia. Police detectives are not paranoid, nor are investigative journalists. Until right wing hacks start dying in car and small plane crashes and committing suicide, suspicion is warranted. Thomas Friedman,
Rush Limbaugh, [makes no claim to journalism – just a shit commentator] Anderson Cooper, Bryan Williams and cohorts will live long, happy and prosperous lives. They are no threat to power. They are shit journalists, and so get to live.
Don’t be afraid to be suspicious. You are not paranoid. You’re just sentient and alert. Don’t stumble around in frustration at never knowing things for certain. Trust your instincts. Certainty is not afforded people of intelligence. Only fools are satisfied by pat answers.