Dear Scorpion: Thank you for the recent postings by Brooklyn’s Norman Oder (Forest City Ratner Admits Lie Well, Not An Error But A Minor Imprecision and my infuriating favorite, The Spirit Of The Times), which I think are fantastic. Many of the bits in these posts surpass in brilliance, insight and compassion anything I’ve read of Norm’s. I had come to the point where his juridicial musings were starting to put me off and I was beginning to regard his obsession with our trial (and trials) as a bore. I have new insight. Norm really achieves new dimensions as a prophet when he addresses himself to the nature of the law, the judge and the corporate media in the same sense as the Old Testament prophets did when they attacked kings and commoners alike, exposing the unending cop-outs and rationalizations with which people protect their paltry possessions and nurse their hard-won neuroses and precious foibles. Those in power are better able to perpetuate their grip on their baggage, both material and psychic, than those they oppress, but both the haves and the have-nots are uptight in this regard.
I have just read a tremendous novel called The Fixer by Bernard Malamud, once also of Brooklyn. Yacov Bok, the little Jew who is persecuted by the moribund establishment of the Tsar in the early 1900s, is a great protagonist. With nothing but a gutsy mind & spirit, he opposes the entire apparatus of police, prosecutors, judges and jailers. He is the classic Victim Who Judges, who is easily superior to his tormentors, who psyches them out, exposing their chicanery, their petty motives, who ends with contempt for them rather than fear. He reads Spinoza and does a retrospective analysis of Jewish persecution, and finally comes up with the wonderful idea that “Suffering teaches us only that suffering has absolutely no value.” To me, Bok is an archetype of Norman Oder, at least in respect to his uncompromising judging of his persecutors, to his illuminating insights into the stinking social apparatus which is slowly destroying us, fiber by fiber and cell by cell. Again, I thank you for these postings.