The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The Morning Mendacity
Friday, December 10th, 2004
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  editor@nossiter.net
San Francisco private eye Christopher Smart, hired by billionaire George Soros, continues his investigation of the 59 million brains lost on election day 2004. Smart is sitting in a North Beach café …

The Case of the Missing Gray Matter, Part III

I was going about this case all wrong. Scanning the daily rags, I tossed down another grappa and concluded that Young Lo was mistaken.  Lo said follow the trail of “manifestations of brainlessness” and I’d arrive at the truth.  But following the trail of every instance of brainlessness recorded in a single edition of the newspaper would be a lifetime’s work, with no guarantee of success.  Trying to find lost brains by investigating brainlessness was too big a job for one shamus.  It was too big a job for an army of shamus’s, even if every one of them had a billionaire’s expense account to back him.   I did, but so far it hadn’t bought anything except a cheap Chinese lunch and a couple of grappas.

I shook my head and ordered a third.  In Dover, PA, the local school board didn’t like the idea that human ancestry included chimps and apes, not to say amoebae.  So the geniuses on the school board turned their plump backs on the evidence of millions of years of fossil record, threw out a hundred and fifty years of scientific research, and ignored every recent advance in genetics and cell biology.  Students in that benighted school district will now learn that life is too complex to allow for evolution.  Instead it just happened, willed into being by – they’re not saying, but the responsible party certainly must have had some awesome powers, mustn’t He?  “Intelligent Design” they’re calling their substitute theory.*  Stupid misconception would be a more accurate name, but accuracy isn’t something these folks are too concerned with.  Next the lucky kids of Dover will learn all about the flat earth, and the tooth fairy, and probably the stork too.  They’ll get along just fine in the twenty-first century with an education like that.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they all grew up to be school board members.

My glass was getting low again so I waved for a refill.  More troops are blown up in Iraq.  A smart National Guardsman, Specialist Thomas Wilson, asks the Secretary of Defense why their military vehicles have no armor, making them sitting ducks for any Iraqi with a home-made bomb.  His fellow Guardsmen cheer the question, it being on the tip of their tongues too.  Every American with a working brain ought to be demanding an answer to Specialist Wilson’s question as well.  So how does the paper of record cover the scandalous shortage of armored vehicles in Iraq?  By insinuating that Specialist Wilson was a stooge for a reporter on the scene.  It was right there, in the mighty New York Times:  G.I.’S QUERY TO RUMSFELD PROMPTED BY REPORTER.**  The future of this story was clear;  a big debate about the proper role of reporters.  The scandal of sitting-duck troop transports and supply trucks will be quietly forgotten.  More soldiers will get blown up.

And I was back to where I started.  Where was the real brainlessness in these stories?  Did it lie with the Dover, PA School Board, or the people who elected them, or the promoters of “Intelligent Design”?  Was the Secretary of Defense as witless as he seemed, sending unarmored vehicles to an anarchic war zone?  And was his monumental stupidity equaled, or exceeded, by the way the newspaper of record treated the story?

My course was clear:  after four grappas, I still had enough of my wits about me to ask such questions.  In order to gain an insight into the thought processes of the Dover School Board, the Secretary of Defense, and the New York Times, without which my investigation was stalled, I’d have to bring myself down to their level.  It was going to be tough, and it was going to be very, very expensive.  I ordered another grappa.

The Case of the Missing Gray Matter will continue…


.©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2004
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Case of the Missing Gray Matter, II
Case of the Missing Gray Matter
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