We all have something to hide

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 19, 2007

An Italian court has handed down 26 indictments for American CIA agents for what they consider the kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Abu Omar.

A German court has issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents for the illegal kidnapping of a German citizen.

Former Bush crony Scooter Libby is taking the fall for several members of the President’s inner circle, in a perjury trial.

I’m still trying to figure out how Valerie Plame Wilson has continued to remain unscathed considering she headed the Iraq Joint Task Force, the organization that Vice President Cheney used to manipulate the American public into supporting the invasion of Iraq, but more on that later.

Former North Carolina House Speaker Jim Black is preparing for a jail stint after pleading guilty to what was essentially bribery.

Last year, former Oklahoma judge Donald Thompson was sentenced to four years in prison for using a sexual device on himself while sitting in the courtroom passing judgment on other people.

Several law enforcement officers in Durham face multiple drugs, prostitution, counterfeit and possible human trafficking charges after a nightclub the group used to front their illegal operations was raided last week.

So much for public servants.

Sunday night I watched Gosford Park, an outstanding movie which won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 2001.

The movie was supposed to be a murder mystery that ended up being more of a testament to class and society than anything else.

I pulled the title of my column from the film.

In case you haven’t seen it I won’t divulge too much, but for those of you who enjoy intelligent cinema, it is must see TV.

The movie is filled with subtle commentary about the relationship between those who live in a world of aristocracy and their relationships with the people who serve them.

Sometimes these relationships are manifested in intimacy, sometimes in camaraderie, but many times they end up in tragedy (see Marie Antoinette).

The country we live in was founded partly on the premise that a system of aristocracy was not conducive to an individual being able to maximize the brief amount of time he or she is allotted on earth.

The first 10 amendments of our constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights, was designed to outline the basic liberties afforded to all people who are citizens of our republic.

Unfortunately, in the absence of &uot;born royalty&uot; we have managed to create layers of aristocracy based on other criteria.

The list of people whom I cited in the beginning of this column were all just those type of sociological royalty to most people.

I have never been viewed in that vein and rightfully so.

Thank God.

I have always preferred to be what David Letterman calls &uot;good peasant stock&uot;.

What the movie Gosford Park showed more than anything was that although royalty puts on airs of superiority, it is in fact the peasants who afford them the pedestals on which they so haughtily perch their ideals.

As weird of a dynamic as it may seem, the Queen of England is only the Queen of England as long as she is recognized as the Queen of England.

As soon as people start referring to her as &uot;surly old coot&uot;, then that is what she will be regardless of what she might call herself.

You might disagree if you are inclined to have some love of people being born better than you, but let the Queen show up for a parade one day, and nobody showed up.


No more queen.

Most of our nation’s aristocrats come in the form of politicians.

Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, billionaire CEO’s, judges, parishioners, famous actors and actresses, these are all people who most peasants feel can circumvent the law, because they can usually duck the legal process altogether.

It is only when the mob decides to turn on them do they realize that the peasants had the goods on them all the while.

Professional athletes used to live in this higher realm, but when too many of them became black, the police turned on them.

So now a professional athlete can’t even drive around drunk with a loaded gun after just beating up on his wife without getting stopped by some harassing cop.

Oh the anguish!

All around us we are seeing people who have been entrusted to represent the ideals of democracy and morality being exposed as flawed individuals at best, and absolute scoundrels at worst.

The main reason we get to see it so much in today’s society is two-fold.

Firstly, in today’s digital world, where even nine year olds are walking around with instant video and worldwide communication capacity in their back pocket, it’s harder to hide the dirt.

Secondly, because of the new technology, the peasants are feeling more and more empowered.

Eventually, an aristocrat disturbs the slumber of the wrong peasant and presto, cooked royalty.

In every instance I noted earlier, the eventual straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was the initiative of one or more peasants who had seen and heard enough from some gaudy, self righteous aristocrat.

Knowing the supposed royalty had closets full of skeletons, the peasants turned on them, and in this day and age, one properly placed telephone call can set off a media frenzy of untold proportions.

Where am I going with all of this?

I don’t know, I guess I just wanted to tell you all about this cool movie I watched Sunday night.

Peace, holla back.