If a tree falls in the middle of the woods unknown to anyone, does it make a sound? A better question might end with “does it make a difference?” Many years ago, I met John Wayne Gacy. I was introduced to him on one of my jobsites. He was the carpentry superintendent. We shook hands. I looked into his eyes. I saw nothing amiss. He smiled at me — a few pleasantries — and that was that. Some time earlier, President Carter’s wife Rosalynn also shook hands with him, exchanged pleasantries, and went on. Three weeks after Gacy and I met, news reports blasted that he was “The Killer Clown” and the murderer of at least 33 young men. He led a compartmentalized life. While he failed in marriage, he was a successful businessman, political and charitable worker. “Pogo the Clown” was not funny. But he was a good example of a person who was not what he appeared to be. His friends, co-workers, and acquaintances only knew what they were allowed to know. Gacy was an iceberg with almost all of his real being underwater.
The Gacy story is a good analogy for society in general. The masses — us — the 99.99%, include plenty of smart, powerful, rich, and even sensitive people as well as everyone else. But we are almost totally unaware of the lives and reality of the richest, most powerful people on the planet. We , “the great unwashed”, are like the servants in the Downton Abbey television series. We are close enough to the royalty to grab a glimpse of the true nature of Earl and Countess and their family, but their world is not really our concern, except as we are to provide “service”. Rumors may fly about other nearby dukes, earls and such, but it’s all rumor — conversation only — not our true concern — our task is to serve. So if the Earl has a fling with the help, or the King parties with commoners, it’s not our concern. And for certain, if the leaders of the 1/100th of One Per Cent Club decide it’s time to fight a ridiculous, brutal war, that’s their business. Our job is to cook, clean, and fuss about the lords and ladies. Sure we can gossip and speculate, but we will never know what’s really happening because the societal system is run by that tiny, but ultra-powerful group, that is very capable of keeping secrets and exercising deception.
We are part of the 99.99 Per Cent Club. Bill Clinton, President Obama, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, and many other upper-echelon people are also in the 99.99 club. We take orders, we do the work, and we operate in the dark and live in a world of rumor and gossip. We are the unknown and the unknowing. And that is just the way things are. Some of us (even news media people on occasion) notice weird things that go bump in the night like George de Mohrenschild’s relationship with Jackie Kennedy. Or Barack Obama’s mysterious back-story. Or that President Reagan’s assailant, John Hinkley, was the brother of a good friend of Neil Bush (George the 1st’s son) and they were scheduled to have dinner together on the night of the assassination attempt. These news tidbits float up to the surface like images of John Wayne Gacy dressed in a clown suit, but none of it makes sense. So we shake our heads and just ignore it. Such things are not to be understood by “the help” — not our business.
So it is with the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, the Grenada invasion, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, Jim Jones, Waco, Oklahoma City, 911, and all the other things that we just don’t quite get.
I wonder if it all makes sense to those “in the know”, the members of the 1/100th of One Per Cent Club. Oh. Sorry. Just forget I said this. I must get back to work…