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‘How Can He Not Know?’
A Man Question from Steevo Bristol

“Dude, listened to that podcast and it was awesome—by the way, it’s been nice knowing you. The cops are going to fucking kill you, dude! They’ll beat you with the phone book at the very least! The question I have is, the dude that interviewed you, though he seemed cool, was totally clueless. You could hear him just gaping in surprise at what you were saying and what you were saying is what everybody in Baltimore knows. How could he not know? How do obviously smart people—much smarter than my shelf-stocking ass—not know such basic stuff? The most amazing thing to me is that people think The Wire is the way it is, when it is so much worse. Stringer Bell going to college and teaching business to his soldiers—shit, that’s more fictional than Spiderman!”

-Steevo, 1:05 A.M. Tuesday, 7/18/19

What follows is a paraphrase of my answer to Steevo as I straightened the sour cream shelf, and he kept an eye on a known shoplifter.

“The guy was a librarian, a magazine editor, a writer—he’s an intellectual. He knows a lot, but with half of what these people are taught in school being lies, he’s spent his life sorting through the bullshit to find what’s real. That’s why he talked to me. He belongs to the class of educated people who write the books that the laws we live under are based on. He’s not clueless. He’s one of the intellectuals who has lived in shitty places and has a knack for seeing through the lies, so he gets it. As an interviewer, his job is to ask questions as if he doesn’t know a thing about the subject so that the listener, who may not know anything can follow along. That’s why he uses the method of quoting what people have written about the subject instead of putting an opinion or impression out there—which he saves for the end. The important thing to remember is that most of the smart people who went to school like him, who read a lot, they don’t have a knack for sorting the lies and never talked to anyone like us who wasn’t playing them, and that these are the people who shape popular and academic opinions, in the media and in school which serve as the basis for our laws, the beefs of our politicians, the actions of law enforcement and the military, and the decisions of judges.”

Steevo capped off the conversation with, “So, the people that know shit aren’t shit, and the people who run shit don’t know shit?”

Welcome to Harm City, White-Boy

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Jeremy BenthamJuly 24, 2017 1:39 AM UTC

“Doublethink” from 1984 by George Orwell, chapter 9.

“That power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”