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Sunday February 17th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    Spartacus was an enslaved Thracian. Thrace was a territory, to the west of the Black Sea, it included parts of modern day Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. Alexander the Great, pretty much a wholly perverted teenager who conquered much of the known world and some perfectly contended places the ancients reckoned hadn't even been discovered, took the backbone of his army from Thracian Tribes. I guess too, somewhere amongst the modern day learned is a peer reviewed paper devoted to the anthropology of the Thracian Peoples, their habits and customs, their poems and sagas, their sense of identity as Celts and what might have happened to them when they were eventually granted Roman Citizenship. The trouble is no one alive today was actually there, and anthropologists ruled by their primary imperative, "Don't just make things up," can do no more than offer a pinhole through which to glean what we can. The point being, according to a review of a book written for him by collaborators, the G-Man who was recently dismissed from service hours prior to his retirement, an action which resulted in him losing his pension, apparently asked this question, "When is the right time to give up on people's general ability to understand any slightly complicated statement that they don't agree with?"  

 

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     Putting aside the provenance of the book, it was written by others, I'd argue that this sentence requires at least another forty thousand words to explore more precisely what the G-Man meant. For odd reasons I find myself totally on his side were the question born of exasperation produced by being pawed over by the functional equivalent of Jelly Fish during the course of a couple of congressional enquiries the purposes of which were  to hunt a down a scapegoat. If so then I believe it has long been the case that frustration usually follows from any attempt to dialogue upon something like causes of rain with something like a brick wall. Then there's that whole area of thinking well summed by "I am surrounded by idiots," which in the end is as much an inability to explain as it is an inability to understand. Then there's the whole business of assumptions. Our G-Man assumed 'a general ability to understand' in the sense that Spartacus might have voiced were he to have suggested to his slave masters that even though he was of warrior stock, he didn't really like being a gladiator. And here had someone explained to Spartacus that he'd been defined as a casualty in the interest of a higher power, he might have accepted his lot had he believed in the worth of the higher power. The disenfranchised, as opposed to the enfranchised, more often than not are forced into acceptance when attempts at dialogue lead to impasse. Fair to say, Spartacus and our G-Man have much in common.

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