I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away. - Bob Dylan
In 1917 the posthumous, final volume of Charles Taze Russell's Studies in the Scriptures appeared, entitled - promisingly - The Finished Mystery. The book was published without the blessing of the board of his Watchtower Society, and would become one of its curses. Because the final revelation from the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses included the breaking news that the Christian church would be destroyed in 1918 and the world would end in 1920. When neither happened, a new edition of the book was released with what-he-really-meant-to-say revisions to the text.
Russell's early years were influenced by Nelson Barbour, an evangelist who had prophesied that Jesus Christ was destined to return bodily to Earth in 1873. When he failed to appear, Barbour issued a revised due date of 1874. After that too passed he smartly announced that Christ had, indeed, returned, but invisibly.
And maybe Karl Rove really has been indicted, invisibly, and Bad Santa Patrick Fitzgerald is filling our stockings out of season, and Jason Leopold and TruthOut haven't been suckered or compromised as artfully this year as Tom Flocco was flamboyantly last year, when he was serving up increasingly fabulist accounts - his and Sherman Skolnick's poetry slam conspiracy theories - of the Grand Jury expanding the scope of its investigation to include 9/11 and the indictments of Bush and Cheney. (It would appear that Barbara Olson is soon to begin her second year in custody somewhere on the "Polish-Austrian" border. Where's the mainstream media?)
Fitzmas, if it ever comes, is a religious holiday, because those whose heads make fine dance floors for its sugar plum fairies live by the faith that Fitzgerald will serve up more than failed pornographer Scooter Libby. Fitzianity demands nothing from its adherents except patience and wants nothing more than their speculation. God forbid that they should do something.
And the sham promise of this slave religion is nothing more than a few yellow cards to offenders long after the game has already been called in their favour. What kind of basket is that to carry all the rotton eggs of this wrecking crew? If Rove ever is indicted, so what? The Bush-by-proxy Reagan White House saw the most indictments in US history, and yet it's remembered fondly as a late golden age. Of course, this Bush White House won't be remembered that way, but it no longer matter who remembers what anymore. After all, American politics isn't exactly a popularity contest.
Chomsky's critique of "conspiracy theory" - at least those which pertain to conspiracies that hold no interest for him, such as JFK's assassination - is that their focus is personalities rather than structures of society. That's so wrong it's almost backwards, particularly here. Either those with big hopes for Fitzgerald's efforts believe certain heads must roll to set America right again, or they're just looking for the therapeutic benefit of striking back. And personalities are all we can touch through institutional justice. The deep politics embedded in the structures of power are removed from discussion and correction, and will, if left alone - as they usually are - continually renew themselves. It can spare a few heads for a Fitzmas because it's not a real guillotine.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The City of Lost Children opens with a young boy watching with wonder as Santa Claus climbs out of the fireplace, brushes soot from his coat and kindly offers him a toy. A sweet scene. But then the boy's gaze returns to the fireplace, as another Santa, and more behind, enter the room, and the charm suddenly becomes a horror.
Beware of Santas bearing gifts.