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The Apotheosis of Rev. Bacon
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From the New York Times:

A Slimmed-Down Al Sharpton Savors an Expanded Profile
By NIKITA STEWART and JASON HOROWITZ AUG. 24, 2014

In little more than 24 hours this weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton led a march on Staten Island to protest the death of a black man in police custody, went to Washington to appear on “Meet the Press” and flew to Ferguson, Mo., where on Monday he is to eulogize the 18-year-old black man whose fatal shooting by the police set off days of unrest.

In between, Mr. Sharpton talked by phone to Valerie Jarrett, a White House adviser and presidential confidante, who told him that representatives of the Obama administration would be at the funeral for the 18-year-old, Michael Brown. It was an hour before she announced the news on Twitter, and well before the release of an official White House announcement.

From an overweight Brooklyn firebrand clad in tracksuits and draped in medallions, Mr. Sharpton has transformed himself into the White House’s civil rights leader of choice, an incessantly televised pundit, and even a poster child for a strict diet of salad and juice. …

Like Oprah, Sharpton periodically loses a lot of weight and then gets coverage for being the New Al.

His organization’s general counsel calls him “the hardest-working man in social justice.”

This is a reference to Sharpton’s long quasi-filial relationship with singer James Brown. Sharpton was a friend of Brown’s son, who was killed in a car accident. After that, Brown sort of adopted Sharpton and treated him better than he treated any of his many real children.

Keep in mind that Sharpton really is a clever, interesting, hard-working man. Pushing Jesse Jackson aside is not an inconsiderable accomplishment. This isn’t like Being Julian Castro, this is the big leagues of the race rackets.

On Sunday on “Meet the Press,” he was asked about a much-discussed profile of him in Politico Magazine last week that charted how he became President Obama’s go-to civil rights advocate. “In every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass, presidents talk to those that were leading at that time,” Mr. Sharpton said. He went on to defend Mr. Obama against criticism that his remarks about Ferguson have been tepid, and praised the president for “addressing it twice while he was on vacation, not a statement but coming out live.”

Between his own MSNBC program and his appearances elsewhere on the media landscape, Mr. Sharpton can seem a constant presence on TV and radio, and never more so than in the midst of crises, like those that have unfolded in Ferguson and on Staten Island this summer. …

But Mr. Sharpton’s ascent from one of the most divisive figures in New York — the Brooklyn iconoclast who backed what would prove to be bogus rape accusations by Tawana Brawley —

“Iconoclast?” I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Let’s not forget Freddie’s Fashion Mart … Could any white activist’s career survive two such disasters? Oh, wait, there aren’t any white activist’s careers.

to the country’s most prominent voice on race relations involves more than the selection of inspiring music that accompanies his morning commute.

Assuming that Bonfire of the Vanities remains the best guide to the backstory behind the media obsessions of 2014, I suspect that Sharpton’s latest rise is somehow or other helped along by a behind the scenes relationship with lawyer Benjamin Crump of Trayvon and Michael Brown fame. In Bonfire, Rev. Bacon has a deal with a William Kunstler-type radical civil rights lawyer, and maybe the real Rev. Bacon has something similar working with Crump.

He is above all a skilled political operator who has won the backing of a president and the gratitude of a New York mayor, and now knows full well how to seize on this perhaps fleeting moment (an ominous Clintonian cloud is on the horizon) and leverage that support into power and credibility. “I’m not in the kitchen cabinet, but I can get an audience in the living room from time to time,” he said understatedly. …

Mr. Sharpton had allies in the campaign — first and foremost Patrick Gaspard, the eventual White House political director

Gaspard is the son of a Haitian lawyer

— but he won an especially powerful convert in Ms. Jarrett

Born in Iran, where her African-American father was a doctor

, Mr. Obama’s

Son of a white anthropologist, educated at a Honolulu prep school

closest adviser, for his behind-the-scenes work to rally support, and tamp down opposition, before the Democratic National Convention in Denver. …

Mr. Sharpton is not only a special guest. He is also a special host to the president, who has appeared as the keynote speaker at the National Action Network’s convention. Five cabinet members, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Barbadian mulatto middle class

Okay, so the pattern is clear: the Obama Administration’s highest ranking blacks are by nurture out of touch with African-Americans, while Rev. Al spent years on the road with James Brown, so they see him as the authentic face of Black America. Unfortunately, their cynicism is probably justified.

 
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  1. “The Apotheosis of Rev. Bacon” Are you out of your ever-loving mind??? You can’t mention Bacon! It offends the muzlums, haven’t you heard?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/vermont-diner-takes-bacon-sign-offends-muslim-residents-article-1.1915158

  2. This is not a serious country any more.

  3. In one of Jonah Goldberg’s columns consisting of a protracted vexed complaint about Al Sharpton — there are perhaps as many of those as the number of illegitimate kids sired by the Godfather of Soul — the obsession du jour was a NY Times story about Sharpton lounging at this private cigar club on the roof of 666 Park Ave. The reporter who’d covered it obviously enjoyed the assignment whereas the irritated Conservatism-Op-Ed-Etc. columnist was aggrieved by Sharpton’s reply, when asked from whence he’d got the membership fee for the cigar club, that somebody else paid for it. But Al went further and smugly announced that he didn’t even pay for the suit being worn that moment, in the interview, at the cigar club. I guess that could be described as an “interesting” and novel modern occupation but I think there’s an older term for it.

  4. It’s the Grand Havana Room, 666 5th, btw 52nd and 53rd. 666 Park, aside from being the name of a TV show (which I’ve not seen, FWIW), is a real apartment. It’s the bottom three floors of 660 Park. One of the largest apartments in the city.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/realestate/streetscapes-the-real-666-park-avenue.html?_r=0

    Regarding Sharpton and his suits, etc., I recall that when he was deposed for the civil suit filed by Steven Pagones (the prosecutor Sharpton falsely accused of raping Brawley) Sharpton was asked how he had all this nice stuff, including the suits, despite claiming very low income. He said the suits were not his but he “had access” to them. This was not required to be explained and the IRS has shown no interest.

    Sharpton eventually lost, but was required to pay a fraction of what Pagones sought. Friends of his paid on his behalf.

  5. I attended the same high school as his daughters. It was one of those “elite” NYC prep schools, and probably the most conservative one at that. Tells you everything you need to know.

  6. Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.

    • Replies: @Percy Gryce
    @Coemgen


    Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.
     
    Our culture--and language--is built on both Latin and Greek.

    That said, I'm not sure apotheosis is the word that Steve was looking for. Isn't Steve's point not that Sharpton is the best example of a category (perhaps better put as "the apotheosis of the race hustler") but rather that he's the living embodiment of a fictional character. So, perhaps: reification? incarnation? instantiation?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer

  7. “In every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass, presidents talk to those that were leading at that time,”

    MMM, from Lincoln and Frederick Douglas to Obama and Al Sharpton. Portrait of a nation in decline.

  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The light skinned elite need people like Bacon as a go-between to the larger community of purer bloods out there so as to allay their natural suspicions of the high-yellow types. They instinctively go for the hard line strident types as their leaders such as M Barry, Farrakhan or anything resembling a domestically bred Mugabe. Bacon seems to be a suitable, fast talking rabble rouser with a proven record of inspiring that aforementioned rabble into coming out on the streets with picket signs. The elites need him, or someone like him, and he gets to ride on the sailboat in return. This is his big chance and it sure beats working for a living.

  9. I’ve started reading Bonfire. The opening chapter reminds me of the scene in Blue Jasmine when Cate Blanchett discovers Alec Baldwin’s extramarital dalliance.

  10. Yeah, he’s a sleazy two-bit hustler, but darn it, the man is entertaining. Rev. Bacon, in Wolfe’s book, was a serious, humorless man. Sharpton, in contrast, does everything short of come right out and admit “Yeah, I’m just in it for the money, fame, and power, and I’m having a blast! Whaddaya gonna do about it?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Rapparee

    Right. Spending years on the road with James Brown gives you a certain perspective on life.

  11. Steve Sailer:”Let’s not forget Freddie’s Fashion Mart … Could any white activist’s career survive two such disasters?”

    In case anyone doesn’t know the details of this little incident in the good reverend’s career:

    In 1995 a black Pentecostal Church, the United House of Prayer, which owned a retail property on 125th Street, asked Fred Harari, a Jewish tenant who operated Freddie’s Fashion Mart, to evict his longtime subtenant, a black-owned record store called The Record Shack. Sharpton led a protest in Harlem against the planned eviction of The Record Shack.[40][41][42] Sharpton told the protesters, “We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”[43]

    On December 8, 1995 Roland J. Smith Jr., one of the protesters, entered Harari’s store with a gun and flammable liquid, shot several customers and set the store on fire. The gunman fatally shot himself, and seven store employees died of smoke inhalation.[44][45] Fire Department officials discovered that the store’s sprinkler had been shut down, in violation of the local fire code.[46] Sharpton claimed that the perpetrator was an open critic of himself and his nonviolent tactics. Sharpton later expressed regret for making the racial remark, “white interloper,” and denied responsibility for inflaming or provoking the violence.[18][47]

  12. @Coemgen
    Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.

    Replies: @Percy Gryce

    Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.

    Our culture–and language–is built on both Latin and Greek.

    That said, I’m not sure apotheosis is the word that Steve was looking for. Isn’t Steve’s point not that Sharpton is the best example of a category (perhaps better put as “the apotheosis of the race hustler”) but rather that he’s the living embodiment of a fictional character. So, perhaps: reification? incarnation? instantiation?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Percy Gryce

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of "apotheosis" in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    a·poth·e·o·sis
    əˌpäTHēˈōsis,ˌapəˈTHēəsis/Submit
    noun
    - the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
    "his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career"
    - the elevation of someone to divine status; deification.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Percy Gryce

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of "apotheosis" in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    a·poth·e·o·sis
    əˌpäTHēˈōsis,ˌapəˈTHēəsis/Submit
    noun
    - the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
    "his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career"
    - the elevation of someone to divine status; deification.

    Replies: @Percy Gryce

  13. @Rapparee
    Yeah, he's a sleazy two-bit hustler, but darn it, the man is entertaining. Rev. Bacon, in Wolfe's book, was a serious, humorless man. Sharpton, in contrast, does everything short of come right out and admit "Yeah, I'm just in it for the money, fame, and power, and I'm having a blast! Whaddaya gonna do about it?"

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Right. Spending years on the road with James Brown gives you a certain perspective on life.

  14. @Percy Gryce
    @Coemgen


    Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.
     
    Our culture--and language--is built on both Latin and Greek.

    That said, I'm not sure apotheosis is the word that Steve was looking for. Isn't Steve's point not that Sharpton is the best example of a category (perhaps better put as "the apotheosis of the race hustler") but rather that he's the living embodiment of a fictional character. So, perhaps: reification? incarnation? instantiation?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of “apotheosis” in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    a·poth·e·o·sis
    əˌpäTHēˈōsis,ˌapəˈTHēəsis/Submit
    noun
    – the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
    “his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career”
    – the elevation of someone to divine status; deification.

  15. @Percy Gryce
    @Coemgen


    Apotheosis: Thanks for the new word but deification would have saved a trip to Merriam-Webster.
     
    Our culture--and language--is built on both Latin and Greek.

    That said, I'm not sure apotheosis is the word that Steve was looking for. Isn't Steve's point not that Sharpton is the best example of a category (perhaps better put as "the apotheosis of the race hustler") but rather that he's the living embodiment of a fictional character. So, perhaps: reification? incarnation? instantiation?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of “apotheosis” in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    a·poth·e·o·sis
    əˌpäTHēˈōsis,ˌapəˈTHēəsis/Submit
    noun
    – the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
    “his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career”
    – the elevation of someone to divine status; deification.

    • Replies: @Percy Gryce
    @Steve Sailer


    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of “apotheosis” in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:
     
    Ahh, you were using Rev. Bacon as code for Sharpton. That makes sense. So it's "The Apotheosis of Al Sharpton, the Incarnation of Rev. Bacon."
  16. @Steve Sailer
    @Percy Gryce

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of "apotheosis" in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    a·poth·e·o·sis
    əˌpäTHēˈōsis,ˌapəˈTHēəsis/Submit
    noun
    - the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
    "his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career"
    - the elevation of someone to divine status; deification.

    Replies: @Percy Gryce

    Those are good for your point, although I was thinking of “apotheosis” in terms of the article claiming Sharpton has reached a new peak of acclaim, thus melding these two definitions:

    Ahh, you were using Rev. Bacon as code for Sharpton. That makes sense. So it’s “The Apotheosis of Al Sharpton, the Incarnation of Rev. Bacon.”

  17. What if turns out that Brown assaulted a police officer (as all of the witnesses seem to agree) and was killed as he continued and extended that assault? What then does the presence of White House advisers at Brown’s funeral–as well as all the other tributes–say: that it’s open season on cops?

  18. Off topic: A Sacramento jury just acquitted the following people of mortgage fraud: Yevgenity Charikov, Vitaliy Tuzman, Nadia Talybov and Juliet Romanishin.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/22/6648529/sacramento-federal-court-jury.html

  19. What is the difference between apotheosis and epitome?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Dr. Evil

    An apotheosis is an event.

    I was rereading James M. Cain's "Mildred Pierce" -- which is definitely in the running for The Great Southern California Novel -- and Cain refers to the point in her life when the striver marries her High Society beau, buys his Pasadena mansion, and her daughter is singing at the Hollywood Bowl as "her apotheosis."

  20. @Dr. Evil
    What is the difference between apotheosis and epitome?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    An apotheosis is an event.

    I was rereading James M. Cain’s “Mildred Pierce” — which is definitely in the running for The Great Southern California Novel — and Cain refers to the point in her life when the striver marries her High Society beau, buys his Pasadena mansion, and her daughter is singing at the Hollywood Bowl as “her apotheosis.”

  21. Right, Rev. Bacon had the same function in NYC as Rev. Al, but was less fun.

  22. I always thought Dunbar Village was the most vile project co- Mayor & co-NYPD commissioner Sharpton ever took on.

  23. The race-baiter “par excellence”. might be a good description.

    I imagine there are many cool little french phrases just as good.

  24. Here is a crime you might not want to know about.

    Of course, the perps are the real victims, if you ask co-Mayor Al Sharpton.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2011/05/25/Al-Sharpton–the-NAACP–and-the-Dunbar-Village-Rape

  25. Gaspard is the (gay) son of a Haitian lawyer. Irrelevant, maybe.

    Gaspard is also very close to co-Mayor Bill de Blasio, from their Working Families Party says. WFP can make a lot of connections for those trying to explain why New Yorkers re-elected the Dinkins team as soon as they got enough people here that don’t remember the Dinkins years, or pretend not to.

  26. Is Rev. Bacon not fun? Well, he’s not fun when he’s meeting with Episcopalian do-gooders, but is it clear in Bonfire that he’s not fun when he’s out there managing the steam?

    Also, Steve, I agree w/r/t Mildred Pierce: it’s a superb Southern California novel. But would you rate it above Raymond Chandler’s work as the apotheosis of that genre?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Chandler v. Cain would seem like the main competitors, with film noir as a sort of joint legacy. They didn't like each other but they made Double Indemnity a great film noir. When Chandler was hired to adapt Cain's novel, he said it was a good book but the dialogue wouldn't work on screen and so he'd rewrite all of it. The studio was employing Cain on another movie, so they called him up. Cain agreed with Chandler.

    That's professionalism.

  27. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Is Rev. Bacon not fun? Well, he's not fun when he's meeting with Episcopalian do-gooders, but is it clear in Bonfire that he's not fun when he's out there managing the steam?

    Also, Steve, I agree w/r/t Mildred Pierce: it's a superb Southern California novel. But would you rate it above Raymond Chandler's work as the apotheosis of that genre?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Chandler v. Cain would seem like the main competitors, with film noir as a sort of joint legacy. They didn’t like each other but they made Double Indemnity a great film noir. When Chandler was hired to adapt Cain’s novel, he said it was a good book but the dialogue wouldn’t work on screen and so he’d rewrite all of it. The studio was employing Cain on another movie, so they called him up. Cain agreed with Chandler.

    That’s professionalism.

  28. James M Cain is an interesting case. I’ve read nothing of his after Double Indemnity. What happened to him? Did he fall out of favor, even though his later stuff is still good, or did he really decline?

    In any case, The Postman Always Rings Twice gets more done in fewer words than just about anything else I’ve ever read. Incredible book.

  29. With ‘apotheosis’ I think of Seneca’s ‘Apocolocyntosis’ satire…The ‘Pumpkinification’ of the Emperor Claudius. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocolocyntosis

    May have been written to curry favour with the new Emperor Nero and get a laugh at court.

    Seneca was probably the first S.W.P.L. urging stoic austerity on everyone while he was one of the wealthiest men in Rome.

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