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Fact Checking Myself: Mental Gymnastics

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

At the beginning or end of daily walk I wind up at the local Starbucks for a session with the usual gang of old farts. We talk of the banalities of life, our aches and pains and remembrances. And, of course, we discuss politicsthe bulk of these guys being retired policemen, they are conservatives as currently defined by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. We have negotiated a dtente to peaceful co-existence so that the air doesnt get too befouled with vitriolic language. Last week, we took up the actions of NSA activity exposer Edward Snowden and whether he is a traitor or not. Is he a Benedict Arnold or a Daniel Ellsberg? Given that he is on the run and appears to be a Man without a Country as long as he can, I posited he has become a man without a country. This comment evoked a puzzled look from some and a nod from others. Rattling around my head was the Edward Everett 1863 Atlantic Monthly story I read in 10th grade English in 1960. But that is the fact, not the remembrance in the discussion that day. Asked what I meant, I explained the gist of what I confusedly named Philip, no, Thomas Marlowe (Philip Nolan is correct) as the man banished to a ship at sea never hearing of the US again. It is a narrative for Snowden, but now that he seeks asylum in Ecuador, well see. No one questioned me on the name as they didnt know the famous Christopher Marlowe forerunner to Shakespeare. I had converted Christopher into Thomas. Read too much Dashell Hammitt and Raymond Chandler since 1960. Philip went straight to Marlowe. In my defense, I noted my uncertainty at the time. Upon researching when I got home, I discovered all the facts and saw that I was really addled on this one. Marlowe and Literature went to Christopher Marlowe with the Christopher fuzzed as Thomas (from Thomas Moore, I guess, keeping the M connection.) Without recapitulating my research, when I confessed this fact yesterday, they didn t give a shit, but, tweaked my nose, YOU made a mistake? My answer: Yes. Hard as it is to believe. Sometimes wrong but rarely uncertain. Smiles all around.

Copyright 2013, David M. Sherr

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