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Published April 13, 2012

"Dude. There are others like him," he wrote, referring to an obscure genius he had befriended for unknown and perhaps ultimately unknowable reasons. Impossible, I thought. There was no one else like himHe sent me a link to substantiate his mystical declaration: http://sfist.com/2011/07/11/guy_with_enormous_homemade_junkyard.php. I was slightly swayed that this provided evidence for the slim possibility that one other man in the world was fighting the conventional image of a completely deranged lunatic. A man who spent time in a makeshift lab built inside a white, former municipal bus, desperately building his very own military satellite. I wrote back to him immediately. "Good work, man! Tip of the iceberg. A metaphor for all of us." And then the conversation became really interesting. "LOL. Recall the Iran/Contra affair? It was July of 1987. The 24th day of the Oliver North hearings concluded 24 years ago to the day." After awhile he wrote back. "I remember back in 1992, I got loaded, dressed like a hippy and went to a VFW convention where Ollie was speaking. I had a gun held to my head before I was unceremoniously cast out." More recently, accompanied by his girlfriend after a night of drinking, they decided to stay awake to watch the demolition of the historic Mapes in Reno, Nevada, where Marilyn Monroe stayed during the filming of the Misfits. It's also where Senator Joseph McCarthy admitted over a drink in the Lamplighter bar to a reporter that he did not, in fact, have a list of communists in America. They ended up sitting next to the mayor and his cohorts, in the Virginian Coffee shop while having breakfast. The bastards were still laughing about it, the shameless villains, which sent the last of many arrows through the heart of an already culturally wounded warrior. They should have been confined to the top floor of the Mapes by the karma police for it and forced to have their last breakfast in the Sky Room before collapsing into the dustbin of history with the condemned building itself. They wouldn't have been laughing then. And future generations would not have missed them in the least as they ice skated over the forgotten tragedy as happily as this responsible party was presently. There is no justice in places like this. Not for a modern St. Sebastian like him and certainly not for the likes of them. He had a friend who worked at the newspaper who joined them for breakfast and she was his mole. She would always tell him what they had so he could scoop them. She told him the top brass was coming to inspect the newspaper and the publisher had a position on the board of directors of a very large gambling enterprise, which of course was completely unethical. It even inspired my journalism professor who was a columnist for another newspaper to exclaim “My feeling is that it's a clear conflict of interest. Here she's serving on the board of a member of the state's largest industry, and the newspaper is supposed to be covering it. In that position, you have to be above suspicion. It violates the role of a newspaper. We talk about her in ethics classes in a bad way. My opening remark to the class is that we don't need ethics classes for students. We need it for people like her." People were already angry with the newspaper and hated City Hall enough to demand a recall, so the timing was right. He organized a protest of the newspaper on the day that they came to town. He set everything up and put it in the hands of other dissidents. The protest went off as planned and there was a media feeding frenzy. Everyone who had an axe to grind materialized like the third host might at Armageddon, pacing like starved lions and licking their chops in anticipation of the raising of the gates, with just enough seething resentment and animosity to warrant the first unholy comparison. He gleefully wrote down as much of the mayhem as he could and turned it into a story which the Press Association awarded him "Best Spot News Coverage" for. There was no ticker tape parade. No medal ceremony. But there should have been. 

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