Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Is There a word for Anti-Serendipity?

There ought to be a word for events where, in a sort of anti-serendipity, our leaders, rulers, the high and mighty are suddenly revealed, like H. C. Andersen’s Emperor, to not only be wearing no clothes, but have big pimples on their butt.

Moments like this rarely reach in the history books. But I assure you they happen -- I’ve usually seen them several times on television and heard them with my own two ears.

When Prez Nixon’s made his last State of the Union Speech to the joint session of Congress, he referred to the storm clouds of scandal and cover-ups which were even then on the verge of destroying his Administration, asking Congress to join with him in a bipartisan manner to "remove the President [painful pause] -- remove the present situation..."

I guess that was more than a Freudian pratfall than a slip. "Even presidents have to stand naked sometimes" as the Bard of the Sixties once wrote.

Another story -- again, you won’t be likely to read it in the history books, but it happened just the same. Pope Pious IX was on television opening a Jubilee Year. The ceremony required that he open "Peter’s Gate" which is normally kept closed.

The Pope was to open the gate by knocking on the door with a little silver hammer and the gate was supposed to swing open -- but nothing happened and the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, the Keeper of the Keys to the Kingdom was suddenly an embarrassingly puzzled wizened old man. Meanwhile, banging sounds were heard from behind the door and a few minutes later the door swung open as if by carpenter magic...

When the Secretary of State, Colin Powell held his (in)famous press conference at the United Nations in the February, 2003, just before the US war of aggression against Wudda-Wreck, there were so many press folk that the conference had to be held in the main hall.

As was reported, the tapestry copy of Picasso’s "Guernica" behind the podium where Mr. Powell was to do his little performance was covered with blue muslin.

Contrary to what many believe, the tapestry was not covered at the request of either the State Department or the UN -- it was at the request of the photographers, they needed a neutral background in order to take good pictures.

But that is what made the anti-serendipity even more delicious!

The covering of Guernica that drew more news then the picture itself would have -- and how fitting! The war was foisted upon us through cover-ups, disinformation, omfustication and bald-faced lies -- but every one knew what was behind the blue backdrop.

Have any of you ever noted any examples of anti-serendipity?

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