We all have our heroes…people whom we admire and look up to, try to emulate, or just use as an ideal. Sometimes, sadly, they prove to have feet of clay and our adulation turns to disillusionment. It’s sad when this happens, as it did to me recently.
I stumbled onto an article by Don Burleson a few days ago titled “On Religion.” It is a good piece, logical and well written. I agreed with most of his arguments, although his style was a bit confrontational for my taste. Even Christopher Hitchens might have found this guy a little over-the-top. I decided to look into his other writings, and discovered that he was a semi-retired college math teacher, and a prolific author, having published more than twenty books and over a hundred short stories. I visited his web site, and found dozens of photos of him and his wife. Many of the photos showed him semi-nude or almost entirely nude, with just the tiniest bikini. Now that would not be so bad if he were 25 years old, but Dr. Burleson is in his 70’s, and even though he isn’t disgusting to look at, nobody would mistake him for Arnold Schwartzenegger before he went into politics and deteriorated. Burleson is in reasonably good physical condition for a 70-year-old, but if there were a Mr. Aging America contest, he would not be a contender. He’s just an ordinary looking old guy.
This raises the eyebrows, but it doesn’t disqualify him as a source of information on religion, God and atheism, the subjects of the article I read. Then, I looked a little further and found that one of his books is titled “UFO’s and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe.” It’s a mercifully short read of about 100 pages in which the writer does the usual conspiracy stuff, elevating every rumor to exalted truth, and denouncing all official documentation as a conspiracy on the part of the government to hide stuff from the people. In this case Marilyn, who allegedly was a lover of both Jack and Bobby Kennedy, was miffed because they dumped her, and so she threatened to hold a press conference, spilling not only the affairs, but also some pillow talk from Jack that detailed the mythical flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico. Now I can believe that Jack and Bobby may have enjoyed some good times with Norma Jean, but I don’t see Jack, at the climactic moment saying, “Oh sweetie, I saw some alien bodies and their crashed spaceship yesterday.”
And even though I never liked Bobby much, I don’t see him enlisting the Mafia to do a hit on Marilyn.
Whoa, what have we got here? Sounds like a bona fide conspiracy nut!
And maybe a bit of an exhibitionist as well.
Sigh. Another hero bites the dust.
Oh, I almost forgot. In one of the few pictures where he is actually wearing some clothes, his T-shirt says: “READ ATLAS SHRUGGED.” That was the final nail in this hero’s coffin. Ayn Rand’s utopia of greed is a blueprint for the decline of humanity back into barbarism.
But then I realized that Burleson had missed a golden opportunity. If he had continued his book, he could have claimed that a group of fanatical pinko commie liberal Marilyn fans had learned of the perfidious actions of the Kennedys, and decided to exact revenge by bumping off both Jack and Bobby.
Even if this did not conform to Rand’s “mental symmetry.” it would create a moral symmetry that would have been a win-win for Burleson because the perpetrators of all his imagined crimes were liberals! What more could a Randian want?