By Daren Jonescu
Like a master criminal irresistibly drawn to the scene of his crime, it appears that Bill Ayers — Marxist, terrorist, educator — was in attendance when Barack Obama cast his “historic” vote in the 2008 presidential election. Not only was he present, but he has reminisced about the experience with his unique brand of leftist lyricism, suggesting that the moment was deeply satisfying for him.
In April of 2010, Publisher’s Weekly (PW) featured an article on Ayers in its “Comics World” section, related to the publication of a graphic novelization of Ayers’ 1993 book, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher. The article includes a short interview with Ayers, in which he discusses the process of developing the graphic novel with his partner, cartoonist Ryan Alexander-Tanner.
Towards the end of the article, the interviewer, John Seven, broaches the subject of Ayers’ sudden “notoriety” during the 2008 campaign, which happened to coincide with the period during which Ayers and Alexander-Tanner were working on their book.
Ayers’ initial overview of the period is imbued with the delusional grandiosity characteristic of him, as of his presidential protégé/vague acquaintance:
The experience was somewhat surreal, but I’ve never, ever in my life — and the older I get, the more this is established — read about myself. I don’t read my clippings, so I was not as aware, for example, as my children were, about how big it had become until I was stopped in the street by somebody or until I saw myself on Saturday Night Live or I was a butt of a Colbert joke. I don’t watch the media, I don’t follow blogs about me, and if I did I think I would drive myself absolutely nuts. In some ways I think of all the people who might have been caught up in this madness, I was sort of well prepared for it because it’s always been true of me since I was 20 years old. I know who I am and I don’t take seriously the views of who I am — neither the praise, nor the blame.
Much like the man in whose neighborhood he is “a guy,” Ayers cannot simply recount an event in his life without seeming to be half-fabricating his “narrative” as he goes along. He is not so much remembering as portraying his experience, trying out a descriptive passage to see how it sounds.
For example, he emphatically declares that he has “never, ever” in his life read about himself. Nevertheless, he inserts redundantly that “this” gets more “established” the older he gets. How can one become more “established” in not doing something that one has “never, ever” done? Furthermore, this claim is patent nonsense. Does anyone believe that during the early days of the Weather Underground, when he was desperate to realize the effects of his scheming and rabble-rousing, Ayers never read a newspaper article about his activities? Can you believe that in 1980, after years in hiding, he and Bernardine Dohrn surrendered to the authorities without any idea of how they were being talked about in the press?
It is likely that Ayers could see the absurdity of the claim he was making, even as he began to say it. Thus, he tried to qualify it with the insertion — “the older I get, the more this is established” — thereby producing a logically confused statement.
The next part is even more peculiar. He says he was not “as aware” as his children were of just how big the Obama-Ayers story had become “until……….
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