Nov 13, 2020, 05:55AM

The Pundit Emotional Health Accountability Project

Examining the scores of dysfunctional journalists—not a task for the queasy.

Screen shot 2020 11 12 at 11.53.24 pm.png?ixlib=rails 2.1

Forget the Trump Accountability Project. Here in Indiana I’m launching the Pundit Emotional Health Accountability Project. Driven by blockchain tech, it will make public the emotional health profiles of the political geniuses of the pundit-sphere.

Psychically speaking, who exactly are these people who delineate the contours of our political “debate,” setting the terms for “the American conversation,” forging in the smithies of their souls the political conscience of our time?

How many of them, and which ones, have been in psychotherapy for extended periods of time? How many are on anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-depressants? How many masturbate compulsively (like Jeffrey Toobin) or qualify as morbidly obese? How many suffer from insomnia, or behavioral disorders, or clinical personality disorders, or repetition compulsions, or grotesque nervous tics? How many have contemplated or even attempted suicide? How many have remained chaste into the fourth and fifth decades of their lives, not as a result of religious conviction (they’re all anti-religious), but simply as a melancholy byproduct of personal dysfunction? These questions are crucial. We need an accounting of the emotional hygiene of the practitioners of that higher squiddery known as punditry—and I think that if we had one, we’d find that hygiene to be pretty poor.

I plan to build on my farm property here in Indiana a massive complex housing the computing equipment that will power the Project. Aggregating pundit mental health information from a range of sources, the system will feed it into analytical engines that, “leveraging” up-to-the-minute AI applications, will generate emotional fitness profiles on a real-time basis, distributing them to the public by means of…

Well, I’m not quite sure how we’ll distribute this info “at scale.” I may have to enter into partnership with a media platform like Facebook or Twitter, forming a tactical alliance with the Devil in order to further the Lord’s work. Great riches await me. Get used to the idea of Harris as a significant tech mogul along the lines of the low-profile Jimmy Wales, if not of a Zuckerberg or Dorsey.

Blockchain will be crucial here. The unfalsifiable ledger that it creates will underpin my system.


Autumn, with its promise of leisure here on the farm, is when I jump back into the chilly waters of my Russian studies. This fall and winter will be even better for my linguistic labors, given COVID-19 lockdowns.

Good heavens, Russian is difficult. In high school and college I took French and remember how easy everything but its pronunciation was. No surprise, given the infusion of French words into the English language at times over history. Fully 40 percent of the French vocabulary, if I remember correctly, is the same or near the same in English, differentiated by little other than the batty way the Gauls pronounce things. I reckon that one could achieve fluency in French in the time it takes to learn to read a Russian children’s book with ease.

Studying Russian is like studying Greek or Latin with the intention to speak it, rather than to decipher it on the page, with the merely passive knowledge that reading requires. Russian is an inflected language like those ancient tongues, each word changing according to its context, in line with a hyper-elaborated grammar each rule of which carries, it seems, a million exceptions.

And yet I go on, if fitfully. There’s no other way than by knowing Russian to look into that thing of grave beauty known as the “Russian soul.” And if my limited knowledge of the language means that I’ll get only a very partial look, that’s enough reward. I accept this discipline: this nightly communion with the most noble of tongues, the one that gives voice to the most perfect of civilizations.


Register or Login to leave a comment