The Rats who Tried to Bell a Cat [A Short-short Story]

What is the Plain of Truth? I ask in earnest. I thinkI must set out into this world to look for this plainess. What is the plan–I must open the eyes, open the ears, empty the mind–thinking is in itself prejudice, no? That is belief, as I have said, I used to say. To know more, I should believe less. I am not advocating becoming a simpleton, but how many simpletons are there among true believers whatever the faith, and I do not exclude political faiths, or even one or another of the many, many atheisms, all belief systems of one kind or another with their dogmas, dog’s wagging their tails after a good shit in the gutter. dogma, dog-make. 

Herein please find, please receive this  Monologue On the Dialectic of Guilt In the American Justice System. It is presented here as I remember it, verbatim, of course, the world of this text is one where someone like me could be someone like I have said, who recollects the whole of the text as spoken, verbatim, so it can then be transcribed, as I have said, word-for-word right here in print.

It was presented as part of a symposium.

He was a Political Science major as an undergraduate. He paused to take a masters in international policy management. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Political Philosophy. He has most recently written an introduction to Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.

Again, what more would any reader need but the words on the page, unless he were the kind of reader who was the victim of a pedantic sense of details, and succumbed to the need for instant gratification by rejecting what was not immediately serviced irrespective of literary necessity. I do not withhold information from you because I do not know that information; I know everything that is not in the text, as any writer–as all writers–all good and worthy writers must know all the background that is not in the text; all inferences are his to know, to deal, to arrange by orchestrating  {or choreographing} the absences.

Each absence is a presence of a kind . . . this is known to me and could be provided, but there are facts that are not necessities for the reader, unnecessary for the reader to know or be given, even in Author’s foreword or Author’s afterword or some other kind of preface, perhaps one by the narrator or expositor or other character, or a character created to take on the role of an editor who then writes an introduction, whatever have you, have we, what is it in the text but the beginning and the end of everything you need, provided it is a well written text, the text of a story, the text of an essay, whether the latter is fictional or non-fictional, whatever that means with respect to stories having been told, a short story, a short-short story, flash fiction, vignette, you choose the genre, you choose to discuss, to analyze, to critique the way you want, but make it good, which means that there are rules to follow, depending on what you choose to do with your text, even if the text of your criticism is verbal and not written.

Who I am is also not necessary, and you may choose to refer to me as the author, but then which author is that; the author the same as the person who has written all that is contained by this text, the author who then is the real person writer–and if we do take Jacques word that the whole of the world is a stage, what then does that say, or how then can we refer to the author when the author of this text is a mask to be worn by the man that I am not within the confines of this text, the universe of this text with its own cosmogony, its own ontology, its own teleology . . . ?

The text is as was here following:

No one is ever declared innocent in an American court of law. Innocence is not the issue to be settled by trial. There is only guilty or not-guilty at the end of any trial in a court of law. This presumes there must be something valent, something viable, something credible in any suspicion that brings a person to trial. In fact, the court is not even interested in guilt. There is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s irrespective of actuality. There is something of the art of performance in court trials; they are theaters. There is something of sport in them too; they are games to be played on a field, so to speak, with rules of foul and fair, can and cannot.

Trials are places where we weigh evidence and testimony to judge guilty or not guilty. Every trial hangs in a balance; the balance itself one of the symbols of justice. You can see her atop many municipal courts; the blind folded lady holding up a balance in her hand. Yes Justice is blind as Tiresias is blind. Their blindness not the same as Oedipus’s blindness.

The two sides of the scale are hinged, thus extremely close as are guilty and not-guilty separated bt a razor’s edge that cuts sharply. Remember, we the people are only “innocent until proven guilty” in a court of law; innocence, though, it must be reiterated, is only a presumption, a convention in the playing out of the trial. Once a person is a suspect in any crime, or even the potential of a crime, he is not innocent. There are in this act of suspicion or being a suspect only degrees of guilt, from most guilty to least guilty; from maybe guilty to yes, guilty, or no, not guilty, this latter only after the fore mentioned trial.

Once a suspect goes to trial, he is only ever either guilty or not guilty. There is no longer the sense of innocence. The latter of the two, guilty or not guilty, is agreed on only if there is too much doubt over the evidence to say guilty. Yes, it is true that an innocent man is not guilty, but it is not collaterally true that a not guilty man is necessarily innocent. O.J. was not declared innocent. In face of occurrences historically where innocent black men were frequently found guilty in courts of law, finding a man not guilty who for many was certainly not innocent, was an instance of justice being met, or at least I have presumed. The police do not pursue innocent people, understand. This is why it has to be established as a convention to be upheld, presumed innocent. But since when, in anyone’s mind, is a presumption a positively reenforced action or position? Guilty or not-guilty has nothing to do with innocence.

I know you question what you have read. What do you need to question? What is, is, and if it is as it is, then what does that say? What if you were in a world where this were true, which is not to suggest that it is not.

Who he is or was is not important? That he has said what he had might be more so.

[Between the Tower of Truth and the Dungeon of Falsehood, that is where this resides.

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