FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Assimilation of Niranjan Ramakrishnan

by NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN

By NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN

The story of Saul becoming Paul on the way to Damascus is part of Biblical lore. At the risk of inviting the predictable “You’re no Saul (or Paul)”, let me tell you the story of my own conversion — of how NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN became Nelson Roberts on the road to California.

Except that unlike the apostle, my transformation took place unbeknownst to me. And I wasn’t even headed toward California.

Let me explain.

A few days back, there appeared in the website VDARE.com an article by one Joe Guzzardi titled, In Memoriam Senator Edward M. Kennedy: Joe’s Early Obituary. You can draw your own conclusions, but reading between the lines, I thought the article was unfavorable to Sen. Kennedy, but that was hardly be surprising given VDARE’s position on immigration. However, I found the article ghoulish in its eager anticipation of the man’s death, and ugly in its vituperation.

So I shot off a missive to the aforementioned Mr. Guzzardi, who has the following byline:

Joe Guzzardi is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988.

My email to him (reproduced here verbatim) went like this:

From: NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN <njn_2003@yahoo.com>
Subject: Joe Guzzardi Obit – Cut And Run Californian had a bee in his bonnet about immigration
To: jguzzardi@vdare.com
Date: Saturday, August 8, 2009, 2:02 AM

Now that I have your attention.

I agree with many things you write about illegal immigration and its depredations on California. However, what you have written about Kennedy is despicable. Further more, you have culled every stray junk accusation thrown by every reader of VDARE and assembled it in one place. Spite is not argument. This is beneath you.

For me personally this is a loss because I can never read your writing ever again without the bile of this piece rising in my mouth.

NR

[Mr. Guzzardi sent me back a one line reply which I answered back. I haven’t heard anything further from him since.]

In the Aug 10 edition of the VDare site, I noticed a link saying, A California Reader Calls Guzzardi’s Kennedy Obituary “Despicable”; Joe Replies.

Intrigued by the word ‘despicable’, for I had used the same in my email, I opened the link. What should I find but my letter to Mr. Guzzardi reproduced, practically word for word, only replacing ‘you’ with ‘Guzzardi’ to make it appear as though this was a letter to the editor (see it here). I had obviously not titled it as such; as is clear from my email — it is addressed to the author. And the ‘Joe Replies’ part did not make any mention of our subsequent exchange, leaving the reader with the inference that ‘Joe’ had rendered an unanswerable question (What’s wrong with all the things the readers have said about Kennedy?) It was only after the initial burst of irritation at having a simpoe communication to the author show up as a letter to the editor without so much as a by-your-leave, that my eye wandered to the name under which the letter had appeared…

Nelson Roberts!

Nelson Roberts? Where did that come from?

I had, as you can see, signed my letter NR. The sender email contains my full name, of course, but if Mr. Guzzardi still wanted to christen me with a new name to match my initials, could he not at least have gone with something fancy like Nelson Rockefeller? I would even have settled for ‘Newt Rockne’. Instead, here I was , stuck with a nondescript Nelson Roberts.

At first I was unsure what this should be called — plagiarism, or identity theft. But it was so transparently silly that any sinister interpretation was most likely misplaced. Mr. Guzzardi, I’m thinking, meant well, and was merely trying to assimilate me in the manner he saw best. I appreciate this, for he was not always this ‘assimilative’: VDARE published something written by me a few years ago (I had submitted it to Mr. Guzzardi as an article, but he ran it as a letter — see The Partition of America). In that instance, he had a headline beginning, “An Indian Reader says…” Perhaps he thought A California Reader was a step up. Or down — I don’t know. At any rate, it’s not me he’s talking about, it’s Nelson Roberts.

All told, a mixup almost as spectacular as the one described by PG Wodehouse in his short story, The Amazing Hat Mystery, concerning Nelson Cork (that dratted Nelson again!) and Percy Wimbolt, both of the Drones Club. That story ends with a Crumpet musing, “the whole thing, as I say, has something to do with the Fourth Dimension. That is the true explanation, if only our minds could grasp it”.

A rum affair, in Wodehousian parlance. I did seek an answer from Mr. Bacardi, admittedly in a somewhat strident tone. No response thus far. So the Fourth Dimension it will have to be for now.

But I do want to raise something closer to our space and time, however. VDARE, as you might know, is a strong proponent of E-Verify, a program for employers to quickly check whether someone is eligible to work in the US. What’s that saying about charity beginning at home and what have you? I wonder whether there is not a need for an E-Verify-like program for VDARE (a V-Darify program, shall we say), to ensure that the names on the bylines belong to real people?

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN is a writer living on the West Coast. He can be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com. More of his writings can be found at http://www.indogram.com?centerpiece=gs-434&city-bay.

Postscript: Request to Mr. Guzzardi — please don’t change the site now. Let Nelson be Nelson. If we keep this up, who knows but that we may find ourselves sipping beer at the White House!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

/>Niranjan Ramakrishnan is a writer living on the West Coast.  His book, “Reading Gandhi In the Twenty-First Century” was published last year by Palgrave.  He may be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
Robert Koehler
War and Poverty: A Compromise with Hell
Mike Bader – Mike Garrity
Senator Tester Must Stop Playing Politics With Public Lands
Kenneth Culton
No Time for Olympic Inspired Nationalism
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime
Irene Tung – Teófilo Reyes
Tips are for Servers Not CEOs
Randy Shields
Yahoomans in Paradise – This is L.A. to Me
Thomas Knapp
No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying
Mel Gurtov
Was There Really a Breakthrough in US-North Korea Relations?
David Swanson
Witness Out of Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
George Brandis, the Rule of Law and Populism
Dean Baker
The Washington Post’s Long-Running Attack on Unions
Andrew Stewart
Providence Public School Teachers Fight Back at City Hall
Stephen Cooper
Majestic Meditations with Jesse Royal: the Interview
David Yearsley
Olympic Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail