FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Assimilation of 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.

September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savoir
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
Farhang Jahanpour
Fascism and Islamic Fundamentalism
Sandy Tolan
After Oslo: How Peace Became a Dirty Word in the Middle East
Nino Pagliccia
The United States’ Disregard for International Law is a Menace to Venezuela and Latin America
Peter Certo
Nobody in the White House is Part of The Resistance
Fizz Perkal
Prison Labor is Slave Labor and We Should Get Rid of It
RS Ahthion
Two Long-Standing American Traditions: Committing War Crimes & Ignoring International Law
Ralph Nader
Where is the Democrats’ Contract with America 2018?
George Wuerthner
The Threat to Montana’s Wilderness
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Immorality
Chuck Collins
The Wealth Hiding in Your Neighborhood
Russell Mokhiber
Facebook Dostoevsky Postman and the Demise of Deliberative Democracy
Arnold August
Cuba’s ‘Sonic Attacks’ vs Edinburgh University: The 40% Mystery
Luke Ruediger
Smoke, Haze and Hypocrisy at the BLM
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Worth $1 Trillion, So Why is It Robbing Taxpayers?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail