Just squeeze your rage up into a bitter little ball and release it at an appropriate time, like that day I hit the referee with the whiskey bottle. – Homer Simpson
Dahlia Lithwick on Clarence Thomas who landed a lifetime Civil Service job…and still isn’t happy:
Nor is it difficult to understand how a man both deeply sensitive and deeply intelligent would have had difficulty reconciling the sheer contradiction of his grandfather’s teachings: That hard work and self-reliance are the keys to success, but also that college and law school education are worthless endeavors, turning Thomas into an “educated fool.” The message? Try and try but know you’ll fail. Which helps illuminate why it is that almost everything Thomas has achieved in his lifeâ€”from law school to the Supreme Courtâ€”he has promptly devalued and disdained. As he put it upon learning of his confirmation, “Whoop-de-damn-do.”
Yet even when Thomas does see good in the world, he can’t help but question the motives behind it. Whites who were kind to him were “condescending.” Institutions that attempted to help him (like Yale) were “tricking” and “hurting” him. Everyone is a “rattlesnake” or a “water moccasin.” Their approaches may be different, but they’ll strike one way or another. Thomas expresses astonishment, upon meeting his second wife, Virginia, that anyone still “thought it was possible to make the world a better place.” Having set himself up to hate his oppressors and mistrust his supporters, Thomas is left all alone, leading to repeated scenes in this book of an isolated Thomas, curled up and sobbing.
He’s like Sylvia Plath but without the courage.