“This is David. He’s the most right-wing person I know.”
– Howard Bloom introducing me to others before his talk, immediately blowing my cover. #DangIt #FacePalm
I didn’t know what to expect a few weeks ago when my friend Howard Bloom — author of science books The Lucifer Principle, Genius of the Beast, Global Brain, The God Problem, and the new e-book The Mohammed Code — invited me to hear him present his new proposal for space colonization to a small group. Howard has been one of my major intellectual influences for years. All of his books are included in my counterculture conservative reading list and I’ve focused on studying his most recent two on Saturdays for the “Radical Reading Regimen” I’ve started developing to try to organize my research. I already knew what to expect from Howard, both in content and delivery. He had sent me the visual outline he was to present many months ago. And I knew his infectious, enthusiastic delivery style. The big mystery that perplexed me: who exactly might I encounter at this gathering? (Hopefully not anyone in the counterculture community I had already offended — and I could think of a few in Howard’s circle…)
I knew the spectrum of Bloom enthusiasts. Over the past few decades since retiring from a wildly successful career in the music PR business to transition to full-time science author and public intellectual, Bloom had attracted a number of different followings as varying demographics connected with the VERY WIDE range of postions he articulated. Initially Howard attracted varieties of countercultural, secularist, and futurist audiences from his first two books. Many people first connected with Howard’s work as I did a decade ago when Richard Metzger’s Disinformation Company was at its peak and showcased him in books and a legendary TV show. He still has that legion of fans and acquaintances — who make themselves known on his Facebook page. I’m the rare one among this fan base who after graduating from college in 2006 as a secular progressive drifted toward political conservatism by 2009 and *gasp* the dreaded social conservatism and Bible-based religion by 2011. By this time Howard had released a third book, The Genius of the Beast, that I connected with, as it provided a new, innovative defense of my newfound radical capitalist creed.
As I got to know Howard personally after reviewing Beast, I found other views which synched with my unapologetic Tea Party conservatism. Howard was raised by secular Zionists and had spent decades studying Islam, arriving at an analysis in The Mohammed Code comparable to Robert Spencer’s in indicting the faith of Mohammed as an inherently violent, totalitarian, desert death cult.
But I was going to keep my mouth shut about all my nonsense. Three years now living out in Los Angeles as a full-time, professional conservative new media editor I’ve learned very well how to downplay my profession or to spin it in ways that sound harmless so as not to draw attention to myself at social gatherings. When I’m at a dinner party with my wife’s art colleagues and grad school friends, it doesn’t do me (or her) any favors to get detailed about how I spend my days editing ex-Marxists, former Soviet spymasters, and both dissident Muslim mystics and polemical ex-Muslim anti-jihad activists. And I’ve been calling the president an evil, antisemitic criminal who needs to be impeached and go to jail since before the election…
But there Howard went and did it as we stood talking with a retired music executive, a documentary filmmaker, and a music video director: “Most right-wing person I know!” I think Howard “outed” me for two reasons, first to signal that I could be myself and second to demonstrate the point that he then made explicitly to the others there, that his ideas had a broad appeal and could be appreciated by people across the political and religious spectrums.
Or he was probably just not thinking, just being off-the-top-of-his-head-himself, following his first rule of science: the Truth at any price, even the price of your life.