The question is only: How long will decent people stand by quietly and watch it happen?
Do you remember the names Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying? I wrote one of my earliest New York Times columns about the bravery they displayed as tenured professors — words that do not typically appear in the same sentence — at Evergreen State College.
It was 2017 and the professors, both evolutionary biologists, opposed the school’s “Day of Absence,” in which white students were asked to leave campus for the day. You can imagine what followed. For questioning a day of racial segregation wearing the garments of social justice, the pair was smeared as racist. Following serious threats, they left town for a time with their children, lost many of their friends, and, ultimately, resigned their jobs.
But they refused to shut up.
They started a podcast called DarkHorse, where they suggested in April 2020 that Covid-19 could have come from the lab in Wuhan — a position that made them a laughingstock among so-called experts more than a year before Jon Stewart talked about it on The Late Show.
I used to think corporate bureaucracy was bad because it’s inefficient. That’s true, but it’s not the biggest problem. Rather, there’s a new invisible force at work in the highest ranks of corporate America, one far more nefarious. It’s the defining scam of our time — one that robs you of not only your money, but your voice and your identity.
The con works like a magic trick, summed up well by Michael Caine’s character in the opening monologue in Christopher Nolan’s movie “The Prestige”:
“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called The Pledge. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. … The second act is called The Turn. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call The Prestige.”