by permission of Bartok House Press________________________________________________________
Chapter One (excerpt)
When Lowenstein wakes, he goes to his desk and reviews the notes for his latest adventure with Jensen Westcott, The Lascivious Philosopher Affair: “Susan Westcott brought a curious murder to our attention. For Jensen and myself the plot and the characters formed a wild, improbable fiction.
A respected scholar and philosopher, a full professor at Cornell had a torrid sexual affair with the wife of the President of the United States of America. (By most accounts it is normally the randy Presidents having affairs, and the wives putting up with it.)
This affair was known to the White House Staff, but was miraculously kept from the public for twenty-two years. At the time, the affair was considered a matter of National Security and classified Top Secret by all agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and oddly because of the philosopher's heroin use, the DEA. Special officers were made available in all agencies to assist the First Lady and her lover, and keep their hours of sweet sexual congress as secret as nuclear launch codes. Who knows what conversation the President had with the First Lady? At some point she must have said, “Cooper, I am going to do this. With or without your approval, Randy and I are going to have sex at least four times each week. Sometimes in the White House. If you want to keep this secret you will need to make my affair a National Security issue.”
And President Cooper probably put down his executive pen, said something like, “OK, bitch. Fuck your damn philosopher. Good luck. You will have armed men outside your door at all times, listening to your moans, sighs and whispers. I hope you both orgasm in etheric realms and attain spiritual enlightenment.”
The philosopher's name was, Randall Thaddeus McCunn. Three months after the former First Lady published her “tell all” memoir, Mr. McCunn's body was found in dumpster near Post Alley in Seattle.
The former First Lady appeared on every national talk show, coyly recalling her affair with Randall McCunn, who was at the time a 21-year-old graduate student at George Washington University. At 43-years-old, the philosopher now received lengthy obituaries, but no clear explanation of his mysterious death, and no further reports of police investigations into his death. After the initial reports, news media looked no further for facts.
The initial reports did, of course, generate a full week of non-stop tabloid and talk show speculation about the connection between the release of the First Lady's memoir and the death of McCunn. There was no substance to the speculation.
The story served the primary purpose of all cable news programs: to spike the network's Nielsen Ratings, and thereby generate increased ad revenues. After seven days viewers got bored and the network news moved on to in-depth discussions of recent pedophilia accusations against three, bald billionaire Wall Street tycoons. By the end of the second week, McCunn's death was already fading from public consciousness, and no longer mentioned by the main stream media. Jensen and I believed there was too much left unsaid. Specifically, Jensen sensed a cover-up. He felt McCunn's philosophy had become threatening to the stability of the strong, on-going incestuous relations between elected officials and the C-level officers of a several multinational banks and corporations. McCunn's ideas were becoming too popular among middle-class voters.
In a period of four years, his political writings had gone from being defined as “fringe wacko” to their current and secure status as “mainstream intellectual.” Many academics, and more than a few industrialists and bankers were beginning to view the current government of the United States of America as a threat to their interests. This view had nothing to do with sympathy for the brutal demise of the middle-class. Their concern was the catastrophic economic losses caused by that demise. Large corporations and banks are now forced to redefine themselves to profit from the now-extinct middle-class. Companies of all kinds will now re-tool their product lines to create a coffee pot for 8-cents and sell it to the giant lower class (the former middle-class) at Walmart and Costco for $12. The poor people will think they are getting a great bargain. The reliable products people once expected will no longer be available to the majority of the population. Every consumer product or service will have but one goal: a large, sustainable profit margin for the manufacturer or service provider.
The quality of the products or services is no longer a concern. Quality of any physical product is now economically relevant only to assure the product will fail and need to be replaced in a short period of time.
Some large enterprises will not be able to re-tool in a timely manner. Not that the CEOs care one way or another if their businesses fail. Their personal wealth will easily sustain the lifestyles to which they have become accustom. And, in most cases, sustain that lifestyle for their entire families for several future generations.
This was the crux of the recent writings by McCunn. He posited a theory which made everyone uncomfortable. McCunn wrote about genetic mutations which created an inherent need in some people, a need for power, high social status and venues for ever-increasing exhibitions of vanity. The very existence of these individuals relied on those specific conditions.
Over several generations, the genomes of powerful men and women had evolved to demand personal satisfaction at the expense of the majority of individuals of their species.
An endless personal cash flow was required. Dominance over other people was required. Tangible, physical examples of economic success were required: buildings, boats, mansions and Major League Ball Teams. All these were as essential to the survival of the mutants as air, water and food are to the rest of us. In addition to the evolved mutants, McCunn posited the existence of individual freaks-of-nature, men and women who within the span of a single lifetime transmogrified into the mutant strain, as if their genomes were stimulated by their environment. McCunn's last three books all examined the details and implications of these genetic mutants. He concluded both the evolutionary strain and the freak-of-nature strain were a threat to the survival of the human species.
This was a very difficult philosophic concept to communicate to readers in the United States of America during the 21st Century. Most citizens had never considered the possibility their lives were governed by decisions made by mutants. Most citizens educated in public or private schools, believed the mutant characteristics were “normal” and even “admirable.” Though it was never stated this way, most children wanted to grow up to be successful mutants. The mutants themselves were often unaware of their own aberrant genetic flaws and accepted their personal urgencies and the demands they made of the rest of their species to be “normal” and “admirable.” McCunn's second book, The Mutant DNA of Power, dealt extensively with this subject and had recently arrived on the New York Times Bestseller List for Non-Fiction. Fear was growing among powerful people, centering on the prevalent and intense distrust between themselves and their employees or between themselves and the lower class (former middle-class) voters. Catchy slogans weren't working anymore. This was a new variety of class warfare as the upper class was being specifically identified as mutants, genetically warped, pernicious and aberrant, a scientifically documented threat to the future of humankind. Though the scientific documentation was incomplete, McCunn's articulation of the Theory of Aberrant Genomes was already well-established as the cornerstone of current philosophical debate.
Jensen was certain McCunn's ideas were the cause of his death, rather than his colorful, extensive, lascivious sexual liaisons. Jensen was able to obtain a copy of the Seattle Police report. No autopsy report was included in the file, only a handwritten note, signed by the coroner, saying on first examination the cause of death appeared to be a brain aneurysm. No physical violence had been done to the body.
He was dead about 24 hours before the body was found. A copy of McCunn's latest book, Eleusinian Mysteries in 21st Century Political Theory, was found in McCunn's coat pocket. A handwritten list of the political archetypes described in the book was also found in his pocket. It identified specific Senators and Congressmen with particular ancient deities, for example:
Demeter- Sen. Judith Wilkes of Kansas.
Hades, Lord of Death- Speaker of the House,
Dennis Welch of Tennessee.
Persephone- Sen. Alice Grenholm of Texas.
There were no annotations to say why McCunn made these psychological/mystic associations, but given their behavior in Congress, it was easy to see the resemblance between the elected leaders and the ancient mythological figures. Judith Wilkes was from the wheat State of Kansas. She was remarkably fertile, with nine grown children. She was a strong supporter of Alice Grenholm of Texas, always voting and working with Grenholm to get bills passed and to rally support for their mutual causes. Grenholm was under indictment in the Senate on a charge of gross financial misconduct, charges brought by Dennis Welch. Her professional and personal life were being dragged strait to Hell by the relentless Dennis Welch. In addition to ruining Grenholm's life, Dennis Welch vetoed most everything that crossed his desk.
McCunn had been scheduled to give a lecture at Benaroya Hall, an engagement which was sold out. This added to speculation that his speech may have contained threatening information. Jensen found no mention of the speech referenced in the police reports.
He felt the text of the speech would be an important clue to McCunn's intentions, and perhaps help explain his death.
I decided to study McCunn's recent writings and tried to locate his unpublished material and research documentation. My first stop was in Palo Alto, California at the famous HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center, associated with Stanford University. Of particular interest was the Mammalian Gene Collection, which contained a full-protein coding sequence for every human and mouse gene. A senior researcher there, Ted Lentz, had isolated a few of the mutant genes which McCunn had posited. This was irrefutable evidence for the Theory of Aberrant Genomes.