Recently, Blather’s academia correspondent, Johnny Mayonnaise, went to Massachusetts and unexpectedly encountered the world-famous Noam Chomsky!
In Johnny’s written report for Blather, you can almost feel you’re there in the room with him:
I find myself in a long corridor of an institutional building. I’m being shown around by a young lady whose face I don’t recognise. I do, however, recognise the building. I saw it in a documentary film entitled Manufacturing Consent. It is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“This is Noam Chomsky’s office,” I remark to my hostess, pointing to a door on the left.
“I know,” she says, opening the door and leading me in.
When I get in, I see that she is already at the other end of the room. Noam Chomsky is there too, sitting on a sofa. She asks him if it is okay for me to come in and ask him some questions. I am somewhat surprised because I never requested such a meeting. Chomsky nods, his lack of enthusiasm also evident.
As I approach the professor, I see that he is not alone on the sofa. Seated to the right of him is his receptionist. It would appear that Chomsky is quite a ladies’ man Â not only because he has his arm around the receptionist, but also because his wife is there too. She is seated to his left on an austere wooden chair. She is in her late 70s. Her skin is very brown and leathery. She is heavily pregnant. She is also totally naked.
Chomsky’s wife wears a glum expression and she hangs her head low. It is obvious that Noam has recently been giving out to her about something and it would appear that Chomsky has made her sit on this chair as some kind of punishment. It is also clear to me that Chomsky’s wife has been the long-suffering victim of Noam’s relentless philandering, and that her self-esteem has suffered as a result.
As I talk to Chomsky about matters political, a few more things become clearâ€¦
The first thing is that Noam Chomsky is a petulant man and he is not interested in letting anyone else speak. Whenever Chomsky’s wife, or his receptionist, or I, try to respond to the things he says, he shakes a single finger in the air and shrieks “I DID NOT INTERRUPT YOU!” This, however, is a moot point, because all along the only person speaking has been Noam Chomsky. Nobody challenges him on this, however.
The second thing that becomes clear is that there is also a woman sitting underneath Chomsky. She is sitting on the sofa and Noam is sitting perfectly on top of her Â that is to say, his legs rest on her legs, his arms rest on her arms, and so on. She doesn’t say anything but occasionally I see a little bit of her face peeping out behind Chomsky’s head. I gather she is also intimate with Noam.
The third thing that becomes clear is that Noam Chomsky is not in fact who he says he is. I can tell by his accent. The more he speaks, the more I realise that he is not, as I had thought, an American of relatively humble, blue-collar origins, but an Englishman of supremely privileged origins, probably even a member of the aristocratic classes.
Chomsky has managed to conceal this fact for most of his professional career, having gained a reputation for championing oppressed peoples everywhere. However, as he argues his points vigorously and excitedly, frequently tapping the air for emphasis with his index finger, his true origins emerge and his voice gradually adopts the clipped tones of an English lord, such as might be played by Jeremy Irons in a movie of his life.
I awake both surprised and disappointed in Noam Chomsky.
– Johnny Mayonnaise