Notebook
Published: 1998-12-01

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This morning I was going down the outside stairs along the back wall of the house when a sudden rain squall blowing in off the ocean slapped me across the face and gave me a quick wet down. There was a moment when I was very awake, then it went away. At the bottom of the stairs I went into the kitchen and there was coffee brewing in our little four-cup coffee maker which has been lost since we left Visalia but which reappeared last week from one box or another. It was a wonderful odor and thought, never embarrassed by a cliche, said to me; “Why not wake up and smell the coffee?”

It was one of those small moments when you know you are alone but you have the impression you are being addressed by a voice that is not entirely your own. I’m usually not alert enough to pay attention to these things, but this time I was. I think that little squall of wind and rain on the back stairs had prepared me. I poured a cup of coffee and put in the milk and Equal and by that time in my head I had stepped back from what I was working on (this column).

It’s at such a moment I have learned to ask myself: What’s the situation?

New projects are coming toward me with increasing frequency. It’s like watching a science fiction movie where I am in the cabin of a space ship and the stars of the galaxy are racing toward me by the hundreds and thousands. No way to hold on. Revisionism isn’t short of imagination and inventiveness. It’s short of hands and money, money to pay the hands.

Theater beckons to me. I’d like to perform a bit on the college circuit.

It’s been in the back of my mind for months. Those I consult with think it too dangerous, or too time consuming, or that it won’t be productive. But I feel the need of a little theater in my life.

I want to work on the $250K ad and submit it again to the top universities. With the exception of Stanford, the elite campuses all rejected it the first time around. I want to submit an ad to them they can't refuse. Those I consult with say the ad we have is producing very well. They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Go on publishing it at universities and colleges around the country the rest of the academic year. Let the pressure build.

The ADL has come out from under its rock and squared off with me in public on the Web. On balance, this is good. The gist of what they say is that I am “profoundly anti-Semitic.” At the same time, a paper titled “The Taming of Holocaust Revisionism,” written by Guillermo Coletti, an Argentine with fascist and racialist sympathies, expresses the concern that I am contributing to making revisionism politically correct because I have too much sympathy for Jews. I suppose at least one of these viewpoints is mistaken.

I need an editor for my press release program. I need an editor for my opinion piece program. I need an editor to collate “threads” from the CODOH Bulletin Board for publication. I need an editor for my letter writing campaign. I need a researcher to work in the Internet Lexus archives for specific documents.

It’s time to reprint my leaflet The Holocaust Controversy: The Case for Open Debate—again. We’ll use it the way we’ve been using it, but we’ll use it in a new way too.

If we continue to run the $250K ad it does not mean that we will not do a second, complementary ad. It does not mean that I don’t do something that is not an ad but goes into a newspaper anyway (it’s a riddle) if I get the funding for it.

There are three books to publish in 1999. Each one is capable of producing a bonanza of media for revisionism, and new supporters for CODOH. I have editors for each of the three books. The same two guys. I’ll have to mention it to them.

I have found a home for myself as a writer on the Web. I have my own page on CODOHWeb. The guys put it together for me a long time ago. I didn’t understand the significance of it. I didn’t have the computer-language know-how to edit my material so I felt disconnected from it.

Now I have a program that allows me to edit my own page/s. All I need is the time. I want to set up a dialogue with Abraham (“Everybody hates me and it is awfully profitable”) Foxman, Maximum Leader of the ADL. We have a lot in common. Each other.

And the family—where is the family?

Mother is 97 years old now and can no longer sit up. She has sessions where she observes that the ceiling of her bedroom is on the floor, her door opens into the basement (no basement in this house), and she has problems with short-term memory loss, as do I. But then, I always did. Meanwhile, she’s in good humor and likes to watch Peter Jennings and Wheel of Fortune and talk to her one remaining old friend in Los Angeles by telephone. The other night we watched a segment of 60 Minutes where Dr. Kevorkian killed a fellow with Lou Gehrig’s decease in response to the man’s request. She’s with Kevorkian on this one but appears to be in no hurry herself.

My wife Irene’s (ee-rain-ay) cancer is still in full remission. Not so for her mother, who is very ill.

Magaly has her B.A. in Spanish from San Diego State and has started on her career path in administration for the San Diego school district.

Paloma is 12 years old, going on eighteen or twenty (she thinks), is in the Mexican public school system, and has developed an interest in New Age witchcraft, to the dismay of her extended evangelical family. Her maternal grandmother is staying with us now, with Irene, and I’m sleeping in the upstairs “libraiy,” which is still a storage room. Paloma stays with me at night, sleeping in an old recliner chair. I can’t quite express what that means to me.

I’ve been down for ten days with a twisted neck. Valium turned out to be the magic bullet. Last night while I waited for the valium to relax the neck and the shoulder and the elbow so I could sleep, Paloma was studying a witch’s cure for what ails me. She asked me where she could get mandrake root. After awhile she said she would need some viper’s tongue too, and a potion of “angelica,” which I have never heard of. She asked if it would be all right if she cast a spell on me. I said it would be okay.

“You won’t get mad?,” she said. “It might be something you won’t like.”

“I won’t get mad.”

“Oh, boy,” she said.

Then, just before she went to sleep she roused herself enough to ask: “Daddy? Are we going to have a Christmas tree this year?”

The story I want to write above all others is how I have failed as a writer. Not as an exercise in regret, but of understanding. When there is no sentimentality, success and failure alike are one grist for the writer’s mill. As I come to the end of this column I do not feel that I have failed in the moment. Inwardly, when I am at my best, most alert, it’s always the moment that counts. No hope, no regrets. In the moment itself there’s no room for that stuff.

Before I got caught up in revisionism, or rather, when I got caught up with doing so much revisionism I had to make a living doing it because 1 didn’t have time to do anything else, I would make notes keeping track of how the newspaper headlines and events of my daily round impacted on the subjective life. That place, where the public and subjective worlds intersect, was where my discipline as a writer focused. Sometimes it still does.

This morning I know that a couple hours ago I dreamed I killed a lion. It was somehow a beautiful dream that half-woke me and I thought about making notes so I would not forget its details and the context in which the feat had taken place, but I didn’t, and now I can’t recall anything about the dream other than that I saw it.

Afterwards I dreamed about my friend Robert Faurisson. Again, I was unwilling to take the trouble to make notes so I can’t recall the context in which it took place. In the dream I was diagnosed as having the “Faurisson” sickness. It was all in French, a language I don’t understand, so it’s not clear to me what I was suffering from. All I remember is that in the dream the sickness lasted twenty years. I first read Faurisson on the “rumor” of Auschwitz in 1979. When I woke I was deeply moved. I don’t know why.

It may be a dream and a diagnosis—a self-generated straight-line—that I will hear played back to me one day by Mr. Abraham (“Everybody-hates-me and-it’s-a-damn-good-career”) Foxman.

What I need before I need everything else is awfully prosaic. A dependable person here at the house to help with everyday office work. The life is choked up with incoming mail, with paperwork of every kind, with unanswered correspondence, half-developed projects, unsent thank-you letters. I need the funding to pay such a person on a regular basis. There’s the old Trotsky-in-Mexico scenario to think about, the dangerous, busted-up relationship, but I don’t really think about it. Not much. I just need the office help.

A good cuppa java—nothin beats it.


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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Notebook
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 60, December 1998, pp. 2f.
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Published: 1998-12-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 28, 2015, 6:34 a.m.
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