Saccarina skriver i innlegget Jentelus om Lars Jacob Krogh, en talefør museumsgjenstand som har meldt seg ut av sin Rotary-klubb fordi den hadde blitt åpnet for kvinner. Krogh er selvfølgelig nokså på jordet, men hele diskusjonen rundt hemmelige klubber er interessant. Jeg tror de fleste slike klubber bruker en form for hemmeligholdelse ikke for å holde noen ute (selv om noen, slik som Krogh, tror det) men for å skape mer oppmerksomhet rundt seg selv.
I den utmerkede boken Freakonomics skriver Levitt og Dubner om hvordan en idealist klarte å ta knekken på Ku Klux Klan ved å infiltrere organisasjonen og siden beskrive i detalj alt som skjedde på møtene. Klanen ble fort avslørt som en møteklubb for paranoide noksagter, som ikke på noen måte fremsto som særlig imponerende uten lakner og andre parafernalier. Man bekjemper ikke adgangsdiskriminering med protester, men ved å nullifiere en hemmelig organisasjons makt ved å ta vekk hemmeligholdelsen. Og vise at de som er medlemmer (og i hvert fall de som tenker annerledes om seg selv fordi de er medlemmer) er nokså ynkelige personer med skral selvtillit og nokså forutsigbare ideer.
Til illustrasjon – her er en liten historie fra den aldeles fremragende samlingen I Thought My Father was God (redigert av Paul Auster):
(by Yale Huffman)
The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s was a phenomenon nobody has fully explained. Suddenly Midwestern towns found themselves in the grip of this secret order, which aimed to eliminate Negroes and Jews from society. For towns like Broken Bow, Nebraska, which only had two Negro families and one Jew, the targets were the Catholics. Klansmen whispered that the pope was preparing a takeover of America, the church basements were arsenals, and priests and nuns had orgies after mass. Now that World War I was over and the Huns had been defeated, there was a new focus for men who needed somebody to hate. The astonishing thing was the number of such people.
In Broken Bow and Custer County, scores were lured by the mystique of the secret, masculine society that appealed to the "Us vs. Them" urge that seems universal among men. Two of the people who held out against them were the local bankers: John Richardson and my father, Y. B. Huffman. When a Klan phone call warned them to boycott the Catholics, they defied it. Inasmuch as both banks resisted, that Klan effort was frustrated, but my mother, Martha, paid for it when the school board election came around. She was decisively defeated by slanderous gossip that she was carrying on an affair with the leading druggist.
Came the time for the annual parade of the Ku Klux Klan around the town square. They always chose a summer Saturday when the town was crowded with ranchers and farmers. Clad in white robes and conical caps and masks with eyeholes, they strode forth to remind the citizenry of their dignity and their power, led by the powerful but anonymous figure of the grand kleagle. The curb was lined with people speculating about the marchers and whispering about their mysterious powers.
Then there came bounding out of an alley a small white dog with black spots. Now, just as the folks in Broken Bow knew everybody in town, they also knew the dogs, at least the prominent ones. Our German shepherd, Hidda, and Art Melville’s retriever were famous personages.
The spotted dog ran joyously up to the grand kleagle and jumped up on him, clamoring for a pat on the head from that beloved hand. "Rascal," the word started around. "That’s Doc Jensen’s dog, Rascal." Meanwhile, the majestic grand kleagle was thrashing his long legs through the robe trying to kick away what was obviously his own dog. "Home, Rascal, home!"
Now the word was running along the curb ahead of the procession. People weren’t whispering, they were talking out loud to show how knowledgeable they were. Elbows nudged fellow watchers, snickers moved along the lines like rustling leaves before an errant gust of wind. Then Doc Jensen’s boy appeared and called off the dog. "Here, Rascal! Here, Rascal!"
That broke the tension. Somebody took up the cry, "Here Rascal!" That was when the snickers turned into guffaws, and a great gale of laughter swept around the town square. Doc Jensen stopped kicking his dog and resumed his stately march, but the spectators were having none of that. "Here Rascal Here Rascal!"
So that was the last of the Ku Klux Klan in Broken Bow. Doc Jensen was a fair-to-middling large-animal vet and kept a good practice among the ranchers and the farmers. Maybe they enjoyed calling him for the conversational value with neighbors, but few teased him. Once in a while some smart-ass kid would see Doc Jensen driving by and holler, "Here Rascal!"
And the small white dog with black spots was kept close to home after that.
Anbefales. Og hvem skriver den første sarkastiske "inside" historien, med navn og det hele, om Frimurerne eller Rotary?