Shadowlands: Subprime mortgage crimes and murder mysteries.
While I was in law school I started a now defunct blog that I called Shadowlands. The purpose of the blog was to reveal the larger philosophical and political implications of everyday news and current events . Like I try to do with this blog, Shadowlands made an attempt to take unknown but nonetheless dramatic stories which make a larger point about the culture and the sometimes mad, corrupt reality of the age of decline in which we live.
In an introduction to the blog I wrote the following:
Why did I choose this name for the new Shadowlands Blog I have created? One could say it is an obvious reference to C.S. Lewis and the movie made about his life, Shadowlands. In the movie, C.S. Lewis is questioning the meaning of the grief he suffers after the death of his wife, Joy Gresham Lewis, and he asks:
“Why am I so afraid? I never knew her love could hurt so much, and I love you and all I want is to love you. Beyond every door I hear your voice saying to me, ‘This is only the land of shadows. Real life hasn’t begun yet.'”
As the movie shows, C.S. Lewis’ life was outwardly very quiet and conservative and yet he possessed a great spiritual inner life, making him one of the most popular apologists for Christianity in the 20th Century. His literary output is striking and documents the incredibly humble, yet ultimately reasonable journey of a modern Christian pilgrim confronted with the erosion and denunciation of faith everywhere in the modern world.
This was not only conveyed through his more philosophical tracts, but through his popular fiction, like The Chronicles of Narnia series. In that work, four children found that they could pass from the everyday world, where their lives were filled with unhappiness and dread, through to a different, more interesting land. This new land, Narnia, while in the throes of a dark age, was one that immediately offered a lot more to the children than the world they had left behind.
After various trials and realizations they found that Narnia’s Dark Age was not that at all. Rather, Narnia was waiting for them to accept its reality, which was a magic that the world they left behind had blinded them to. Thus, the real world, or the world we know, was considered the Shadowlands; a place where we exist incomplete and depthless, unaware of the deep strains of meaning and reality that lie just beyond our perception.
Although I do not pretend to be so ambitious on this blog as to be able to reveal deep inner civilizational truths, I do realize that there are many things that happen in the world that are not inherently political or necessarily ideological, but may have ties to larger political trends. I do believe that if one has the courage to see, that it can be proven that civilization is in a state of utter decline and has left many people more depressed and dispirited than they realize.
While this may be an economic and spiritual reality, it is also a political one, for it is only through politics and the struggle for survival that the future of man is formed. When one sees through the broad yet tragic eyes of conservatism, it is very difficult not to see a world that is heading towards a future of massive Soviet-style enforced poverty and authoritarianism. For as Edmund Burke proclaimed in his letter to William Elliot in 1795 on the French Revolution, a centralizing government dedicated to behavioral reform falsely believes it can control both the population and command its passionate allegiance. With the experience of the violent corruption of the early French Revolution, Burke concludes this only leads to tyranny:
But now the veil was torn, and to keep off sacrilegious intrusion, it was necessary that in the sanctuary of government something should be disclosed not only venerable, but dreadful. Government was at once to shew itself full of virtue and full of force. It was to invite partizans by making it appear to the world that a generous cause was to be asserted; one fit for a generous people to engage in. From passive submission was it to expect resolute defence? No! It must have warm advocates and passionate defenders, which an heavy, discontented acquiescence never could produce. What a base and foolish thing is it for any consolidated body of authority to say, or to act as if it said, “I will put my trust not in my own virtue, but in your patience; I will indulge in effeminacy, in indolence, in corruption; I will give way to all my perverse and vitious humours, because you cannot punish me without the hazard of ruining yourselves?”
So, if massive failure is on the horizon, there must be something evident in the present state of affairs that portends this breakdown. That is where the idea of the Shadowlands comes in. I believe, through that sick feeling I’ve been having in my gut for the past few years, that evidence of massive failure is all around us, we need only have the courage to look. Evil, often to be an outmoded concept is the best explanation for those things threaten the ordering of society. Out on the fringes of culture in the little stories of of human debasement, incredible ineptitude and callousness civilizational decline is quite evident.
And it is necessary at this point is to document it.
Conservative blogger Steve Sailer has started on this grim task. At his blog, he has been documenting the stories of odd crimes related to the subprime mortgage crisis. He has posted this eerie story about prominent Los Angeles attorney Jeffrey Tidus, who was shot in the head last week in his own driveway after going out to his car to retrieve a laptop.
According to LA Weekly, there were rumors inside the legal community about the nature of Tidus’ death. The newspaper reported that “he was killed just hours after top executives at a firm Tidus represented, New Century Financial, were accused of fraud by federal regulators.”
On December 11, 2009 the Los Angeles declared that the Tidus case was indeed ruled a homicide.
Sailer has also posted this tale emanating from California as well, about a thwarted break-in by four armed men at the home of a sub-prime mortgage lender. The lender, Daniel Sadek was a used car salesman with a 3rd grade education, turned subprime mortgage lender, turned Hollywood producer. The men were caught, but the Sadek’s story raises further suspicions about the crime.
According to the Orange County Register, Daniel Sadek made and lost a fortune in the subprime mortgage industry. He apparently wrote almost $4billion in loans before his company went bust in 2007. Sadek was a high roller in Vegas while he was doing well and even produced the film Redline starring his girlfriend at the time, Nadia Borjin, and his friend, comedian Eddie Griffin.
In May 2007, Sadek’s company, Quick Loan, had been accused of predatory lending, deceptive underwriting and fraud in at least eight lawsuits. In September, 2009, Vanity Fair ranked Sadek No. 86 on a list of institutions and people most to blame for the nation’s economic problems. The magazine called him “Predator Zero in the subprime-mortgage game,” and quoted a competitor saying he “would have written a loan to ‘an insolvent arsonist.'”
According to documents filed in July 2009 by his attorney, Sadek has been under medical care for an “extreme panic disorder” and has been regularly taking “substantial doses” of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
Of course, I know you want me to close with some Rod Serling type “moral of the story” Twilight Zone comment. But this post has been long and all I have to say is that our Shadowlands are not the distant places of the imagination and the purview only of the disaffected, isolated, paranoid and criminal. They are closing in around us and threaten to engulf our sanity and the public life.
Events of the last year have made these appear the most insane of times in recent memory. Only by traveling through the Shadowlands and embracing the fact of inevitable decline can we even begin to have any hope in reversing it. When the public resists the attempts by statist saviors and elitist social revolutionaries to infantilize it, and becomes a body politic of adults, it is embracing the magic of democracy and the promise of liberty. If it accepts that reversing decline will involve some pain and sacrifice it will preserve for itself a heroic mantle in the lore of history.
Much like the children who found Narnia oppressed by a dark age, this ennobled public will find that the Republic they save was only declining because they neglected it or because they did not know such vistas of democracy existed.
Their country has always been waiting for them to wake up and decide it was worth the effort. And once awakened and energized, they will find that they have it within them to produce a new golden age.