Name Dropping

Nobody likes a name dropper.

They usually fall into two categories. The first is the kind of person who liberally sprinkles the names of “important” people (bosses, social acquaintances etc.) into practically every conversation. It’s usually done to achieve status and is boring if not insufferable to those forced to listen.

The second kind of name dropper is the pretentious sort. Equally dull and tiresome to listen to, this is the kind of person who pretends to be something he is not.

It’s the second category in which we find Marty Rathbun.

Anyone who has read Rathbun’s blog has seen how he bandies about the names of social activists and philosophers as if they were baseball cards.

Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. have often been cited by the self-proclaimed “indie” messiah as well as Jesus who many of different faiths consider the real messiah. In the realm of philosophy, moral thinkers such as Soren Kierkegaard, the existential philosopher Martin Heidegger, the French writer Albert Camus and a host of other enlightened thinkers, writers and academics have all been featured on Rathbun’s blog.

Citing these luminaries along with their quests for truth and beingness may make Rathbun look learned to the uninitiated reader. But the truth is that all he is doing is dropping their names into a hodgepodge of rambling musings that often end up as, well, gibberish.

We have long thought that he cites these names in his own quest for self-importance or, more probably, when fevered by his frequent bouts of delusions of grandeur.

It is well known that Rathbun, upon dropping out of college circa the late ‘70s, was on a search for meaning in his life, especially given the circumstances that his mother committed suicide and one of his own brothers was most probably murdered.

By all accounts, he found that meaning as a staff member in the Church of Scientology. But even that wasn’t good enough for Rathbun who has a well-known proclivity for self-destruction, which is precisely what he did in the Church and from which he was ultimately removed for malfeasance in 2004.

Fast forward and we have a bitter late middle-aged man with a paunch living with his “wife” (the marriage wasn’t legal) in Texas. With no real formal education he has found it virtually impossible to get a decent job. So he trolls the internet and tries to scratch out a living “counseling” his “indie” clients who don’t offer much in the way of repeat business, which pretty much says it all about the value of his “counseling.”

Rathbun’s blog is little more than a computer-generated sandwich board for him  – a means to attract more clients. Thus he tries to impress them by his “learned” posts in which he frequently mentions the above-cited names and more.

The absurdity of all this is that Rathbun is pretending to be exactly what he is not – an educated, well-read and erudite man.

It is obvious from his blog posts that he knows little of the actual work of the thinkers and writers he cites – the references come, most probably, from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can make anybody look like they know what they are talking about on just about any subject.

And, with a dwindling “counseling” clientele, we are sure that Rathbun has plenty of time to research the Internet or, perhaps, he has “wife” Monique doing it for him.

At any rate, it’s all part of Rathbun’s con – any way to flim-flam a client out of his money, in the name of enlightenment.

And that’s something even Marty Rathbun once had – until he decided to throw it away.