Frequent readers here will be familiar with the Pazuzu Excuse. Pazuzu was the demon that made Linda Blair say such awful things in “The Exorcist”—he also made her head swivel around 180 degrees. Pazuzu is the presumptive miscreant whenever someone tried to beg forgiveness for a particularly vile, and often career-threatening remark by arguing that the statement “didn’t reflect my true beliefs,” as if someone else had suddenly grabbed the controls. Michael Richards (“Kramer” on “Seinfeld”) was, therefore, mystified about why he suddenly started screaming “Nigger!” at a stand-up comedy performance. Mel Gibson swore that all the anti-Semitic slurs he uttered on a fateful night were of mysterious origin, since he isn’t the kind of guy who would act like that. (Later events proved this to be mistaken.) There are many examples from the famous, momentarily famous and not famous at all.
The Full Pazuzu is reached when someone implies that what was said or written suggests a different identity. Sony executive Amy Pascal, to cite a recent example, explained her hacked e-mails (which really weren’t that bad) by writing,
“The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am…”
Whoever or whatever those e-mails were an accurate reflection of, they fired him/her/it.
Now, however, by way of Stone Mountain, Georgia, comes a rare Ultimate Pazuzu, where the individual under fire really blamed the devil. [NOTE: Pazuzu isn’t the devil, but he works for him, so under the principle of agency, it’s a distinction without a difference.]
During graduating exercises at TNT High School, Principal Nancy Gordeuk inadvertently declared the ceremony over before the valedictorian’s speech. Everyone began to leave as she realized her mistake and used the microphone to call the assembled back to their seats. After some heated words with an angry parents, she was heard to condemning the people leaving early, saying “Look who’s leaving … all the black people.”
Nancy Gordeuk is white. Of course, she was videotaped.
Furiously attempting to save her job after the incident’s video caused a national uproar on social media, Gordeuk blamed it all on the devil, e-mailing in part:
“A terrible mistake on my part of the graduation ceremony on Friday night. The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness in your hearts.”
She’s toast, of course, or should be. Still, she completely embraced this ridiculous, dishonest and cowardly excuse like few others, and that’s impressive, as well as useful. Now we have The Ultimate Pazuzu, unless, I suppose, someone blames the demon Pazuzu by name, which would be alarming.
If the incident involves either a spinning head or projectile vomiting, I, for one, will be inclined to believe it.