America’s latest big-time embezzler embezzled for twenty years and says he felt “constant and intense guilt” about it.

But how constant and intense can anything be for twenty years straight? UD, for instance, figures she can maintain constant and intense interest in… let’s take something she’s intensely interested in, as interested as this guy, bigshot trustee of the University of Northern Iowa, was in grand theft. So we just had Bloomsday, and UD‘s a James Joyce freak and she read from Molly Bloom’s soliloquy at the Irish Embassy and the Cosmos Club and spent time preparing all that and talking endlessly with fellow Joyce people and reading and rereading various passages from Ulysses

Okay so I’d say UD managed to sustain constant and intense interest in Bloomsday, this summer, for around, say, two weeks… How much more difficult to sustain constant and intense guilt for twenty years over your assiduous theft of millions of dollars from innocent people!

You say guilt is different from interest?

Then let’s look at perhaps the most intensely guilt-ridden figure of our time — Franz Kafka. Kafka certainly majorly dragged his ass around Prague, but we also have it on good authority that he was fully capable of having a good time. A reviewer of Kafka’s diaries says that they fail to give the reader a sense of “the humorous and light-hearted Kafka, the man who walked around in the day and earned the respect, fondness, and love of his friends and coworkers.”

Let’s say that – we can only give a rough estimate here – Kafka spent around half of his time feeling guilt; and of the time he felt guilt, let’s say that only about a quarter of that was intense and constant.

And, you know, Kafka did something with that guilt. He wrote guilt-ridden stories like The Judgment to work through it or whatever. This guy, Mr University of Northern Iowa, felt unremitting dripdripdrip guilt over stealing from people for twenty years but not only did he not write one of those quirky weird-prairie short stories about it, he didn’t, say, turn himself in to the authorities, or stop stealing.

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One Response to “‘“It’s really sad that he was giving away money that he didn’t have,” Nielsen said, mentioning Wasendorf’s $2 million donation to the University of Northern Iowa’s athletics department.’”

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