Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘modernity’

Modern Society Will Kill You

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

We know it makes sense to escape modernity because it is a path to doom, like any form of “success” which does not include a plan beyond achieving power. Our civilization lacks purpose, and so we have only power and wealth for their own sake, which fascinates for long no one who is worth knowing.

Competitiveness also proves a problem. In high-IQ societies, someone who is not hacking it in that society is seen as a failure, and only secondarily — very distantly — do people worry if this person’s critique was correct. This is why Japan produces hikikomori and Finland has so many suicides; when your society or species is broken, no one will hear that, but they will call you a failure, so you might as well remain in the basement or further underground.

This means that people are afraid to dissent because they will simply lose out by doing so. Who wants to be a loser? This is why humans are herd animals: we will march right over that cliff, each following the other, because we are afraid to fall out of line and lose what we already have, even if there is much more to gain by not committing suicide.

People fantasize about apocalyptic events because then the social order — a degraded form of a once-functional decentralized institution — will be suspended, and people can act on the basis of what needs to be done in reality again. When a great storm hits, you are worried about shelter, food, defense and medicine, not water cooler talking, keeping up with the Joneses, which indie band is hip right now, where the happening night club is, or other pretenses and adornments of the human ego.

But in the meantime, we are stuck with a social order that will destroy everything we work for and eventually terminate our descendants through miscegenation. This is the end. On top of that, it is killing us with an everyday life dedicated to pointless frenzy to keep us too busy to notice that everything has failed, is dying, and has no purpose.

This modern world will first kill you with loneliness, which triggers biological changes that lead to early termination:

Now researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of California have discovered that loneliness actually triggers physical responses in the body which make people sick.

It appears to trigger the ‘fight or flight’ stress signal which affects the production of white blood cells. It also increases activity in genes which produce inflammation in the body while lowering activity in genes which fight off illness, promoting high levels of inflammation in the body.

Essentially, lonely people had a less effective immune response and more inflammation than non-lonely people. They feel socially threatened which has an enormous impact on health.

As the linked articles in these excerpts demonstrate, loneliness is a hidden epidemic in the West. How would it not be? With diversity, we no longer have a culture in common, so going out into the world becomes a social risk because what you say or do might turn out to be wrong to any of the ten thousand groups — ethnic, cultural, racial, religious, elective — that now are wandering around, looking for an excuse to be offended because the victimhood-and-backlash script grants them greater power.

It turns out that loneliness puts you in a perpetual state of alienation and defensiveness, which stresses your immune system:

The study examined loneliness in both humans and rhesus macaques, a highly social primate species.

Why are we all so lonely? Even when surrounded by people we love

They found that loneliness predicted how active the CTRA gene was, even a year later and vice versa. People who had high gene activity were still lonely after 12 months. They also showed higher levels of the fight-or-flight neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.

From the same researcher, an insight into the biological purpose of loneliness:

As social animals we survived because we form bonds, which provide mutual aid. Humans don’t do well if they’re alone. If they got ostracized from the group, they were likely to perish. At the same time, we’ve exploited each other across human history. If a group excludes me [an evolutionary tool adapted to enforce social norms] and I try to break my way back in, the group may not try as subtle an exclusionary behavior the next time. The easiest way to exclude me is to kill me or to injure me. So the brain goes into self-preservation mode to promote short-term survival. It’s better to not make a friend now and survive than it is to try and make that friend, it turns out that friend’s a foe and perish in the service of trying to form a connection.

Loneliness is not designed to be chronic; instead, it’s very much like physical pain or hunger. It’s an aversive cue that alerts you to pay attention. It can also lead to depression, and we think that adapted along the same lines—depression reduces your desire to try to break back into the group. Instead, it sends a passive signal to the group that anyone who cares about you should come to your aid and reconnect. Depression can be adaptive in that sense.

In a modern society, it is difficult to form bonds. Diversity increases this tension because the level of foes has risen. So does class warfare, feminism, and any other form of adversarial politics. It is as if Leftists are lonely and want to spread the alienation… on the other hand, having a society unified around one culture/ethne and with a single path to power through an aristocracy, and thus a lowered reliance on “red tape” style procedural and managerial thinking, leads to lower loneliness. People can reach out more.

Keep in mind that there are no Utopias. Human life is by its nature lonely; there will always be some who are lonely and die alone in misery because this is part of how natural selection works. Just like some people will always find a way to kill themselves in accidents, some will always find a way to die through isolation. But right now, the majority are lonely; that is the sign of a failing system, and one that will kill you.

Paradoxically, the state of loneliness does not come from the condition of being alone, which is necessary. It comes from an inability to form bonds, which is related to failing social order as people have increasingly less in common, which is why up to half of people in Western societies think loneliness is increasing. The more we have in common as far as inner traits and the practices that reinforce those like rituals and religion, the less lonely we are.

In fact, we can end up lonely despite having high frequency and breadth of contact with others. This is why some refer to loneliness as the “hidden epidemic” in modern society, and definitely a staple of literary fiction from the 1920s through the present. Modern life makes us lonely. The rhythms, traditions, customs, calendar, cuisine, values, folk wisdom, sayings, philosophies and familiar landmarks of the past have faded away, replaced by interchangeable parts: boxy architecture, disposable plastic products, constant television that is all the same under the skin, graffiti and vandalism, chain stores, fast food, casual sex, cubicle McJobs, traffic, droning city noises, and people afraid to speak their real minds about real ideas who thus rely on vapid conversation about sports, television and shopping. People seek validation but find only emptiness, because compulsory universal inclusion (“equality”) means that no one is valued for who they are, only what they are in their external roles in society. You are your job title, your zip code, your wardrobe, your media library and your social group, but not your personality, spirit or soul.

The modern world has made a permanently lonely society which is exacerbated by the corporate-style office, an archetype which seems manifested also in most social and volunteer activities at this point as well. Everyday life under modernity is lonely because its fundamental model is the individual, not shared purpose and activity, and so people recede into themselves and live in isolation despite having hollow, fake social interaction in large quantities on a daily basis. Few people discuss anything meaningful in order to avoid offending others.

Some argue that loneliness is behind the raised suicide rate, but another thought is that many do not commit suicide, but silently withdraw, leaving behind shattered families and subsequent generations who do not reproduce. In this way, loneliness may be seen as a symptom of degeneration, or loss of essential traits because civilization has taken over the function of those traits. Other signs of degeneration are evident. world average IQ is dropping and people are growing shorter. Even more, the modern lifestyle produces correlates which accelerate loneliness, such as the erasure of memory through sleep deprivation:

One type of glial cell, called an astrocyte, prunes unnecessary synapses in the brain to remodel its wiring. Another type, called a microglial cell, prowls the brain for damaged cells and debris.

Bellisi’s team found that after an undisturbed sleep, astrocytes appeared to be active in around 6 per cent of the synapses in the brains of the well-rested mice. But astrocytes seemed to be more active in sleep-deprived mice – those that had lost eight hours of sleep showed astrocyte activity in around 8 per cent of their synapses, while the cells were active in 13.5 per cent of the synapses of the chronically sleep-deprived animals.

This suggests that sleep loss can trigger astrocytes to start breaking down more of the brain’s connections and their debris. “We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss,” says Bellesi.

Alienation consists of having disbelief in the culture around you. When that culture is anti-culture, or the “agree to disagree” compromise without synthesis model of diversity and the managerial state, there is nothing tangible to disagree with, only a sense of not belonging. Add that to the emptiness of conversation and falseness of personal interaction, and people are guaranteed to experience loneliness. This creates a sense of isolation, or having no chance of being understood while being surrounded by others who for all intents and purposes, are hostile agents bent on our subjugation as they attempt their own climb through the social status ladder of this moral and intellectual wasteland.

The lack of feeling of working together, and the resulting competition by which the individual is either a loser or a winner based on job and social status, creates an increased risk of mortality brought on by stress that is related more to the job than to the task it claims to accomplish:

Recently, economists at Purdue and the University of Copenhagen made a clever attempt to clear up the question. They looked at Danish manufacturing companies where overseas sales increased unexpectedly because of changes in foreign demand or transportation costs between 1996 and 2006. These constituted a set of natural experiments. At firms where exports spiked, there was suddenly a lot more work to do, a lot more things to sell. This put the squeeze on employees, who became measurably more productive — but also started to have more health problems.

“The medical literature typically finds that people who work longer hours have worse health outcomes — but we try to distinguish between causality and correlation,” said Chong Xiang, an economics professor at Purdue and co-author on the paper, along with David Hummels and Jakob Munch. A draft was released this week by the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Modern ideologies also breed anxiety, depression, loneliness and dysfunction through their insistence on an agenda outside of that of life itself. This has led some to posit a solution through changes in lifestyle:

In his Nicomachean Ethics, he described the idea of eudaemonic happiness, which said, essentially, that happiness was not merely a feeling, or a golden promise, but a practice. “It’s living in a way that fulfills our purpose,” Helen Morales, a classicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told me. “It’s flourishing. Aristotle was saying, ‘Stop hoping for happiness tomorrow. Happiness is being engaged in the process.’ ”

…The study indicated that people high in eudaemonic happiness were more likely to show the opposite gene profile of those suffering from social isolation: inflammation was down, while antiviral response was up.

…But what, precisely, is this quasi-mythical good life? What do we mean when we talk about eudaemonia? For Aristotle, it required a combination of rationality and arete—a kind of virtue, although that concept has since been polluted by Christian moralizing. “It did mean goodness, but it was also about pursuing excellence,” Morales told me.

…One of his consistent findings is that, in order to bring us happiness, a project must have two qualities: it must be meaningful in some way, and we must have efficacy over it.

But what kind of social order would create eudaemonic happiness? Plato gave us an answer: to find the best life, we must discover within ourselves virtue and order, which requires inequality and an emphasis on doing what is right by our inner study of the external world, not what is materially convenient that we can then rationalize as right.

In the interim, looking for eudaemonia through its traits — meaningful, efficacy, excellence — misses the point of practice. Practice consists of striving toward a goal, or having a purpose, which requires us to understand our world (realism) and to employ certain principles that lead to ongoing and immutable pursuits known as the transcendentals, such as “the good, the beautiful and the true” which can be found in both Plato and Aristotle.

We cannot pursue transcendentals without a stable social order, and a stable social order requires people to be moving toward roughly the same purpose and principles; this in turn requires, among other things, an end to diversity which abolishes social trust by erasing social standards and causing alienation.

Nationalism, like most conservative beliefs, is not an ideology but a folkway, or a way of life that both works (realism) and produces the best possible outcome (transcendentalism). It is not Utopian, but aims to accept life as it is and then improve it qualitatively instead of quantitatively, as egalitarian philosophies — the foundation of modernity — do. Perhaps our answer has been hiding in plain sight all along.

Hunters

Thursday, June 1st, 2017


by John Murdoch

Hunting the monster has not been a easy task. As I write this I am closing in, but still it remains exclusive.

Long ago I started this hunt by looking out my window. Not because I thought I would see it directly. But maybe I could spot some clues. I started to pay attention to as many things as I could. Be alert and ready everywhere. The most subtle shift in people’s moods and behavior. Whatever triggered the sensation, like being slowly electrocuted, a malevolent invisible energy influencing people around me.

As the months passed I started to pick up more things that where a part of the downfall. I would sometimes think that it was it. There were others out there doing it too. People I could discuss it with. How is this hanging together. What is at the center of all this? It was a hopeless case of dead ends.

I sometimes wonder if it was just a sensation of the entire unity. That the monster was just a insanely complex mechanism of feedback loops running freely and feeding of each other. That it all had become so corrupt, automated and complicated it was in a sense alive and had a will and “soul” of its own. Maybe we just had gradually lost control of it and were being controlled. I considered the thought as more than just a metaphor.

In conversations with a good friend, without doubt one of the smartest people I know, I suggested ideas even more disturbing. What if it was the end time? That this she too described as a “mass psychosis” was some supernatural force attacking us? She did not want to talk about it…I understand why. But sometime during 2016, I really started to consider it seriously. Maybe what I sense is just pure evil…Why not, I certainly believe in evil.

And that led me back to paths I have already been on the days after it. Also disturbing, they all are. What if it is just a collection or sum of my personal demons after all? That the thing out there is in fact my shadow? The dream certainly had some aspect of that. At least it gave me some seriously bouts of guilt.

I found an empty notebook from my school days in the 80s. I brought it to my bedroom and started to write down words on paper. First the symptoms we have now. I drew lines and arrows between them. Traced the ideas and patterns backwards in time. Through intellectual movements, the 60s, the world wars and the ideologies that drove them. I passed 1900. And ended up with three important words that have been in there all the time. Atheism, Marxism and materialism. The last word caught my attention the most, although all three are perhaps expressions of the same thing.

What caused materialism? The idea that everything is just made up of things? A idea that no one has ever proven, but never the less taken shortcuts around proving because they believe it must be so, or want it to be… Closing in…there is s huge vortex drawn in the book. That is my Monster. Before closing the book I drew a arrow pointing at it and wrote “Demiurge?”

For the past five years, I have thrown aside such ideas in favor of a more rational approach. I want it to be impeccable and beyond criticism, like science or an electronic gadget. Finite, discrete, powerful. But these explanations elude me. Maybe it is time to bring the irrational back in…with its most terrifying possible implications.

Undercurrent

I first detected anomalies when I began school for the first time. My earliest memories were only the warm air above the desks, the echoes of children singing, playing ball games and running between the buildings.

But after a month at school, I sensed that somewhere far in the background there was slight dissonance. Small traces of some disturbing presence. It could also be described as a feeling of foreboding, that something bad was going on somewhere out of sight. I could not notice anything with my rational eyes that seemed unusual, except the tasteless architecture perhaps. And some strange scent derived the combination of everything that went into a school. This smell was present in most of the buildings that had been built by the state, even though I did not know what a state was back then.

Inside the classroom I did the same thing more and more every day. I would daydream myself out of the room, back to my freedom or further into the unknown out there. Or places that did not exist outside my mind at all. That way I escaped the amplifying feeling of dread. Emerging out of some other place where time and space seemed irrelevant.

Autumn came abruptly. Giant grey clouds built up above it all as the trees became uncovered. During the days giant flocks of bird gathered there before they took of in perfect sync. Leaving for the winter, they seemed eager to get away as well. I used to get there in the morning before the others. I was there alone watching it in some ghostly blue and grey light. Like it was a dream of some sort. Almost like some glasslike substance filled the air. The place felt like it was sick.

I started to withdraw from the others in a cyclical manner. So I could get away from them. After all they showed no signs of noticing any of this. That made me different from them, or perhaps the other way around. Feeling I was being rejected myself, others have frequently accused me of rejecting others. And the last years I have come to realize that their version of that probably is more true than mine.

Inside the classroom things were getting unbearable. I often felt sick through my entire body. The room would get that dreamlike atmosphere and I would do the usual escape into my own mind or focus on everything in the room other than what I was supposed to. The texture of the paper in my book, the desk, the blackboard and the floor.

And then I started to see it. Not with my eyes, but some other strange sense. There was a abhorrent kind of current running through it all. Black and dangerous. Like a relentless but steady flow of billions and billions of tiny ants. Corroding and dissolving everything from inside. Trying to make their way through and pour into the world that was possible to perceive with the five senses.

Anomaly

She appeared out of nowhere one day. I hated her from the first second. There was something wrong with her. She had the current running through her body. She gave the impression of not belonging here at all. She was a interference. A animated body with nothing inside. No soul. Some kind of preprogrammed, robotic being posing as a human.

My friends and the others did not like her either. She was a woman in her early 50s, but it was hard to tell exactly back then since even people who were twenty seemed very old. She had an angry unpleasant face, chubby and with black messy hair reaching down to her shoulder. We were told she was a substitute for one of the usual teachers, not in my class. Except she was there as a extra for one hour once. As if she were there for another purpose entirely…

Her presence was bizarre and in some undefinable way unreasonable. One day me and two others where standing by the main entrance to the oldest part of the building. She came down the stairs from that led to the right wing of the building where the offices were. She yelled at some kids for standing in her way in her rasping metallic voice. She walked past us in her strange gait which reminded me of some troll walking. She passed by us with a white shirt hanging outside of her pants. She went up the stairs that led to the left wing of the building — separated from the right wing by a wide margin and solid walls — and disappeared as quickly as she had first appeared into the door to the oldest section of the school.

My friends would whisper about how they thought she was a witch and other scary beings from folklore and fairytales. We looked at each other. Some remarks about her ugliness. Then I looked up and she caught my eyes, walking down the stairs on the right wing of the building. My friends went quiet. We looked at each other with terrified question marks in our eyes.

We never saw her again after that. I made up some excuse of a rational explanation. She jumped through a window. Or we were mistaken. But the two sections of the school are connected in only place: right where we were standing the whole time. There was not enough time for her to have crept past us. Something else, something irrational, had occurred.

The hatred within

A year later my breathing got shallow and I started to have small dots dancing before my eyes and ants in my legs. I said I needed to go the bathroom and left the room. But instead I went down to the hall and slipped unnoticed out the main door. The black electric current faded as I got the first breaths of fresh air.

I went to the stairs I used to sit on a lot of the time. They were in front of a door on the oldest section. A door that was not in normal use anymore. But I knew it lead into a spiral stair that went all the way up to the classroom at the top. We were not allowed to walk it. We only did it once in a fire drill, not sure if it was before or after this, but I had seen it.

Instead of using my few stolen minutes siting on the stairs I stopped and looked at the hole in the wall to the left of it. I had seen it many times before and sometimes wondered why it was there. It was so big a grown man could put his hand inside it. Of course no one cared about why it was there. The place was few years away from closing because it was a health hazard. I looked around, I was alone and out of sight from all windows. I walked towards it and looked inside. A unpleasant smell of old wood and something else. It looked like the end point of some pipe system for cables. That was probably why it was open. They must have removed some older wires and did not care to close it. I did not want to stick my hand inside it. There where frequently insects crawling inside the classrooms in this section, real ones. They had to come from somewhere. I did not see any though. I took a step back and looked around.

No one was there. An idea took form in my mind. I felt the lovely rage within me, the forbidden one. A subtle smile lit up on my face. I kind of saw it in a mirror in my head. The place was in dire need of a new paint job. I could put something in there and use a few matches. The old building would be doomed and fully ablaze before anyone could stop it. This might burn out the venom and the source of the black energy that cursed me whenever I was in the building.

I could do it in the late evening. Ride my bike just before darkness, through the woods and home again. I would not dare to do that under normal circumstances, but it would be worth the trip. No one would believe I could do such a thing, my body had rushes of excitement. If that happened I would be free for a significant time.

And it occurred to me for the first time. And I wish now I had taken better care of that notion in years to come. That this had no real power over me if I wanted. Because I could do it, who would stop me? Absolutely no one…

But there were rules and codes. Most people had agreed upon them, me too, and it was not fair to cheat that way. Even though they where annoying because the people who reminded everyone else of us about these rules seemed to be those who where willing to take the most and rudest shortcuts around them. I had taken notice of that.

I went back inside. The strange current was gone, for now…

Overwatch

Since starting in this prison I had noticed a lot of other things besides the strange phenomenon I could feel inside it and some of its servants. Things I could put my finger on. When I did that I felt some freedom or sense of being.

Our teacher was a major problem. I had become more and more aware that I did not like the many things she told us. They seem to defy something deep within me and the world as far as I could know it back then.

She would watch us from the desk in the front of the room. The clock above her would slow down until it barely moved forward. Every time I felt she had her eyes on me I would feel a jolt of the current. I tried to escape her attention the best I could. It had become a lot harder as the years passed. Did she know? That I was feeling that something was off. Of course she did and that was probably the worst crime of them all. Although I never felt she was one of them as such, she obviously on some level thought it was very bad to observe such things.

She was watching everyone and where constantly interfering with what we did outside the classroom. Who spent time with who and what groups formed. If she did not approve of it, she would do projects to correct it and force us to do it another way. Most often with ideas that would make us all stay together in activities. Match and replace, she seemed to enjoy it a lot, or maybe just felt it was wanted and expected of her.

There were frequent conflicts. I hated the way she solved them. We were supposed to share the blame equally and say sorry. No matter whose fault it might have been. It felt very unjust to me. I got into trouble when I had to, avoided it mostly if not. When I had been the person to blame it felt wrong too. This “evening out” seemed to benefit the worst people more than anyone else. No matter what kind of cruel behavior, they would never get much more than half the blame and punishment anyways. In other words…no punishment at all. It all seemed set up for them, not the rest of us.

We would have project days where we would learn about some other country where they where worse of than lucky us. I did not mind learning about it. It was interesting enough in itself. I liked to read about it on my own. But I hated how she would almost talk down on us. We seemed to somehow be inferior to those people in Nepal, Guatemala and various places in Africa, despite the obvious evidence of the contrary.

Africa…The way she said that word. With a kind of longing sigh. Africa…she almost whispered it in a way. Her eyes would get a dreamy glance and she would give the impression of hovering above the floor as her mind went to, well, probably Africa. Or perhaps some fantasy version of it in her head. She had never been there as far as I knew.

It was about how much more connected to something else they where it seemed. Like nature. I had absolutely no interest in nature beyond the atmospheres and sensory impressions it gave me where I was. It’s laws and functions and living tightly together with it seemed odd. She brought a soap made of cow shit as proof. I did not want to touch it. And the other strange smelling objects did not impress me much more. It all stank, not just literary, but on a deeper level.

Even more I hated her praise of this UN thing. It made me suspicious. It was some kind of police that could interfere with and put itself above nations to make peace. I found war much more interesting. I played war games with people, on computers, had soldiers and tanks made of plastic, books about weaponry. And I loved airplanes above all. In particular those interior to Africa supersonic ones with weapons on them. War was one of the things that filled most of my spare time. Not just me, but most others too. I was not special in that way compared to others. And it was obviously very bad, but I did not care.

But I had very little thoughts about race anyways. We had two Asians on our school, and one student from Indonesia in my class. All adopted here. And they were not seen as negative by me or others. The guy in my class was one of us, and even one of those I hung out with outside school. I also thought a few lucky escapees from those places coming here was alright and that we should take care of those who did. We never got the impression that we would be flooded with them. No one told us anything about that. However if anyone had I’m sure I would have reacted earlier.

I never connected any of this to the monstrous force, strange mechanical people and dark currents surging through everyday objects and suffocating me, as if I were disrupted by a fear for which I had no words.

Dissolving The Dead

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. All we are is dust in the wind.

Now we can be reduced to even less than that.

Bradshaw’s are one of just 14 funeral homes in the world to offer this “green” option. Alkaline hydrolysis is said to be much more environmentally friendly than conventional cremation. They offer both services at the same price and say the new kind of cremation has proved an unexpected hit. Of their customers who choose not to be buried – about half of the total – 80% opt for alkaline hydrolysis.

A culture will accomplish what it wants. Its art, math, philosophy, and science will all aim in that direction. Downstream from that egg-headed nerd-wrasslin’, the politics and technology will work out the details by dotting all the “t’s” and crossing all the “i’s” to achieve said overarching cultural goal. Our culture seeks to first die and then remove all reminders of anything we did in the past. The political equivalent of dissolving the dead is the ongoing dissolution of the nation. David Goldman describes the process by which a nation dissolves itself in quicklime.

For today’s Europeans, there is no consolation, neither the old pagan continuity of national culture, nor the Christian continuity into the hereafter. The French know that Victor Hugo, Gauloise cigarettes, Chateau Lafitte and Impressionist painters one day will become a matter of antiquarian curiosity. The Germans know that no one but bored schoolboys will read Goethe two centuries hence, like Pindar. They have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy. They hate America, a new kind of universality that succeeded where the old Christian empire failed. They hate Israel, which makes the Jewish people appear all the more eternal in stark contrast to Europe’s morbid temporality. They will pass out of history unmourned even by themselves.

Horror author Dan Simmons didn’t really like dealing with politics. Then he noticed a trend that scared the crap out of him. He noticed what Goldman noticed and extrapolated out how that sort of a society would deal with terrorism. It would hide, ignore it and then capitulate. His novel Flashback triggers the WaPo below….

Dan Simmons’s “Flashback” is an abundantly entertaining, often outrageous right-wing fantasy about a weak, broken United States 20-odd years from now. The country is ruled over by the Japanese, lives in fear of the Islamic Global Caliphate, and its citizens mostly spend their time stoned on a drug called flashback that lets them escape to a better past. Some of the events that have occurred between now and the early 2030s can be summed up thusly: U.S. Goes Bankrupt, Israel Destroyed by Nuclear Attack, Mexican Army Invades California,Sharia Law Rules Europe and Canada, Giant Mosque Built at Ground Zero, and U.S. Down to 44½ States.

What so scared Mr. Simmons about 2010s Amerika? Perhaps he felt that they “have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy.” If it sounds familiar, ponder the fact that we keep saying our prayers about the victims of terrorists and then we keep having more terror attacks. How would God answer the prayers of people who have no ambition but to die quietly? The Book of Lamentations (1:7-9) offers us a possible look at how God responds to the dissolute.

7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

9 Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

So what does all the high-falutin’ God talk look like in the Modern World? Sadly, it looks too much like this.

This will stop if we ever decide to love ourselves again. It will stop if we ever actually care whether our nations and our kind survive. It will stop when we rise up and make it stop. Otherwise, as the occupation mayor of London tells us, terrorism is what you can expect in the city.

Houellebecq On The Emptiness Of “Careers”

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

This one has been making the rounds, but, it serves as an observation that modern life leaves nothing for the future especially in careers:

Children existed solely to inherit a man’s trade, his moral code and his property. This was taken for granted among the aristocracy, but merchants, craftsmen and peasants also bought into the idea, so it became the norm at every level of society. That’s all gone now: I work for someone else, I rent my apartment from someone else, there’s nothing for my son to inherit. I have no craft to teach him, I haven’t a clue what he might do when he’s older. By the time he grows up, the rules I lived by will have no value—he will live in another universe. If a man accepts the fact that everything must change, then he accepts that life is reduced to nothing more than the sum of his own experience; past and future generations mean nothing to him. That’s how we live now. For a man to bring a child into the world now is meaningless.

Jobs make you into a robot. Aristocracy makes each person have a place without being equal. One does not work at all, but the other mostly works. Even when it fails, it is better off that its alternative in the long term.

Instead, we get the standard human behavior: a compromise, more aimed at reducing risk to the present tense than creating something positive in the future tense.

Jobs are jails. Democracy is slavery. Socialism is control. Until we overthrow these things that “seem” good but are actually toxic, we are doomed to live among our own failures.

Rebirth Of The Spirit

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Life provides infinite chances to fall into infinite loops caused by paradoxical thinking. For example, the Antifa groups who complain about attributes of fascism — repression, censorship, “racism,” brutality — soon find themselves exhibiting those same traits. And some of this is natural; for example, if you want to bust pedophiles, you will spend much of your time exposed to kiddie pron.

German novelist Günter Grass wrote a novel called The Tin Drum, and through it produced a powerful metaphor for the 20th century: it is like the incessant beat of a drum, repeating the same phrases, so that the sheep herd to do whatever is the current fanciful notion of how to avoid the free-fall decay of a once-great civilization.

Ideology is like that tin drum. It must be beaten, repetitively, and even if in new patterns it sounds out the same ideas. The basic idea of ideology is that the weakness of society, which is externalization in both (a) socialized cost and (b) conformity, can be harnessed like a factory to make people who each march to the beat of the tin drum toward a centrally-determined goal.

After all, this is what democracy, fascism, communism and socialism have in common. There is a central command which issues control orders. Then, everyone obeys these equally. Even if that central command is elected as in democracy, soon an Establishment forms which controls what happens more than the current candidate.

This means we need to be suspicious of those external orders or anything which behaves like them.

Control orders invert existing ideas and institutions. They do this by changing these things from goals in themselves, to methods which serve the purpose of more control. This means that no matter how hard you try to make something work, it will defeat you, because the meaning behind the symbols has been altered to be its exact opposite.

Consider (perhaps) the problem of Western Civilization. We know that it has fallen; it grieves us to say this. In turn, we realize that it needs a rebirth, and on some level, we all know that this cannot be done externally. We are not going to be able to elect a single candidate, make a single law, or even create a fanatical dictatorship to enforce this.

The cultural wave which brought us Brexit, Trump and perhaps Le Pen shows us the force of internal motivation. Across the former West, the natural leaders in communities from all walks of life have started to become cynical about the inertial direction of our civilization, and this has caused them to want alternatives to more equality, diversity, democracy and consumerism.

That has placed them at odds with both the Establishment and the herd, which chases trends but only catches on to them after their peaks, so that it is always pursuing what worked yesterday in the hopes that it will make them popular tomorrow. This is why consumer fashion today mimics high fashion ten years ago, and why most investors rush in to buy a “hot stock” only to find its value has faded.

While this cultural wave is refreshing, it is only the first stage; it is formed of doubt and resentment of what exists now, and does not yet have in mind another direction. It will need to give people an alternative to modernity in order to succeed.

For us to find that alternative, we need a spiritual rebirth. The problem with this is that it cannot be done externally. For this reason, all of the Rightists flocking to variations on patriotism, religion and working hard are failing just as solidly as those who insist we can achieve our rebirth through racial separation alone. There needs to be something to tie all of these together.

Perhaps the worst of the tin-drum-bangers are those who have flocked to the Church and are using it as a substitute for spiritual rebirth. The church is still an external force; it cannot change what is in the soul. Using it as a substitute for that internal change will effect an inversion.

Among the various dissident Right groups, there seems to be a competition for who can find the oldest church and cling to it like a life vest. Some favor Catholicism, but others are unhappy with anything but full eastern Orthodox. But ultimately this becomes a form of ideology as well, a symbol standing for the whole, and it will not bring victory but defeat.

We know modernity is a horror. Civilizations die because society ceases to become a means to the end of a good life, but becomes an end in itself. People learn to play the game. This is why nothing changes: the game rewards inertia, and in mass groups, inertia arises from fears. Fears of insufficiency, or of having made the wrong decision and being suddenly uncool, dominate the human mind. Ideologies of inclusivity salve these fears, and this quickly attracts a mass which seeks convenient mental answers, and those who offer pleasant illusions become powerful on the wave of this crowd, in industry, government and even religion. This is why all of these things have taken on a bureaucratic character and become abusive. This abusive behavior leads to all of us acting out unnecessary tasks in order to demonstrate ideological obedience. This is the end result of ideology, even well-intentioned ones.

The spiritual rebirth we need is within and cannot be enforced by an external doctrine, or by going through rituals, or even through fervent dedication. It must be a change in our will. We must cast aside the doubt and fear, and fully desire to restore the West again. This requires rejecting intermediaries like the Church or fascism which are ultimately symbols standing for the whole. We need to cultivate in our hearts the desire to be good, to rise above the rest, and to put everything to right. We cannot rely on any external forces in lieu of this inner force.

In discovering this inner force, we cannot shape ours thought by anything but intuition. We know what good is because it is what not only survives in nature, but creates a greater qualitative degree of beauty, accurate observation of our world, and a desire to exist in union with the order of the universe, which steadily improves itself by qualitative degree, as we see in how our thoughts evolve and how natural selection makes eagles and hummingbirds from sparrows. Since we know good, we have only to discover a will toward it in our souls.

Our future consists of divergent paths. A society based on externalization and control, or a choice for something different. We will not know what it looks like until we begin walking the path toward this new choice. We know for certain however that it begins in the formulation of our will toward something good, instead of finding new ways to bang the tin drum.

Happy HitLARP Holiday!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

April 20th brings with it many memories, including Columbine, teenage potheads, and of course, Adolf Hitler. This brings out the HitLARPers who want us to believe that if we just adopted National Socialism, everything would be fine, and they are going to act the part as defined by Hollywood to show us how.

My own opinion has long been that Hitler, like every other leader, was a mix of good and bad. The bad in his case seems traumatic because it invokes genocide and tyranny, but in reality, this pales in comparison to what, say, Joseph Stalin or Chairman Mao did. The Left just LARPs on the anti-Hitler trip in order to conceal how much more their people have been committing murder, torture and oppression since the French Revolution at least, having become known for secret police, gulags, executions at dawn and guillotining whole families.

But Hitler had a few good points. He recognized that diversity cannot work. He wanted to restore an organic state based in the ethnic group. He knew that modernity was a failure and its aesthetics needed reversal. Unfortunately, he tried to do these from within a modern context, and so ended up with modern results, namely catastrophe. Not that he could have escaped it; the world was poised for downfall, and most people were suicidal after “the war to end all wars,” so it demanded a fratricidal and pointless war and got it. Did anyone win WWII?

We also have to wonder how much of The Official History™ is actually fake. After all, they’ve been lying to us for centuries.

The Left always lies, and the Left is the party of modernity, and modernity has turned out to be kind of boring, where we all live in bubble worlds and work in cubicles and no one is really happy but the money is OK so we carry on. Maybe we can finally escape the Left. It will require going farther Right than Hitler and rejecting modernity entirely. We need to restore Western Civilization, and since the dawn of time, there has been only one structure of civilization that has worked. It is not that we want to go back to that; we want to go forward to it, like moving from winter to spring even though spring was only six months ago.

In the meantime, the Alt Right needs to get over its HitLARPing. We are not White Nationalists; we are nationalists, but only as a part of a general program that wants a traditional society. That means rejecting modernity entirely, starting with the sacred cow (and mental crack for white people, apparently) of “equality.” If you want to celebrate Hitler, celebrate what he tried but could not do, which is abolish the idea of equality and with it, the State. We need nations, not nation-States. We want a traditional society because it works and everything else does not.

Hitler had his day, but he was more symbolic — resistance against modernity and racial erasure — than literal. To the (possibly inevitable) sadness of the Germans, they followed him literally and encountered a great defeat. This was not from their lack of prowess, but from the vast forces they faced, since illusion is always more popular than realism. And yet, we would be ultra-morons to make the same mistake twice.

To avoid making that mistake, we must revisit the core of modernity, individualism. Individualism makes people demand equality, so that all individuals are included, no matter what they have done in the past. But to an independent person, individualism is a crutch, a thing to be overcome. If you want to be more Hitler than Hitler, accept the nihilism of literal reality, and that you are a small part of a vast civilization, not a god-like consciousness to which civilization should be dedicated.

It is fascinating and lugubrious that we face the same challenges as we did during the First World War and the French Revolution. Nothing, really, has changed; we are still trying to advance the same dying ideas and they are failing as they always have. This Hitler Day, let us reject those ancient and moldy failures and move on to something more sustaining and cheerful!

Modern Denial Hides Real Threats, Promotes Fake Ones

Monday, April 17th, 2017

We see a pattern time and again in humanity: deny the real threat by focusing attention on a false threat. False threats are easier to handle, since at some level one knows that they are not real, and this distracts from the real threat, which is harder to solve and possibly eternal or impossible to fully vanquish.

This is not just a human pattern. A mouse, thrown in a cage with a snake, will realize quickly that there is no escape. That being noticed, it will concentrate its last moments on personal grooming, removing the easy threat because the actual threat cannot be defeated. At that point, it is eaten.

Minds are designed this way to avoid locking up. When a big threat cannot be defeated, the brain can go into an infinite loop trying to figure out how to beat it, when what it really needs to do is go up a level by questioning its assumptions. Sometimes, this does no good; if the cage is sealed, the mouse is doomed, no matter how Indiana Jones its inclinations.

This is why we are waging war against climate change instead of overpopulation, and against smoking instead of looking at the real culprit, diesel exhaust. Diesel trucks are the backbone of our economy, and if they needed to be replaced, it would cost us as much as it would have for the South to replace slaves. Consider the toxicity of diesel exhaust:

Lung cancer is the major cancer thought to be linked to diesel exhaust. Several studies of workers exposed to diesel exhaust have shown small but significant increases in risk of lung cancer. Men with the heaviest and most prolonged exposures, such as railroad workers, heavy equipment operators, miners, and truck drivers, have been found to have higher lung cancer death rates than unexposed workers. Based on the number of people exposed at work, diesel exhaust may pose a substantial health risk.

The possible link between lung cancer and exposure to diesel exhaust outside the workplace has not been studied extensively.

How could this be? The threat comes from everyday events that all of us are subjected to, not exceptional and rare events or personal habits like smoking. Maybe smoking is also bad… but compared to the prevalence of diesel smoke, it is almost insignificant. Everyone is surrounded by diesel trucks and the air in the cities is thick with the exhaust.

Could it be that, like the tacit cooperation by media to demonize fat instead of sugar, that a large problem has been ignored in favor of attacking an irrelevant but symbolic lesser problem?

Over the past few years, the evidence against diesel has been accumulating to the point where it seems that we were misled by “science” and media:

Particulates – tiny sooty particles in the air – were the first of the pollutants to be identified as toxic, 22 years ago, in a big Harvard study. The seminal 1993 research, dubbed “the six cities study” compared mortality rates in half a dozen representative US urban areas, following the fates of 8,111 adults for at least 14 years. It found – after adjusting for risk factors like obesity, smoking and occupational exposure – that death rates were 26 per cent higher in the city with the highest particulate pollution than the two with the lowest.

By itself this did not constitute proof but, in the intervening years, hundreds of similar studies – some so vast they tracked more than half a million people – have come to similar conclusions, establishing the danger beyond doubt.

…As if this were not enough, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) three years ago formally declared that “diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans”. It was particularly influenced by the results of a study of 12,315 workers in eight mines.

While we have been chasing symbolic issues like equality and diversity, the actual issue of the health of civilization and individuals has gotten swept under the rug to the point where what we eat, breathe and drink may in fact be toxic. Extrapolating that, our entire lifestyle may be toxic, including living and working in cubes, but this has gone without notice.

Ideological goals, generally speaking, distract us from practical goals. If you cannot save your civilization from collapse, you might as well talk about how well it is doing in terms of equality. If you cannot stop the use of diesel fuels, it is better to blame cigarettes for our ill-health than exhaust pollution, motionless city lives and toxic food.

We might even see the last thousand years as a distraction from the real issue. Our problems are decline and those who will invade us once decline occurs, and instead we have been chasing internal issues that are easy to tackle because they can never be solved. “Inequality,” for example, as a natural state of humanity, is a perfect enemy because it can never be beaten but can always be fought.

The Potemkin reality of the consensual hallucination that is modern living is unraveling before our eyes. Soon we will realize that how we live has doomed us, and we have spent the money and time needed to fix that instead jousting after windmills, such that we have doomed ourselves to the negative consequences of the industrial empire we have built.

Technology Is Not What Defines Modernity

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Most of those who are active in politics at this time are single-issue voters. They want one thing to change, and the rest to remain the same. Only a few grasp how large our change needs to be, and see that all of these single issues radiate from a core dysfunction caused by the structure of our civilization being based on false assumptions.

Those who see the enormity of the problem and how deep the rot goes tend to go a little bit insane. They are trying to overturn an edifice with a toothpick, or at least it feels that way. For this reason, most adopt desperate solutions that are unrelated to the actual causes, because these at least symbolically feel correct.

One such outlook is primitivism, which believes that “technology did this to us” and therefore, the solution is to roll back technology. While in some areas this looks correct, it is important to distinguish between cause, effect and symptoms of that effect. A single act may cause a result that is invisible, but manifests in a number of evident disasters.

For example, the transition to demand-side economics from the Obama era had a very clear effect in making the basis of our monetary value a result of the speed of demand for that money. This in turn had visible symptoms like a decline in purchasing power, economic slowdown in hiring and other expenditures, and very remotely, an increase in apathy because money was more speculative than actualized in value.

So let us look to modernity. The term only came into use in the late 1800s as a designation of an era, but this does not tell us when it began, because the effects are noticed long after the cause. In theory, it was replaced by postmodernity in the 1960s, but many think that the postmodern is a pluralistic expression of the modern and nothing more.

If we look a hundred years before, we can see one plausible root, or the event that changed all events after it. With the French Revolution, equality became the official policy, ideology and goal of modern governments. And yet, even that event has a cause, which many trace to The Enlightenment,™ a cultural and artistic movement a century and change before.

Even though technology was present during that era, it was also present before that, and in ages before. If anything, it seems that technology develops with the rise of organized civilization, which means that the timeline of civilization death could have other causes, since technology will be present but not necessarily causal.

This reveals to us the illusion of blaming technology: it is easy to blame technology because it is not us. That means that instead of taking responsibility for embracing illusory thinking like The Enlightenment,™ we find something else to scapegoat. If not technology, The Rich,™ The Jew,™ and even other ethnic or religious groups.

In fact, we did it to ourselves. “We have discovered the enemy, and it is us.” More accurately: the enemy is any number of bad choices that take us off the path to what makes us great. There are many possible errors, and only a few ways to success, all correlated with the principles that guide us in a general direction toward qualitative improvement.

What this means is that, contrary to some of the “solutions” floating around out there, we cannot fix our problems by simply backing away from technology. Even if that were likely to happen in a world where someone else will simply adopt it and use it to conquer other groups, it would leave intact the illusory assumptions and bad leadership that propelled us into this condition in the first place.

That way, history would simply repeat. We would buy time, but not achieve victory, and by doing that, doom ourselves to repeat the same intractable problems time and again until we finally exhaust ourselves, either emotionally or genetically.

Instead it becomes clear that we must save ourselves from within. Our efforts have gone toward an illusion, and this illusion is based in the idea of the convenience of people instead of principles. To reverse this, we must first choose the goals that are best and move toward those, instead of choosing from among the possibilities that are convenient for others.

Our real problem is the collapse of social order. There are too many people competing for power, and they use all else including language, science, law, knowledge and religion as means toward that end. This corrupts those things; that is a symptom of the power struggle. Until we make a working social order, we remain in the cycle of failure.

On The Alt Right, A Crisis Over True Believers

Monday, March 27th, 2017

As the Alt Right grows, it faces a crisis: its more mainstream components have had their victory with the rise of Donald Trump, but its core — which desires greater social change away from the Leftist stream of Western nations over the last century — finds itself at a loss for how to push the window further.

After all, the Alt Right is half advocacy for traditional civilization and half provocative trolling that turns the shock of an effete Establishment into a weapon again them. Just as Christian parents freaked out over rock ‘n roll in the 1960s, gutmensch bourgeois parents find themselves in panic mode over the memes and rhetoric of a raging right-wing resurgence.

This gives the Alt Right momentum, but like a car going too fast in the night, its speed means that its headlights do not see far ahead and so it is flying blind. This creates a vacuum of direction, and so the strongest and clearest voices win out. On one end, these are the Alt Lite and near Alt Lite types who popularize simple ideas and miss the big point, and on the other, it is the fanatics from the white nationalist world who hope to dominate the Alt Right with their oversimplified and ultimately not radical enough message.

In this way, the Alt Right finds itself in the same unenviable position as Twitter. It can either reach out to the wider audience out there who are less active and less responsive to dogma, or it can deepen its appeal to its captive audience who tend to be fanatical but ineffectual. Twitter panders to SJWs, and many on the Alt Right pander to the True Believers who will be its doom.

To reach a wider audience, the Alt Right must be practical. It cannot merely appeal to our widespread loathing of modern society and what the fallen Western Civilization has become, but offer an option that is not merely negative, that is, not merely directed against symptoms of the present. We have to target the heart of what is wrong, and come up with a replacement that involves a growth direction, such as happens when people find purpose and discover joy in pursuing it.

Some micro-movements have done this. Hipsters are moving to farms and learning self-sufficiency. Tech nerds are forming communities to build next-generation solar and robotics. Futurists have transhumanism and the singularity to aspire to. Libertarians are working toward free states. These will all fail because they are not complete replacements, and become fetishistic over time.

We want to reach the normal people who want both a good normal life and a chance to remake this civilization. They are in favor of what we say, but do not want to give up the chance to live. This is natural and good; as in lifeguarding, one must save oneself first and then deal with whatever disaster is raging in the surrounding environs.

These normal people are fed up with the utter failure of modernity but will not “jump ship” to a vessel steered by fanatics. They are looking for something responsible, realistic and reasonable to which we can transition without destroying families, careers, lives and hopes.

In contrast to regular political movements, the Alt Right has thrived by being an ecosystem instead of a group of people who each do the exact same thing; it has thinkers, agitators, artists and trolls. It is ultimately a cultural movement. The trolls serve an important role: by saying outrageous stuff, they widen the window of what is acceptable by stretching what most people consider as “normal.”

That sort of dialogue shifts the “Overton window” to include ideas that have deliberately been edited from history by the Leftist Establishment. However, the trolling is a means-to-an-end, and not an end in itself. It can help convey a message, and clear aside the critics, but it cannot be the whole of the message.

For the Alt Right, as everyone else who wants to escape modernity, the dividing line proves to be the democracy question. Those who believe in equality are on one side, and everyone else on the other. This means that the “other” side is at a disadvantage, since they are unified by what they do not believe in and not what they do.

It has become clear to most at this point that those who favor equality are either the enemy or a tool of the enemy. Equality penalizes the competent in order to subsidize the less-competent, and by doing so, it inverts the society and gears it toward the negative and finite instead of future positives of infinite potential.

The future of the Alt Right then belongs to those who are against equality even if this is a cultural and not political opinion. It will be guided by those who want escape from modernity, instead of some option to “fix” modern society. Our current path is a winding road to death, and anything we can choose that goes another way is better than sitting around waiting for the crash.

The Subreal

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

A person doing a science job fills out a series of forms concordant with the appropriate regulations to request allocation of government resources to a proposed study.  The forms go through the bureaucracy, moving from one office to another, eat ink to propel themselves and mature enough to watch the fresh new forms they’ve spawned move on through their own approval processes.

The rubber stamps are collected, the study is approved, and begins.  More people doing science jobs are recruited or reassigned, and the government resources are channeled into the subcontractors and lowest bidders.  Science papers written by other science-doing people are read.  After an acceptable duration of extensions past the deadline, a new science paper has been created by this set of science-doing people.

A press release is sent out, and a hundred news articles are excreted from the appropriate templates making the same recommendation that resulted from the study in appropriately different words.  The conclusion of this highly structured time and effort is this: you, person in the general public, should not clean your ears with q-tips because you might press too hard and damage your ears.

This is not fiction, not a contrived example — this happened.  And this type of thing happens often, every day, all around us.

It is subreal.

The subreal is the hyper-mundane minutiae with which the modern world forcefully confronts us.  It hits us with a sense of wondering confusion similar to the surreal, but instead of being fantastical, instead of having a feel of being far-fetched and bizarre, it’s the opposite — it’s banal, so shockingly unremarkable and un-nuanced.  The painfully unimportant things that are treated so seriously and carefully.  The contradiction between being so outrageous, yet simultaneously so unworthy of outrage, beats us down psychologically and induces a passive apathy.

We are being forced to have public discussions on whether someone should have a legal right to choose their pronouns.  Who wants to care about this?!  What possible response to this makes any sense but ridicule?  And yet, academics must put significant intellectual effort into its refutation, lest it grow and metastasize unchecked.  This feels like it can’t be real.

It’s the routinization and systematization of that which could be done without conscious thought, like a mandatory corporate seminar that provides an acronym of steps on how not to sexually assault coworkers.  This puts the nuanced, organic experience of social interaction onto rails that apply a coarse legalistic set of rules to allowable behaviors, as if programming a robot.  Maintain at least 0.8 meters separation between coworkers.  Do not comment on physical appearance.  Do not touch each other, unless only the palms of the hand touch in an allowed way.  Disable all reproductive subroutines.

It’s a society whose culture consists of the lowest common denominator of human experience–propaganda that somehow seems to manage to inject synthetic hormones for sentimentality into the naked facts that: we all eat, we all have positive feelings for our children, we all don’t want to die — and further, that this deflated one-size-fits all husk of a culture is celebrated.

It’s an environment where the most popular forms of socializing revolve around groups who merely like a manufactured and mass-replicated entertainment product.  Satisfy your need for human interaction by repeating phrases from the product, or relating your excitement at an aspect of the product.  This will not be difficult, you may simply choose an aspect that is present in every incarnation in the genre: mutual agreement with your co-humans can be found in relating the satisfaction from seeing the oppressed character righteously pummel the ultimate oppressor who has no motivation but irrational hate, or in the saccharine pleasure of the invariantly repeated melody.  Everyone you meet will do the same, and so you will feel accepted.

Where an entire life can be lived without experiencing any semblance of a noble action requiring courage, loyalty, or honor.  The phrase “so brave” is more likely to be uttered with derisive irony than genuine praise, and the phrase “I love you” is made routine and has the sincerity of corporate marketing.  Popular ethics is composed of Kindergarten teacher admonishments: be nice, don’t hit, and don’t you think you should share?

It’s a mechanized life, scheduled down to the minute, of not really doing things, but being places chosen from an approved menu of options.  A job?  Choose one from the classifieds.  A career?  Choose a program from a school.  Show up at this time, then leave at that time.  At night, return to your shelter, chosen from the options offered by your realtor.  Companionship?  This app gives you several options that have been determined to match by an algorithm whose inputs include your choices of entertainment products.  We’ll make sure that if you are a person who watched and liked Star Wars you won’t have to talk to a person who watched and liked the New York Mets.  We understand you’re not a person like that.  It’s important!

Go on an adventure, buy yourself a motorcycle.  But you must also buy and wear one of these Department of Transportation approved helmets, and you must not leave your boot laces tied too long.  This is for your safety, and if you don’t do so you may receive a printed piece of paper designed to enforce the regulatory details resulting from decades of revised legislation which means that you must pay the government the amount that legislators have agreed will make the general public safer.  Once you meet all the regulations you may have fun on your approved exciting adventure.

What are you?  You are a clump of cells which are clumps of atoms.  Where are you?  You are on an insignificant pale blue dot lost somewhere in the incomprehensibly vast emptiness.  Why?  As experts in the mundane, we can confidently assure you that none of this means anything.  There is no forest, only a clump of trees.

When the vitality, the idiosyncrasies, and meaning has been sucked out of life, what is left is the subreal.

In this environment, being real is radical.  Sanity is not an extreme, it’s sandwiched between the surreal and the subreal.  It’s a sum that’s more than it’s parts.  It’s fitting details into a larger coherent context.  It’s an acknowledgement that rigid, explicit rules miss important exceptions and are often an avoidance of a solution.

What is real is honesty, identity, courage, loyalty, virtue, responsibility, and much more than words or abstractions can capture.  The system produced by the subreal is like a ship with only a maintenance crew and no captain: the handrails are cleaned daily and the engine operates within the specified parameters, but none have awareness beyond their assigned tasks.  When this system inevitably finds itself in stormy waters, those of us with souls will find joy in the richer, fuller experience of life that will arise.

Recommended Reading