Speeding into the Void of Cyberspace as Designed

Edward Curtin writes about the fabricated world of engineered emergencies and digital alerts.

By Edward Curtin
Edwardcurtin.com 

“The internet was hardwired to be a surveillance tool from the start.  No matter what we use the network for today – dating, directions, encrypted chat, email, or just reading the news – it always had a dual-use nature rooted in intelligence gathering and war.”  — Yasha Levine, “Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet.”

“My Dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. If you wish to go anywhere, you must run twice as fast as that.” The Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

Speed and panic go hand-in-hand in today’s fabricated world of engineered emergencies and digital alerts.  “We have no time” is today’s mantra – “We are running out of time” – and because this mood of urgency has come to grip most people’s minds, deep thinking about why this is so and who benefits is in short supply. Most people sense this to be true but don’t know how to extract themselves from the addictive nature of speed long enough to grasp how deeply they have been propagandized, and why.

A key turning point in the creation of this mood of an ongoing emergency and tense urgency was the naming of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as “9/11.” 

“Quick, call 911” permeated deep into popular consciousness. The so-called “security” it elicited became a cloaked form of interminable terror. The future editor of The New York Times and Iraq war promoter, Bill Keller, introduced this emergency phone connection on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, in a New York Times op-ed, “America’s Emergency Line: 911.”

Bill Keller in profile, 2012: (kellywritershouse via Flickr)

The linkage of the attacks to a permanent national emergency was thus subliminally introduced, as Keller mentioned Israel nine times and seven times compared the U.S. situation to that of Israel as a target for terrorists.  His first sentence reads: “An Israeli response to America’s aptly dated wake-up call might well be, ‘Now you know.’”

By referring to Sept. 11 as 9/11, an endless national emergency became wedded to an endless war on terror aimed at preventing Hitler-like terrorists from obliterating us with nuclear weapons that could create another “ground zero” or holocaust.  Mentioning Israel (“America is proud to be Israel’s closest ally and best friend in the world,” President George W. Bush would tell the Israeli Knesset) so many times, Keller was not very subtly performing an act of legerdemain with multiple meanings. 

By comparing the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to Israeli “victims,” he was implying, among other things, that the Israelis are innocent victims who are not involved in terrorism, but are terrorized by Palestinians, as Americans are terrorized by fanatical Muslims.  Palestinians/Al-Qaeda/Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/Syria versus Israel/United States.  Explicit and implicit parallels of the guilty and the innocent.  Keller tells us who the real killers are, as if he knew who was guilty and who was innocent.

Pushing Buttons

John Tenniel’s 1865 illustration of Carroll’s behind-time White Rabbit. (Wikimedia Commons)

His use of the term 9/11 pushes all the right buttons, evoking unending social fear and anxiety.  It is language as sorcery. It is propaganda at its best. Even well-respected critics of the U.S. use this term, which has become a fixture of public consciousness through endless repetition.  

As President George W. Bush would later put it, as he connected Saddam Hussein, the late president of Iraq, to “9/11” and pushed for the Iraq war: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”  All the ingredients for a linguistic mind-control smoothie had been blended. 

Under President Barack Obama, it was Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Russia, and now Trump touts Iran as the great threat.  So many emergencies following fast upon each other are enough to make your head spin.

This sense of ongoing urgency and dread was joined to the fast growing (and getting faster by the day) internet and cell phone world that has come to dominate contemporary life. Permanent busyness and speed – a state of on-edge nervousness and panic with digital alerts – are today’s norms. 

The majority of people live “on” their phones with their constant beeps, and the digital media have fragmented our sense of time into perpetual presents that create historical amnesia and digital dementia.  In a so-called progressive world of consumer capitalism, the era of what the astute sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has called “liquid modernity,” time itself has become an online transaction, a fluid commodity that flows away faster than a scrolling screen.

We live in a use-by-date digital world in a state of suspended animation where “time is short” and we must hustle before our use-by date is past. The pace of private and public life has outrun most people’s ability to slow down long enough to realize a hidden hustler has taken them for a ride to Wonderland where the only wonder is that more people have not gone insane as they slip and slide away on the superhighway to nowhere.

Method of Imprisonment

John Berger, as only a sage artist would, noted this essential truth in his 1972 novel “G.”:

“Every ruling minority needs to numb and, if possible, to kill the time sense of those whom it exploits.  This is the authoritarian secret of all methods of imprisonment.”

John Berger in 2009. (Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Today the vast majority of people, trapped by the manufactured illusion of speed, are in their cells, quickly texting and calling and checking to see if they’ve missed anything as time flies by.

Much is said about various types of environmental pollution, but the pollution of speed and its effects on mind and body are rarely mentioned, except to express gladness for more speed.  The rollout of 5G technology is a case in point. Mental and physical health concerns be damned.

Back in the 19thcentury, when space and time were being first “conquered” by the camera, telegraph, and telephone, these inventions were described as flying machines. Time flew, voices flew, images flew. Soon the phonograph and film would capture and preserve the “living” voices and the moving images of the living and the dead.

It was scientific spiritualism at its birth. Today’s comical research into downloading “consciousness” to conquer death by becoming machines is its latest manifestation.

That the clowns behind this speed culture are growing rich on this research at our elite universities that are funded by the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies doesn’t make people howl with sardonic laughter puzzles me. Laughter’s good; it slows you down.  I just had a good laugh reading an article about scientists wondering why new research “suggests” that the universe may be a billion years younger than they thought. I love their precision, don’t you? 

My students, in their learned helplessness and desire to be told what to do, have often asked me how long their term papers should be, and when I tell them probably 37 and one-half words, they look at me with mouths agape. 

“What do you mean?” one finally asks.  I tell them that writing 37 and a half words is much faster than having to think slowly as you write, and when you have nothing left to say, to just stop.  A fast 37 and a half words solves the thinking problem.  “Maybe you can text me your paper,” I often add, even though I don’t do texting.

Totalitarianism in Technology

On a more serious note, a lifelong student of speed (dromology), the brilliant French thinker Paul Virilio, has shown how speed and war have developed together and how totalitarianism is latent in technology.  Few listen, just as they did not listen to Jacques Ellul, Lewis Mumford, Neil Postman, and others who warned of the direction technology was taking us. Nuclear weapons are the supreme technological “achievement,” of course, devices that can eliminate all space and time in a flash.

They work fast.  Virilio says,

“The speed of the new optoelectronic and electroacoustic milieu becomes the final void (the void of the quick), a vacuum that no longer depends on the interval between places or things and so on the world’s very extension, but on the interface of an instantaneous transmission of remote appearances, on a geographic and geometric retention in which all volume, all relief vanish.”

Airman remotely follows moving target during a 2016 training mission at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. (Air Force/Christian Clausen)

As I write, I look down at my wristwatch lying on the desk and laugh.  My sister gave it to me after her husband died.  He had won it as a member of the Villanova track team that won the four-man, two-mile, relay at the famous Coliseum Relays in Los Angeles in near world record time. 

Young men whose bodies were in motion to move across terra firma as fast as possible. No drugs produced in a technological chemical factory to aid them. No gimmicks.  Just bodies in motion, unlike today.  It is an analog watch that must be wound every day when the sun rises.  But my brother-in-law never wound it because he never used it. He was saving it as a stashed-away memento in some sort of suspended time.

I like it because it always runs a bit slow, unlike the Villanova flashes.  I like slow.

Control by Elites

In a brilliant book written in 1999 before the hyper-speed era was fully underway – “Speaking Into The Air: A History of the Idea of Communication” John Durham Peters, while not especially focusing on the issue of speed and technology as does Virilio, indirectly explores the fundamental issue that underlies technology and its control by the elites. 

The problem with technology is that it is the use of a technique applied to physical things to control those who don’t control the machines. Today, that is the internet and digital technology, controlled by those Virilio calls “the global kinetic elites.”

Many readers might remember the iconic line from the film “Cool Hand Luke” with Paul Newman: “What we have here is failure to communicate.”  That is our issue.  How to communicate, and to whom, and who controls our means and speed of communication. Speed kills genuine communication, which may be its point.

Waxwork of Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” Madame Tussauds Hollywood. (Jeff Christiansen via Flickr)

Here’s what Peters has to say about the new media of the 19thcentury.

“Media of transmission allow crosscuts through space, but recording media allow jump cuts through time.  The sentence for death for sound, image, and experience had been commuted.  Speech and action could live beyond their human origins. In short, recording media made the afterlife of the dead possible in a new way.  As Scientific American put it of the phonograph in  1877: ‘Speech has become, as it were, immortal.’ That ‘as it were’ is the dwelling place of ghosts.”

Despite our advanced technology today, we still die, but we live faster, which is not to say better. We live faster until modern medicine makes our dying slower.  Speed grants us the illusion of control, an illusionary sense of stop-time in the midst of techno-time, digital time, pointillistic time where so much is happening simultaneously across the internet and we “have” it at our fingertips. 

Awash in cultural nostalgia that gives us a frisson of false comfort, we scroll the past as fast as we can.  In the small town where I live, urbanites come in droves for nostalgia and create hyper-gentrification.  I see them rapidly walking the country roads talking from their cells as bird song, rustling leaves, and lapping water passes them by, the technology serving as a shield from reality itself.

To realize that the Internet was developed as a weapon and has killed our sense of flesh and blood natural time to exploit us through speed should be obvious, though I suspect it isn’t. 

‘Split Screen Marketing Trick’

 (YouTube)

The invention and control of the Internet by the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, and their allies in Silicon Valley, as Yasha Levine chronicles in “Surveillance Valley,” is a fundamental problem that deserves focused attention.  However, who can slow down enough to focus?  As he says, “American military interests continue to dominate all parts of the network, even those that supposedly stand in opposition.” 

This includes Tor and Signal, two encrypted mobile phone and internet services highly touted by journalists, political activists, and dissidents for their ability to make it impossible for governments to monitor communication. 

Levine writes,

“While Internet billionaires like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg slam government surveillance, talk up freedom, and embrace [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden and crypto privacy culture, their companies still cut deals with the Pentagon, work with the NSA and CIA, and continue to track and profile people for profit.  It is the same old split-screen marketing trick: the public branding and the behind-the-scenes reality.”

The Internet is, as he argues, an “old  cybernetic dream of a world where everyone is watched, predicted, and controlled.”  It is also where you are reading this, another article that will fast disappear from your mind as a stream of more urgent articles rush into print to push it aside.

We are homeless modern minds now, exiled from earth time, and if we don’t rediscover our way back to a slow contemplation of our fate and the ontological reality of human being itself, I’m afraid we are speeding into the void.

Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He states: “I write as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. I believe a noncommittal sociology is an impossibility and therefore see all my work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding.”   This article was first published on his  website edwardcurtin.com. 

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19 comments for “Speeding into the Void of Cyberspace as Designed

  1. Gary Corseri
    June 3, 2019 at 22:23

    Kudos (again) to Ed Curtin for this beautifully/powerfully rendered attempt to capture this speeding moment of time–to frame it in memorable prose (and sometimes poetry) so that we can briefly hold it, ponder it, realize what’s at stake, what is threatened and being lost. There is, in fact, much to ponder here–from the technological conquest of space in the 19th and 20th centuries to the conquest of time itself in the 20th and 21st centuries. And if we have surrendered time and space (space-time) to forces beyond our comprehension and control…where do we “humans” stand now–what dusty texts can guide us, can even Nature guide us, amidst these shifting poles of virtual realities? Curtin’s perspective is historical, journalistic (probing), sociological, psychological and educative–in fact, all probing. “How beset we were…with what we had been taught,” great modern poet Kenneth Patchen wrote during the “Beat” era, when passionate sages wondered what wild forces had been unbridled with nuclear holocaust? We are even more “beset” now–having been “taught” so much more, having understood so much less….

  2. June 3, 2019 at 20:45

    Another Speeding into the Void:
    Several months after 9/11 George W. Bush sent the Dancing Israeli Spies arrested the same day for celebrating while filming the towers from the riverside, back to Israel. The Photos were found and they told the police while arrested “But, we are on your side we are Israelis”. (Those first reports were from observers who thought they were Arabs) Well, the last report I read about it was they said on a talk show in Israel something like “We were sent to record the event.”

    It turned out many intel agencies around the world knew the attack was coming including our own but so far none has been caught with such detailed knowledge. Did Israel want to send a message to Bush who’s father was doing business with the Bin Ladens that you better not get to the bottom of this because we know that you knew too? The Book, The secret War Against the Jews, details with documents how Israel used Blackmail against the big powers who helped Nazis escape and more to vote in the UN for the recognition of Israel.

    This has been a super sensitive subject too much for any follow up by anyone I can tell. I chalk it up to the Safety of Omission and am open to any discussion or new reports. Could this have been what Trump who often gets facts confused claimed he read about Arabs celebrating in the US that day but was never verified?

  3. Tom Kath
    June 3, 2019 at 20:10

    I thank Edward Curtin for inspiring some very intelligent thought and discussion on the concepts of freedom and manipulation. I am also glad my analogy of the “battery hens” has added to it.
    D W Bartoo mentions the classical “Lemming” phenomenon which highlights the dominant concern being to join the mob. – My preferred study is not why they do so, but rather why the very few DON”T.

  4. Brian James
    June 3, 2019 at 18:15

    February 26, 2019 The Empire: Now or Never

    Many people I talk to seem to think American foreign policy has something to do with democracy, human rights, national security, or maybe terrorism or freedom, or niceness, or something. It is a curious belief, Washington being interested in all of them. Other people are simply puzzled, seeing no pattern in America’s international behavior. Really, the explanation is simple.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51174.htm

  5. Richard Kean
    June 3, 2019 at 14:29

    Correction to picture title:
    Waxwork of Paul Newman in “Butch Cassidy…,” Madame Tussauds Hollywood.

    • June 3, 2019 at 20:36

      That wax kid in the prison looks real as hell.

  6. June 3, 2019 at 10:32

    Putin has, more than once, referred to the Internet as a CIA tool.

    I love the Internet, but I see what he means.

    All of us have become like good Catholics from the MIddle Ages, regularly going to the Confessional, doing so completely voluntarily ad letting the people who ruled their lives know their most intimate secrets.

  7. OlyaPola
    June 3, 2019 at 09:23

    “Do battery hens in cages or gold fish in a bowl KNOW that they are being manipulated?”

    From experiments it has been established that many including battery hens and goldfish perceive that they are constrained and CAN perceive that they are being “manipulated”. Examples of this include but is not restricted to electrified fencing whether this carries a live current or not.

    More salient pathways in research tend to investigate what they do when the perceive they are being “manipulated” which tend to be functions of perception of benefit derived by their complicity in such manipulation, modulated by their assay of reliance on beliefs/hopes.

    Consideration should also be given to the linear spectrum of coercion from propaganda to more “intense” forms of torture; a pertinent example being the evaluated experience and tactics/training based there upon of the SD and its related “think tanks” which became associates of CIC in 1945 which was subsequently incorporated into the CIA, and subsequently created the BND as a “joint venture”.

    The practice of requiring “intelligence” co-operation as a condition of “independence” of colonial territories continues to be widespread

    In relation to experiments the SD and its related “think tanks” in respect of speeding into voids, the most pertinent example would probably be the restructuring of the processes in Treblinka during the late summer of 1942 under Mr. Stangl and the co-ordinated training methods and practises derived through Trawniki and elsewhere.

    According to research papers sometimes refered to as the Trawniki papers, in general on arrival at the platform in Treblinka after experiencing a increased level of stress due to being generally transported in cattle wagons, although some from the “west” including the Netherlands arrived in normal railway carriages, an amount of decreased level of stress of “the cargo” led to an increase in “hope”.

    The purpose of all subsequent practice was the management/oscillation of hope through various tasks/tempos to increase acquiescence.

    The old, the infirm and anyone perceived to be a potential factor of delay were taken on entry to the lazaret and generally shot and burnt in pits.

    The rest of the “cargo” was divided by sex, handed in any valuables and undressed.

    The tempo and ferocity of coercion gradually increased during this process, and if required during this process a limted number of the “cargo” were chosen for temporary tasks in Treblinka before being subject to further “processing”.

    Typically men were processed first and women and children later.

    The transition point of the transcendence of hope by a “useful” level of acquiescence tended to be in the branch covered funnel leading to the gas chamber, the transition being encouraged by increasing tempo and ferocity of coercion including whipping.

    One of the prime reasons for restructuring was the “inefficiency” of processing the corpses/pieces, but the designers of restructuring took a holistic view in addressing all processes in the system, with the result that in circa 15 months between an extimated 700,000 to 900,000 people were exterminated.

  8. art guerrilla
    June 3, 2019 at 09:02

    guess i am persona non grata here, nothing new, but i cast my message in a bottle forth:
    1. o-h-h-h-k-a-y, can’t disagree with a lot of the analysis, but is in sore need of editing down, not to mention too many flights into weird free-verse academic gobbledygook…
    2. something to always keep in mind which affects ALL public issues and discussions about them: approximately 25% of our nekkid ape brothers and sisters are Authoritarians… similarly to what the previous poster said, they WANT a Big Daddy to tell them what to do, who to hate, who to like, who to kill… life is a LOT simpler that way: latch on to the biggest, meanest, ‘most successful’ (offspring wise) nekkid ape (chances are pretty good a sociopath/psychopath), and do what he does, say what he says, etc… they are an impediment to ANY/all change…
    3. not just the pace of change, but the qualitative nature of it which -to my way of thinking- starts whenever/wherever nekkid apes decide to group together like king rats and go against the ‘natural order of things’… i don’t think we -at this point- CAN live sustainably in the cancers upon the landscape we call cities… it is a vain artifice which is NOT sustainable (on any number of levels) after a certain size is reached…
    it is the number one cause of most nekkid apes having lost touch with nature, natural cycles, and successful methods of living on this planet… big cities are inherently dependent upon the sacrifice of a LOT of other ‘externalities’ to maintain them on life support…
    for example, livestock were not meant to be raised in the artificial, over-populated, factory-farm methods that are commonly used… simply are not meant for that…
    10 000 pigs in one lot with a constantly increasing poo lagoon associated with it is fucking insanity begging for any number of disasters to INEVITABLY occur… but 10 000 pigs spread across 100 family farms is a nearly perfect closed system which can beneficially use the waste to replenish the nutrients of the soil, which feeds the pigs, which poop on the soil, which provides an optimal medium for the plants to grow, which feed the pigs, who poop on the soil, which feeds the plants, etc, forever and ever, amen…
    but, no, stoopid nekkid apes are smelling themselves too much, they are above living with the land, paying mind to the soil, giving their pwecious, pwecious time to mental masturbation, rather than rote work to sustain life…
    we’re beyond that, right ? ? ?
    *snort*

    • DW Bartoo
      June 3, 2019 at 16:04

      Well snorted, art guerilla.

      Although I would suggest that many rural regions, in the U$, are “sacrifice zones” quite as much as many cities that were once manufacturing areas, and those rural areas are now no longer self-sufficient even as many of the family farms, you rightfully credit as being sustainers rather than drainers, are in hock and in thrall to a financial system, indeed an entire economic system gone quite amuck.

      Among the things list over the last half century are reservoirs of knowledge, that is individuals and communities that actually know how to do practical and genuinely useful things.

      Just as so much of the manufacturing capacity of the nation was, profitably for the few, “offshored”, so too has corporate farming drained true capacity and knowledge off of the land.

      Suppose the war mongers manage to get their heartfelt wish, that multiple wars break out and the price of fuel triples, the cost of everything, as well as its availability, in supermarkets, as we are pursuing food for thought, will rise dramatically.

      Lots of hungry, ill-tempered chickens (feathered bipeds and even some featherless ones) will be coming home to roost.

      That would be very unsettling.

      However, imagine the chagrin and hysteria were the internet to go down, were cell phones to become worthless paper weights?

      I know, there is a whole segment of rugged survivalist types who assume that they could “protect” their “own”, blazing a trail of glory (gore) through a simpering flock of sheepish nekkid snowflakes, presumably after their supplies run low, but if the war fever reaches a “sufficient” temperature, even those who know how to grow things will discover that everything, including their own sweet selves will have taken on a certain “glow”.

      Not to mention that a genuine nuclear winter would mean that, pretty much, the Sun won’t shine no mo’.

      Even Blackwater, or whatever they will call themselves cannot command loyalty if there ain’t nothing to eat, except each other … At that point, the head psychopath might just begin to look like a big fat ham, and many little sociopathic hangers-on might just conclude that Great Leader goofed up (and off) in a really really big way.

      But yes, a closed loop sustainable agriculture that made use of all things in the cycle, a very ancient awareness, actually, would still have respect in a sane, humane, and sustainable society.

      But, then, of what use would be kings and celebrity?

      What future would they serve as role models?

      Especially if they had no practical understanding, merely “pragmatic” Machiavellian tendencies of the most pathological sort.

      Who would want to have such beings around?

      After ten thousand years of “civilization”, maybe hoi paloi have begun to see the light?

      At least sufficient to perceive that empires do not end well, and usually behave very badly before even beginning to shuffle off … slouching toward Armageddon.

  9. TomG
    June 3, 2019 at 09:00

    In this (ridiculous) Twitter world and big data driven madness, Mr. Curtain offers us an alternative path–the contemplative path which truly does allow for appreciation of the beauty of this world while at the same time keeping us astutely aware of the lies and manipulation that abound and pass as public policy. A refreshing read for this Monday morning…

  10. Skip Scott
    June 3, 2019 at 06:11

    I had the extreme pleasure of taking a private float trip through the Grand Canyon in the fall of 2009. 14 people for 21 days. No internet, no phone, no TV, no news- just waking next to the Colorado river, and floating through the Grand Canyon for 3 weeks. It was a glimpse of real sanity. The change everyone on that trip experienced in consciousness was overwhelming, and none of us were quite ready to re-enter the “real” world when it was over. We all wanted to go back to the “put-in” and just keep living that life.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.- Jiddu Krishnamurti

    • DW Bartoo
      June 3, 2019 at 16:09

      Why am I not surprised that you are familiar with Krishnamurti, Skip Scott?

      Perhaps you should take another such journey, take along a camera crew, and share your experience with the many who just might find a reality “show” of such nature, to be of crucial and enlightening significance.

      Beyond that, all I can say is; supreme good on you!

      • Skip Scott
        June 5, 2019 at 07:21

        Hi DW-

        The crux of the impact of such a trip is that it slows down your mind and makes you constantly attend to the present moment. Turning it into a movie would never have the same impact. It is something that must be experienced directly.

        I look forward to doing it again someday. It takes getting lucky in a lottery, or having a friend get lucky and invite you on their trip. Then it takes a bit of preparation to be outfitted for that length of time. I’ve been tied up being a caregiver for the past several years, but I hope to spend more time running rivers in the years to come.

  11. Tom Kath
    June 3, 2019 at 00:03

    Do battery hens in cages or gold fish in a bowl KNOW that they are being manipulated?
    Even if they did, they would quite legitimately argue that they are actually better off than wild birds.
    People actually fear real freedom more than anything else. – Having to fend for yourself and taking full responsibility and consequences for everything that might happen to you!

    • June 3, 2019 at 07:03

      They could argue they are better off, but there would be nothing legitimate about it.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 3, 2019 at 08:35

      Perhaps, Tom Kath, it is less about “fending” for oneself and more about engaging in critical thought?

      And, having engaged in that process, daring to share what one has learned or discovered with others.

      We live in a society which aggrandizes “self”, the mad, vicious scramble to he king or queen of the mountain, to accrue obscene wealth and wield limitless power, both of which reflect not capacity but rather primitive fear and very poor social behavior.

      In fact, our society is all and ever about “teaching” people their “proper place” in a pecking order of a chicken coop run by carnivores, as the chickens are egged on by mythological beliefs that they, very democratically, get to decide their own fate by voting for the least evil carnivore to set policy and make the rules.

      Of course there is no time nor place for any consideration of the nature of things.

      However, it is a bit disconcerting to occasionally grasp the fleeting notion, or nagging qualm, that, like goldfish, our happy little world might, through neglect, become so befouled, as to no longer sustain our closed and confined existence.

      As well, the carnivore in charge of the coop maintains “order” and patriotic allegiance simply by telling the chickens that the outside world is infinitely dangerous and full of very dangerous, murderous and deadly tyrannical carnivores who would love to sink their toothies into the tender, succulent many in an orgy of domination designed to destroy the superlative system devised solely for the benefit of the chickens who enjoy levels of freedom that are most terribly hated by a universe full of evil monsters.

      It is all rather clever, but it requires a religiously enforced prohibition of critical thought which is best achieved through circuses, gladiatorial games, and mesmerizing electronic diversions.

      Herd of the flock instinct?

      Lemming tell you all aboot it.

      • June 3, 2019 at 09:56

        Sadly true. And all too closely connected is the militarism that is the beating heart of capitalism. We thank soldiers! We call those who volunteer for Murder, Inc. “heroes”! We worship those who murder and main children! What a sick society we’ve created.

        • June 3, 2019 at 11:56

          Thank you, Rosemary. When people stare at my Veterans for Peace cap, then ask if I “served,” I say “I served my time; but I’m not a Hero; I didn’t burn villages and kill women and children.”

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