The Collusion Delusion

Incarceration! Half the nation!
brays the dismal swamp.
Collusion like a cancer grows.
This is no Sunday romp.

If we can’t pin it on the Chief,
the Indians we’ll snare.
How dare they steal our POTUS seat,
the Deep State’s Biggest Chair.

Exogenous is dangerous.
We’re teleprompter guys.
Our money writes a killer script.
Control detests surprise.

Collusion like a virus spreads.
Outsiders don’t exist.
It’s Tweedle-Numb or Tweedle-Dumb.
Respect out vetted list!

We caught some trolls. Thirteen, in fact.
Their influence was naught.
It bumped the Parkland 18 off
the headline like a shot.

electoral collusion

Collusion is a fascinating rorschache. Any shrinks in the house? Those inside the System genuinely feel a sense of the outside world colluding against their sense of entitlement and lopsided power. Paranoia. The Russians are coming!

While many outside the System (maybe 30% of the country and growing) are increasingly aware of their profound disenfranchisement and the intense collusion that occurs at the highest levels of power to sustain this imbalance.

Cognitively, both suspicions are ‘correct’. That’s why there are now two American realities jostling within the tenuous Constitutional structure of one nation. Of course the elite manages to magnify its leverage by ensnaring half the nation in Manufactured Consent delusion (self-injury brought about by 24/7 false-consciousness propagation).

Eddie Bernays captured the essence of the Self-Harm movement (a movement he helped birth) with this amazingly elliptical and oft-cited statement:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”

To paraphrase Bernays, Democracy is a fine system as long as the voting masses are subliminally instructed regarding what lever to pull. A further perfection is to install a Uniparty system (as it’s called up here) so that all levers maintain the status quo.

Trump is an interloper. The lever-masters are apoplectic over his presidency.

But what about the captured 40% who fight the elite’s battle every day? These sad folks are like unpaid mercenaries. I’m embarrassed for them. Many of them are family members and professional acquaintances. If you want to marvel at the power of media, look at these sad sacks. The Spirit of Antichrist has colluded with their souls to vacate all reason and self-preservational instinct. God help them.

“Leave me alone. Can’t you see I’m stabbing myself to death?”

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The Collusion Delusion

Radical Curtailment: The Parameters of Imagination and Encounter

how strange

the dead tweet

That’s me above, Anonymous, leaving a comment –and receiving a response– on the very quirky, curious and highly visitable Aangirfan blog. I’ve been meaning to hash out this notion for awhile now, so here goes on the slimmest of invitations.

While I would have composed the comment more carefully (had I known I was going to memorialize it here for blogsterity), the final sentence cited by the commenter is suitable enough for government work:

We are radically curtailed in appreciating realities for which we lack prefiguring imagery.

A related line of thinking was sparked recently by my familiarity with David Paulides’ Missing 411 series of books about which I wrote a Lovecraftian analysis based around the latter’s theory of Cosmic Indifference. Human reality could be so non-intersecting with alternate realities as to inspire a firewall of indifference between us. It may even be conceding too much to allow that such entities are of a ‘higher consciousness’ as no qualitative hierarchy should attach to phenomena so radically different.

There are echoes here too of Fortean John Keel and his notions of ‘high strangeness’. Into this strange brew, I might also include Jacques Vallee whose empirical discipline (as an astrophysicist) brings forth some starkly original hypotheses having to do with UFOs being psychic manifestations or perhaps even a ‘control system’ employed by another consciousness to help guide Man’s consciousness to an alternate plane for reasons unknown. Nor must these reasons be sacrosanct or carefully conceived. They might just as easily be capricious, mischievous, malevolent, inadvertent or programmatically deceptive.

valee

The spirit of these inquiries is neatly summed up by British scientist and polymath J. B. S. Haldane (although it’s sometimes attributed to others and appears paraphrased in various forms) when he said:

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can ever imagine.

rummy

At first blush this may not seem an especially profound quote until you attempt to feel the walls i.e. start imagining just how unimaginable the unimaginable might be. Of course it’s impossible, on tautological grounds, to imagine the unimaginable. Better to ask perhaps why some aspects and realities of the universe might forever be foreclosed to human imagination. Some people resent this foreclosure, thinking it too definitive, curtailing and, well, lacking in imagination. Surely, they insist, we are capable of imagining anything, no?

I’m not so sure. (Although meditative and mystical experiences may successfully jump this track.)

Human imaginings require some reality-grounded launch-point, or as I suggested above, some toolbox of prefigured imagery. Robert Frost said all poetry is metaphor. A poetic image must embark from something familiar in order to arrive at something poetic. Poetry is the encapsulation of this journey. (Some have taken to calling it the Orphic journey, traversing the Lands of the Living and the Dead.)

Could it be that truth is an never-ending accommodation that strives to inhabit a middle ground, a bipolar oscillation? Or of you prefer Plato, material objects are matched with a companion in the Realm of Ideas. Each suggests the other. In poetry, this parallelism intrigues us, often vaulting us to fresh insights.

Imagination’s reliance upon the familiar exists across all genres of expression. Every SciFi book launches from elements of our own physical form, our cities, our egos, our desires. We are forever comparing the existence of the fictional alien race with that of our own. Neither could exist without the other.

How then could we ever imagine the radically strange, let alone behold it in an authentic encounter? David Bowie relays the Starman’s cautious message in the song of the same name: “He’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he’ll blow our minds.” 

To help form an appreciation for just how strange the strange might be, I’ll employ an extended metaphor (what else?!) using stomach bacteria.

Manna from Hardees

I’m going to imbue this particular species of stomach bacteria with a modicum of consciousness (which may anthropomorphically compromise the analogy by way of anthropomorphism. Oh well. It’ll still push us further along.)

At lunch time we pull into a McDonalds and order a Big Mac and fries. Chomping on the burger, we silently reprimand ourselves for eating such crappy food. But we’re in a hurry and there’s no time for anything else. Suffice to say we ourselves attach no great reverence to this pit-stop.

Meanwhile in another world not so far far away, the sound of our masticating jaws is greeted with great portent. Manna from Heaven is about to arrive as it always does from the great Hole in the Sky (our esophageal sphincter). The stomach bacteria have devised a complex mythology for this ritual giving-forth. Various cosmological murmurings signal these events. Their world rumbles. Just when it seems all manna is depleted, another endowment descends from the Great Hole. Is it a miracle? Nah, it’s just Arby’s for dinner.

What, in our world, passes for a rather quotidian, off-hand event the bacteria community ascribes intense religio-metaphysical significance to. Have they already over-interpolated the meaning of their existence through misapplied imagination? We’re not even at the molars yet. How soon things ran afoul.

How then could bacteria possibly imagine whole other echelons of the universe’s strange gears and pulleys; like say, manna in its pre-masticated form, restaurants where the manna/burger is sold (what’s a cash register, money?) bakeries where bread is baked (what’s a bakery, bread?), fields where the wheat is grown (what’s a field, a tractor, wheat?), the commodities exchange that transacts the sale of grain, macroeconomics, seasonalized commodity trend-lines…okay you get the picture.

We’ve had fun slapping around the vastly curtailed and cloistered life of a stomach bacteria. But Haldane is right: there is no earthly way a stomach bacteria could even begin to imagine a baker’s delivery truck. The two orders of reality are simply too structurally estranged. Metaphor fails. And yet, each divorced reality is subtly enmeshed in the other.

No doubt there are workings in this universe that are orders of magnitude beyond our greatest imaginative exertions too. Hopefully this analogy offers a thought-metric for just how strange strange might be. Pretty strange indeed, I’d say.

mcd ufo

Radical Curtailment: The Parameters of Imagination and Encounter

Coming Face to Face with Indifference

lovecraft.jpg

“Not only is the universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.” –Werner Heisenberg in ‘Across the Frontiers’

[Those who enjoy this essay may appreciate the follow-on, ‘Radical Curtailment: The Parameters of Imagination and Encounter‘]

 

I really enjoy David Paulides’ posts on Facebook. Paulides is the author and researcher responsible for the Missing 411 book series. I read his first book, Missing 411-Western United States & Canada: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans That Have Never Been Solved (2012) years ago and enjoy listening to his frequent radio appearances, especially the Coast-to-Coast ones with George Knapp (such as this).

Be sure to get the books directly from his website as there are unethical Amazon re-sellers who charge an arm and a leg for the exact same product. As with so many fresh and intriguing topics, there are a lot of copycats, especially on Youtube. Paulides’ name is exploited shamelessly by hundreds of unauthorized channels. So insist on the original. As Smokey the Bear once said (sort of), only you can prevent plagiarism. 

Which is a fitting segue to a big focus in the 411 series, the National Park System…

Paulides extensively catalogs and researches people who inexplicably vanish, often from our national parks. Many of these cases offer no easy answer. Some are downright bizarre. A retired law enforcement officer, he exercises scrupulous discipline by avoiding fanciful speculation. Just the fact’s Ma’am. In the long run, this careful approach will yield rich results.

Meanwhile for the rest of us, it’s fascinating to think outside the box and bat some ideas around, of which I’ve formulated a few. I’d like to introduce one of them by way of analogy:

One summer afternoon, a friend stops over with last minute tickets to a Redskins pre-season game for that evening. We have to move fast. My son and I jump in the car and start speeding up I-95N from Virginia probably a little too fast, our minds completely preoccupied with that night’s game. We are oblivious to the thousands of bugs meeting sudden and gruesome deaths in our car grille. It’s a war out there. Who knew? Who cared?

For all we know –and we don’t– this stretch of highway which traverses a mosquito-rich wetland has a creepy ‘Missing 411’ reputation among the local mosquito population. No one quite knows why but an inordinate number of mosquitoes vanish without a trace here. One minute they’re flying behind their fellow mosquitoes, the next minute zap! They’re gone without a trace.

Let’s speculate further that, similar to human beings, mosquitoes tend to indulge a mosquito-centric view of the universe. Clearly some sinister force cares enough to hunt mosquitoes for their inherent and undisputed value, right? In truth (and at the risk of hurting mosquito feelings everywhere), we humans are speeding along in pursuit of a highly-valued reality in our consciousness: a football game. Adding insult to injury, football is a not even a high-order phenomenon in our reality. It is a sport, mindless recreation, hardly life or death. We could just as easily have gone shopping.

From our vantage, mosquitoes are at a basement tier of collateral damage, barely an afterthought. The only time we even reflect on the bug-killing potential of our vehicles is when we’re adding antifreeze or maybe tightening a fan belt. Hey the truth hurts. 

Okay, it’s time to inject a concept, what HP Lovecraft called cosmicism which Wikipedia defines (in part) as the belief that, “humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos.”

Hmm. Mental idolatry. Interesting term. It would be a form of mental idolatry on mosquitoes’ parts to believe their feelings –and egos— bear some cosmic significance. While I can’t speak for mosquitoes, I can say that human beings are famous for thinking themselves the Masters of the Universe. This is very un-Lovecraftian.

My only nit with this definition is that it should be broadened from intergalactic to interdimensional. There’s probably a lot of stuff happening, in, through and around us in realms foreclosed to our direct sensory perception. Just ask any cat-owner. Our feline friends are notorious for darting from one side of the room to another, clearly evading something. Think too of feelings of foreboding, ‘bad vibes’, a sense of a presence in the room, our neck hairs standing up for no physically apparent reason. We’ve all experienced things that seem to engage us from an extra-sensory plane. 

Consider too the standard Hollywood alien and UFO themes where man is highly esteemed and earnestly sought after, albeit often with malevolent design. It’s an egoistic blind-spot that we must offer some value to the invaders. We are the object of their efforts for one reason or the other. We are not incidental roadkill. We matter. Lovecraft might call this mental self-idolatry

It’s hard for us to get our heads around the possibility that we might be utterly inconsequential to some higher order of existence. Moreover our deaths or disappearances at the hands of these alien entities (if such a thing is happening) arise not from intentionality (they’d have to notice us to formulate anthropic intent.) Like mosquitoes on a car grille, we simply get in the way. Even worse, they may be oblivious to snuffing us out. They may be hurtling to and from their own pressing versions of a football game. 

Recently, futurist Zoltan Istvan suggested that, given the exponential velocity anticipated for self-replicating, self-improving machine intelligence, there is every reason to speculate our 13.7 billion light-year-old universe plays host to intelligences vastly superior to our own. If that’s the case, the mosquito analogy breaks down because the intelligence differential between our two species barely registers as a blip on the cosmic scale. Ouch.

cosmicism-quote-e1517873556981.png

What if, like unfortunate birds, some of us get sucked into the equivalent of cosmic airplane engines? Here’s the real horror if you think about it, as Lovecraft so clearly did. What if Something doesn’t even notice, let alone care? What if the universe greets us with indifference every day of our lives?

Norman Ball aka Full Spectrum Domino

[Note: I feel obliged to add that I am not a Cosmicist. I am a Christian. I believe that we do have meaning and purpose and that we are under the watch and care of God. I also believe that the universe is self-organizing and that in the fullness of time our physical isolation will be superseded by a spiritual union. Still, we may be guilty of a stubborn, residual Copernicanism. We could be one center within an infinite number of convergent centers. I do not share Lovecraft’s grim pessimism. I offer this essay in the spirit of debate!]

Coming Face to Face with Indifference