Saturday, May 29, 2010
That Thing We Call "Normalcy"
Current events are like a soap opera. You go away for a couple of weeks, come back, tune in, and nothing much has changed. It's as though you'd only been gone for a day... or an hour... or a minute. One almost gets the impression that the “news” is carefully parceled out at precisely the correct rate – not fast enough to cause paralyzing fear and panic, but not so slow as to cause complacency and apathy. In other words, the “fear factor” is carefully controlled... and we see this when something truly unexpected happens, like the oil leak in the Gulf. All of a sudden, the other stories disappear from the media, almost as if... well, as if they weren't all that important after all. Or – as if they were entirely made up just to “fill in” what would otherwise be a dull news cycle. We certainly see this in the print media – whenever there is a temporary lapse in “breaking news” they dig down into their reserves and come up with more conceptual, long-term stuff which is just as fear-provoking as “the news” and which has the added advantage of having a much longer half-life. However it's done, the goal is to keep the public in a more or less steady state of anxiety coupled with breathless anticipation – what's going to happen next? And – most importantly of all – how is the government going to save us from its consequences? If this were made into a cartoon, it would be an endless loop of “Boo! Just kidding. Boo! Just kidding.”... ad infinitum. And this is what people of our time seem to crave – some sort of vicarious emotional thrill ride, with all of its ups and downs and scary moments, even though we know that the roller coaster never actually jumps the track... almost never, that is – and that's what makes the system work. It's the thought that this time it might be for real... this might really be The End... and that's what makes people rush to give up their liberties and become willing wards of the state – infantilized, for all intents and purposes. The “nanny state” is always there, holding out its arms, promising to shelter us and shield us from all harm, i.e. from nasty old reality. So we become as babes – but the price is that we must remain as ignorant as babes. The real processes of the real world go on, but without any recognition by the vast majority. Most people are living in a dream (or nightmare, take your pick) world – and it's not even their own dream, but one that was created for them. So they are shielded from reality by many layers of “news”, propaganda, and just plain delusion. But this is the way they like it, apparently – since all that they do, in their own feeble way, is aimed at perpetuating the system. Try questioning the news... the propaganda apparatus... the ever-churning machinery of delusion... and the first to protest, and threaten you with violence, will be the very same people who are its main targets, and victims. This is the final victory of the controllers – that people will fight like demons to protect the delusions that they have been inoculated with by the Regime. The Regime itself doesn't have to lift a finger – it has all of its pawns, the citizens of the Servile State, to do its heavy lifting. The real revolution – if it ever happens – will occur when enough people wake up to the fact that they are prisoners of the Matrix, and opt for reality – real life – instead... with all of its risks and perils, but also with the rewards of living an authentic existence rather than consenting to being a two-dimensional cartoon character on someone else's wallpaper.