Serendipity: “The Great Orgy of Universal Nihilism”

British Writer Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

I have always loved the work of Aldous Huxley and have been reading him almost worshipfully for over fifty years. While I admire his fiction, particularly Point Counter Point (1928), I like his essays best. Several years ago, I dished out a couple hundred dollars to buy a clothbound six-volume set of his collected essays. Today I picked up one of his essays, “Revolutions,” written in Do What You Will in 1929, where I found the following:

The revolution that will then break out will not be communistic—there will be no need for such a revolution, as I have already shown, and besides nobody will believe in the betterment of humanity or in anything else whatever. It will be a nihilistic revolution. Destruction for destruction’s sake. Hate, universal hate, and an aimless and therefore complete and thorough smashing up of everything. And the levelling up of incomes, by accelerating the spread of universal mechanization (machinery is costly), will merely accelerate the coming of this great orgy of universal nihilism. The richer, the more civilized we becomes, the more speedily it will arrive. All that we can hope is that it will not come in our time.

Huxley was lucky. It came well after his death in 1963. It started with the Tea Party movement around 2009 and reached an apogee with the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016. Whether that particular individual lasts, we still have the revolutionaries in their Southern or Midwestern fastnesses.

 

 

Interdict

Why I Probably Should Not Go Into Politics

Why I Probably Should Not Go Into Politics

In Catholic Canon Law, the Pope may ban an individual person or even an entire area from participation in the rites of the church. During the Middle Ages, there were many such interdicts, especially when heresy was involved.

If I were elected President of the U.S., I would place under interdict certain Congressional Districts or even States whose voters have habitually elected Tea Party types to lead them. Instead of depriving the residents of participation in the church, however, I would cancel government contracts, prohibit certain senators and representatives from being paid, and remove accreditation from local colleges and universities. That would be tough on Maine, Wisconsin, and Kansas—but if the kids helped oust Governors LePage, Walker, and Brownback respectively, and perhaps even tar and feather them, and ride them out on a rail, it would be worth the effort.

That, of course, would be after I arranged for the messy execution of conservative pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and a few dozen others. Oh, and also most of the people associated with the Trump for President campaign.

I’m afraid I would not be a very constitutional president, but it would certainly make me feel that justice has been served.

The above image, called “Interdict,” appropriately enough, is the work of FotoN-Ike.

A Global Threat

Reprinted from The New Yorker, May 2015

Reprinted from The New Yorker, May 2015

I don’t do this very often, but I am reprinting in its entirety the Borowitz Report from The New Yorker.  When I first saw it, I laughed so hard that I am still looking for some internal organs that I spewed all over my office.

Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

Totally Out of Whack

None of These Bozos Will Make It to the White House

None of These Bozos Will Make It to the White House

There are currently so many GOP candidates for the Presidency that they could not fit into any vehicle smaller than the trailer of an eighteen-wheeler. Frankly, I don’t think I can name them all from memory. All I know about them is that they tend to say a lot of stupid things, which the echo chamber of the press magnifies until it seems that there is only one political party: The Tea Party.

As for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, no one really likes her. I don’t like her. Martine despises her. She is probably more competent to run our country than any of the Klown Kar Republicans. But she knows that everything she says will be drowned out by cries of Benghazi! E-mail! Foundation money! Why, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Faux News reveals that she had a torrid affair with Monica Lewinsky, and they probably have the dress to prove it!

Our political process has become so toxic that the only reason I vote is that I know that, if I didn’t, some Evangelical Jesus child molester will win. Gone is any Roman sense of duty. I will trudge down to the polling precinct by myself, thinking dark thoughts, while crowded church buses full of rednecks vote en masse.

Denial and Nullification

How Can We Stop Thinking of Them?

How Can We Stop Thinking of Them?

In the minds of many Americans who live in the so-called Red States, their values are under siege. They believe that what made this country great was heterosexuality, Evangelical Christianity, racial and ethnic homogeneity, unregulated gun ownership, and overall lack of government interference in their lives. Back in some Golden Age, people did not need a handout to survive. Of course, many did not survive because life was hard and old Doc Peabody just didn’t know how to do anything but dispense aspirin.

Then, over time, corporations took over the farms; and the more promising youth left for the coastal states. Those who were left behind continued to espouse the same values as their fathers. Suddenly, however, it seems that most Americans were no longer in the Grant Wood American Gothic mold. They were Black, Asian, Mexican, Muslim, Liberal, Queer, Educated, Feminists—in short “Not Our Kind of People.”

One result is the growth of a political movement to turn back the tide of history. So we have people whose main strategy is denial. Denial of science, of demographic change, of agnosticism, of the urban poor. Life for the Tea Party and their camp followers is one of nullification of what they do not understand. And since they do not try to understand anything outside their narrow orbit, it is an ultimately defeatist stance of a party in retreat.

Yesterday, I read an interesting article by Christopher S. Parker called “Whither the Tea Party? The Future of a Political Movement,” published by the Brookings Institution. Click the link labelled “Download the paper” for the complete text.

Parker does not think the Tea Party is going away soon, irrespective how many times it is bloodied at the polls:

Some may question whether or not this is really an “astroturf” [as opposed to grassroots] movement, one that wouldn’t survive in the absence of support from the Koch Brothers, or other big-money funding sources. But Tea Party membership has continued to grow over the last year. As IREHR [Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights] indicates, this was during a time when big-money donors were all but absent: 82 percent of the donations to five Tea Party affiliated organizations were un-itemized individual donations, which are capped at $200, and 97 percent of the itemized contributions to three national Tea Party affiliated Super PACs—Freedom Works for America, Patriot Super PAC, and Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund—failed to exceed $1,000. This suggests that the Tea Party movement isn’t “astroturf.” It’s a real grassroots movement, one that will likely be around a while.

As long as there are white Americans in the former Confederate States of America and Great Plains who feel disenfranchised, there will either be a Tea Party to minister to their needs. Or else, more likely over time, their needs will act as yeast in a Republican Party that has been largely taken over by their political and social agenda.

Change will not stop because it is in the interests of a large bloc of the U.S. population to halt it in its tracks. Over the long haul, there will be a continuing battle that will resemble some of the political battles of the Nineteenth Century over Free Silver and the Nativists. I expect it will be ugly, even if it is a losing battle: There will still be casualties on both sides.

 

The Real Reason Cantor Lost

Read On for My Peerless Analysis

Read On for My Peerless Analysis

This may strike you as being unscientific, but the reason Eric Cantor lost his seat in Virginia is that no one liked him. He was always a whiny presence on the Washington scene.

Of course, the fact that he may be replaced by an even more dangerous Tea-Party-type is certainly no cause for celebration. The fact is that people who live in Confederate sh*thole districts are not likely to vote for anyone who will do anything but attempt to govern by hijacking or obstructionism. We live in the Disunited States of America and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

You may recall the whole “Left Behind” Evangelical myth that, in the End Times, the saved are wafted to Paradise while everyone else has to suffer the various beasts of the Apocalypse while the saved are eating Corn Nuts and drinking Duff Beer while fluffing their wings and cheering on the Four Horsemen. I think that the people who vote for insufferable right-wing nutjobs have been “left behind” by science, the economy, technology, and everything associated with good sense. All they’re left with is Jesus and their guns.

God help the rest of us!

 

American Spring No Show

I Guess the Weather Was Inclement

I Guess the Weather Was Inclement

Today was supposed to be the day. Millions of irate patriotic Americans would descend on Washington to get rid of Barack Obama and his libtard legions. I looked at their Facebook page for clues as to what happened to this massive convergence of right-thinking Americans, and where they could have gone instead. Maybe they’re all seeing the new Godzilla instead, which opens today in Los Angeles. Or else there’s a sale somewhere on military-style assault rifles. In any case, it appears unlikely that the Obama Administration and its Kenyan Communist stooges will be supplanted by something more in line with the thinking of the psychotic masses.

In what news commentator Rachel Maddow calls “a big nutball day in Washington and Bunkerville,” confused hordes will gather to enforce American Spring’s aims, which include “Restoration of Constitutional government, rule of law, freedom, liberty ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ from despotic and tyrannical federal leadership.”  I guess Bunkerville, Nevada is where Cliven Bundy is holed up with his militia followers waiting to pounce on anyone who shows up to collect grazing fees on land his family has worked since the 7th century A.D.

The self-proclaimed official website of American Spring laid out their plans in full:

Phase 1 – Field millions, as many as ten million, patriots who will assemble in a peaceful, non-violent, physically unarmed (Spiritually/Constitutionally armed), display of unswerving loyalty to the US Constitution and against the incumbent government leadership in Washington D.C., with the mission to replace with law abiding leadership. Go full-bore, no looking back, steadfast in the mission.

Phase 2 – One million or more of the assembled 10 million must be prepared to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holder removed from office.
Consistent with the US Constitution, as required, the U.S. Congress will take appropriate action, execute appropriate legislation, deal with vacancies, or U.S. States will appoint replacements for positions vacated consistent with established constitutional requirements.

Phase 3 – Those with the principles of a West, Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Lee, DeMint, Paul, Gov Walker, Sessions, Gowdy, Jordan, should comprise a tribunal and assume positions of authority to convene investigations, recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees to the new U.S. Attorney General appointed by the new President.

At the end, there is this reassuring footnote: “*All actions in Phase 2 & 3 will be consistent with the U.S. Constitution.” Boy, that’s good to know. I was worried there for a while.

Click here to see what the Twitterati are saying about the big event.