First you must learn the things which The State appears to want to teach you. Then you must learn (under your own guidance) what The State is and why. Bearing in mind that additional information, you eventually learn what it really is that The State has taught you, and why, and what you have become as a result, and only then are you in a position to begin to learn, really, what The State actually is: the Aggregation of every possible variant of You working against Yourself on behalf of a parasitical “elite”. Never forget the tautological aspect to what is commonly thought of as Progress: the weight-lifter who exercises in order to be strong enough to lift heavier weights. We are Sisyphus in a hamster-wheel.
Ask yourself this: is Life really better for us now than it was in the early 1990s? Who among us wouldn’t go back (and not just because we were younger then) if we could?
Is Twitter really worth the many-layered nightmare we’re living through?
Let’s carefully re-consider a few things we are encouraged (by relentless brainwashing) to get incredibly wrong and, in the careful re-considering, help to keep Truth honest and our brains from turning into catshit…
1 THE RACE TRICK
While some of us have just, this past decade or so, discovered that it’s “open season on Blacks,” in America, I’ve known it since I was a kid… it’s one of the first History Lessons I was taught… and, if anything, because of the pervasiveness of cameras/ social media, it (State Sanctioned Melaninocide) is both more visible, now, and probably a little less prevalent than it once was. When I was a kid, in the ’60s, there were LOTS of places, as far North as you please, that were absolute No-Go zones if you weren’t White. You might simply disappear. If you were non-White and of my generation, this was such common knowledge that it bordered on being banal, like being wary of the bayou at night because of the alligators. It’s nothing new… it’s centuries old. Why do you think the US military gets away with murdering so many brown-skinned people, every day, during these past couple of decades of illegal occupations of invaded territories of The Third World? Same thing. No difference. Does it only hurt if the murdered non-White is an American…? It shouldn’t.
But let’s focus on domestic effects for a bit.
I was born in ’59, in the segregated semi-South (Los Angeles) and moved with family to Chicago (the segregated Midwest) pretty much in time to become legally human, in American terms, at the age of five. My experience has been a surrealist kaleidoscope of Felliniesque set-pieces of day-glo Racism in every flavor, from patronizing compliments on my ability to speak English to friendly concern over my inability to play basketball to spittle-flecking hatred delivered from a curly-haired teen-ginger named “Gallagher,” from atop his horse, thankyouverymuch, in the middle of the desert, in Vegas, in c. 1974 (I was walking home from high school at the time) and though that one was the funniest, it was far from the worst. The complicating twist being that I’m quite “mixed,” demographically, and looked a little too ethnically ambiguous (Puerto Rican? Egyptian? from Brazil?) as a kid and so I took as much shit from the “Black” side of America’s psychotic, phenotype-obsessed divide as I took from the “White”. Which helped me to develop a rather balanced view of things. Which I can encapsulate…
The next time a well-meaning American hand-wringer sighs, “O whatever shall we do about racism?” say this: HAVE YOU CONSIDERED ENDING SEGREGATION, EINSTEIN? MIGHT HELP!
It’s a little like the formerly-trendy Eating Disorder Issue of the later early-2000s. American hand-wringers were sighing “O what shall we do about eating disorders among our young girls?” while strangely and conveniently ignoring the fact that young girls are the targets of a precision assault of 24/7/365 Media Commands to gorge and guzzle salty/ sugary/ super-rich chemical snacks in order to be FUN and COOL and YOUNG and BELONG while also being hit with 24/7/365 Media Commands to be Competitive Sex Objects (aka Skinny and Fit) in order to be FUN and COOL and YOUNG and BELONG. No Cog Diss mindfuck there.
Well, you get the Analogy with the mixed virtue-signals Liberalish America has been broadcasting since the Murrkkan People made a show of pretending to absorb its former cattle into the greater body of its citizenry. Right?
Like, explain, please, the General White American attitude that a Black Male who is polite, clever, punctual, well-educated, literate and constitutionally averse to violence or crime is *Inauthentic* or (demotically speaking) a Tom or an Oreo or maybe just Gay (which, of course, there’s nothing wrong in being but maybe some sexually insecure adolescent males wouldn’t want to be read that way merely because they aren’t rapey) …? Ask yourself if the much-invoked so-called “Black Community” could make sense, as a concept, without Powerfully-Enforced and Tacit Rules of Segregation… ?
(Shit: too complicated.)
(Maybe it would help if this were read in Sam Jackson’s most cartoonishly black-phallus-prosthetic, post-antebellum, MF voice…?)
I mean: keep on making a fetish of Othering us if it makes you happy but…
Could the average American city/town/neighborhood/church/swimming pool/ fitness center/ shopping mall/ dating service/ record label/ publishing house/ modeling agency/ real estate office/ stables/ resort/ pet shop/ fast food restaurant or sitcom BE (imagine the cadences of Chandler Bing here) more segregated?
Seriously, folks! It’s staring us right in the phenotypes!
America is still GROTESQUELY segregated. Mentally and physically.
Racism will NEVER recede until Segregation stops… so stop waiting for things to go the other way around. Groups that self-isolate from certain other groups develop weird misapprehensions about those “other” groups. Black Americans have developed weird mythologies about White Americans and vice-versa (sorry, other Other Groups, we have to deal with THESE Two for now).
Moving freely between and among BOTH of these “races”… America’s Montagues and Capulets (or the 21st century’s Hatfields and McCoys)… I know this stuff.
Each side has the “Other” side totally wrong. Live together for a few generations and let the Race-scales fall from your eyes.
That’s all I wanted to say.
(You may now all resume burning shit down… or unifying against world-impoverishing corporatism instead?)
2 THE VIRUS TRICK
To those calling for “fact checking” Social Media content when it comes, specifically, to “Corona”: are you insinuating that A) the owners of ( investors in) powerful Media Platforms should be more aggressive in propagating self-serving (bottom-line-protecting) Propaganda or are you B) naively asserting a belief in the self-evident sacredness of Objective Truth and how these powerful Media Platforms are dedicated to protecting it?
What people are very cleverly encouraged to forget is that 1) Mass-Media-distributed “Information,” 2) the Health Care/Pharmaceutical Industries and 3) Political Institutions are all generously-funded, for-profit structures with billions at stake. None of these institutions can be considered uncorrupt gifts from God or disinterested natural features of the world; all answer to the goals and needs of their most powerful constituents… ergo: why the default trust in them (to the extent that a “fact check” from any corporate authority, with a financial conflict of interest to hide, is being called for)?
Consider the magnitude of the naivety of requiring Social Media to “fact check” posts that may, themselves, be fact-checking efforts to correct deceptive/manipulative “information” propagated by corrupt Social Media corporations with self-serving goals. Again: why are these corporations suddenly above reproach? Because they’re powerful?
Further: are Scientists/ Physicians/ Researchers on fixed incomes that will never vary depending on the trends they follow or refute… or is the actual state of things the exact opposite? Again: how can the profit-motive be discounted when lockstep consensus bulldozes reasonably skeptical critique?
The best “fact-checking” defense would hinge on a well-educated electorate without an infantilized/ paternalizing trust in Authority to hinder it. A certain amount of sophistication (re: the ways of a deeply corrupted world) is required. Obvious buffoons (like Trump) aren’t the sole (or biggest) threats. The most damaging con-men are the ones who are best at engendering Trust, no?
How can we spend more than 40 years on this planet and not know this…?
3 THE SCIENCE TRICK
Journalists and/or Essayists who report or pronounce on matters of Science need to understand the Science they are writing about; I’m only a (moderately well-educated) layman and the “Science” reporting on two general topics… Evolution and Viruses… sets my teeth on edge. The common error: implications of intent.
Natural selection is not intent-controlled or goal-driven… it’s a structural process informed heavily by the randomness of overall conditions (eg: a given population of largely light-colored moths won’t work at becoming dark-colored moths to blend in with the surface upon which they tend to cling: the light ones are merely more likely to be eaten before they can reproduce; the dark ones more likely to survive in order to pass on their genes: in time, this moth-population, wholly oblivious to the process, becomes dark enough to blend with the background and reduce the likelihood of being eaten)… and now with all this talk about viruses afoot, I have to read nonsense like this:
“Unfortunately, while statistics can be used to evaluate the effects of this or that measure after the fact, they cannot predict the behaviour of a living organism, a virus. A virus seeks to spread, not to kill, which it unintentionally does when the species in which it nests does not yet have appropriate antibodies. No virus will eliminate any species, including humans, because if it killed them all, it would disappear with them.”
While I agree with the overall sentiment of this (anti-Neil Ferguson) essay from which this passage is selected, the truth is: A) viruses are quasi-living, or living-adjacent, structures at best B) viruses don’t have minds, goals, intentions, plans, fears, hopes or senses with which to gather info about conditions within their hosts. Viruses are simply defined as “infective agents that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat”, Viruses don’t try to kill their hosts, or try to avoid killing their hosts… they are as sentient as the calk accumulating in a water-boiler or the sugar that somehow gets into a gas tank to fuck a vehicle up.
So much “Science” writing ends up with a Creationist, or Animist, flavor, owing to slipshod verb-choice and sloppy thinking. The target audiences are getting the Wrong Ideas, unintentionally, on top of all the Wrong Ideas they are quite intentionally given.
BONUS (you will need 30 minutes to read the following thread carefully
Legacy Queer Sci Fi writer Samuel Delany posted a reference to the Space-X launch of a manned rocket, on his Facebook, a few days ago, and I posted a response, whereupon a few of his friends jumped in. Remember: every participant in this thread lived through Vietnam, Nixon, Iran Contra, WMD and everything else. And yet…
May 31 at 11:41 AM ·
This space docking is going on right now, with a Russian crew joined, as I understand it, by some Americans. The George Floyd demonstrations are in their 4th day—kind of like the first Sputnick [sic] going up on the same weekend that the schools were having the white protests in the south over integration. The racial situation has shifted, but that was still able to [help] put  in the White House; I’m just hoping we can pry him out in a few months and make him a one-term dictator’s apprentice.
Steven Augustine A major step in the necessary process preparatory to realizing return-(wo)manned flights to the Moon. As a kid who was raised on Sci Fi, this is spine-tingling stuff for me. The Apollo program was (fake) Cold War nonsense and Space-X exposes it as such: the key is advanced *precision* computer-control of every vital function. Fifty years later, we FINALLY have the tech (I will ignore the question of what will happen to the Moon after we start visiting regularly… for now I’ll just play a giddy Geeky Innocent)…
Samuel Delany For the 68 [sic] Apollo landing I was at Roschdale College in Toranto . It was still pretty heady stuff, and it made it into my novel 𝘋𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘯. The moon—as [the] Kid[d] says—has never looked the same. Believe me, though some thought it might have been a hoax, there was nothing fake about that news. And if that change had not occurred, we wouldn’t be this close to doing it again*.
@Ron Drummond Carl Freedman Steven Shaviro
Steven Augustine The launches were real… the landing and return were technically impossible at the time, I feel. Guidance tech was still quite crude (aim and shoot and joystick it toward glory)… as was computer tech and everything else. The key, I believe, may well coil in the preposterous fact that NASA was run by a high-ranking Nazi (slave labor at Peenemuende and all that)! Laugh. The “Right Stuff” was Cold War voodoo… anyway, I think Space-X may well be on the verge of making honest spacefarers of us all.
- [editor’s note: a Ron Drummond initially commented here but deleted the comment, to which I responded…]
Steven Augustine @Ron Drummond I’ve done quite a bit of reading on the topic, and casually believed in the official narrative for most of my life… until I took that closer look. Anyway, it’s no longer my thing to engage in endless back-and-forths on these matters (what difference will it make in the end?)… but it’s probably useful to note that not every skeptic is a Luddite with a 10th-century education. But, then, I believe that Shakespeare was probably Marlowe… nothing is but what is not. Power corrupts and absolute power is even more fun.
Whichever side of that old controversy you incline toward, the following is the wittiest (and most reasonable) deconstruction of that particular national myth that I’ve ever chanced upon; you can think it all hogwash, if you prefer, but the writer is extremely entertaining as he develops his arguments (and thank you for engaging respectfully): https://centerforaninformedamerica.com/moondoggie-1/
Steven Shaviro I remember seeing the tv transmissions from the first moon landing.
[editor’s note: well I guess it HAD to be real if he saw it on TV]
Steven Shaviro As for conspiracy theories about it, there’s a joke: NASA paid Stanley Kubrick to do fake footage of the moon landing; Kubrick agreed, but he insisted, for the sake of seeming authenticity, that he had to shoot the footage on the moon itself
Carl Freedman Steven Shaviro Kubrick might have done it that way. But the filmmaker who I think would DEFINITELY have done it that way is Herzog.
Steven Augustine Carl Freedman Even better: Godard would have saved them billions in production costs by using an ironic intertitle card citation from HG Wells instead of a landing sequence.
Ron Drummond Sure thing, Steven A. You say you took that closer look, past tense, but the available information and evidence is bottomless. You would need to keep on taking a broadening and deepening look. I lived through the moon program, my father was a top scientist at Boeing whose work contributed to the effort, the moon program was built up in stages, you would need to delve deeply into Gemini, which was the proving ground for most of the component capabilities, among many many other things. I’ve been studying this off and on my entire life, so please don’t dismiss my perspective — you don’t even know me. There is nothing remotely problematic with the capabilities they developed. It was a heroic effort, an incredibly difficult one, and a heroic accomplishment. You appear to be unwilling to reconsider your conclusion.
There is such a thing as conspiratorial thunk, and however smart you are you appear to have the bug. All humans are self-deluding to one extent or another, you and me included, so I try to be compassionate towards others and myself and recognize that individual persons can be smart in some areas and less so in others, and the particular mix is different for each person — which keeps it interesting, for sure. Again, I honor you for your enthusiasm, but take care to avoid settling on the scenario that appeals to you most before the evidence is thoroughly and neutrally examined. It is far too easy to contour one’s investigations to affirm one’s expectations. As for the video you linked to, rhetoric is sneaky, and it’s possible to build up what appears to be a convincing case based on nothing but straw and the gaps between data points and highly skewed selectivity, which is the case throughout that video and others like it. Every narrative leaves out far more than it includes, by definition; the question is, what are they choosing to include, and what are they choosing to leave out. We are always in particular danger of taking our anxieties and fears and hopes and desires and expectations and imprinting them onto the gaps and silences that surround us and permeate existence.
Steven Augustine @Ron Drummond “All humans are self-deluding to one extent or another, you and me included, so I try to be compassionate towards others and myself and recognize that individual persons can be smart in some areas and less so in others…”
I feel precisely the same way, Ron, and, in the interest of avoiding a 5km thread of zero-sum back-and-forth on this topic, I only ask that we agree to do away with the debate-prejudicing propaganda-buzzword “conspiracy theory” and its corollary forms. Because, linguistically, it’s as vague as the term “criminality theory” would be. A “conspiracy” is not, by definition or default, an artefact of delusional thinking: there is a busy wing of the criminal justice system named after the practise, after all. The darkside of any advanced civilization (or Empire) is necessarily webbed with ongoing conspiracies great and small…
So: A) It’s most fruitful to divide any “Apollo” debate into two parts, I feel: the terrestrial component (plausible) and the lunar component (an extraordinary claim). The terrestrial component… launching the massive Saturn Five with payload and putting the payload into LEO: perfectly do-able with 1960s tech. Von Braun was clearly the go-to-guy on matters of terrestrial rocketeering..
B) The terrestrial half of the question was possible, plausible and it clearly happened. It was worked on by teams of thousands for years and was witnessed (at launch) by thousands on-site and by millions (via Media) around the world. This part was both real, and psychologically important, in that it gave weight and empirical “authority” to the extraordinary event it supposedly led to: a “manned lunar landing”. Quite similar to how the building of massive (and wondrously high-tech, at the time) cathedrals were used to bolster the plausibility of claims of the existence of a Bearded, Vaguely Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant in whose name these cathedrals were built. Why go to the trouble of building Chartres for c. 30 years if Jehovah is merely a fiction, right…?
Those who accept the Mainstream Apollo Narrative probably find it difficult to believe that NASA/US GOV would go to the trouble of building a fully functional Saturn 5, and the greater project necessary to support its launch, “just” to fake a lunar landing. But I would counter that Apollo was the greatest Intelligence Mission of the 20th century (ahead, even, of the Manhattan Project in complexity and importance) and that the Global Prestige of doing the literally impossible, being “first on the Moon,” at the height of the Cold War, was easily worth the time/money/effort.
Before that, the “Soviets” came perilously close to defeating Uncle Sam in a space race the world was watching. The Alpha Dog mandate that “going to the Moon and back,” so many times, granted the US and Capitalism, was and is undeniable.
Knowing that actually going there was impossible (and knowing that, had NASA really tried, the overwhelming probability of a tragic fiasco rendered actual attempts absolutely out of the question), the technical genius of the second (lunar) half of the Apollo program went entirely into faking it. And, obviously: need-to-know compartmentalization was crucial. Further: the fact that no one was already on the Moon (nor was there a foreign net of geostationary reconnaissance satellites at the time), to confirm or deny an arrival, certainly helped.
In any case, I understand why Uncle Sam did it.
I also think that anyone seriously studying the Space-X effort, since the early 2000s, will understand, after overcoming the psychological barrier (installed when we were kids) of Cherished Belief, that a successful round trip to the Moon can only be accomplished when the pilots… and de facto systems managers… with millisecond-to-millisecond correction capability… are actually High-Powered computers.
Humans are the Idea-Guys in the chain. The jocks with the “right stuff” are actually The Robots.
The fantasy of twangy, crewcut bantams of the mid-20th century making the impossible happen with nothing but brass balls, joysticks and the implicit blessing of the Western Diety, is pure Golden Age Sci Fi … and I salute that.
(And that’s all I have left to say on it! Virtual handshake, Ron, and please enjoy your day…! We’re all in this together! SA)
Steven Augustine @Ron Drummond “As for the video you linked to, rhetoric is sneaky, and it’s possible to build up what appears to be a convincing case based on nothing but straw and the gaps between data points and highly skewed selectivity, which is the case throughout that video and others like it.”
The really peculiar thing being that I didn’t link to a video, Ron; I linked to a 14-part article on the topic. It really is worth *actually* reading, if only for the author’s wit, aversion to crypto-religious zealotry and his pleasantly reassuring grip on Logic.
* “we wouldn’t be this close to doing it again”
If we “did it” in 1969, why are we still at least a decade from “doing it” again, in 2020, despite having vastly superior technology, to what they had in 1969, to work with? The mainframe computers of that era didn’t even have the processing power of a Smart Watch. If the USA did it in 1969 (aka: the technological stone-age, when the state-of-the-art guidance system of an ICBM could only promise to get the missile within a mile or two… or a hundred… of a target that was a couple of thousand miles away), why can’t Russia, China, Japan, Germany, France, the UK or the USA do it today?
Think, people. That’s all I ask.