So many of my old friends share in the grotesque symptoms of a massive delusion that I’m tempted to test the village well for traces of Ergot. Their minds simply no longer function as anything other than receivers for nonsensical instructions from the Sinister Screens in their “lives”. In the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s we were treated to a rich array of high-camp allegories like Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Day of the Triffids, et al, the problem being that all such films work just as well for POVs on either of the opposite sides of any Culture War debate: they can be allegories about “Commies” or allegories about “McCarthyites”. John Carpenter’s They Live transcended this problem by tightening the bolts, on the form of the allegory, so close to real Life that the buffering layer of the film’s Sci Fi elements can almost be ignored in order to focus on the overlap between the Yuppie Alien Monsters in the film and Yuppies in Real Life. There’s a comfortable distance between the Zombies in “Night of the Living Dead” and Real American McCarthyites/ Racists/ Commies (whatever target the director had in mind) but there’s nearly no distance between the brick-phone using Aliens in Carpenter’s film and the brick-phone using suits on the streets of NY and L.A. the year the film was released. As an Artist I always call for the High Ambiguity of Art but as an avid consumer of certain high-gloss crafts (masscult films of the ’60s and ’70s, a narrow range of pop, Alexander McQueen Runway shows, municipal sculpture) I like it when an Artisan takes a stand and gets specific, whether or not, in some cases, the specificity disqualifies the Artifact from being Higher Art, because a certain amount of the cultural output of (or into) The World should be instructive, I imagine. I’ve come to this conclusion late in Life because so many of my old friends have no moral compass. Or their moral compasses are deranged by a magnetic storm. They are now calibrating their senses of Right and Wrong to the unmoored POVs of Convenience of whomever is paying for Stephen Colbert and John Oliver and.. erm… (help me out here: I don’t watch Television)… AOC?… to talk to them as though they, the audience, are children.

Aren’t they? Children are naïve and malleable and trusting and eager for the affirmation of the crowd, like that, right?

Earlier today it hit me that I have never spoken the word “awesome”… I may or may not have written it once or twice (ironically, or in the act of putting it in a character’s mouth) but I could never bring myself to actually speak such a worn-out, autopilot, fourth-hand, fit-in-facelessly word. When my Son was four or five I taught him the word “preposterous” and, about thirty years later, I taught my Daughter the word “absurd”. Be an individual on that Playground, kids! Build a Self from original components! Makes it harder for Charming Fascists to use your mind for a Thumbdrive.

I posted the following (below) on FaceBook and a woman I’ve known since ’87 came at me in the comments. I made short rhetorical work of her because she clearly hadn’t spent even ten minutes, before taking me on, of thinking through the “opinion,” on the topic, that was inserted through her TV/GREY MATTER- INTERFACE. And that “opinion” was inserted in her because, as I explain below…

TFIC are constantly inventing new test-metrics in “Civil Rights” by which 95% of the nations on Earth are bound to fail, thereby writing themselves a blank check to interfere with/invade/ “open markets” in/, on “humanitarian” grounds, any of these nations. Especially those in the “Third World” (and especially wherever there happen to be massive natural deposits of, say, the rare-earth metals crucial to your smart phone). “Transgender” issues naturally belong to a micro-niche Body Dysmorphia demographic too small to register as “controversial,” even, in most places, and were properly considered a psychiatric issue until NATO/IMF/NEO NEO-LIBERAL social media forces blew them up into a supposedly pressing issue of our time, rendering Transgenderism “controversial” by pushing it as a Norm. The inevitable (completely natural and not, automatically, “hateful”) push-back will be designated as “hate speech,” discussion will be shut down, only cheer-leading will be allowed and dissidents will be liable for arrest just as the nations that don’t sign on will be liable for invasion. The perfect excuse for crushing dissidence using the police, while “opening new markets” using the military…

One can predict popular Transgender politicians in the near-future: just as criticisms of Obama could be written off as “racist” and criticisms of Hillary Clinton (and even of Margaret Thatcher) could be written off as “misogynist,” any pertinent criticism of a Transgender politician/ CEO will be dismissed as hate speech. The Old White Men running the world have cleverly decided that, very soon, using Old White Men to function as figureheads (presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, populist rodeo clowns et al) will no longer work well enough to justify the investment. (Biden needed Harris as his hall pass).

Meanwhile, how many pre-teens, of this and the next few generations, will make the terrible mistake of taking powerful artificial hormones, and undergoing destructive surgery, and ruining their lives (medical science can’t make “real” vaginas, they can only open wounds, which require life-long dilation to mimic vaginas; medical science is no closer to crafting full-function penises than it is to successful head transplants)? Just because NATO/IMF/NEO NEO-LIBERALS wanted a blank check to invade the World?

How will we protect these kids from the Brainwashers if we trust the Brainwashers as though we’re kids?

#adultSkepticism #protectiveWisdom #radicalRationality.


1-Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

@Steven Seven Augustine   the lives of the transgender people i know personally, while they are few, have been literally saved by the ability to transition. all three were suicidal most of their lives until their families supported them in their choice and they were able to become who they feel they are meant to be.

have a nice day😉


2-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal You have a nice day too, Lori, but… is it possible that cosmetic-surgery-as-therapy is a temporary fix, at best, and a weirdly-contradictory one in the context of a culture in which we’re constantly invited to love and embrace ourselves as we are? All the stats aren’t in yet… that takes time, obviously (decades)… but my point is NOT to be skeptical of your friends; my point is that maybe we, as adults, need to learn to be skeptical of an unwise, fad-obsessed and manipulative “culture” of relentless hype that privileges sound-bites and slogans over Reading/Learning/ Reflecting. This “culture” likes to talk “positively,” no matter what, but seems to be sowing death, disease, destruction and confusion wherever it takes root. Paradox? I don’t think it is.

The first question I’d put to you is: You know there are people who feel a terrible compulsion to have an arm or leg amputated, right? This is an actual thing. Would you consider such a surgical intervention helpful or even ethical?


3-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

Some info on that before you respond:

“Body integrity dysphoria (BID, also referred to as body integrity identity disorder, amputee identity disorder and xenomelia, formerly called apotemnophilia) is a disorder characterized by a desire to be disabled … “

See More

IRISHTIMES.COMThe strange cases of healthy people who want to be disabled


4-Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

@Steven Seven Augustine

 ummmm i’m not going to engage in comparing someone’s wish to live in what they feel is their authentic gender to a “terrible compulsion to have an arm or leg amputated.”


5-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal The difference between “needing” to remove a healthy leg… or a healthy penis…  is what, Lori? Psychological, yes?

6-Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

@Steven Seven Augustine

 i didn’t say it wasn’t but it’s not for me to judge a child who feels very unhappy and unable to live in their born gender and dictate that they continue their lives as that gender.


7-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal Those kids don’t need judging at all… they need protection. (And to not be exploited for someone else’s financial or arcane political gain).


8-Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

@Steven Seven Augustine

 agree. but they also need to be able to act on their personal choices.


9-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal  

“they also need to be able to act on their personal choices”

Really? All of them? As minors? Disagree completely.


10-Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

@Steven Seven Augustine

 not all of them, obviously – there are protocols, psychological tests etc, etc. but they all need to be able to explore their options and those mature enough who are actually, in their minds, the wrong gender, need to have the right to choose.



11-Steven Seven Augustine

@Lori The-Trend-Woke-Liberal

“and those mature enough who are actually, in their minds, the wrong gender, need to have the right to choose. absolutely.” If they’re 18 (or 21), sure (?).

The brain is a far-too unformed thing even at 20. Many (if not the majority) of these children who go that route will suffer terrible regret, later, and I hope (especially if they were minors at the time) they successfully sue their “doctors” for malpractice.

That’s America’s sickness: everything doesn’t start and end with the Consumer’s “right” of Choice. Just because someone *feels* they were “born in the wrong body” (whatever that can mean) doesn’t make it true and/or doesn’t mean that destructive cosmetic surgery is the best cure for that feeling.

All that feeling means, for sure, is that they’re currently unhappy… the nuances of Human Psychology prove, time and time again, that we are often *wrong* about whatever we think will make us “whole”: money, fame, a better car, a bigger house, a new name, a different lover… but those things are reversible.

America is both, in aggregate, Unwise and Insane (this is a country in which you can purchase a latte in a Starbucks full of people armed to the teeth with automatic rifles! laugh). And “trends” rule. They come and go. Mass Media carries these waves and we are sluiced along by them. But what’s “in” and what’s “wise” are often diametrically opposed. And, again: there is a political motive for pushing this stuff; there’s a social engineering motif obvious as well (but let’s not get arcane before we address this one a basic level).

If your Daughter wanted to elope with a 35-year-old man or woman would you let her? Or would you ground her at the point she seemed truly obsessed with the idea…? And would you let her if it were *legal*?

(Forget the irony that America is so schizophrenic that two 16-year-olds can face criminal prosecution for heavy petting, yet a 9-year-old is allowed to start hormone “therapy” to change his/her healthy body with irreversible consequences).

My Beloved Wife got a cute little tattoo (on her ankle), at 19, that she regrets. She was a teen where/when the damage a teen could do to herself was generally minimal. America is no such place, Lori! It isn’t. And neither is Now such a time. Now is a place of much potential harm to us all and it has to be navigated carefully.

Essentially: You have no stable Empirical Evidence to support your argument, and I have a mountain of it to support mine. You’re being an Ideological Extremist; that’s what people DO these days. Laugh.

Anyway: I’m glad this is a hypothetical issue for BOTH of us!

Huge Hug,

Your irritatingly logical friend,



(Well, what the fuck could she say to that?)

7 thoughts on “THE AWFULSOME TRUTH

  1. These are extremely strange times. There is no getting through to the afflicted; they are captured and fully in thrall to whatever force has hijacked their ability to think logically and independently. I’m sure people in Russia, China, Nigeria etc. have their delusional side but I doubt they are completely batshit insane like many westerners have become.

    I suspect the main culprit for liberal brain mush syndrome is internet amplified propaganda. People have always been susceptible to mindlessly believing and parroting whatever bs the powers-that-be are passing off as received wisdom, but now with the always-on internet beaming into their brains 24/7 and the media having reinvented itself as a kind of decentralized Ministry of Propaganda for the neoliberal “elite”, intense mass psychosis is the result. It’s the mother of all psyops.

    Or is that too convenient and obvious an explanation? Whatever the case, the west is sleepwalking into a dystopian nightmare society and a majority of people seem to be okay with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EB!

      The wall-to-wall carpeting of The Internet is, without a doubt, a big reason why TFIC could try all this now and not in, say, ’92. TFIC have also learned to be so much slicker than they were in Stalin’s time: all GOOGLE has to do is use its logo (blended with a cute doodle) to celebrate the birthday of a famous writer or singer… and the average Liberal Serf will believe that Google is a big sweet huggable Teddy Bear instead of a scary mechanism for surveillance and Propaganda Control. In fact, Google, with the simple (and childish) expedience of its huggable branding, renders anyone who is skeptical of its motives (Grownups like you and me) into party-pooping nutjobs. We’re like kids at a birthday party (to flip the analogy) who happened to see the jolly clown piss in the punchbowl: good luck convincing everybody else!

      A week ago I listened to a live recording of a singer named Monica Martin do a version of Radiohead’s Karma Police. Thoroughly enjoyable version, right? So I listened to a few more on that channel; the channel belonging to a popular cover-project called “Scary Pockets”. A few days into enjoying some of the covers I thought: I wonder who’s behind this? But didn’t put the time into the digging. As fate would have it, the very next day, a commenter joked, on the (Scary Pockets) video I was watching at the time (to paraphrase): “LOL that’s the founder of Patreon on the keys!” And it was: Jack Conte founded a popular cover project called Pomplamoose, then did Scary Pockets… and was named, incidentally, by The WEF (World Economics Forum; you know, Klaus Schwab’s front), as one of its many “Young Global Leaders” (YGLs). With budgets in the billions, Schwab and Gates and Bezos (et al) can afford to buy off just about anyone. But try to convince anyone who’s thoroughly loving a cover of “Layla, done in the style of Stevie Wonder,” that anything sinister can be connected to it. We of the “West” have been raised as Political Children.

      The Techno-Fascist Charm Offensive is an extremely effective problem.

      Here’s the declaration on the cover-page of the WEF’s Young Global Leaders site:

      “Who we are
      We are an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world. Our growing membership of more than 1,400 members and alumni of 120 nationalities includes civic and business innovators, entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, educators, activists, artists, journalists, and more. Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, we seek to drive public-private co-operation in the global public interest. We are united by the belief that today’s pressing problems present an opportunity to build a better future across sectors and boundaries.”

      Read between those lines and despair; read ” exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence” as “assets” and you get the picture.


  2. Hi Steven, I am glad to read that my aversion to “awesome” is not idiosyncratic or curmudgeonly. Since coming to the US to do a PhD a couple of years back, it has struck me how blithely media-saturated and internet-saturated life is here so yours and Eric’s diagnosis seems persuasive to me. As I wrote to a friend in Delhi a week after being here: sometimes it seems as though projections off F***b*** and Ins**gr** have come to life, are walking the streets, and talking to each other at coffee shops. And I see what you mean by childishness too, I think: the childish faux-enthusiasm and the (not-childish) faux-commiseration I encounter regularly does surprise me but I wonder if it fills in for genuine enthusiasm and some actual fellow feeling in a society where a number of people have forgotten how to navigate the friction of dealing with other people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anirudh!

      I think we have to assume that either A) our most cherished sense of the “Human” as a stable cluster of descriptions within a known range of feelings/ behaviors… was always an illusion or that B) we are in the middle of a vast and brutal experiment. I think it’s “B” and I think it’s blatantly so. Is it worse to be naïvely oblivious to this and remain so (until the Truth is unavoidable) or is it worse to see it all too clearly and have no power to resist or reverse the experiment? I think we’re face to face with the “awfulsome” end result of centuries of a wild imbalance in Power. We’re also (finally) seeing the mask ripped off of the 50-year-old concept of American “NICE”: it’s not only useless but fraudulent and quietly destructive and I like, these days, to cite a paragraph I read a month or two ago:

      “Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than ‘politics’. They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.” -Naomi Shulman


    1. Interesting comment, Brendon. Of course, you read the post closely, ruminated over its concepts and sought to apply the conclusions, I’ve come to, to your own life. Gratifying for any Writer.


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