In five days, Gung-gee fat-choi will be here, and the Year of the Tiger will begin. It is, under the traditional Chinese beliefs, a year that will lead to bad luck for the next twelve months. This is disconcerting news for those of us who thought Things Could Only Get Better, but then that’s what Tony Blair promised just before the 1998 Tiger year, so there is form involved here.
But whereas May* comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, Tiger years bring misery with the promise of better things – thanks to the strength and Bravery of Big Stripey Cat Thing secretly fighting against the causes of misery. The news that heavily camouflaged tigers will be working on behalf of sanity over the coming year would be more reassuring if I had some vague inkling about who (and where) they are.
*Not be be confused with Theresa May, who came in an unelected Amazon and went out an unloved traitor
Neil Oliver certainly purrs with feline common sense, and RFK Jr struggles manfully to overcome larynx problems in his erudite attacks on the totalitarian Alt State. But in France, none of Emmanuel Macron’s opponents have yet offered a clean, ballsy alternative to the President’s willfully petulant “ignorance” about mRNA jabs: and while the EU is at last starting to panic about the Ukrainian farce, that’s only because it needs Rasputin’s oil and gas. In the UK, given one can effectively mark Keir Starmer absent and the Labour Left distracted, that leaves only Graham ‘Weather Balloon’ Brady to lead those rebel Tories slightly concerned about liberty (and apoplectic at the thought of losing their seats). As Brady could be summed up as an affable woffler who seems hopeful of tickling Boris Johnson into submission, all in all the stripey ones are paper rather than man-eating tigers.
The eagerness with which the media cathouse has once again rallied round the EUNATO Washington Langley absurdities about Ukraine in general and Vlad the Lad in particular is almost as depressing as the ability of most Western citizens to simply shrug off US sabre rattling, the better to focus on how they can get the next vital booster as quickly as possible. Such people have enough trouble trying to remember whether Omicron is more or less disconcerting than the common cold – and whether it’s a strain, mutant or variant – as it is. Add a nuclear conflict to the cake, and they (quite understandably) decide to watch Strictly instead. By the time bourse collapse, hyperinflation and digitalised theft make their entrance, many people will represent little more than a lumpy shape under the duvet playing Sudoku and singing nursery songs.
Everything – this entire twisted, spun, mirrored, cross-tabulated, fact-checked, macro-mendacious nest of permanent fear and war vipers – is turning into a game of Underwater five-dimensional chess that is, much of the time, impossible to follow. And to cap it all, the emerging tech-riddled generations coming through are more ill-equipped to deal with it than any others who came before.
The reasons so many people lack discernment of trouble down the road are eclectic and fundamental. Further, my research and personal experiences suggest it is little or nothing to do with IQ: far from it – if anything, it has to do with social class and self-image. Reversing the attitudes and behaviours can therefore at times look like a monumental task….but I am always encouraged by the speed with which the Denazification of Germany was completed after 1945: the Americans expected they would have to stay in very large numbers – of psychiatric, investigative and teaching staff – until perhaps even 1960. In fact, most of these and similar people had left within two years. Once defeated and faced with reality at last, the West German people quickly returned to peaceful life.
‘Defeat’ is once again the operative word. In my own humble way, I hope that what follows can provide more insights into the why and how of that.
High technology (especially when applied to the media in general and the internet in particular) is a huge core at the centre of Planet Geek’s perception problems. In retrospect, surveillance technology, media ownership concentration and the rise of risibly termed “social” media created a perfect storm via which younger people found it frighteningly easy to drop their guard in the name of ‘fun’.
Greatly engaged in CRM (customer relationship management) management myself during the 1990s, I found myself horrified by the massive amounts of privacy consumers were prepared to give away about their consumption habits….and the potential for perverted use of that data. Social media online merely took the ‘loyalty card’ excuse (money) for giving away the info – and turned it into the natural human desire for social activity – staying in touch, chatting, gossip and gags – that could provide rich data of the kind that security agencies could previously only dream about. They demanded (and got) access to the switchgear involved in the development, and during the 2000-2010 decade in the UK for example, GCHQ exploded into being partnered to every Twitter, Facebook and MySpace on Earth. The State of course lied about that; but what made things worse was the arrival of CNN, France24 and other 24/7 internet/TV “news” stations…and the ease with which spooks integrated with them as one giant merger followed another. In 1996, to control the global media output required having an armlock on 35 ownership organisations: today, that number is seven – and a major reason for that is the central banking bourse system of neoliberal globalist econmics to which bankers and traders are addicted, such that every major media group is now stock market quoted.
The crossover and commercial intercourse between media, spies and bankers is the controlling interest in – and driving force of – the Alliance that is bidding to imprison the human race in their ‘New Normal’.
Those of us brought up in the era of Orwell and Huxley were quick to spot (along with the very bright end of younger commentators) what was going on. But by the turn of the century, public education was going much further than simply ‘dumbing down’ students: it was also being pc-politicised by left-of-centre teachers – and changed to an examination answer requirement for every opinion to be right or wrong. This is the kind of thin, underfed soil in which the young mind becomes too civically accepting, too dismissive of contrarian views, and above all censorious when other with more open thinking tendencies question the received narrative. In the United Kingdom, Tony Blair played a centrally definitive role in establishing the idea of “on message”; he is still at it today.
Children today are as far removed from the ghastly excesses of Nazi and Sovyet ‘idealism’ as my generation was from Victorian rent-boys and the novels of Disraeli. The difference is that, by and large, we knew what had happened, and the key figures involved. In her year at University, my younger daughter – a literature student – had no idea who Franz Kafka was. One of her fellow students followed the ‘Big Brother House’ reality TV show, but was clueless as to the book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Two Oxbridge students I knew at the time couldn’t name a single member of the Nazi élite below Hitler. When I remarked ironically, “Yeh well – that’s history….it’s a thing of the past” they agreed enthusiastically.
This narrow ignorance is in turn exacerbated by the reality that, in 2022, there is an app for everything. The universal AI app has accelerated the human being’s flight from real, natural life to a terrifying degree: Satnav speaks gently to the idling brain to tell it “Plyse tun lift at thurr nuxt rindabite seenpasted ‘to the cliffs’” and left-hemisphere dutifully obeys. Hotel lift doors slide open as you’re told “Deer oppnink”. My smartphone has an app that allowed me to speak Russian to the guys installing my 5G link; I was more interested in finding out why Russians were doing the work. This is such an obvious threat to the analytical orientation skills of the human brain, one could almost describe the development of these infernal things as ‘no-brainers’. They are a massive catalyst for passivity, laziness and obedience to the unnatural.
But we live in a world not just busy turning us into robotic goons shuffling along to the Hate Rally: we live in a world of screens. Watch a small baby sitting in front of a kids’ TV programme; watch a teenager with a smart phone; observe the people one meets through online audio-visual contact. Think on this: 38% of all relationships among those over 35 began online. TV and laptop/tablet obsession create a degree of isolation that is totally unnatural and mentally unhealthy for any member of an intelligent pack species.
We are losing our ability to discriminate and ‘sense’ things that come naturally in 3D social intercourse – thanks to an immersion in 2D media that create a world of fiction, falsehood, fantasy and Godless altered reality. We make judgements about pathologically ruthless liars in public life trained in the art of hoodwinking the gullible. And we watch heads of State cynically exploit the “good citizen” instinct still evident in the average citizen. We did nothing, in fact, as they offered us contradictory, idiotic and then just plain untrue Covid19 defences involving masks that are pointless, insane levels of social distancing, lockdowns that destroy economies and vaccines that don’t vaccinate – followed by digital vaccine passports that are a euphemism for Ihre Papieren.
Fear and insecurity, of course, further undermine the capacity of left brain judgements that are being made based on longer term narrow ignorance. But ultimately, even without that, the tricks played by the immaculate visual reproduction of new generation comms hitech make the screen-world onto the World Wide Web a very tangled web indeed: the internet, I’ve come to realise, is a form tailor-made for the successful use of virtue signalling, evasion, deceit……and the suspension of disbelief among ordinary people already time-starved by deregulated employment and job-losses to that same AI seeking to pull the wool over their eyes.
It’s never too late to relearn the central importance of the real over the virtual, and physical senses over the televisual impressions received. In recent months, I have myself had to come to terms with how we can all be fooled and hurt by neglect of the physically empirical. As a secular Buddhist in some of my attitudes, I have also been able to get further confirmation from this uniquely surreal experience that good nearly always emerges from bad if one learns from it.
The physical reality that betrays the real identity of a ‘virtual’ acquaintance is something in which I am professionally steeped. A walking style that gives off arrogance, sly belittling of the efforts of those less gifted than themselves, a penchant for flashing money around, a decorative taste that is, shall we say, a little on the Italian Mafia model…..and a fear of risky adulthood with a preference for feigned childlike innocence.
One theory I have developed ties into a novel from 2010, ‘Snowdrops’, by the one time Moscow correspondent of the Economist, A D Miller. Its plot concerns a thirty-something Englishman’s exploitation by survivors in the new post-Sovyet Russia: a culture of hedonism, desperation, corruption and depravity that serial totalitarian lies have bequeathed to the world since the USSR’s demise after 1990.
As it happens, over the last twelve years I have had commercial and sexual relationships with a range of people from former Warsaw Pact countries. These included Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovakian, East German and Bulgarian citizens aged roughly from 35 to 65. While observing that I’ve also built firm friendships with many others who started out behind the Iron Curtain, I am bound to observe the existence of a typology from economic dictatorships that is very probably the result of being exploited, held back, abused and materially deprived by totalitarian cynicism.
The pattern is remarkably consistent. It begins with reassuring exaggeration of their skills and ethics, and continues with promises of a good outcome; there follows some tragic detail about traumatic experiences that held them back, and at the same time a good deal of flattery. There are then a series of contradictory “explanations” of why things have gone wrong, concluding with a rapid disappearing act once the shortcomings become apparent.
If you think of other experiences as a ‘control group’, then affairs both business and amorous involving English, French, Spanish, Finnish, Greek, Portuguese, American and ‘West’ (DBR) German citizens came and went but without the same lack of moral compass….and in all except one case, resulted in a lasting friendship.
The thesis is simple, and – while based on a qualitative rather than quantitative study – I think compelling. There seems a varying extent to which – once its propagandist reassurance has been removed – all that’s left for the deserted citizen after the State collapses is nature red in tooth and claw, the gaining of cunning advantage, and an almost narcissistic conclusion that one is alone and must defend oneself – or hire and control those who will do it for you.
Whatever any neoliberal gasbag tries to tell you, such is not the ‘natural order of things’. It is a damaged frame of hermitageous mind that goes against everything the best of humanity strives to be.
However, while I have learned to be cautious of such people at a personal level, the one thing that makes them incredibly perceptive and useful in our contemporary epoch is the speed with which they spot every last sign of creeping totalitarianism….because they’ve seen the movie and got the teeshirt.
Despite all that, where we are going as a species is, it seems to me, highly likely to produce further examples of dog-eat-dogism if the NWO transhumanists get their way.
It’s far too late for smug overconfident optimism among the 1in8. We have still yet to break our duck when it comes to chucking someone in a higher pay-grade overboard. Until we start doing that, the outlook is very bleak, I’m afraid.
Thanks for your perseverance.
John Ward has been variously called a Communist Nazi, violent pacifist, kleinlich, over-sensitive, the best sit-down comic on the internet, a man with dangerous fingers, a consumerist exhibitionist guitarist with a hatred of meteorologists, and a Renaissance Man. He pleads “Not Guilty” to all these charges, but would ask the Bench to take 137 other crimes into consideration. His ambition is to explore Anthony Fauci’s brain with blunt scissors and little or no anaesthetic.
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