How to Lose a Revolution Before It’s Begun

It wasn’t until I impulsively clicked on an MSNBC livestream out of Santa Monica that it dawned on me. I had assumed the position of effete American leftists–especially in the media–would be to endorse an attitude of ‘anything goes’ regarding the George Floyd backlash. But there they were, bemoaning the destruction of The Sake House and gasping as rioters tried to pull a hose out of a firefighters’ grasp. A guest commentator even noted that every box of free sneakers carried out of shattered windows is another few thousand new votes for Trump. In short, their take (that these are bad optics with the potential to put civil rights back incalculably) was indistinguishable from the take being given on Fox News.

Homogeny among MSNBC and Fox, I pondered? What is this–9/11? Traumatic imagery seems to be the only way to shift the fairly indifferent Silent Majority of U.S. moderates in a particular direction. Just days ago, one would have assumed the imagery in question would be, and would remain, Floyd’s murder. The total destruction of a Minneapolis police precinct came and went without batting an eye. Fair enough, the collective consciousness whispered. But the ensuing footage, like B-roll from The Purge, wherein familiar streets and amenities are pillaged and plundered against the Floyd family’s wishes has proved a bridge too far. The message is clear:

BLM, Antifa–you can burn police stations if you want; they can fend for themselves. But don’t you lay a goddamned finger on my Starbucks & McDonalds.

The uniquely leftist way of saying this is, arguably, “Sure, Black Lives Matter–but can’t they Matter without inconveniencing me?”

This reaction, though surprising even to a cynic such as myself, isn’t at all unprecedented. The American psyche is not at all as unpredictable and bipolar as its political extremists sometimes make it seem. At the end of the day, it is a corporation-country. Sometimes you have to indulge a strike, maybe even some Luddite sabotage, but eventually everyone is going back to work, or else.

The fact that the National Guard has not yet been ordered to open fire on looters (despite hollow tweets to that effect) perhaps signifies that the corporation’s patience still has reserves. I think this patience is due–sad to say–to the arguable fact that the role of these looters within said corporation is to wind up in prison. And wind up there they shall, no matter how many times our benevolent bosses decide to let them go. Even if a few get to keep their new plasma TVs and stay free long enough to enjoy them, what is that compared to the astounding budgetary benefits police are going to gain from these temper tantrums? We thought they were militarized before? What do you suppose they will look like once every station is outfitted to repel a city-wide assault? We may have meant to say to police, ‘look here, stop killing unarmed civilians!’ But what they heard was, ‘hey, become so terrifying that you don’t have to kill unarmed civilians.’

As for Trump, the only way he doesn’t get 4 more years* is if he is no longer corporeal (and if that happens, the Republican fallback may well be the Fascistic nightmare that American leftists have long fantasized Trump is). He is getting his Conservative Supreme Court, the NRA is going to eat other special interest lobbyists’ lunches for decades to come, and any newfangled economic recovery methods he (or should I say Jared) thinks up is getting passed. Optional: Israel finishes its plans for Palestine, knowing they will never have a better opportunity again.

Walking to a vandalized church, Bible in hand…God, that’s good. Our Left have been so worried about ‘institutionalized racism’ that they forgot the possibility of causing its far more personal renaissance. They spoke of the devil until he appeared. Although, this time around I expect it will be far more class than color based. The days of the bedsheet wearers are behind us; the days of those with something to lose making sure they are ready to dispatch any irksome have-nots has only just begun. The corporation is restructuring, and our urban department is about to get downsized.

RIP George Floyd. RIP Tony Timpa.

 

*…OK, if they hijack Biden at the convention with an Oprah/Obama ticket, it won’t be that easy.

The Crowning Achievements of Coronavirus

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Obligatory documentation of the empty toilet paper aisle (suburb of Atlanta, GA).

  • Staying at home and ordering in is an act of heroism in the developed world.
  • Staying at home and ordering in is too much to ask of some Americans. Wonder whether the people who attended Spring Break during corona-season are more or less likely to be drunk drivers?
  • Referring to a virus by the country of its origin is racist. Time to issue reparations to Spain.
  • Trump didn’t do enough.
  • Trump did too much.
  • Trump caused corona.
  • Thanks, Obama.
  • The fear of not being able to wipe one’s anus comfortably is worse than the fear of starvation (somebody tell these people that bowel movements cease during starvation, please).
  • For those who do fear starvation, Southerners prefer alcohol and chips where Northerners prefer soda and frozen meals. How can my fellow Southerners be more obese but have less appreciation for caloric density?!
  • Bill Gates left Microsoft to team up with MIT on solving this problem. The solution? An infrared visible tattoo that administers vaccine and testifies to the fact that it has been administered. Great. ‘Papers please’ wasn’t enough, we needed to go ahead and incorporate The Mark of the Beast. It wasn’t sufficient that the Dalai Lama has been displaced, Muslims cannot make their pilgrimages, Jews are rumored to have begun reconvening a Sanhedrin upon the birth of the long-awaited perfect red heifer, etc, etc. We needed to start beta-testing the key premise of how the Antichrist will rule the world. Mr. Gates, I know those DMT clockwork elves you encountered at all those Eyes Wide Shut ‘summits’ told you to do this, and that they’re some benevolent talking-to-Jody-Foster-in-Contact aliens, and that you can help them usher in the next stage of human evolution, but unless you consider Dante’s Inferno to be a great vacation pamphlet, it’s time to pump the breaks.
  • 2008 taught us that if a bank is sufficiently ‘big,’ the United States government will not allow it to fail. 2020 now adds the realization that, because these big banks would fail if their corporate debtors defaulted, the businesses they loan to cannot be allowed to fail either. This seems to have given birth to the first purely verbal internet meme in memory: “We have privatized profits and publicized losses.” This wide-spread realization, that the average citizen is required to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, while captains of industry and their financiers are infinitely coddled, is–it seems an understatement to say–the stuff revolutions are made of. Indeed, I am left to ponder whether this meme will eventually be cited alongside “Let them eat cake” in the history books. The fact that this cat has been let out of the bag (more of a tiger) has not entirely escaped the powers-that-be, for instead of a brazen ’08 style bail-out they are now taking public stake in the companies they wish to save. Though no less of a catastrophic precedent to set given enough time to play out, this does at least feel a bit more honest. Instead of having politicians bail out the businesses they are shareholders of, just have their government own them outright–saves on money manager fees. And if that’s not good enough, send a pittance of Fed monopoly money to the masses so they don’t start constructing the guillotines quite yet. I am left feeling numb at the realization that we appear deadset upon discovering a sci-fi dystopia Worst of Both Worlds: small business capitalism alongside Big Business socialism, and no hint of irony in sight.
  • Farmer and trucker unions should reorganize into massive, 99% bank-indebted corporations ASAP.

Political Paradox & What Lies Beneath

I’ve long held, somewhat in keeping with the Eastern idea of yin and yang, that extremes on opposite ends of the political spectrum will eventually become indiscernible. They do, after all, share an inherently extremist nature, and the personalities drawn to extremism are usually slight variations upon one another, whether their wide-eyed, tight-fisted credo be religious or atheist, fascist or communist.

This, coupled with my general sense that the politics of the developed world have become almost entirely faux (more on that in a moment), has caused me to anticipate the day when Rightwingers would espouse liberal ideas, and Leftwingers would espouse illiberal ideas, without the slightest hint of irony. (Self-awareness, after all, tends to put a damper on extremism). Based on myriad recent articles, this wait may be over.

Let me briefly summarize what I mean by faux-politics. I believe the developed world has become jaded and trite to the extent that no significant political change is possible in the absence of mortal danger. To those who live with universal access to indoor plumbing, grocery stores, and libraries, much less the internet, no amount of self-righteous political indignation is going to inspire them to take action in a meaningful (and thus difficult or risky) fashion. Workers of the World Unite, right after I finish this Netflix series! Or, to put it another way, the Orange Man may be bad, but not so bad that it’s worth risking my precious life over.

The only genuine exceptions to this rule are, unfortunately, the lone mass-murderers of the past two decades, who conduct their ‘revolution’ against the entire species. I suspect there is some terrible truth undergirding these madmen–perhaps a mere sense that we have transcended race, class, and all other metrics by which to accurately apportion political blame, since we have all contributed whatever dollars we had to turning God’s creation into one big theme park. One cannot help but notice that they seem to have more-or-less replaced the serial killers are of the ’70s and ’80s. The attitude, the stance, of the contemporary killer is fundamentally different. Theirs is not crime to be gotten away with, but a gospel to be shouted from the rooftops.

I turn, for my examples of this political paradox (illiberal liberals and liberal conservatives) to two articles in particular. The first is by a feminist group attempting to goad governments into banning sex robots before they become as commonplace as Iphones. And while the article is quite old in internet time, their cause is just now gaining traction. Herein we witness persons ideologically liberal calling on the government to ban a sex toy, condemning pornography entire, and opining that there is a

crisis brewing in human attachment. Attachment is the ability for humans to form stable, long lasting, meaningful interpersonal relationships that support mutual co-existence throughout life.

Let us scan the horizon for flying pigs upon the realization that leftists are now worrying about ‘family values!’ One has to wonder how many snide comments were made by these very campaigners against Christian conservatives for the identical hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that they are now frantically engaged in decades later? It appears they who made the promiscuous beds have realized they must now lie in them. One can almost picture their heads spinning ala The Exorcist as they unsuccessfully attempt to figure out how to undo male sexual liberation without curtailing female sexual liberation. Consider these passages:

Hierarchical male loss of power that is organised through traditional power structures have been diminishing over the last 100 years, the 1960s which marked the rise of feminism aimed to improve equality between the sexes, yet a commercial prostitution and porn trade grew up in parallel, that was open and legal…In the 1960s and 1970s, women had less representation in political life to stop the legalisation of pornography and an expanding commercial sex trade. Women are not on the margins any longer, and we can face head on this attack on female humanity by male dominated robotics, AI and sex industries.

To recap:

  • sexual liberation occurred “in parallel,” but had nothing to do with, “commercial prostitution and porn”
  • the empathetic, ethical half of the population would have stopped these things if they could, but couldn’t, because reasons
  • But now they can! And it will be a full-on Luddite crusade! Deus Vult?

The second, far more logical article is called The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. For clickbait purposes, the title is far less compelling, and even does a disservice, to its own excellent article. And while the author is clearly no ideological extremist, I believe his piece can be taken as another sign of political paradox simply because The Atlantic so proudly published it. Herein we are advised to return to the clans of yore–extended, multi-generational families–rather than the mom, dad, two kids, and a dog model caused by the urbanization of the Industrial Revolution. I would have thought that, clickbait title or no, such a wholesome suggestion would be taboo among journalism’s usual individualism-at-any-cost crowd. But apparently even they have stared into the abyss of San Francisco and recoiled at what they saw there. Put down the fentanyl and get thee to a nunnery–or at least the suburbs, for Chrissakes!

Meanwhile on the right, we find the “alt-right” and the “Intellectual Dark Web” irreverently championing free speech while the far-left embraces censorship in the name of anti-fascism and combating “hate speech.” Thus a Canadian professor of psychology became American conservatism’s figurehead. I am reminded of the scene from The Simpsons Movie, wherein, at the apparent End of the World, everyone in the bar runs over to the church, and everyone in the church runs over to the bar (11 seconds in).

If I could boil this phenomenon down to a single word, I think it would have to be decentralization. Yeah, “everything’s coming apart,” but not in quite the apocalyptic way. It may feel like there are more extremists than ever before, or that they are getting louder–but this is not a sign of their strength. It’s a sign that even they are having a hard time taking themselves seriously anymore. The ego of the developed world is in its deaththrows. This process can be halted by catastrophe. But in the absence of any real problems, we are jousting at windmills. The Right is worried about free speech when there’s never been more of it; the Left is worried about violence when there’s never been less of it. We’re continuing to take turns in a game that no longer exists. I think it’ll end when we really and truly realize that we don’t need each other anymore. Necessity has been removed as a factor. We’re about to find out who we really are, and we’re going to do it alone.