Archives for January 2021

It’s All Happening at the Zoo

There is a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

I have read it I think three times. Just writing this makes me consider reading it again.

In it, she advocates doing something called ‘Morning Pages’ which is writing every day whatever is floating around in your consciousness, which then, when you think about it, facilitates allowing your sub conscious to come out of the shadows and say a few words. Which can be very useful once in a while.

Even though I have been writing in this blog since 2002, my main form of journaling is old school. Pen and paper. But today I decided to do my morning pages right here in the digital world.

So if you don’t feel up to reading something a little chaotic and perhaps disturbing, then I cordially and without rancor (because I respect you, my patient readers, to hold your own views of the world, because God gave us free will ) invite you to exit gracefully now. Because this may end up being rather long winded and emotional. In Michael Savage’s intro to his radio show, the announcer at the beginning uses the phrase, Psycological Nudity. I always thought that was pretty amusing. But it’s also a challenge and a warning that you may hear things that you don’t agree with.

And that’s as good a place to start as any…. so here we go.

Now, it’s very difficult to pin this idea down, because if there is one thing I have learned in studying Torah based Kabbalah, everything in creation and before creation for that matter is in a state of movement. There is nothing static. Nothing. So I cannot say when the tipping point was reached, but we now find ourselves in an atmosphere where the very idea of hearing a differing opinion has been labeled by some as hate speech.

Now no one wants to support hateful speech. But when you stretch the definition to beyond its breaking point, you have officially checked yourself into the psychiatric ward.

For example…

“Bob is a fat, meth head who eats puppies for breakfast.”

That’s hateful.

“I think Bob needs to lose some weight, go into rehab and change his diet.”

Opinion?

Not today. Today this is considered hate speech.

Never mind this statement:

“Bob is a registered Republican who voted for Donald Trump.”

At the moment of this writing, there are people who seriously hold by the next statement in response to Bob’s choice:

Bob needs to be re-educated immediately. And if he won’t change his thinking he needs to be purged from the public discourse platforms, shunned and defunded and not be able to travel freely about the country.

If you think I am using hyperbole, just check out what some of our legislators have been advocating in the last week. I’m serious. Go look.

My biggest and most important question about ‘re-education’ is…. who exactly gets to administer this education and who bestowed upon them the authority to do so?

Next thought…

***

Over the last several months I have witnessed an interesting phenomenon. I explained it to a few friends like this:

So, you are watching a video of a news report, and down the street, lumbering past you is an elephant. Four thick legs, gray in color, big flappy ears, and that unique, long trunk. You think to yourself, wow, that’s interesting. An elephant walking down the street unattended. You don’t see that very often do you?

Meanwhile, the newscaster is saying something like this:

“Today, to the surprise of bystanders, an ostrich was spotted striding down 9th Avenue. It’s a mystery where this ostrich came from. Animal control was dispatched to capture it, but so far it is still on the loose.”

Now the first time you hear this, you think… somebody goofed up on the teleprompter. That was an elephant. Ha ha. An ostrich has two legs, a long neck, really fluffy feathers and can run like hell.

But the next day you see footage from another street in another town, and here comes the elephant strolling past the camera. Again, the announcer calls it an ostrich! And you are thinking to yourself… What? Are these people blind? That’s an elephant.

Now. Repeat this 1000 times over the internet and social media, and every time you see it, they are describing the elephant as an ostrich. EVERY time.

You start to ask around. And here is what you find. Most of the people you talk to are saying … Yeah, did you see that ostrich running amok all over the country? So finally you might gather the courage to say… um… dudes… that’s an elephant. And you describe the elephant in detail. Compare it to the characteristics of an ostrich, pull up a photo of an elephant on your phone and say… does this look like an ostrich to you?

And to your astonishment they say…..

Yes.

You have just entered the Twilight Zone. No, let me say, you have just entered the psychiatric ward in the Twilight Zone.

Here comes the harsh part. If you continue to make it known to various and sundry people that what they are looking at in those videos is an elephant, in VERY short order, you find yourself …. inexplicably thrown into the category of a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

What?

And what stings about this (among many other things) is that YOU are the one who has done all the research on the vast differences between elephants and ostriches. You’ve spent a LOT of time on it. While those who assert that it is an ostrich, haven’t cracked a book, read and article, or looked anywhere to confirm or deny your assertion.

Now. Multiply this phenomenon of elephant/ostrich exponentially over hundreds of issues and millions of pieces of virtual information.

And that my friend, is where we are holding today.

We are being manipulated by most of this information to not trust our own senses, not to mention our life experiences with science, philosophy and history (personal and written). We find we are not in sync with the narrative that we see and hear from the main stream media.

Here is where we come to a statement (accompanied by a sworn affidavit by the way) made by a woman who was a poll worker not long ago:

“I know what I saw.”

My dear friends. If you haven’t done so, it might be time to read two books. One is 1984 by George Orwell. The other is The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Read them as if your sanity depends on it.

***

This probably should have been put at the beginning of this entry, but here it is now. One of the reasons I sat down to write this today is that over the last several weeks I have been exposing myself to a lot of ‘screen time’. From the usual suspects… Instagram and YouTube, (I cancelled my Facebook account a month ago) to this little video game I have been obsessively playing

Last night the game took a dark turn for me and I realized that I was using it to try to bring order to some part of my daily experience. That strategy suddenly failed catastrophically. So this morning, I made the decision to do something else with my time.

This blog post is the result.

I like this better, Though it was harder. It was challenging. It has taken up an hour and a half of my time. And I know I have taken a risk in offending some of you.

But I will say this, which is a repetition of a conversation I had with a lifelong friend recently when we found ourselves on different sides of an important issue… I want to continue to be able to have a conversation. Which by definition is an exchange of ideas. Which implies there are at least two valid viewpoints which can be examined and held up to the light of day. And ideas DO need to be examined thoughtfully and carefully. You may agree with the current socio-political trends because they still align with your view of the world. But we MUST look ahead and extrapolate the iterated consequences of these trends. There’s a tricky little characteristic of the current climate of ‘acceptable’ public discourse. It changes daily. What is acceptable speech today, tomorrow is cause for cancellation. So if you want to stay on the bus, you better check the lists before you open your mouth about anything at all.

If we continue on the path that we seem to be hurtling down at breakneck speed, everyone…. and I do mean everyone, sooner or later will find themselves staring at an elephant that people around you will insist is an ostrich.

And that elephant will be walking past The Chestnut Tree Cafe.*

* https://findanyanswer.com/what-does-the-chestnut-tree-cafe-symbolize-in-1984

(Good God woman, go back to that video game at once! You have given me a headache.)

Excellent. My work here is done.