It has been an eventful couple of weeks. Every time I sat down to write, something newer would eclipse the news de jour and my notes became pages long: Supreme Court, Chicago Public Schools, Spotify, Canadian Truckers…I could write a post as long as the one you are about to read about each and every one of them. Instead I’ll try and weave these themes with some links and a smattering of memes (think of them as modern day comics). On any given day, I have half a dozen Substacks started and usually an experience or an observation in my personal life indicates which theme gets published. But I am a newbie in this medium and am still a bit gobsmacked about having a post be read over 300 people or seeing a new subscriber notice in my email. I am also humbled and grateful for the handful of folks who chose the return gift model in the form of a paid subscription. It’s lovely being able to merge my passion with my livelihood. Spreading awareness about the state of our world is a full time gig. Thank you for participating in the discussion and supporting my voice. Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated.
The Age of
In my last post, I asked you to take a look at what your life was like two years ago, prior to the limbo we are in currently.
It’s only proper that I now ask you to look into the future, let’s say, two years from now, just to keep the parallel in balance. What does a normal day in your life look like in January, 2024? If you are having a hard time imagining it, know that you are not alone. My suspicion is that most people can’t imagine the future because they can’t recognize the present they’re in. The fabric of society has been shred beyond recognition with warlike mentality seeping into cultural and political tribes, churches, even families. We are divided into pros and antis, yielding weapons of dehumanization; Star-Belly Sneetches that had bellies with stars clamored at the Plain-Belly Sneetches who had none upon thars. And the Plain-Belly Sneetches clamored back. And well, “Where there is so much racket, there must be something out of kilter,” as Sojourner Truth is known to say.
The promised Age of Aquarius failed to dawn and instead we are stuck in normalcy that is under perpetual state of emergency. Anxiety levels are through the roof, so is depression, so are over-doses, so are suicides. The short shelf life of our precautions are causing long term, and sometimes, permanent damage. Those that are begging for a simple return to pre-pandemic normal are failing to realize that that is no more plausible than going back to pre 9/11 level of wearing shoes through airport security. Two years from now, our normal will most likely consist of whatever we acquiesce in now. And we have already agreed to quite a bit. We agreed to frequent testing and data collecting on any basis we are told to, even when showing no symptoms of illness. We agreed to stay inside our houses for periods of time even when deadlines changed. We agreed to mask our kids even while running around outdoors. We agreed to shutter our businesses, sometimes even for good. We agreed to cancel family gatherings and to let our elderly die alone in nursing homes and hospitals. We agreed to injecting EUA products in exchange for our livelihoods. We agreed to show our papers to enter a public space. Do you see yourself still flashing your QR code to enter a building in 2024?
In what other ways are we needed to acquiesce to appeal to what El Gato Malo calls the “neurocracy of government”? Two of my children have spent a quarter of their lives socializing primarily through digital means. My third has spent most of his life only meeting the eyeballs of people outside of his family. And to those who speak of the “resilience of kids”, you are offering a sad admission that you know of the hell we are putting them through now.
The obvious overreaction to this emergency has been propped up by induced fear, skewed data, and one-size-fits-all therapeutic that failed. In return, we are stuck with invasive and pervasive regulations that won’t go away any time soon. Now what?
What other performative and life risking events do we need to participate in to prove our worthiness? What other compliance is expected of us to resume being a part of society? It’s strange to have decisions made about me without my consent, or even input, as if I’m already considered not a member of this society. Frankly, not many are asking us to pull up a seat at the table. (Mad props to Sen. Ron Johnson, history will remember this.) There are no treaties being signed, we are at perpetual war. It’s impossible to even meet in the middle of the battle, because we are on two different roads. Except one road has all the resources, and the other is full of thorny shrubbery and snakes in the grass. Don’t you wonder why negotiations are negated? Surely, at this point, those who wished to follow directions have done so. The rest have had plenty of opportunity to be bribed, coerced, guilted, and threatened. At this point even if the Covid shot is as safe as claimed (which does not appear to be), and is as effective as claimed (which does not appear to be), having such a large majority (in America, but some other Western nations, also) not acquiescing in getting jabbed prevents full implementation of the digital passport. Nothing can convince the unjabbed that those “in charge” won’t abuse their power. Or return the temporary emergency powers given. History tells us no one complied themselves out of tyranny and wherever possible, fascists gonna fascist.
If you aren’t realizing that the large percentage of vaccine-free individuals are holding up the line to enslavement while you hurl insults at them from the sidelines, lend me your curiosity for an hour. My Substack won’t radicalize you. But it might just plant enough doubt so you avoid inadvertently hurting your kid.
I meant to write a bit more in detail about the Supreme Court decision regarding Biden’s mandates, but by the time I got around to it, the news was buried, so if you are interested in a solid round up, Toby Rogers offers some great reflections here and here. My offer of a simple summation here:
We’ll see what happens next, but the pressure keeps building so we do what we can with what we got. One small reversal in a sea of compliance. But it isn’t enough, is it? Here are some of the other proposed nudges from the wisdom of the common good:
refuse healthcare to those who don’t comply
take away the children of those who don’t comply
refuse travel for those who don’t comply
impose fees on those who don’t comply
imprison those who don’t comply
And here is some of the personal information that can (and appears to be able to) be uploaded to your digital passport (or a digital chip or tattoo, coming soon to your nearest Scandinavian outpost):
all your medical history and up-to-date vaccine records
all your legal and criminal history
all your employment history
all your residence history
all your travel history
What was that socio-credit score thingy they have in China called again?
"The minute they hand you that vaccine passport, every right that you have is transformed into a privilege contingent on your obedience to arbitrary government dictates. It will make you a slave."
The Age of Narrative
So it comes down to which story you believe. One is the story told by established institutions, entrusted pillars of society that have governed through the ages and through recent emergency situations. And the word ‘entrusted’ here is important, because ‘trust’ is the meta currency of governance.
The other story comes from conspiracy theorists, connecting dots and sense making with only that which appears on the surface, sleuthing for the truth with no special access to it. These people, in some cases, faceless strangers, are collaborating and openly sharing information to expose that which is hidden, sometimes to their own detriment.
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game.
One story features bioethicists spinning their four prima facie principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice into sacrifices for the greater good.
The other story offers an array of wild, but plausible, explanations and outcomes; some with backed-up evidence, others with laughable paranoia. It’s a wide spectrum of follow-the-money-tank-the-economy-depopulate-the-Earth-transition-to-transhumanism-January-6th-was-an-inside-job-Fauci-means-sickle, that last one is objectively true.
One story pivots under pressure, sometimes pedaling back, sometimes with a quick about face, sometimes doubling down on false information via the appeal of authority. It crowns itself the Expert and claims to have empirical data which it never produces. It deliberately obfuscates and complicates to keep you in state of confusion so you rely on following. directions to move about your life.
When it does put together a statistical graph it has obvious cherry picked datum and like Ronald H. Coase says, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.”
Science is the belief in the ignorance of the Experts"
Richard P. Feynman
When all else fails, it points to the vaccine-free and shouts: “It’s their fault. Here’s whom to blame!” That story is fueled by hate. It reigns in the misguided anger of average citizens and turns it into foaming at the mouth rhetoric. It seeks to divide friends and family. It wishes to keep us at war.
The other story lacks clout and infrastructure. Outside of a few rogue, unsupported views, it seeks to work together organically to expose corruption and provide a piece of the puzzle that might expand the picture that remains hidden behind gated institutions. This other story is self-filtering. That which doesn’t pass the sniff test is set to the side until some convincing evidence rallies behind it. This story is only popular if it can be proven from many different angles under many different microscopes.
One story is censoring dissenting voices.
The other is shouting for an open debate.
One story leads to control.
The other leads to freedom.
And before you go around making fun of me for talking about “muh freedom”, I am referring to agency, self-custody, autonomy — the inalienable right of all human beings to make decision about their own bodies not for you, but for themselves.
These conflicting stories are vying for the future. We have entered an era in which life can be shaped by our intelligent design. We have learned to create hackable humans. Not just physically through medical interventions, but typically, mentally through manufactured consent, farmed opinions, herd mentality, psychological distress, etc. Would you consider for a moment, that even if the intentions are good, being hacked doesn’t feel like an experience you’d actively chose for yourself? The road to the gulags were paved in for-the-common-good intentions. It behooves you to question your reality vigorously and often.
And point out the absurdities as often as you can.
But how to know if you’ve been hacked and by whom? Well, there is only one narrative that is imposing its programming without question, overriding our usually compassionate minds. Only one narrative is allowed to be dominant, blasting its ideology on our TVs, delivered by news anchors that resemble scolding parents chiding us to behave. Only one narrative insists we submit to its demands less we are cast from society, good riddance. I don’t see any anti-vaxxers preventing you from getting a shot, do you? This narrative taps into our fear and our anxiety and weaponizes them. It makes usually empathic creatures make disparaging comments that feed their own ego and serve no one.
And it’s not that some of us are pretending that the virus isn’t a big deal. But it’s not as big of a deal as it’s being made out to be. I surely don’t think it’s a big enough deal to go around calling people who disagree with me selfish idiots or fuckwits. But I don’t blame folks who are fighting to hold on to this pandemic tooth and nail. In an unpredictable world with an especially unpredictable last two years, its’s only natural that we wold want to believe we have some kind of control over our lives, some way to breaking through the helplessness and chaos, some sliver of chance at steering the ship. The dominant narrative hacked into our illusion of control.
And who is behind this narrative? El Gato Malo says “these people are not even honest enough to be communists” but I’ll add that they’re quite possibly not even smart enough to be fascists. They all seem to forget how much Operation Warp Suck, I mean, Operation Warp Safety, pardon, Warp Speed was despised when it was purported by Trump. That notion took a 180 so quickly that when the new guy took office it’s still suffering from whiplash. We’ve been rubber-knecking it ever since.
Walensky’s resting deer in headlights with an acute blinking tic face might be flashing the SOS in Morse code, but I can’t be quite sure. The congressional hearings in which a squirming Fauci got grilled by the measured tone of Rand Paul is super cringe. The regulatory agencies refuse to acknowledge the superiority of natural immunity, no matter how many studies prove it or how long this knowledge has been an anchor of science.
I’ll take immunology for 100, Alex.
No wonder Martin Kulldorff chimed in with “To appoint a CDC Director who questions natural immunity after infection [is] like appointing a NASA Director who questions if the Earth is round or flat.” There doesn’t seem to be a bright bulb in the whole Pfizer sponsored shed which might be the only reason the conspiracy theorists are still scratching their heads how this many dumb people can pull something like this off.
Feel free to call me a conspiracy theorist; it helps me identify narrow-minded boneheads. What baffles me is why “conspiracy” is so pejorative. Men and women of wealth and power conspire. Anybody who cannot concede that point is an intellectual dingleberry (or works for the Deep State!)
David B. Collum
I want to make it clear that just because the visible components of leadership have bumbled the narrative so terribly, it doesn’t mean that years of smart planning by Klaus Schwab and his ilk hasn’t put events in motion with devastating effects even if the pandemic story seems to be falling apart. Under the guise of emergency, the US has experienced the most massive transfer of wealth and has eliminated a swath of home owners and small business owners. No wonder the pandemic seems to be lasting in perpetuity. Being mad at conspiracy theorists for connecting the dots when it was the brazen grab for power that provided all the string is a weird flex.
Don’t go digging into the goat’s ass looking for dingleberries.
We didn’t get here overnight. And I wish to wax poetic about all the rigs and machinations of the powerful, but this post is already getting pretty long and I wanna get to the good stuff (Maria, your criticism that I offer only gloom has been noted). As much as it’s fun to point out how our governments are shoving ten pounds of shit into a nine pound bag and filling up plot thickening volumes with house crises, political blackmail, digital currency, and needless needle deaths, to name a few, I’ll revisit these topics again in greater detail, so let’s put a pin in it (I’ve been a part of the laptop class, I know the lingo.)
“I believe the entire pandemic is a cascade of prisoner's dilemmas built up to an overweight in the system, cascading into total evil.
For now, it’ll suffice to say that even out of context, the Covid narrative is too agenda driven that it borders on absurdity.
The Age of Safetyism
When I was a child, my summers were spent on the streets of my neighborhood from the moment our moms could shove a toast in our hand until almost midnight. Each kid had their own call-and-response whistle and wherever we were playing in the hood, it would sometimes beckon you home for dinner, or to come throw out the trash, or to snack on the perfectly peeled ivory slices of apple your grandfather cut up for you. We would only agree on the time we would gather, the location was always the same — my front yard parapet was rarely sans perched children. There was only once city bus that would come down my street and rarely any cars, so, naturally, the asphalt was always marked with cheap white chalk. We roamed, made up games, climbed fig trees, and played hide-and-seek on any construction property left without workers. We traveled in packs and did stupid shit, older kids showing the younger the secrets of childhood trouble that was passed down to them from the generation before.
One of the milestones of such trouble was the conquering of the 45 degree descension that led from the Sea Garden down to the beach known tenderly by everyone as the Devil’s Ramp. It was pretty steep, but what made it deadly was that by the time you reached the end, there was a sharp curve that evaded the crumbling tall wall making matters extra gravelly down at the bottom. It was the ultimate tribal test. Our parents knew it. I’m sure, my peer’s children know it. Riding down the Devil’s ramp on your bike or skates or your choice of analogue mode of transportation was a right of passage. This was 80’s, Eastern Europe. There were no helmets or knee pads. There was no way to avoid a wipe out on Devil’s Ramp, or at least, I have never seen anyone come out unscathed. The point was to wipe out. Some of the lucky ones came out with scraped shins and elbows, some of us broke some teeth. But we hobbled off swelled with pride. The older kids would tell the story of your glorious plunge complete with instant play-by-play slow motion facial expressions as you show off the still bloody half of a molar in your mouth like an olympic trophy.
My childhood was full of these parent hair-raising scenarios. We got hurt, and I’m sure, somewhere, some, even fatally. But our survival meant we were ready to tackle the next big challenge. We were calculating these risks on our own and unceremoniously preparing for a world full of dangerous and devilish ramps. Our parents more or less knew the low down and didn’t interfere. Actually, the usual stamp of approval from your parents was receiving your very own key on a shoestring that they placed around your neck on opening day of 1st grade before sending off your ass to walk to school by yourself.
We are meant to have these character building experiences. They don’t have to be as barbaric as getting beat up for refusing to give up your school lunch coins no matter if you know these older boys would stop as soon as you tell them you’re just a girl with short hair. But they had to be hard enough that they pitted your fears against the consequences of your decisions until you learned to trust yourself. Struggling to survive is an evolutionary trait. It’s the first act of our existence as we are squeezed through the tight birthing canals of our mothers. I regret to not have been able to give my sons this primordial lesson through a natural birth as they were clinically extracted from me. I digress.
In that same decade, in America, care free children were starting to learn to dodge white vans that hung around by the school yard and offered free candy. You weren’t allowed to be left home by yourself. Currently, in Illinois your kid has to be 14 to be allowed to stay home by themselves. Uhm…what? The Great American Infantilization began and every generation post the 80’s started receiving participation trophies and graduation ceremonies too frequently to make the big ones matter. That generation became today’s helicopter parents whose hand holding and dispute solving during padded playground play dates is synonymous with the authority dependance we now constantly crave.
But that didn’t protect our kids from the dangers of the world. It just exposed them to danger without giving them armor.
Instead of preparing them to handle what they are fearful of, we made them think that there is nothing to fear when mommy and daddy are here.
We created a reality where we valued safetyism more than aliveness. Our kids have spent the last two years watching us act like panicked pancakes smeared in worry syrup. And I’m not talking about parents dealing with immunocompromised kids. I‘m talking about the parents of perfectly normal kids whose lesson throughout this pandemic has been: in case of an emergency, freak out, wait for directions, and follow to a tee.
It is this chase for safety that has taken over our instinct for living. In its pursuit, we gave away our rights and turned over our custody to the State. And this very well might be the final frontier before we are shackled to a system that seeks to erase our individuality and dictate our lives forever. Or at least, until the next generation’s lions rise. However, we all know their fight will be far more costly than ours. If you fail to see the storms ahead now, our children will have to brave the rough seas on the horizon.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
In our haste to safety, we closed down our schools, and masked and vaxxed our kids. We agreed to inject them with an emergency granted experimental vaccine for a disease whose danger profile is less than the flu, less than a car accident less than cancer, less than suicide and homicide combined. We all know we can reopen our schools and unmask our kids, but we can’t unvax them and the way it takes about three to six months for conspiracy theories to be front page news, are you not in the least bit concerned that the miracle juice touted by Daddy Government might turn out to be not so safe after all?
I know tensions are high and I might be stoking hot feelings, but here is a big truth that we all need to understand: we are responsible for our own feelings, no one else is. You are the one in the driving seat. No one made you feel a certain way. You are simply reacting based on your conditioning. But you are in control of your own feelings. It might be the only thing you have control over in your life. Why would you wanna disempower yourself by giving away that control to anyone? It only helps breed more authority dependent children.
By the way, Gen Z, the most educated generation, the ones born in the digital age, the ones that are gonna inherit the biggest shit show of an employment market are hilariously annoyed at Covid measures. They are the most likely to avoid testing when they catch this cold because it’s embarrassing to submit their friends to track and trace that quarantines them for days inside their college dorm rooms. They’re also the ones that promote how testing positive for coronavirus can get you out of school by using a few drops of cola on your lateral flow test. They show you how on TikTok. I’m reminded how as kids we would eat a raw potato to try and induce a low grade fever or talk to that one kid in the school who knew where 4 lvs. would buy you a matchbox housing one resident adult louse. Childhood secrets. A guaranteed week long staycation.
The Age of Censorship
Ok. If you are someone who trusts Rogan more than CNN, you can move along to the next Age of Whatever. You will not find anything new among the next several lines. For those who canceled their Spotify account and especially for those who bragged about it on Social Media: got a minute?
This week was full of explosive stories, but there was a rotation between two particular ones of a similar nature on social media. They were both censorship stories. One was Rogan, Neil, and Spotify and it dominated the chatter. The other, circulating mostly on blue FB concerned the beautifully penned and illustrated Maus. (I’m a huge fan of Spiegelman ever since he illustrated Joseph Moncure March’s The Wild Party, some of you old school Silent Theatre folks might remember). Before you go off and tell FB how I’m comparing the Holocaust to a guy who gets high and talks about yetis, I need you to know that the two stories are only comparable because they are being silenced and censorship is a fascist flex.
But since Lawson doth protest too much, I will say this: what is being compared to isn’t 1942 Germany. It’s more like 1937 Germany. Think of it as the prelude to the Holocaust. The part where some people are prepping to hit the road if the wind blows the wrong way. It’s also a few years into ‘don’t say anything about Führer’s mustache’ and ‘ban anything that’s un-German’ otherwise known as good ol’ censorship. Which is the theme of this section, but before I get back into it, let me just make one last point: the way Covid and Holocaust are eerily similar and stand apart from other tyrannies is that they both have weaponized medicine and science. It’s why people keep invoking The Nuremberg Code.
Now, is it just me, or are we banning Maus for the dumbest reasons? I won’t spend too much time on it, but if I was a run-of-the-mill modern fascist cat, I’d ban it for its obvious parallel to the medical apartheid we are currently experiencing and not because of fuckity-fuck-fuck-damn-damn language and nudity.
I only bring up Maus because the large swath of blue opinion is condemning the censorship of this graphic novel (and rightly so) with indignation and a total lack of awareness while calling for censorship of what is being fetishized as ‘misinformation’. In truth, ‘misinformation’ is only that which is considered not the dominant narrative. This basin catches everything from flat earthers to lizard people, from Wuhan lab leak to nanotechnology microchips, from millions of Covid vaccine injuries to 9/11 and we already know that at least one of these is true. And we know that most people don’t understand how to contextualize information, because they don’t understand economics, or geopolitics, or math, or…well, we don’t understand a lot. Mostly, you don’t know what is true. You are told what is true. You can even finish my sentence and say…by Experts™. I’ll circle back around to that.
There are certainly a fair amount of gifted grifters who can convince you of all sorts of things out there and you’d be right to question everything you hear. But you’d have to hear it. If you are not exposed to bullshit, you are stripped of the faculties necessary to sniff it out. You wanna shut down bad free speech and eliminate Misinformation™? Bring better speech. You wanna know why folks are flocking to Rogan? Because his guests are answering questions of long overdue inquiries. You wanna know why legacy media’s ratings are dropping faster than vaccinated European footballers? Because their psittacism is manipulative, condescending and lacks journalistic integrity. When Alex freakin’ Jones is collecting more gold stars in journalism than Jake Tapper, what on Earth are we doing here? I can’t stand listening to Alex Jones. I find him extremely aggressive and unpleasant. But do I want him canceled? Absolutely not. Do I think that everything that comes out of his mouth is truth? No. Do I think that everything that comes out of his mouth is false? Also, no. Now, let’s play the same game with Don Lemon. ‘Cause I can’t listen to him either. Most of the CNN team cannibalize other media while suffering from TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome); they spend most of their time trying to outwoke each other while congratulating their sophisticates on their superiority over the rest of the world. Thanks, but no, thanks.
But do I wish them canceled? Of course not. I don’t consider myself so feeble minded that I can be taken by such bad takes, at least, not indefinitely. And I don’t infantilize (there’s that word again, I swear I’m thinking this has been the horcrux of Covid) my fellow humans. We have consequences for all the choices we make. If I were to listen to, say, Trump and he told me to drink bleach to save myself from coronavirus, and I actually did it, by God, I deserve to die like a moron and thin out the gene pool. And if main stream media told you to keep injecting yourself with immunity damaging boosters, by God, you should be allowed to do that. No one is mandating I drink bleach and no one is mandating…oh wait…
They can’t stand Rogan because he is killing it. They can’t fathom how he is holding court for three hours with no commercials and how he is making $100 million without selling his soul and how he has 20 times the viewership when they told the world (I’m exaggerating, it’s barely a stadium) about the horse dewormer.
And what about these damn experts? I bet most majority of the folks who canceled their Spotify over the Neil Young controversy have never listened an entire episode of JRE. The episodes range from the stupidly hilarious to the surprisingly enlightened. The two episodes that put Rogan on the crosshairs of cancel culture include two highly credentialed doctors: Peter McCullough, the most peer reviewed published cardiologist, and Robert Malone, patent holder for invention of the original mRNA technology. If they are not expert enough to speak in their fields, I don’t know who is. Definitely not Sickle, I mean, Fauci, hahaha...gulp. They are a part of a very large community of scientists and medical professionals whose train of letters appearing behind their names can fill several alphabets. These thousands of experts have been asking for an open and public debate for a very long time. They are never invited on MSM news shows (except for FOX and we all know how well that goes with TDSers) and they are actively censored and deplatformed by Big Tech —the arbiter of all things truth.
They are being fact checked by scribes who hold no medical or scientific degree and who have openly admitted that social media censorship is driven by narrative grooming and not actual facts. The Experts™ who are allowed to speak have undeniable conflicts of interest such as holding Big Pharma stocks and/or mRNA vaccine patents.
The point isn’t even about the experts. Even if Rogan’s guest weren’t experts, I’d still want to hear from them. I don’t need media trigger warnings. I want to gauge all points of view from experts and non experts, I want to find those that reflect my experience back to me and those that oppose it, I want a free flow of information, the dis-, the mis- and the amiss and let us sort it out by virtue of consequence. The proof is in the pudding.
I don’t want to clown Neil Young. Nor Joni Mitchell or any of the other artists who are choosing not to share a platform with someone whose views they disagree with. They are within their right to pull their music. But to ask Spotify to censor the guy you don’t like or you won’t let them listen to '“Keep On Rocking In the Free World” is a new level of parody. Leveraging ultimatums of censorship and creating public outrage:
makes you look silly
makes you look desperate
makes you look like a hypocrite (if you were an activist like Young)
creates a Streisand Effect
If the situation was reverse and it was Rogan calling for censorship, I would be leaning into Neil, no doubt about it. He is allowed to hey hey, my my, rock on roll on Spotify all day long. And you can still proudly cancel your subscription and make misinformation claims that it was the righteous fans of Neil Young that caused Spotify to lose 4 billion dollars in market value (it wasn’t, it was already in decline) but you also have some ‘splaining to do how that’s possible when the guy hasn’t made that much money in 60 years of his music. It’s quite possible that majority of Spotify’s listeners don’t even know who Neil Young is. But they might now, after Joe Rogan’s unpretentious response went viral across social media. Give it a watch and tell me what’s there to hate on in the comments.
I was going to wrap up my thoughts about Spotify by saying, well, if the White House asks them to take Rogan down, we might be gone beyond the point of return, and before I managed to complete this monster of an essay, I received the news that The White House is indeed pressuring Spotify to “take further action” against Rogan. Ok. Your move, First Amendment.
I’m sensitive to censorship. It’s the most obvious form of oppression. My newly acquired Bulgarian cousin Maria from the Ancestry.com app (Yes, I know, I gave my DNA out for free and did so voluntarily, I’m a dum dum with a proper root beer degree.) says after living through it, we now have “antibodies to Communism”. And we all know natural immunity confers better response and is long lasting.
Whilst this Spotify drama has been unfolding, there has been a bilateral attack on Substack. This platform has made an undeniable impact on communications and media: podcasters, independent journos and even schmucks like me who have found Substack to be an engaging community full of critical thinkers and folks who are fed up being lied to, folks who are collaborating together to do sense making because they know the liars aren’t gonna do it for them. The dying legacy media will attempt to confuse and manipulate, sticking to a narrative that serves no one you know. But it’ll only further alienate the people.
It has already begun, this mass exodus of the press room audience. Journalism has become crowd sourced. Activated people all over the world have taken to their call phones, cameras, microphones, keyboards and are standing shoulder to shoulder with others. Together, we share the live experience of our age in real time. We don’t have PR or HR. We have no bought for fact checkers. And we have become the media. The truth consists of oh, so many perspectives, lenses, angles, opinions, expertise, humor, good takes and bad takes, never marching in a line, but rather a murmuration of ideas, consensus, and an audience that has been given back the dignity of thinking for themselves.
In the spirit of supporting Substack as a platform and those who contribute to its ever evolving community, I would like to list a few of my favorite stackers. I hope you peek. Maybe even support. We promise we aren’t brought to you by Pfizer.
Charles Eisenstein is my go-to philosopher.
Mathew Crawford is a statistician soaked in humor
El Gato Malo is the zaniest one of all
John Waters is the Irish thinker of his time
Jessica Rose is a doctor with the smarts and the funny
Steve Kirsch is VERY active and also trolls with the best of them
Toby Rogers packs lots of info tight and quick
Jeff Childers provides a daily Coffee and Covid rundown
Freddy deBoer doesn’t align with most of my views, but offers a very unique perspective and writes beautifully
Glen Greenwald is an outstanding journalist
Alex Berenson can be an obnoxious flippant New Yorker who overly markets himself, but he sniffs out most of the news first
Robert Malone the man, the myth, the legend
Igor Chudov teases data that even the layman can understand
Bartram is my go-to UK perspective
Eugyppius is not only brilliant but also frequently crowdsources information from around the world
Rudolph Rigger is half pop-culture, half serious outrage, but wholly entertaining
Bari Weiss is another solid journalist whose view I don’t always align with
John Dee is stats, stats, and more stats
Laughlyn (Johan Eddebo) bakes my noodle and publishes at what I think is the perfect intervals
Mark Crispin Miller is an ousted professor of media, culture, and communication
The Free Press Report ties lots of lose ends together
Julius Ruechel is long form but oh, so so good
There are probably another dozen in my Substack cycle and I have a growing list of people I am yet to check out. All these brilliant minds converging on the same platform write about what they know best. The doctors write doctory things. The statisticians explain away data and graphs. The lawyers draw up FOIA requests and explain legal lingo. The philosophers connect the dots. Independently but in good company. I’m deeply honored to be a part of this giant Mandelbrot Set.
The Age of Dissidence
We used to have these parties at Hq (Once I stop obsessing about the current state of affairs, I’ll try and write more about my adventures in this life cycle) where it took awhile to get lubed up enough to dance. Inevitably, sometime in the middle of the second band, one daring person would start moving and grooving. This person wasn’t usually the most socially accepted. They didn’t have the most coordinated dance moves. They were a weirdo. I’ve been that person in my early twenties. But what usually happened is someone would approach, good humored and good natured, and would verbally approve and validate the dancing loner with an ‘alright, alright’. Sometimes if they were (un)lucky enough, the lone hero would rise from their trance and encourage physical participation. Now there are two people dancing. The band might even acknowledge their courage. An hour later, a crowd has formed on the dance floor, jumping up and down, sweating, singing along, moshing, hardly anyone standing still.
We each play a part. And whether our becoming comes early or late, it’s always on time. I wasn’t one of the early adopters of the current dissidence movement. But recognizing and joining those that were has been a giant step in my personal growth albeit an incremental step in the meta growth of the resistance.
"Now, notice that the leader embraces him as an equal. Now it's not about the leader anymore; it's about them, plural. Now, there he is calling to his friends. Now, if you notice that the first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader. And here comes a second follower. Now it's not a lone nut, it's not two nuts -- three is a crowd, and a crowd is news. So a movement must be public. It's important to show not just the leader, but the followers, because you find that new followers emulate the followers, not the leader. Now, here come two more people, and immediately after, three more people. Now we've got momentum. This is the tipping point. Now we've got a movement.”
January, 2022 was the month that the tide turned. It’s been gathering momentum since October, but the caboose didn’t add to the weight and velocity of the rollercoaster until now. More and more people are taking off their masks and taking a deep fresh breath of reality. More and more are pulling their chair up to the uncomfortable table and are having a conversation with those they recently othered.
The anti-mandate protest in DC featured some of the most outspoken critics of the pandemic who delivered eloquent speeches and restored much needed hope. Many large protests around the world throughout the summer were now bleeding into the winter with ordinary citizens still standing strong against their tyrants relentlessly chanting ‘No More’. There has been a total media blackout in the United States about such events. Instead of the nightly news, I scoured social media for real life accounts of regular people and they did not disappoint. On occasion, a brave politician would break away from the groupthink and approved narrative and remind us that they do, indeed, work for the people. I was riveted by the unfolding drama in my mother country of Bulgaria, where the leader of the Resurrection Party, Kostadin Kostadinov, not only approved of such protests, but asked any Bulgarian who stands for freedom to arrive at parliament demanding all mandates be lifted. Here is how it all unfolded:
The protest was planned for January 11th. Everyone knew it. Members of the Bulgarian Parliament conveniently start reporting positive Covid tests and self quarantine (Oh, I’m getting to Trudeau, I save the best for last). Kostadin Kostadinov, let’s just call him K, is excited to meet the 15,000 protesters gathered outside the building, but police intercept him as he is leaving his house and tell him he is to remain inside '“due to Covid exposure”. He posts on FB that he is being held prisoner in his own home. Busses loaded with protestors from the provinces and heading to the capital are pulled over by police and are told that the drivers had to pass random drug tests and are detained due to positive results. The passengers surround the police and demand that the drug tests be done out in public. The drivers test negative and the caravan continues on. Meanwhile, K, the most coherent, inspiring, and eloquent Bulgarian politician I have ever heard, tests negative. He posts his test results on FB and starts to troll the opposition parties (all of the them pro-mandate), especially the Assembly Chair Minchev who claims he has Covid by saying “I don’t believe you, show me.” The Assembly Chair Minchev takes the bait and posts. K posts pictures of both his and his opponent’s tests side by side and shows how Minchev’s test was doctored. It’s a circus. Meanwhile a video of K’s aides who were stuck inside the parliament surfaces as they are trying to meet the protesters. The people are sent away. But they come back the next day. And the next. Until an official council is formed to address the protesters’ issues. Bureaucracy or progress? I’ll keep you posted.
Six months ago I would try and avoid being called a dissident, a conspiracy theorist, an anti-vaxxer. Now, those words evoke a sense of belonging to a truth unspoken: we are the majority.
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
The Age of the Great
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Every revolution has its shot heard around the world. The moment can’t be manufactured. It simply becomes into reality when reality is open for its existence. That moment came for us when a small convoy of Canadian truckers began crossing the vast lands of the North on their way to Ottawa.
O Canada! Where pines and maples grow…
In true Canadian fashion, these truckers were, and still remain, polite. There was no hatred in their demands, no antagonization, only love. And hope.
If you have not been following what is going on with the Canadian Convoy, I strongly recommend reading this thread before moving on. These accounts of the journey have echoed across the people’s media and have been accompanied by thousands of videos of thousands of trucks, thousands of locals hanging on overpasses in freezing temperatures with thousands of flags waving red against the snow.
At first they were ignored — a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views”, their Prime Minister called them. The people responded by changing their Twitter handles to ‘Fringe Minority Sam’ and ‘Unacceptable Views Angela’ — millions of them, and not just Canadians. Even salting nails on the roads to divert other participants from joining, but people still came from all over the nation. The Fringe Minority received millions of messages of support across multiple social media platforms and even CB4 radios. Even from the mouth of babes.
And then, this:
Predictably, the memesters did not disappoint:
As the Fringe Minority converged and were due to arrive at the capital, Trudeau and his family were moved to an undisclosed location. The soliloquy was delivered with little fanfare and see if you can spot the vocal pitch change all the while the state approved media was caught red handed manipulating the optics. Coincidentally, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern is also exposed and must now self isolate.
For those who don’t know, WEF (The World Economic Forum) is the spawn of one Klaus Schwab and his Global Young Leaders have penetrated parliaments, media, and corporations all over the world. Those two grinning tyrant wannabes are among them. The WEF is its own behemoth of a post, so I’ll spare you as you have probably scrolled a few times to see if we are wrapping this party up. In context of what is happening now, just know that Klaus Schwab wrote a manifesto called The Great Reset, claiming that the pandemic has opened a narrow window of opportunity for the world to “Build Back Better.” Sound familiar? If you live in a western country, you have heard the slogan repeated relentlessly. Check out this short promotional video of their proud agenda where you can ever so gently be convinced to own nothing and be happy, a nice and dandy dystopia.
Except the Fringe Minority is not acquiescing.
And so, Trudeau pulls a Minchev:
No one asks him to produce his evidence, but the convoy now occupying Ottawa responds with, “Don’t worry, we’ll wait out your Coward-19 symptoms.”
The last couple of days have seen a boxing match between the State’s media and the People’s Media. Reports of “at least one confederate flag” surface and the People’s Media show how this plant got handled by the protesters. Trudeau tweets out accusations. The People respond with videos of feeding the hungry, cleaning up trash, and police accounts of peaceful protests. The truckers are called racists and the People respond with indigenous drumming, personal messages of diversity and even Canadian politicians getting into the action of condemning the Prime Minister. Outrage over defaced statues stokes fires.
State Media’s lies got exposed in real time and they simply could not handle the amount of fact checkers:
You see, legacy media tries to engineer your responses because now you’ll be wanting to crucify whoever is waving that swastika flag, to distract you from the naked Emperor. Never mind that massive amounts of footage doesn’t reveal any such flags in the actual crowd; never mind that there are young democrats willing to pose as tiki torch protestors just for optics; never mind that even I can photoshop swastika panties made of the same invisible cloth on Emperor Trudeau.
You can keep trying to convince the world that 2+2=5, but we all know that is a load of whatever is staining Justin’s pants. You can censor, and vilify, and distract, but the truth is they are out there in 20 below, singing, dancing, blowing off fireworks and celebrating the freedom they can taste in the air. It’s over. Even those who supported Trudeau are fleeing his side after such exhibition of cowardice; after such desperate attempts to sow division. It’s the final throe of a dying tyrant. By the time State Media was looking to blame Russia, the convoy’s organizers had called a press conference and invited only independent media. The jig is up.
Also, kinda funny, dragging Russia into this. Is it because Russia opposes The Great Reset? Huh, Justin? Joe? Is this why Biden keeps bringing up Ukraine even though President Zelinsky made a statement of no atmosphere of war or conflict with Russia? Must be super hard to try and start shit with a country that has absolutely no interest in the US. The pathos is palpable.
Instead of this Great Reset, instead of a bunch of people owning nothing and being happy about it, instead of the citizenry eating cake, the cake is being tossed back in Mr. Global’s face. Rome is burning and the Neros of the world are standing atop their ivory towers, third rate violinists in a dystopian string section, faces smeared in icing.
That has always been the final result in the litmus test: acidity feeds the cancer; alkalinity doesn’t allow it to grow. It’s not only about fighting the oligarchy, it’s about creating alternative paths where such fighting is obsolete.
The Canadian trucker convoy has inspired similar protests around the world. Hard to ignore the visibility and auditory overload of thousands of rigs. Not so easy shooting them with rubber bullets and spraying them with cold water, is it? The Great divide has been transformed into the Great Reunion. The sleeping lions have been awakened.
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Another thing that I wanted to mention and I think it needs discussing. You are commenting on how much personal and health information is contained in the covid pass. This is obviously true but there is another dimension to it, which worries me even more. I heard on Youtube recently, with regard to the Canadian protest, that when you are in a possession of a pass, you donlt even need to show it to the border control when you go through it - they detect you when you are in their proximity. This reminded me that the pass is a terrific way of following the movement of everybody who has been passported. People argue, yeah but this could also be done with our credit cards and also, the avionic companies have data on who traveled where. Trues but this data cannot be retrieved by the government just like that and neither could the data from our credit cards (cause banking regulation). With the pass, the government found a perfectly good way of watching our every movement (including in social setting), keep tabs on who we are gathering with and so on, without having to ask a judge for a permission (which would be the case with tracing a credit card in a criminal investigation case, for example) or go through a very bothersome and complicated procedure with your bank (in some Money Laundering scenarios). The cheery on top is that all goes into the same database, which allows the track and trace of a substantial number of people and the processing of their data at a much faster rate. In some weird scenarios, this may lead to a faster reaction by the government to movements or congregations that are not in its interest, and of course, an ability to blackmail political opponents in case there is something in their personal life that they would not want to disclose (for example, the pass will lead to data on where the person went and with whom). Their excuse is that the data is anonymized. Yeah, like we are going to believe that. In order to verify that the correct person uses the correct pass, someone somewhere must have all data and compare it. I just don't trust that once these data has been verified, it has been erased. If it is erased now, this will probably stop once the public attention shifts to other issues. Because it doesn't seem logical that they will drop the pass, it is too sweet for them.
"Under the guise of emergency, the US has experienced the most massive transfer of wealth and has eliminated a swath of home owners and small business owners." Very well observed. Something similar happened in 2007-2009. They are now just putting the finishing touches of a masterpiece.