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BEHIND THE CURTAIN
But you don’t know what it is,
Do you, Mr. Jones?”
— Bob Dylan, Ballad of A Thin Man
Life today seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Surreal to the point where everything seems haunted and betwixt and between, or this against that, or that and this against us.
Or a Luis Buñuel film. The logic of the irrational. Surrealistic. A film made to draw us into an ongoing nightmare. Hitchcock with no resolution. Total weirdness, as Hunter Thompson said was coming before he blew his brains out. A life movie made to hypnotize in this darkening world where reality is created on screens, as Buñuel said of watching movies:
This kind of cinematographic hypnosis is no doubt due to the darkness of the theatre and to the rapidly changing scenes, lights, and camera movements, which weaken the spectator’s critical intelligence and exercise over him a kind of fascination.
Here we are in Weirdsville, USA where most people, whether of the left, right, or center, are hypnotized by the flickering screens.
That’s what movies do.
That’s what long planned psychological operations do.
That’s what digital technology allows corrupt rulers and the national security state with its Silicon Valley partners in crime to do.
We now live in a screen world where written words and logic are beside the point. Facts don’t matter. Personal physical experience doesn’t matter. Clear thinking doesn’t matter. Hysterical reactions are what matter. Manipulated emotions are what matter. Saying “Fuck You” is now de rigueur, as if that were the answer to an argument.
It’s all a movie now with the latest theatrical performance having been the January 6, 2021 stage show filmed at the U.S. Capital. A performance so obvious that it isn’t obvious for those hypnotized by propaganda, even when the movie clearly shows that the producers arranged for the “domestic terrorists” to be ushered into the Capital. They let the “Nazis” in on Dr. Goebbels orders. Thank God Almighty they were beaten back before they seized power in their Halloween costumes.
Now who could have given that order to the Capital and D.C. police, Secret Service, National Guard, and the vast array of militarized Homeland Security forces that knew well in advance of the January 6 demonstration?
Who gave the stand-down orders on September 11, 2001, events that were clearly anticipated and afterwards were described by so many as if they were a movie? Surreal. Dreamlike.
As with the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax attacks, the recently staged show at the Capital that the mainstream media laughingly call an attempted coup d’état will result in a new “Patriot Act” aimed at the new terrorists – domestic ones – i.e. anyone who dissents from the authoritarian crackdown long planned and underway; anyone who questions the vast new censorship and the assault on the First Amendment; anyone who questions the official narrative of Covid-19 and the lockdowns; anyone who suggests that there are linkages between these events, etc.
Who, after all, introduced the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act in 1995 that became the template for the Patriot Act in 2001 that was passed into law after September 11, 2001? None other than former Senator Joseph Biden. Remember Joe? He has a new plan.
Of course, the massive Patriot Act had been written well before that fateful September day and was ready to be implemented by a Senate vote of 98-1, the sole holdout being Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. In the House of Representatives the vote was 357-66.
For those familiar (or unfamiliar) with history and fabricated false flags, they might want also to meditate on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964 that gave Lyndon Johnson his seal of approval to escalate the war against Vietnam that killed so many millions. The vote for that fake crisis was 416-0 in the House and 88-2 in the Senate.
In the words of Mark Twain:
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
Harry Houdini, the magical performer who was able to escape from any trap, any nightmarish enclosure, any lockdown, once said, “It’s still an open question, however, as to what extent exposure really hurts a performer.”
The question has been answered. It doesn’t hurt at all, for phony events still mesmerize millions who are eager to suspend their disbelief for the sake of a sad strand of hope that their chosen leaders – whether Biden or Trump – are levelling with them and are not playing them for fools. To accept that Trump and Biden are scripted actors in a highly sophisticated reality TV movie is a bit of “reality” too hard to bear. Exposing them and their minions doesn’t hurt at all. There’s no business but show business.
Houdini knew well the tricks used to deceive a gullible audience hypnotized by theatrics. “A magician is only an actor,” he said, “an actor pretending to be a magician.” This a perfect description of the charlatans who serve as presidents of the United States.
Life today seems like a dream, doesn’t it?
“Will wonders ever cease,” said Houdini, as he closed his shows.
When I was a child I had a repetitive dream that I was trapped in a maze. Trying to escape, all I could hear as I tried desperately to find an exit was a droning sound. Droning without end. The only way I could escape the maze was to wake up – literally. But this dream would repeat for many years to the point where I realized my dreams were connected to my actual family and life in the U.S.A.
Then, when I was later in the Marines and felt imprisoned and was attempting to get out as a conscientious objector, the dream changed to being trapped in the Marines, or the prison I was expecting if they didn’t let me go. Even when I got out of the Marines and was not in prison, the dreams that I was continued.
It took me years to learn how to escape.
I mention such dreams since they seem to encapsulate the feelings so many people have today. A sense of being trapped in a senseless social nightmare. Prisoners. Lost in a horror movie like Kafka’s novel The Castle in which the protagonist K futilely seeks to gain access to the rulers who control the world from their castle but can never reach his goal.
But these are dreams and The Castle is fiction.
On a conscious level, however, many people continue to rationalize their grasp of what is going on in the United States as if what they take to be reality is not fiction. Trump supporters –despite what are seen by them as his betrayals when he said on January 7 that “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy….My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.” – still cling to the belief that he is the man they believe in and was going to “clean the swamp” but was sabotaged by the “deep state.” Biden supporters, driven by their obsessive hatred for Trump and the ongoing delusions that the Democratic Party, like the Republican, is not thoroughly corrupt, look forward to the Biden presidency and the new normal when he can “build back better.” For both groups true faith never dies. It’s very touching.
As I have written before, if the Democrats and the Republicans are at war as is often claimed, it is only over who gets the larger share of the spoils. Trump and Biden work for the same bosses, those I call the Umbrella People (those who own and run the country through their intelligence/military/media operatives), who produce and direct the movie that keeps so many Americans on the edge of their seats in the hope that their chosen good guy wins in the end.
It might seem as if I am wrong and that because the Democrats and their accomplices have spent years attempting to oust Trump through Russia-gate, impeachment, etc. that what seems true is true and Trump is simply a crazy aberration who somehow slipped through the net of establishment control to rule for four years. A Neo-Nazi billionaire who emerged from a TV screen and a golden tower high above the streets of New York.
This seems self-evident to the Democrats and the supporters of Joseph Biden, and even to many Republicans.
For Trump’s supporters, he seems to be a true Godsend, a real patriot who emerged out of political nowhere to restore America to its former greatness and deliver economic justice to the forgotten middle-Americans whose livelihoods have been devastated by neo-liberal economic policies and the outsourcing of jobs.
Two diametrically opposed perspectives.
But if that is so, why, despite Trump and Biden’s superficial differences – and Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s for that matter – have the super-rich gotten richer and richer over the decades and the war on terror continued as the military budget has increased each year and the armament industries and the Wall Street crooks continued to rake in the money at the expense of everyone else? These are a few facts that can’t be disputed. There are many more. So what’s changed under Trump? We are talking about nuances, small changes. A clown with a big mouth versus traditional, “dignified” con men.
Trump’s followers were betrayed the day he was sworn in, as Biden’s will be shortly unless they support a crackdown on civil rights, the squelching of the First Amendment, and laws against dissent under the aegis of a war against domestic terrorism.
I’m afraid that is so. Censorship of dissent that is happening now will increase dramatically under the Biden administration.
Now we have the “insurrection,” also known as an attempted “coup d’état,” with barbarians breaching the gates of the sacred abode of the politicians of both parties who have supported bloody U.S. coups throughout the world for the past seventy plus years. Here is another example of history beginning as tragedy and ending as farce.
But who is laughing?
If you were writing this script as part of long-term planning, and average people were getting disgusted from decades of being screwed and were sick of politicians and their lying ways, wouldn’t you stop the reruns and create a new show?
Come on, this is Hollywood where creative showmen can dazzle our minds with plots so twisted that when you leave the theater you keep wondering what it was all about and arguing with your friends about the ending. So create a throwback film where the good guy versus the bad guy was seemingly very clear, and while the system ground on, people would be at each other’s throats over the obvious differences, even while they were fabricated or were minor. This being the simple and successful age-old strategy of divide and conquer
I realize that it is very hard for many to entertain the thought that Trump and Biden are not arch-enemies but are players in a spectacle created to confound at the deepest psychological levels. I am not arguing that the Democrats didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win in 2016. I am saying they knew Trump was a better opponent, not only because they could probably defeat him and garner more of the spoils, but because if he possibly won he was easily controlled because he was compromised. By whom? Not the Democrats, but the “Deep State” forces that control Hillary Clinton and all the presidents. A compromised and corrupt lot.
The Democrats and Republicans were not in charge in 2016 or in 2020. Their bosses were. The Umbrella people. Biden will carry out their orders, and while everyone will conveniently forget what actually happened during Trump’s tenure, as I previously mentioned, they will only remember how the Democrats “tried” to oust this man in the black hat, while Biden will carry on Trump’s legacy with minor changes and a lot of PR. He will seem like a breath of fresh air as he continues and expands the toxic policies of all presidents. So it goes.
Throughout these recent days that the corporate mainstream media have devoted to this Trump/Biden saga, Julian Assange, a truth teller if ever there were one, remains tortured and locked up in an English high-security prison cell. His plight has been a minor note at best for the corporate media that is focused on the American “coup d’état.” The spectacle rolls on as an innocent journalist who exposed the vast murderous crimes of the American government is left to slowly die in a horrible prison cell. A man who, if free, could report the truth of this current charade and expose the bloody underside of this magic show.
Long ago in Russia, another dissident, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was also sentenced on trumped up charges to prison and exile in Siberia for being “freethinking” and a socialist enemy of the state. When he was finally released, he wrote a novel that was published in 1866. It was Crime and Punishment, a masterpiece about a man named Rodian Romanovich Raskolnikov who, like Dostoevsky, is sentenced to exile and imprisonment in Siberia. In Raskolnikov’s case, it was for killing an old woman pawnbroker to see if he was “above the common ruck.” The story explores Raskolnikov’s dual consciousness and the right to murder; prideful intellect versus compassion; rationalism versus spiritual values; freedom versus determinism; the individual versus the state.
Like Nietzsche twenty years later, Dostoevsky sent out a warning long ago about the terrifying consequences that would follow in the wake of certain forms of thinking that would result in nihilism. To be “above the common ruck” and murder at will; to play with people as though they were what Raskolnikov calls the woman he murders – “louses”; to create divided minds in a game of social schizophrenia through antitheses that conceal the magician’s devious truths.
At the end of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, while still in Siberian prison exile, feels that he, like Lazarus, has been raised from the dead. He realizes that there is a solution to his split mind and that he has found it as he transitions “from one world into another…his initiation into a new, unknown life.”
But such a resolution that I will not divulge is preceded by a very strange dream, one that rings a bell today when life seems like a dream with something happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?
When he [Raskolnikov] was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible strange new plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. Everyone was to be destroyed except a few chosen ones. Some sort of new microbe was attacking people’s bodies, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became instantly furious and mad. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples were driven mad by the infection. Everyone was excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know who to blame, who to justify….The alarm bells kept ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew….The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.
ABOUT ED CURTIN
[su_panel background="#def5f0" color="#1d1919" border="2px dotted #02101f" padding="10" shadow="2px 0px 1px #eeeeee" radius="11" target="blank"] Educated in the classics, philosophy, literature, theology, and sociology, I teach sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. My writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. I write as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. I believe a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore see all my work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding.[/su_panel]