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Light or Darkness?

This is what I just wrote to my Spanish friend, Pedro P., who reacted wisely to a piece by George Monbiot.  Just to make it crystal clear, I want to be in the Light and think pleasant, peaceful thoughts.  They are essential to my biological survival.

"Well, dear Pedro, when I listen to most people, and listen carefully to what they have to say (a very rare skill nowadays, when every human bonobo tries to outshout all other bonobos with their logorrheic narcissistic performances), I see and feel the shreds of a brightly painted fabric torn into small random pieces, stirred and thrown up into the air, and falling on me silently like snowflakes.  Each fabric snowflake may make sense, but together they certainly do not. And the person who throws these flakes at me feels reassured by the sheer number of them; the more the truer. 

Scientists excel at scattering around the oft-unedited products of their subconsciousness that are self-contradictory, illogical flake-by-flake, and vomited with the zeal of ancient prophets or incurable schizophrenics. These are the dark, monochromatic fabric pieces I fear the most, because they drain my energy like a black hole or a Demogorgon from the Upside Down. 

A Demogorgon from the Netflix Series Stranger Things.

We live in an era of the global loss of reasoned thoughtful communication that succumbs to the avalanche of delusionary noise from the media and the internet. Twitter is a perfect example of this most often shallow confusion and mindless narcissistic prattling. It is now the key "communication" tool among the bonobos who stopped reading anything longer than a short paragraph and crave entertainment. 

Even older people fall prey to this onslaught.  Poor old George Monbiot wants to have something to look forward to, so he latched on to the Reboot Food Manifest, which is so loved by the ruthless global agribusiness conglomerates. No more of that difficult nonsense like organic farming!  For otherwise, George would be living in the Upside Down Universe, the spent, dark and vicious world of truth about us, straight from the phenomenal Netflix series Stranger Things.  Too often that Darkness is where I reside, looking around with terror and fearing the conversations with scientists and their families. These days, I get really tired and fall silent ever more often. Will the hurried, blinded and delusional bonobos ever hear us?"

To this email Bill W. added the following comment: "The disease Pedro and Tad describe has been around for a while but now seems to be pandemic. Here's what Heidegger had to say about it [slightly updated]: "...growing thoughtlessness must, therefore, spring from some process that gnaws at the very marrow of [wo]man today: [wo]man today is in flight from thinking." (Martin Heidegger, “Memorial Address” in Discourse on Thinking, trans. John M. Anderson and E. Hans Freund. New York: Harper and Row, 1966: 44-46.)" In 1954, Heidegger also wrote the prescient book The Question Concerning Technology  I often cite in my papers and quote in presentations. It is a strong antidote for the technological hallucinations that permeate science and media today.

The Upside Down world - the dark menacing mirror of Hawkins.

OK, so now I told you that I am watching Stranger Things. Most of the series action revolves around the fictional town of Hawkins in Indiana that seems to be an ideal spot to raise a family until it is not and many people disappear or die. A DOE national lab in Hawkins engages in secret research that punctures the spacetime wall separating our world from its complement.  

Unbeknownst to most, the town connects to the menacing, dark and spent world of the Upside Down. That world lurks just beneath the surface of ours. The vicious, predatory animals travel back and forth through the spacetime holes ("portals") between the two worlds.  Packs of these animals are a superorganism controlled telepathically by a giant, spider-like intelligent creature that can also use a human host to hide and spy. 

The series portrays magnificently the innocent, comfortable world of most Americans, who are completely oblivious to the dangers lurking behind their bedroom walls.  With time, by 1984, this innocence is partially lost, when a giant shiny mall sponsored by the Russian spies invades Hawkins  and puts most small stores out of business. The images of the Hawkins mall correspond exactly to my memories of the luxurious Galleria mall in the town of Edina near Minneapolis, where we landed in 1981. I recall the same vibrant colors of merchandise displays in JC Penney, Macy's, Gap, and the swanky small stores.

The stars of this series are the teenage actors, who play a group of creative, mosty well-eductated, autonomous, resilient youngsters, who communicate with everything at their disposal, be it a walkie-talkie, phone, paper drawings, notes, short-wave radio, Morse code, or the nascent internet and first PCs.  In contrast to the children, all but a few adults are clueless, blind, ossified in thinking, and some are evil in their stupidity.  In short, the daring, fiercely loyal, imaginative and cooperating young friends, and other children, save the world and their parents too. These bumbling kids represent everything that is whole and noble about America. 

Forty years later, most of the glossy malls are gone, and were replaced with a third-world-like rural country full of meat packing plants, slaughter houses, giant pig farms, chicken farms and other inhumane, degrading places where many people must work. Most of the small-town schools and hospitals are gone, and so is the vibrant youth depicted in Stranger Things. Hope has left the Middle America, as J.D. Vance - the One-Who-Got-Away - described in his captivating diary, Hillbilly Elegy.  

I think every day about this epochal disaster unleashed by Reagan and his cronies in 1979, by conspiring through Texas intermediaries with the Iranian government to delay the American hostage release until after the election. (By the way, if you clicked on the last link, note that it disappeared w/o a trace from the NYT in one day; the good old government gatekeepers are always at work.) 

Briefly, this was a conspiracy to defeat President Carter in exchange for a promise of arms to the terrorists later.  The disastrous economic policies ("Reaganomics") that started then were followed and worsened by all the subsequent presidents, and the results are crystal clear. When I say "crystal" I may as well say "crystal meth," used by the inhumanly overworked poor to stay alert.

Jan6, 2020 riot in Washington D.C.

Let's fast forward to 2020. Here is a list of arrests and jail sentences for the January 6, 2021 rioters, or peaceful tourists as Fox News would have it. U.S.A. Today did a hell of a good journalistic job here, thank you!  I expected to see mostly the photos of burly, middle age men with cropped Lenin-style beards and military fatigues. I also expected the obsessive, very ample women with long, straight blond hair. Of course, those Virginians and Texans were there in large numbers, but most photos are of the young and old ordinary Americans, many reeking of college education. So what made them hate the U.S. federal government so much that they listened to that cynical, narcissistic gangster from New York? 

"The United States has a poverty problem. A third of the country’s people (that's over 100,000,000 of US residents) live in households making less than $55,000. Many are not officially counted among the poor, but there is plenty of economic hardship above the poverty line. And plenty far below it as well. According to the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for government aid and living expenses, more than one in 25 people in America 65 or older lived in deep poverty in 2021, meaning that they’d have to, at minimum, double their incomes just to reach the poverty line." wrote the New York Times.  

In translation, the rabid American capitalism has been eating its people for several decades. At least since the time of Reagan, make it 1982.

A girl in Troy, New York around 2008, Source: Brenda Ann Kenneally, NYT.

And now the accumulated social wounds are clearly visible in the fractured American society. We can talk all we want, but the Republican party today is a collection of the angry and the disillusioned, all 100 millions of them.  The Democrats pander to the rich and educated from both coasts and do not talk to the "undesirables." 

As a result, America is fracturing like Hawkins in 1986, when the evil 001 opened a giant spacetime hole across it, slicing the town in half  and destroying much of it. Many innocent people died. Will Darkness invade our country of Light? Or will the ordinary Americans stand up to the Evil and defeat it together, like the kids in Stranger Things


  1. I'd like to see a post on recent advances in molecular biology and the origin of life debate. Thanks.


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