In a collapsing age, humor and spirit alone won’t do us justice.
Mimetic insurgency corrodes the imperial monoculture.
Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?The Joker
America is going crazy. Normal people sense the mood. Something is wrong. They can’t describe it.
The source of their discontent—of our national disorder—is the Internet, the digital revolution. The Internet is the biggest invention to impact the distribution of information in hundreds of years – since Gutenberg invented moveable type, which opened the gate to Protestantism and Copernicus. Now, Gutenberg 2.0 threatens to create similar bloodshed.
My uncle is an old school conspiracy theorist. An Army vet turned truck driver. An artifact from when pursuit of forbidden knowledge was difficult. Books acquired from libraries and stores, late night journeys on lonely highways listening to Coast-to-Coast AM Radio, pamphlets from a gun show, a meeting of the minds of thirty men on the same CB radio channel. Pioneers contemplating information with the geographical and technological range to be the first “frog” community.
Truck drivers and soldiers generally split into two categories: Simpletons and Geniuses. My uncle was a genius.
Narrative dominance before the internet was easy for the regime. Radio and TV required state licensure, expensive equipment, and the skill to use them. Any player who went outside the guardrails of imperial sensibility could easily be shut down…or, more readily, ignored. Newspapers owned by oligarchs would counter-attack. As wealth consolidated, so did the grand narrative, the monoculture.
Consensus coasted along for decades on a planned trajectory that was doomed to failure.
The Information Gold Rush
The widespread adoption of the Internet brought capital into the equation. The dot com bubble grew and burst, creating a surplus of information and communication. Knowledge could be stored and discussed in real time by thousands. There was no gatekeeping by publishers, executives, or the FCC. Pseudonyms allowed controversy and dissent in the largest public square ever and elite sensibility didn’t understand it, much less know how to control it. Forums and IRC let thousands of people analyze niche material at the same time, in real time, and organized multiple human consciousness into a kind of parallel processing system that made intellectual enlightenment a mass event.
9/11 birthed this new paradigm. Conspiratorial “truthers” asked questions the government often couldn’t answer. They shared pictures, videos, and analysis at a rate the government couldn’t suppress… under pseudonyms they couldn’t shame. What happened to building 7? The footage of the Pentagon? Could jet fuel really melt steel beams? What about the Pentagon audit and the missing money?
Old conspiracies breathed new life: The Federal Reserve… Wealthy banking families… Atlantis… Bigfoot… even Vampires. The monoculture dismissed these people as cranks because they couldn’t stop the signal, but that was a colossal mistake. Citizens outside the mainstream found kindred spirits and pooled their resources. Anyone could hear their arguments, and some were convincing. The government gaslit the public by identifying its own malfeasance as “conspiracy theories.” Now those chickens are coming home to roost.
Books and public records were digitized, and open source intelligence was cultivated by renegade journalists, one of whom is now languishing in prison for obscure reasons. You didn’t have to travel to get records anymore. Old news articles were online. Security through obscurity became less effective for the government.
History was literally at our fingertips.
Slowly at first, the frontier of the Internet grew vast bodies of knowledge outside the editorial control of the empire. Little epistemic fiefs toiling away from the eyes of the watchers. The regime lashed out if you left the ghetto and got the attention of mainstream audiences but didn’t care what you posted on 4chan or AutoAdmit. They grew and solidified as the Monoculture stagnated and fumbled. Dissidents funneled into these spaces en masse, fueled by economic turmoil and rapid social change.
Donald Trump’s campaign changed everything. Frog dissidents were growing up. Diversions like gaming stagnated alongside the monoculture. Battles between 4chan and Scientology bled pranks into the real world. Gamergate exposed the intrusion of social justice into hobbies they enjoyed. Anons were in open warfare against the journalist class—the enforcers of the monoculture. These mostly young men were raised on video games, forming ad-hoc teams to overcome challenges and solve puzzles for sport.
War had been declared, and the frogs had trained from birth to fight it.
Regime gatekeepers were stagnant, spoiled, and unprepared for effective resistance. Trump won the election, and this insult bloodied the nose of the beast. Every grievance since 9/11 poured forth and every petulant reaction from “high culture” destroyed trust. The architects of the “End of History” were caught flat footed and left stupefied.
The reaction to this insolence was earth shattering. COVID appeared and served as a litmus test for loyalty to the monoculture. A failure to contextualize risk this bad couldn’t be incompetence. Lockdowns, supply chains, masks, and finally vaccines served as a point of further polarization with the unwritten message: “Stop resisting and the horror will end.” The 2020 election ended with the bureaucratic state marching in lockstep to “fortify” Biden’s victory.
Suppression of “misinformation” showed that the velvet glove had been concealing a mailed fist the entire time. Disputing the monoculture on COVID or the election resulted in harsh suppression. The mask came off with the velvet gloves.
If you are fighting a war and can be forced to commit forces to battle, you are losing.
History is just new people making old mistakes.Sigmund Freud
America is going crazy. Grandpa sends you links to QAnon posts. Your uncle sends you links to COVID 19 vaccine statistics. Grandma watches YouTube videos about demons and curses. Your Zoomer cousin tans his balls with infrared light and slonks eggs while he awaits the Boogaloo. The guys at the gym talk about seed oils and estrogen in the water supply. And these are the normal Americans who don’t think putting lipstick on a boar makes it a sow or that giving Greta Thunberg money changes the weather. These aren’t terminally online autists or political shills. The masses themselves are joining the fray.
I do not highlight any of these beliefs for mockery, I accept many of them myself. But this illustrates how far we’ve traveled since Windows 95 came out — and it’s gonna get weirder before it gets better.
If 9/11 happened today, how many Americans would question it? How many would accuse our government of doing it on day one? We’re smack in the middle of the Information Reformation. The Internet started a spiritual information war. It behooves us to gather in pockets of relative sanity to resist the mindbending entrancements of the regime’s master narrative.