"we won't get normality back without a fight"
pro tip: you should never have given it up in the first place without one
first a trickle, then a torrent, then a flood.
the media is finally cottoning on to the fact that covid is over and probably never should have happened.
these public pontification inflection points happen FAST because the nature of media is not to lead nor even to inform: it’s to follow.
and suddenly, it’s OK to say it’s over. it’s OK to say that people want their lives back.
media, now more so than ever, exists to mirror and to pander, to suss out the zeitgeist and to echo back what will be popular. this is selected for with the ruthless A/B testing of “what are people clicking on?” the media has no idea what “the news” is until you tell them. it’s editorial slant has become a polling mechanism, not a data source.
this is one of the hallmarks of the modern media sphere: it’s all real time feedback loops now. they know EXACTLY what you read and must compete against 1000 others who know the same all of whom may be costlessly switched between.
any who fail to pander fall from the flow.
that is not protection, it’s exacerbation.
it seeks to inflame, not to inform.
so, now that society has seen the abject failure of these covidian policies with its own eyes and snapped perceptions open to the rest of the ruse played upon them, the media will slavishly follow. and we get articles like THIS.
they do not come when they might have helped resist the tide.
they come once you’ve already won.
and we see ever more “experts” and “leaders” scurrying for cover and swapping jerseys to “team manage the disease, don’t wreck the world.” this is because they too do not lead, they follow. mostly, they always have. most in the US and UK alike were on team “let’s just handle this like we always have” at the start. the derangement came later. (more on that in a minute)
and just as certain internet felines may have muttered something about, the true bio-fascists, authoritarians, and the denizens of the anxiety-medico complex are exploding into paroxysms of shrillness and rage as they feel their karentopia slipping away. they are turning on one another and venting their righteous rage upon their former friends like a school of piranha eating itself because the adherents of jihadi sects save their fiercest fury for not for the infidel but for the apostates.
omnicold has spectacularly failed to live up to billing as have the vaccines that were supposed to stop covid and that were so long held up as the glittering goal, the thing we must all sacrifice and hunker down to reach and to which we must all submit or be hectored for heresy.
unless you are some sort of concussed muppet or get all your news from CNN and MSNBC (which is roughly the same thing) it has all become too big to miss.
so OK then.
but now the task of returning to normal is at hand and it’s one we must do correctly.
far too much power has accrued to those with far too little accountability, courage, or sense and tearing this down will be the project of our time if we plan to live as anything resembling free people.
and this means facing the hard truths and doing the hard work.
so here is the biggie, the tough truth people are not going to want to hear: this is not their fault. it’s yours.
you did this. we did this.
these people did not lead us, we led them.
think back carefully. BOJO and donald and fauci and cuomo and dozens of others ALL started on team “let’s handle this like we always did.” every one of them. all looked, for a moment, like they were going to stand strong. media was largely in line with them. then it turned, then they turned. all crumbled in a cavalcade of cowardice and adopted the single most harmful set of public policy per unit time in the peacetime history of the human race.
sure, there was politics and scams and opportunism and nasty, scummy profiteering and plotting. but that all came later. it came after (and because) we as a society broke. those were the horse troops coming through the rents torn in our lines by panic and complacency.
and they did it because WE lost our nerve. YOU lost your nerve.
why did the media flip? because people wanted it to. it flipped because we clicked on scare stores in favor of reasoned discourse. our lackluster leaders flipped because they were too wet pants afraid to do nothing or to be seen doing nothing when the public was up in arms demanding action.
and so action we got, good and hard. and once a coward is out on a limb like that, there is no climbing back in especially when the public is in high foment and deranged.
the reason all this passed muster is because enough of the people were fricking clamoring for it, begging for it, demanding nothing less than tyranny as long as it gave them something tangible to grab onto and the mass in the middle did nothing to stop them.
the courage of their convictions failed and they became a mob.
this fear spreads like measles. one day it’s nowhere, the next everywhere.
all the worst people surge to the fore, the most frightened and the most opportunistic and the most authoritarian. but they are not really that big a group.
what makes it work is the vast middle that is a little scared and wants to “go along to get along” and does not want to stand up and face down the baying bullies because it might entail some personal risk or evoke attack.
so, um, how did that work out for you?
the road to totalitarian tyranny is paved with the bodies of those who knew better but did nothing. if you learn one lesson here, learn that.
if you would learn a second lesson, learn this: no one is coming to save you.
that’s not how it works.
the government will not save you. they are not on your side.
the opportunists among them live for times of panic because that is when the ratchet of control may be tightened. societal terror is disneyland for despots. many of the powers grabbed under the patriot act are what made 2020-2 possible. this is the price you pay for not taking back that ground.
the media will not save you. they will only serve to inflame and exacerbate your excesses.
if it bleeds it leads, if you’re scared or angry or vindictive, you click. you are telling them how to best manipulate you in real time. they feed off your signal and then you feed off theirs. the feedback loop is like putting a microphone next to a speaker and the societal screech deafens and deranges everyone.
none of this will change. none of this is changeable. it will not be better or smarter or nobler next time, and believe me, “next time” is already in the works.
jeez, gato. that sounds horrible. so what are we supposed to do?
well… (ascends soap box) let’s talk about that…
rather than play ideological edge-lord, it behooves us to live in the real world and in the real world, you have to play on multiple boards at once.
board one is the political board. like it or no, this is real. the idea that you can just up and drop out and live in an entirely parallel society away from all that is not terribly plausible for most. for a few, maybe, but it’s not going to be widespread. we create societies for a reason.
it’s easy to grandstand, but when you ask questions like “and so where will you get your food, your clothes, your internet, your cell phone, and your pharmaceuticals?” this starts to ring pretty hollow, at least for now. full dissolution of a coercive state and government deriving powers only from consent may be the goal, but it’s not a plausible immediate next step.
so you have to live in what is, in the systems that are and make the best of it and seek to better it by pushing it in a better direction.
can you vote your way to freedom? nope.
but you can, perhaps start a ball rolling that way and momentum here is matters.
when you vote, vote courage. vote for people of conviction, real people, stand up people. it sounds trite, but leadership is character, not promises.
the good news is you just got quite a good look at just who those people are. the ones who folded and caved and pandered or who just slid along and did not protect you? done. never, ever place them over you again.
find the ones that stood for freedom and who will, if elected, start tearing these structures down. it’s FAR from perfect, but it’s a start and it’s a lot better than the alternative of electing more fraidy clowns.
board two is societal.
building alternate structures and cultivating autonomy is the only real path to personal liberty. my greatest surprise in all of covid was that the people did not rise at the first whiff of this. i thought there was literally no way humanity would allow 2 weeks of the world being shut down. it was ridiculous, preposterous, the people would ignore it. they would take to the streets.
“we’ll just do this one small thing and then we’ll get our lives back. world saved! hey, it might even be fun!”
how did that work out for all y’all?
did compliance get you out of tyranny?
once you falter, once you get on the back foot, they have you. you saw how it went. you saw how much harder it got to resist as the sunk cost fallacy of having complied piled up and it was always “just one more thing.” that’s how they eat you alive. that’s the thin end of a wedge that once you allow in, is going right for your heart.
once the stampede starts, small groups are powerless to stop them. you wind up here. you probably felt it. the helplessness, the impossibility of stopping the movement.
that’s because you waited until it was too late to start fighting.
and they know it. they knew they just needed to get it moving and it would become unstoppable. but you didn’t. you thought you could roll it back or stop anytime.
how did that work out for you?
so hold the line. become absolutist about this.
if rights are not inalienable, they are not rights and if emergencies give politicians power, guess what they will create, time and time again?
and do it IMMEDIATELY. not later. not “if it gets a little worse.” now.
cultivate it. learn it. live it.
do NOT let this ball start rolling.
and for the love of all that’s reasoned IGNORE THE MEDIA. they have been a disaster.
one of the interesting outgrowths of this are the new networks of information, the new networks of community.
keep them. nurture them. they provide both access to information and to society. had we all been linked like we are now at the start, we might have been able to stop this. we might have held the line because we could have moved together and drawn strength and heft and reach from one another.
this is WHY they cut some of us out. gatopal™ mark changizi explains here (and gives a shout out to certain internet felines of questionable goodness).
they are seeking not just to stop information, but to cut out the highly networked nodes, the ones linking others and making the networks networked.
but that is NOT working out for them. the censorship is making us strong as we move outside their walled gardens and none of us are going back in the box.
these structures are here to stay and if we cultivate them they will help provide a bulwark against this happening again.
there is work to do to get back to normal.
but the real work is making normal better and taking back rights and keeping them. and that boils down to holding the line, because once it breaks and the mob starts to surge, you’re lost.
the whole fight is at the beginning.
the rest is forgone.
if they break your lines, they rout you.
there is only one way to retake and to keep normal.