How can an Ignoramus…

How can an ignoramus with 91 indictments have a good shot at being re-elected president? Disinformation used to be a weak effect. It was there, but it wasn’t part of everyone’s life. Now misinformation has been magnified by social media operatives, by antivax sites politicizing vaccines, by Fox News on TV and online, by countless misinformation sites, by skilled teams viralizing lies. This is the dilemma of our time. We have not faced that reality. We fail to see the collapse of shared truths.

Trump seems to pull ahead in the polls. How is this possible?

The reason Trump has any edge in the polls now is because this is the new age of web-broadcast misinformation, disinformation, and especially the burgeoning power of internet-magnified lies. A secondary, reciprocal cause is the dominance of the right-wing on radio. Third–Fox News.

People armed with guns but not critical thinking are swept helplessly along. Their emotions are being triggered over and over and over. We are failing to find ways to counteract the waves of charged lies.

Those working to save democracy must find new ways to communicate the truth to these victims of lies. We must rethink our approach to media. We need to be proactive about it, and soon.

A Fence Around the Light

Religious rituals are like a fence around the light.

A seeker arrives at a fence around a beautiful garden, with something shining beyond it, hidden behind a maze of hedges. The very high fence that holds his gaze: it’s of gold wrought in glorious saintly figures. The seeker is enraptured by the fence, and she remains there for years, worshiping it.

At last she listens to an inner voice suggest she climb over the fence. It’s a difficult climb. The fence is slippery, and resistant to climbing. But after numerous tries she makes it at last. The maze takes needs a great many tries to penetrate.

After much searching, she gets to the center of the maze, and there finds a fountain of light…which is what she’s been seeking all along.

Taylor Swift: Far Too Much of a Moderately-good Thing

Is Taylor Swift a talented and charismatic woman, and a good performer, despite her kitschy outfits? Sure. Am I sick of hearing about her? YOU BET I AM.

Soon it’ll be, “Internet and Media alight with debate over whether Taylor Smith has toenail fungus and what kind it is.” And, “Exclusive Interview with Taylor Swift’s Hairdresser” and “Taylor Swift–does she even charge enough for tickets? Is a gabillion bucks Enough? Fans sell their houses to be able to pay advance ticket costs for next tour and are happy to live in their cars for Taylor Swift.”

Brisk review of Mike Flanagan’s THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER

If you loathe billionaires, Big Pharma and animal testing, as I do, you should see this Netflix limited series THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. It’s from Mike Flanagan, who did that good miniseries take on The Haunting of Hill House. This, though constantly referencing Poe in names and imagery, has very little to do with Poe’s tale of Usher, despite throwing in a premature burial. But it turns out that doesn’t matter.The “lemons” speech, the speech about animal testing…!

The writing in this Fall of the House of Usher is very good, though not as literary as the writers suppose– but that’s okay, this cinematic revenge eaten cold is quite effective. Compelling social satire is being served…

It draws on Eyes Wide Shut, and perhaps A Clockwork Orange, and, yes, even The Crow. But it sure makes it’s points. The horror is effective. The Masque of the Red Death bit I saw coming but they sure carry it off well.

My Self-driving car experience

My youngest son Julian bought a Tesla for 35 thousand dollars cash (and I mean he gave the guy a bag of cash!) and I took a ride in it with him. Lately it’s been upgraded to drive itself with no driver control whatever, if that’s chosen, on any street. It scared me by seeming to dart around too rapidly—but I learned after that my son had programmed it to go 20% faster than any given speed limit (yes it knows all the speed limits wherever it is). It navigated successfully but it was all quite eerie. Has a bullhorn feature where you can set it to amplify anything you say from the car to the world so I yelled a few rude comments at random that echoed down the street from the Tesla. Comments included, “Fuck Trump!” The Tesla can be programmed to “aggressive” or a sort of meek self-driving. I much dislike Musk, who’s gone totally far-right and antisemitic, and who is oppressive as a boss, so I wouldn’t have a Tesla. The self-driving cabs being tested in San Francisco are appallingly problematic. But I would purchase a self-driving car of some non-Muskian origin IF it were shown to be really, truly reliable and safe. Thus far–they aren’t.

Planned Obsolescence in Humanity Itself

We, like all organisms, are designed for planned obsolescence. Aging seems built in, no accident of nature, and I suspect it’s not just for population control, but serves the general interests of the perpetual experiment that is evolution. The churn must keep churning. This means more births, and removing earlier variants, in a perennial, persistent way, to produce newer experiments in evolution. DNA seems to be varying itself, yet carrying a message into the future.

Thoughts while Taking Off

A passenger jet taking off, 200 tons of steel, plastic, vinyl, & fuel, sucks its way into the sky, the real lift provided by air pressure. It’s an oxymoron: an ordinary miracle.The passenger feels the atmospheric density kicking in as lift, remembers that air–which we stride about in as if it’s nothing–has weight. Remembers windstorms; remembers that destructive floods are held in the sky as fluffy clouds, before the air lets it fall, soft water become a hammer swinging to knock houses away…

Is it now a choice between Democrats and fascism? Almost.

Used to be that if you didn’t vote for Democrats you were creating a vacuum filled by conservatives. Now if you don’t vote for Democrats, locally and nationally, you’re permitting the takeover of fascists. The choice really is that stark now. I hear anarchist & Marxist friends saying, what about us? What about our systems and non-systems? You can have anarchism or socialism–locally. You can create communes and communities, and demonstrate locally how it works. A display of that alternative. Meanwhile vote against fascists. Register to vote and vote for Democrats. Then work on starting your own political party and building it up.