By Brian George
Below—in sections three and five—you will find two comments that are connected with the posting of my essay “Four Scouts to the New World.” The first comment is from “Reality Sandwich” forum for the essay, just before the election of President Obama in 2008, and the second is a reflection on why I chose to re-post it on “Modern Mythology,” just after the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent atomic disaster in Japan in 2011.
In 2008, I could not help but wonder: How is it possible for so many well intentioned people to not see that Barack Obama is just another actor—a kinder and gentler apologist for Wall Street and closet advocate for the Military-Industrial Complex—onto whom a part of the American public had projected its own dreams?
Do the crowds at an Obama rally not know that they are intoxicated—with an energy more appropriate to a televangelist’s studio—or see the glazed eyes of other members of the crowd, or hear that they are chanting to give birth to a savior? Why do his supporters not pause to notice that he has no actual record, that he went out of his way to be absent for key votes in Illinois? Do they not hear when he speaks in glowing terms of Reagan, or see that, on those few occasions that he does speak truth to power, it is only so that he can substitute speech for action? As with the wave of a magician’s hand, an incandescent city has appeared upon a hill.
It is now 2011, and I cannot help but wonder: How is it possible that, in the 1960s, GE didn’t realize that there might be earthquakes in an earthquake zone, and went full-speed ahead to build a chain of atomic power plants on a fault line? Since then, why has no one stopped to think that an earthquake might knock out both the power plants and the backup systems, and why were the spent fuel-rods stored underneath the plants?
Then too, when radiation levels of 1000 millisieverts per hour have been detected 50 miles from the Fukushima plant—i.e., four times the maximum safe level of exposure—why have people only been evacuated throughout a radius of 20 miles? So far as I understand it, this is just the level that is judged to be safe per hour.
As Kurt Nimmo points out, “A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760.” And finally, if you multiply 1000 by 8760, you get 8,760, 000 times the normal dose per year. If the total projected yearly dose is not yet so astronomical, neither could it be regarded as anywhere close to safe. The exact figures could be debated, and keep changing hour by hour and depending on the source of information—but you get the general idea.
And so, we must ask: Could the Japanese government be driven by an agenda beyond that of the well being of its citizens—an agenda of which even the key actors may, at best, be only partially aware? On what ring of an interdimensional theatre are the benches on which the audience for the current play is seated—calmly staring out of eyes that do not close, and with their thumbs poised to flip up or down?
To ask these questions is not to assign blame—whether to the overly idealistic supporters of Obama, or to Obama himself, who probably has far less actual power than we think, or to the brightest of the brightest in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and on through to the present decade, who failed to anticipate and then prepare for a disaster that was 100% predictable, and certainly not to bureaucrats without backbones. No, I am pointing to these things in order to highlight their peculiarity.
“Life is a dream,” wrote Renaissance playwright Lope de la Vega, and a host of other writers and philosophers. A four-syllable sentence—as simple as an add slogan. For years, I had assumed that this was a metaphor—an accurate one, yes, but no more than a figure of speech. No such luck! As I look out over the derelict empire that is now the USA, and beyond that at the world—at the bizarre sense of unreality that prevents us from clearly seeing or confronting even the most urgent challenges—I often feel, quite literally, that I am looking out over a dream.
The more familiar a peculiarity in our world view is, the less we tend to see it. Our capacity to be blind to the facts beneath our noses has, for me, now taken on an aspect of the supernatural. It is possible that we are being swept—for better or for worse—towards a collective near-death experience. If we are paralyzed in the face of the large-scale clockwork of the time-cycle, it is possible that this presents us with a kind of initiatory test: We must find a way to act without being able to move.
(Illustration: Brian George, Smokestack, solarized photo from x-ray exposed negative, 2004)