I’ve mentioned before just how damnably difficult it usually is to excerpt our friend and esteemed (and possibly estoned and esdrunked, to swipe a great line from my old friend Pfouts) colleague John Wilder* without just ruining things. It’s because John is quite adept at covering a lot of seemingly far-flung territory in his posts, then deftly tying all the threads together by the end to create a cohesive, non-ravelable knot. This is not meant as a complaint, mind, not at all. Actually, I consider it praise, strange as that might seem to some. That ability is characteristic of most any gifted essayist, something I definitely believe John to be, bless his coal-black heart.
Eric Peters is another writer with whom it can often be brain-bustingly hard to keep the excerpting within reasonable limits, rathen than just saying to hell with it and C&Ping the thing in its entirety. I’ll give staying within fair-use boundaries the old college try here, but can’t guarantee I’ll succeed.
It has to be the “news.” What is heard – and read – by people who listen – and obey. It is the only thing that explains the regional Diapering I’ve been seeing in my area.
In Roanoke, Va., Diapering appears to be on the wane. At Kroger – the supermarket I visit regularly to gauge the spread of the national pathology, it is now the case that only about half the patients are Diapered. A month ago, almost everyone you saw in the joint was Diapered.
They suddenly seem to feel better and it shows. You can see it – literally.
But in Floyd, Va., roughly thirty-five miles away from Roanoke, about two-thirds of the patients are still quite sick, if one goes by how they look. Including healthy young men donning Diapers in the parking lot, prior to entering the joint. It was quite a sight – and I saw a lot of it.
In neither area are the bodies stacking up, as they have never been – anywhere – outside of nursing homes. But in my area, which used to be a healthier area, you’d swear they were about to – any minute now! – if you went by the visuals.
It looks like what it used to look like in Roanoke, a month ago.
It is the power of Landru. Of the images generated by the machine – the TeeVee – which tells them to be afraid of what they can’t see but must believe. Many of them do. The “mandates” aren’t being enforced much in either area but that is no longer necessary. All that is necessary is to know what Landru – the glowing image – expects of them.
It doesn’t matter that they’re fine. That they have been fine, all along. They are told by Landru that all is not fine, that they risk not being fine. That they must – for the good of the body – continue to wear the Obedience Rag.
Perhaps you have been seeing it, too.
It tells us much about the power of programming.
Which supersedes the evidence of their eyes; blanks out the knowledge assimilated by their brains – if they chose to assimilate it. Effaces their judgment. Lobotomizes their skepticism. Instead, a fear reaction to the Tele-Prompter’d injunctions of Landru, Star Trek shorthand for the god in the box.
Okay, I figger that oughta be enough to convince you to read the whole thing, which you definitely, definitely should. Although I just can’t stop myself from including this part too.
In freshman philosophy, they used to teach the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. I think, therefore I am. But what of those who don’t think? Who react?
What are they?
Well, they are pitiable for openers. In the manner of a chrysalis that never opens, of potential never manifested. Of abortion – and failure. One feels sadness – initially – when seeing them dutifully, robotically, reaching in their pocket for their Face Pampers and putting them on as they exit their cars and head toward the entrance to the store that isn’t making them put them on anymore.
Some – even sadder – continue to wear their Pampers within their car. It is like watching someone who has not only shit their pants but walks around with the brown spot showing and being almost proud of showing it.
Heh. Yes, there is an accompanying image for that last text, both of which amalgamate gracefully to create a blast of contemptuous opprobrium that is just fucking hilarious. Eric’s final ‘graphs—coining the ingenius idiom Terror enobled, which I simply adore—are likewise not to be missed. Trust me, folks: if you DON’T read it all, the only person you’re depriving is yourself.
Peters’ use of Landru as a metaphor for the irrationality of the Branch Covidians led me to poke around the IMBD page for the “Return Of The Archons” episode of ST/TOS to refresh my fading memory, since I haven’t seen that one in a goodish while. The ep provides an eerily prescient peek at life as she is lived in present-day Amerika, one that’s way too close for comfort. I mean, come ON, man! A shuffling, zombie-like populace whose sole desire is to do exactly as they’re told? A rigidly-constructed, coercive society planned and managed from above, whose rulers wield unlimited power without effective oversight? Ostracism and involuntary re-education of all resisters and nonconformists? “Lawgivers“, ferrchrissake? An applicable quote or three:
Landru: The good of the body is the prime directive.
Mr. Spock: This is a soulless society, Captain. It has no spirit, no spark. All is indeed peace and tranquility – the peace of the factory, the tranquility of the machine, all parts working in unison.
Captain James T. Kirk: You said you wanted freedom. It’s time you learned that freedom is never a gift. It has to be earned.
That last one is probably the most frighteningly applicable of them all.
* John provides a perfect example in his latest brilliantly-composed post, which includes this gem: “The Exorcist is a feel-good movie. Well, at least it is for me.” Also a devilishly hot babe, Hulk Hogan, and Senile Joe, groping. Now go ahead and tell me how you excerpt a post like without leaving out something important. I dares ya.