Youtopia is dedicated to the proposition that our…
026 Message in a Bottle
“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” Terrance McKenna
I’m still not sure what question I need to answer for myself. Why did I quit writing my blog, or why am I starting it up again? It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since last I wrote and posted to my own blog Youtopia. I stopped at 025. I know it’s a bit unconventional, but I settled on numbering my articles in the title to make it easier to keep track. I have never attempted to keep abreast of daily news and follow up with my own analysis as other websites do, some rather well, others not so much. Rather, I like to let the news and the wide range of analysis sink in and try to understand the root issues and instigators. One of the things I have realized is some of my favorite writers/journalist are very good at analyzing the situation and help educate and enlighten their readers, but seldom offer any concrete solutions.
I’m not the news junkie I once was, but I do follow the news and read a variety of online news sites and, more to the point, I like to read the comments and reply to comments from time to time. Here in the Seattle area my wife and I used to subscribe to both the Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer. I read the opinion pieces of the nationally syndicated columnists with varied levels of skepticism and criticism, but mostly I delved into the letters from the people because I wanted to know what other folks thought of the same material I was reading. I’m opposed to the contrived left vs. right sniping that has so polarized my fellow citizens and helps keep them at each other’s throats instead of focusing on the people with the power to push their own global-conquering agendas.
That still doesn’t help me answer my own questions as to why I quit writing for such a spell. To be honest, writing my e-book Youtopia took a lot of time and research and is of such a controversial nature that most people don’t seem to know what to do with it. Not good when one considers selling books is all about heavy promoting. I followed up with the website of the same name and submit articles replete with quotes, pictures and videos, hoping to incite discussion at the very least. My blog articles are along the same lines as the book chapters because I think important topics should be brought out in the open and discussed, but that means they are also controversial and even though I provide a place to comment I have been underwhelmed at the lack of response of even the people I know are reading the columns. My best fan, the one who actually looked forward to my next posting and who eagerly engaged me in deep discussions, was my sister who died several years ago, roughly about the time I stopped writing. Hmm, is that the answer to why I stopped?
So why start again? As I mentioned before, I am not the news junkie I once was, but even that needs clarifying. I still seek and absorb news from many sources and enjoy good in-depth writing, but I’ve shifted away from believing very much of mainstream media news. Let me clarify, I don’t so much think they are lying all the time, I think the corporate media are far too selective in what they cover and what they purposefully leave out. This disloyalty and deception is the result of interlocked corporate objectives.
Since there is a plethora of on-line news and news analysis sites nowadays, one can search the world for a more comprehensive take on any particular subject. Sometimes the best source of real news about a corporation is not from a news site at all, but rather from an on-line trade magazine. Corporations can’t both hide their intentions and promote their intentions. Therefore, in order to appeal to possible investors, they have to announce their ambitious strategies and technologies, hoping to be circumspect enough not to attract attention from the wrong quarters. There are a handful of websites that I mostly trust. When I read an interesting article I most always try to read the comments. When I read the comments I am usually incited to reply or add my own original comment. This engagement of total strangers, people you can’t see, can’t judge, except by the merit of their argument, is healthy and purposeful. The names and reasons for liking and trusting these sites will be a subject for another article. I hope to develop a list favorite websites and leave it open for feedback and invite readers to introduce their favorite sites and why—stay tuned.
I can say this about sites I don’t like. Any website/blog that is stridently anti-left or anti-right is quickly discarded. These people don’t know they are being played by the timeless divide-and-conquer method of subjugating the populace. When a progressive attacks the Democratic Party or conservative attacks their own Republican Party, they start to get my attention. I also have little patience for religious-themed blogs or sites that promote racism or bigotry.
Sometimes it’s a waste of time, but when I read a thoughtful comment and there is a link to a reference I often follow it and this is how I’ve discovered many enlightened voices in the wilderness. I’ve discovered websites/blogs where the authors demonstrate a clear understanding of events, offer intelligent, altruistic perspectives only to see that the website has gone moribund the way I allowed mine to go. Meanwhile, the corporate anchors and journalists pull in multi-millions per year trying to sell fear of Russia, fear of Iran, fear of North Korea, fear of China, fear of Venezuela, etc. Meanwhile, every other TV commercial is for pharmaceutical drugs. The news agencies are drug dealers plain and simple. They all follow the same format, select the same stories in the same order, and follow with a feel good kicker at the end. All three networks could save money by hiring just one program director. Their news depresses you so they sell you drugs to help you cope, they promote war and highlight violence and sell you the military-industrial complex as the antidote.
The reason I named my book and the website Youtopia is because it is imperative for YOU to understand what is happening, how and why YOU are being manipulated and why and how YOU are being distracted from becoming better, more aware, more active citizens working toward making our brief earthly stay a more utopian experience.
So to answer my question as to why I’m starting to write my own blog again, it’s because I think I still have some important things to say and I like to write, share and receive feedback from readers. I don’t expect my blog to break out or go viral this time either, but now I think I have a better understanding of why blogs bog down. What I’ve discovered is something Aldous Huxley had understood since 1931: people are far too distracted with their own pursuits, trivial or not, to pay that much attention to the collective fate of humanity. Blogs like mine and many others are like messages in a bottle, tossed into the sea in hopes that someone will find the message and care enough to do something about it.
Aldous Huxley has the answer, not George Orwell.
I urge you to read the short essay below and watch the video, it’s a wonderful on stage debate complete with actors.
Huxley vs Orwell
By Andrew Wilson | Friday 4 May 2012
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 have a lot in common. Both depict a fruitless, empty dystopia in the future, both were written within twenty years (1931 and 1949 respectively) in the first half of the twentieth century, and thus both, in a fictional but nonetheless dark and even savage way, imagine what the world would be like today.
Fundamentally, however, they offer completely different accounts of what will enslave humanity in generations to come. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.
Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.
Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
As you can see, I’m not the first person to be stymied and confused by the public’s utter lack of interest in the crucial issues that control our lives and lead many to despair. Huxley was right, there are just too many distractions in the forms of gee-whiz technology, inane television programming, smartphone upgrades and social network jabbering that prevents the betrodden, in-debt masses from forming any semblance of a consensus as to what exactly is going wrong, who is responsible and what options we can take to curtail this Orwellian/Huxleyian path to dystopia. To be fair, more and more individuals are becoming “woke” as is the term of the day. But not enough to send a clear message of cease-and-desist in attacking and marginalizing the working class to the neo-liberal global oligarchs.
As I revive my blog from it’s long hiatus I hope to bring important issues into the spotlight. My next post will focus on the need for real debates to be broadcast on public airwaves. We must move away from the sponsored, preachy monologues that pass for “fair and balanced” analysis today. I’m certain there would be much more interest and involvement by ordinary folks in current affairs, there would be much less confusion and apathy, much deeper understanding of the issues and much greater turnout for voting if only the media– using our airwaves,–were required to allow real debates on all issues.
Most urgently, though, we all need to let the media and government know we are not going to tolerate another war in the Middle East or anywhere for that matter, and that will be the subject of an upcoming post. Stay tuned and please respond whether you agree with me or not. I’m waiting for somebody to answer my message in a bottle.