“We’re through the looking glass here”, – that’s from the iconic Oliver Stone film JFK, spoken by Kevin Costner (playing Jim Garrison) to his aides and investigators at one of their meetings. I think he follows that with “Black is white and white is black”, meaning their world has been turned upside down by their penetration of the conspiracy and cover-up of the murder of President John Kennedy. They have stepped into the realization that their warm womb of democracy and human rights is nothing more than an illusion perpetrated and maintained by the various institutions dependent on the continuance of our innocence.
The scene portrays an epoch, the mid-sixties, when the illusion was gradually beginning to crumble at the edges. Today, in this new millennium, we are slightly less naive. Many more folks distrust the government and the business elite who guide our lives with their lust for power and profits. We expect them to deny, lie, and obfuscate every chance they get. Every time we hear the words accountability, transparency and due diligence we reach for our bullshit detectors to find that we never turned them off in the first place. We tell ourselves at least we’re not being bombed, starved or tortured as in some parts of the planet, that North Korea is the perfect example of the Orwellian nightmare run amuck and well, shit, that’s not us.
There are limited freedoms in our liberal democracies, of that there is no doubt, but they are circumscribed by the agendas of the various institutions, corporate, military, governmental and religious who are convinced that their public relations web spinning is in our best interests, that we are children who can’t take the truth if it were served to us on a plate with a side of fries. I was reminded of this the other day when reading an article in the National Post reporting on the fact that Elizabeth May has presented a petition to Parliament on the 9/11 issue.
The petition, brought forward by a group called “Rethink 9/11 Canada”, alleges that a US government conspiracy perpetrated the attacks on that day and calls on the “Government Of Canada to conduct a parliamentary review into the events that occurred on Sept 11th of 2001”. It is stated that the group is best known for “buying billboards that declare that the twin towers were destroyed by controlled demolition rather than by hijacked aircraft”. The quote, “Your petitioners pray for the Government of Canada to conduct a parliamentary review of the omissions and inconsistencies in the official 9/11 commission report”, is contrasted with statements that the Green party, headed by Ms. May, is also hot and bothered by the fact that flouridated water, Wi-Fi and tic-caused Lyme Disease are underappreciated dangers to human health. As these are apparently all pet peeves of the “anti-science lobby”, according to the usual professorial pontificator dragged onstage for the occasion, the case for a 9/11 conspiracy and cover-up is effectively debunked without any of that awkward stuff, evidence, ever being discussed. The National Post does not wish us to go through the looking glass it would appear.
No mainstream media does. They all want us to think that all those irruptions into our three dimensional liberal democratic bubble are tantalizing myths at best and indicators of mental illness at worst. Bombings and disasters as inside jobs? It’s an unthinkable thought, outrageous and possibly traitorous, something that only our enemies, like those dastardly Russians, might contemplate. The Bologna train station bombing executed by Nato operatives trying to frame the communists? That was away back in the sixties for god’s sake. The Cold War was raging. And who remembers that now?
Aliens do not exist, nor do they communicate with us, never mind conduct ongoing experiments in species cross-breeding. Underground bases with teleportation portals to Mars that have been operational for decades? Back engineered saucers with anti-gravity drives zipping about effortlessly for just as long? Nonsense, what loony told you that? Free energy devices which would eventually render the grid next to useless? Please. The overwhelming complexity of crop circles indicating a creating intelligence far beyond our ability to analyze it? Let’s just ignore that shall we? Eternal life for everyone, regardless of creed? Let’s leave that to the religious nutbars and their atheist adversaries, where they can slog it out for another generation. Societies controlled by silent invisible elites suppressing all opposition to their agendas? Let me guess, you came in on a black helicopter and you’ve got a pod of dolphins who absolutely confirm Roswell? Out of body travel to other dimensions and planets? Keep that sci-fi shit in its place, will you?
It would seem that the mainstream media’s job, through denial and debunking, is to keep us in our place debating those sensible issues that keep societies running on the steam of opposing viewpoints, – financial disparities, gender inequalities and racial discrimination. After all, so many societies don’t even get that far, mired as they are in poverty, disease, starvation and civil war. We’re the lucky ones, let’s count our blessings as we dicker and debate.
Meanwhile the internet has become the bastion of independent thought, where citizens continually assert their right to express their truth. That other world of evidence ignored, opinions deleted and individuals denied, which is so explosive every government, totalitarian, autocratic or democratic, has to constantly monitor it to see what the heck is actually going on. Reminds me of those ‘Milabs’, those military expeditions to abduct citizens with all that high tech cleverness donated by the aliens themselves, bullying them to see just what those aliens have been up to. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to google ‘Milabs’. I ‘m also sure I don’t have to tell the journalists from the National Post either.
These are our two worlds: one gazing admiringly at the looking glass and seeing the wonders of many galaxies and the multitudes of sub-atomic insanity,- whirling, spinning and disappearing every micro-second. The other walking through the looking glass and seeing everything taken for granted turned inside out: every truth is a lie protecting the perpetrators. For a while anyway.
As I ponder these two worlds and how we divide ourselves by inhabiting one or the other I am reminded of my days as a literary writer. My world rotated around the glories of Shakespeare and the Romantics, Eliot, Joyce, Thomas and Woolf, the modernist novel and the great critics. It was all top shelf stuff, the required curriculum, and something that earned me the reputation, amongst family and friends, of reading only serious books. A world as insular and self-referential as any you could name, it kept out interlopers with ease, and one had only to engage any normal person in a few moments of booktalk to see how distant they were from the ineluctable modality of the visible and the heart of light, the silence, not to mention altarwise by owl light, the gentleman lay graveward with his furies.
Cohen and Dylan helped bridge a few chasms with twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift and like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free, but essentially I could see I was living on a remote island that most did not know existed never mind wanted to sail to. And later, I had to admit, that mathematicians and physicists must feel the same. We all lived in our self-referential worlds, insulated by our jargon from the mainstream and its obsessions.
And so, this ignored and denied reality of the whistleblowers, this other world of faster-than-light travel, free energy and unrefundable tickets to eternity for all, is it any more than just another garrulous sub-culture, craving and then creating its own sense of self-importance? Certainly it is to those who don’t participate. The religionists can definitely get by without us; they are all busy with their own crusades: against materialism, against atheism, against each other. The political activists have no time for our foolishness, and the career-and-kid-raising trip takes care of millions of others.
So where does that leave us? On the cutting edge of discovery, I would say, exploring the shadows the various elites would like to keep hidden, despite the renegades among them who leak intriguing and useful tidbits from time to time, giving us headlights to further probe the fog of disinformation so freely available. I would also say we can traverse the looking glass, live on the other side, and then return, sanity in place. We are attempting to usher in a better future while others would rather keep us tethered to a lesser past. As that tug of war continues, the future rolls towards us, unbidden and irresistible, in many trickling streams, making puddles at our feet.