Acting As If It Weren’t Really So

Laughing on the bus/Playing Games with the faces/She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy/I said, “Be careful his bowtie is really a camera”
America by Paul Simon

Only people who listen to the chorus of reliable alternative media voices warning of the quickly growing threat of nuclear war have any sense of the nightmare that is approaching.  Even for them, however, and surely for most others, unreality reigns.  Reality has a tough time countering illusions.  For we are cataleptically slow-walking to WW III.  If it is very hard or impossible to imagine our own deaths, how much harder is it to imagine the deaths of hundreds of millions of others or more.

In 1915, amid the insane slaughter of tens of millions during WW I that was a shocking embarrassment to the meliorist fantasy of the long-standing public consciousness, Freud wrote:

It is indeed impossible to imagine our own death, and whenever we attempt to do so, we can perceive that we are in fact still present as spectators. Hence the psychoanalytic school could venture on the assertion that, at bottom, no one believes in his own death, or to put the same thing another way, that, in the unconscious, every one of us is convinced of his own immortality.

The growing lunacy of the Biden administration’s provocations against Russia via Ukraine seem lost on so many.  The long-running and deep-seated demonization of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin by U.S. propagandists has sunk so deep into the Western mind that facts can’t descend that deep to counteract it. It is one of the greatest triumphs of U.S. government propaganda.

A friend, a retired history professor at an elite university, recently told me that he can’t think of such matters as the growing threat of nuclear war if he wants to sleep at night, but anyway, he’s more concerned with the consequences of global warming.  Readers at publications where my numerous articles about the nuclear war risk have appeared – the worst since the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 – have made many comments such as “nuclear weapons don’t exist,” that it’s all a hoax, that Putin is in cahoots with Biden in a game of fear mongering to promote a secret agenda, etc.  How can one respond to such denials of reality?

The other day I met another friend who likes to talk about politics.  He is an intelligent and a caring man.  He was sporting a tee-shirt with a quote from George Washington and quickly started talking about his obsessive fear of Donald Trump and the possibility that he could be elected again.  I told him that I despised Trump but that Biden was a far greater threat right now.  He spoke highly of Biden, and when I responded that Biden has been a warmonger throughout his political career and of course in Ukraine, was instigating the use of nuclear weapons, and was in full support of Israel’s genocide of Palestinians, he looked at me as if I were saying something he had never heard before.  When I spoke of the 2014 U.S. engineered coup d’état in Ukraine, he, a man in his sixties at least, said he was unaware of it, but in any case Biden supported our military as he did and that was good.  When I said Biden is mentally out of it and physically tottering, he emphatically denied it; said Biden was very sharp and fully engaged.  He said Trump was fat and a great danger and George Washington would agree.  I was at a loss for words.  The conversation ended.

A third friend, just back from living overseas for a year, flew back east from California to visit old friends and relatives.  He told me this sad tale:

There were experiences that troubled me very deeply during my visit that had nothing to do with all the death and final goodbyes I was immersed in.  My family I would say is pretty typical working class Democrat.  Liberal/progressive in social outlook.  Most are devout Catholics.  All are kind, generous very loving people.  What was troubling was that it was pretty much impossible to carry on a rational reasonably sane political conversation with all but a couple of them, as the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” symptoms were absolutely off the charts.  It was quite stunning actually.  It is almost as if Dementia-Joe isn’t even in office as they had no interest in discussing his many failings, because their entire focus was the orange haired clown.  If I had ten bucks for every time someone told me any one of the following NPR/PBS talking points I’d buy a nice meal for myself – (Trump will be a dictator if elected – Trump will prosecute his enemies if elected – Trump will destroy our democracy if he gets in – etc.)  Any and all attempts to question these narratives and talking points by bringing the behavior of the current administration into the conversation were met with befuddlement – as if people couldn’t believe that “I” wasn’t as terrified as they were by the “Trump-Monster” lurking in the shadows.

So I guess I’m sharing these thoughts with you Ed because it feels like I’m dealing with several different kinds of loss right now.  The more obvious “loss” associated with the physical death of loved ones – but I’m also mourning the intellectual and psychological death of living loved ones who have somehow become completely untethered from the “material realities” I observe on planet earth.  They can repeat “talking points” but can’t explain the evidence or reason that needs to be attached to those talking points for them to be anything but propaganda. Physical death is a natural thing – something we will all face – but this intellectual and spiritual death I am witness to is perhaps even more painful and disconcerting for me.  How do we find our way forward when reason, rational debate, evidence, and real-world events are replaced with fear – and rather irrational fears at that?

This intellectual and spiritual death that he describes is a widespread phenomenon.  It is not new, but COVID 19 with its lockdowns, lies, and dangerous “vaccines” dramatically intensified it.  It created vast gaps in interpersonal communication that were earlier exploited in the lead-up to the 2016 election and Trump’s surprising victory.  Families and friends stopped talking to each other.  The longstanding official propaganda apparatus went into overdrive.  Then in  2020 the normal human fear of death and chaos was fully digitized during the lockdowns.  Putin, Trump, the Chinese, sexual predators, viruses, space aliens, your next door neighbor, etc. – you name it – were all tossed into the mix that created fear and panic to replace the growing realization that the war on terror initiated by George W. Bush in 2001 was losing its power.  New terrors were created, censorship was reinforced, and here we are in 2024 in a country supporting Israeli genocide in Gaza and with a population blind to the growing threat of WW III and the use of nuclear weapons.

The communication gap – what my friend aptly describes as “this intellectual and spiritual death” – is two-sided.  On one hand there is simple ignorance of what is really going on in the world, greatly aided by vast government/media propaganda. On the other, there is chosen ignorance or the wish to be deceived to maintain illusions.

We are thinking reeds as Pascal called us, vulnerable feeling creatures afraid of death; we, who through the support of wars and violence of all sorts, care just enough to want to be deceived as to what we are doing by supporting wars that make so much blood that is inside other people get to the outside for the earth to drink since it is not our blood and we survive.

I could, of course, quote liberally from truth tellers down through history who have said the same thing about self-deception with all its shades and nuances. Those quotations are endless.  Why bother?  At some very deep level in the recesses of their hearts, people know it’s true.  I could make a pretty essay here, be erudite and eloquent, and weave a web of wisdom from all those the world says were the great thinkers because they are now dead and can no longer detect hypocrisy.

For the desire to be deceived and hypocrisy (Greek hypokrites, stage actor, a pretender) are kissing cousins. Grasping the theatrical nature of social life, the need to pretend, to act, to feel oneself part of a “meaningful” play explains a lot.  To stand outside consensus reality, outside the stage door, so to speak, is not very popular.   Despite the mass idiocy of the media’s daily barrage of lies and stupidities that pass for news on the front pages and newscasts of the corporate media, people want to believe them to feel they belong.

Yet D. H. Lawrence’s point a century ago still applies: “The essential America soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.  It has never yet melted.”

But this killer soul must be hidden behind a wall of deceptions as the U.S. warfare state ceaselessly wages wars all around the world.  It must be hidden behind feel good news stories about how Americans really care about others, but only others that they are officially allowed to care about.  Not Syrians, Yemenis, Russian speakers of the Donbass, Palestinians, et al.  The terrorist nature of decades upon decades of U.S. savagery and the indifference of so many Americans go hand-in-hand but escape notice in the corporate media that are propagandists. The major theme of these media is that the United States government is the great defender of freedom, peace, and democracy.  Every once in a while, a scapegoat, one rotten apple in the barrel, is offered up to show that all is not perfect in paradise.  Here or there a decent article appears to reinforce the illusion that the corporate media tell the truth.  But essentially it is one massive deception that is leading many people to accept a slow walk toward WW III.

There’s a make-believe quality to this vast spectacle of violent power and false innocence that baffles the mind.  To see and hear the corporate masked media magicians’ daily reports is to enter a world of pure illusion that deserves only sardonic laughter but sadly captivates so many adult children desperate to believe.

Here’s an anecdote about a very strange encounter, one I couldn’t make up.  A communication of some sort that also has a make-believe quality to it.  I’m not sure what the message is.

I was recently meeting with a writer and researcher who has interviewed scores of people about the famous 1960s assassinations and other sensitive matters.  I only knew this person through internet communication, but he was passing my way and suggested that we meet, which we did at a local out-of-the-way cafe.  We were the only customers and we took our drinks out the back to a small table and chairs under a tree in the café’s large garden that bordered open land down to a river.  About 10 yards away a woman sat at a table, writing in a notebook that I took to be journaling of some sort.  The researcher and I talked very openly for more than two hours about our mutual work and what he had learned from many of his interviewees about the assassinations.  Neither of us paid any attention to the woman at the table – naively? – and our conversation naturally revolved around the parts played by intelligence agencies, the CIA, etc. in the assassinations of the Kennedys and MLK, Jr.  The woman sat and wrote.  Near the end of our two plus hours, my friend went inside the café, which had closed to new customers, to use the men’s room.  The woman called to me and said I hope you don’t mind but I overheard some of your conversation and my father worked for U.S. intelligence.  She then told us much more about him, where he went to college, etc. or at least what she said she knew because when growing up he didn’t tell her mother, her, or siblings any details about his decades of spying.  But when she attended his memorial service in Washington D.C., the place was filled with intelligence  operatives and she learned more about her father’s secretive life.  Then, out of the blue, it burst out of her how he was obsessed with the high school he attended, one she assured us we probably never heard of (we were in Massachusetts) – Regis High School, a Jesuit scholarship prep school for boys in NYC.  To say I was startled is an understatement, since I went to Regis myself, and the anomalous “coincidence” of this encounter in the back garden of an empty café spooked my friend as well.  The woman told us more about her father until we had to leave.

I wondered if he wore a bowtie and if what just happened weren’t really so.







27 thoughts on “Acting As If It Weren’t Really So”

  1. Excellent. Samsara will never be “fixed” and nihilism can be abandoned for understanding impermanence. As Trungpa said in his Sadhana “Good and bad, happy and sad, all thoughts vanish like the imprint of a bird in the sky.”

  2. We have to celebrate today that Noam Chomsky is alive and kicking. So Let us go forth in the goodness of our merciful Father, in the gentleness of our brother Jesus, in the radiance of the Holy Spirit, in the faith of the apostles,
    in the joyful praise of the angels, in the holiness of the saints, in the courage of the revolutionary martyrs, because Chomsky is not dead !!

    By the way we also have to celebrate that many other revolutionaries of old age are alive today like Paul Craig Roberts, Edward Curtin, Ray Mcgovern, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul, John Densmore, Roger Waters, they are renegades of their times and age !!


  3. Hi Edward and friends, another great anti-Matrix, truth-teller, article about how we might be at the edge of a global apocalypse. And I have never really thought about what you are writing in this article, about the inertia, apathetic, anti-reality, hedonist behaviour of the general masses. People are behaving like if we are living in the world Alice in Wonderland or in Disney World. I don’ understand the causes of that behaviour pattern. But one cause might be explained in the book “The Society of the Spectacle” of Guy Debord and a related book written by Chris Hedges Hedges even talks about that we are heading toward the end of book-reading, the end of reading texts and the rise of audio and video culture, which will increase the levels of stupidity, ignorance, already in most people.

    I hate talking about my own close family. I have 2 sisters who live in Tennessee, and all they talk about a Royal Caribbean or Carnival Cruise that they would like to take this summer. I have quit talking about how evil capitalism and imperialism are and about how good anti-war progressive leaders like Jill Stein would be for USA, about how good communism, socialism, marxism, anarchism, christian-anarchism are as the best medicines for all the problems of USA and the whole world, it is waste of time. You cannot reason with middle class bourgeoise consumerist people. That’s why the late Joe Bageant hated the middle class.

    Many leftists blame the upper ruling classes as the main enemy of change, but from my own poing of view, the middle classes and their anti-politics behaviour in the USA is really the main enemy of change, not even Donald Trump or Bill Gates

    Something has to give !!

    John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Hugo Chavez are alive !!


  4. Great first paragraph:. “everyone in the alternative media says it, so I believe WWIII is coming. My weirdo friends heard something else and believe that.”
    Seriously?! They’ve only been saying it for 20 years. Same with the ‘inevitable’ economic collapse that’s been just over the horizon for as long as I remember. How does this even pass for ‘thinking’? . Here’s a crazy idea:. Think for yourself. Or how about this : Actually know something. If you are going to ANY news outlet as your source of information rather than the ACTUAL source of that information, you are a hopeless idiot. And no that’s hyperbole, it’s generous. Millions of stupid idiots offed themselves in the past few years with a death shot because it came with a free donut advertised on TV. Because going to a clinical journal and reading in October 2020 that the shot caused miscarriages, killed patients, had hella side effects and wasn’t even tested for transmission was just more than could be asked from people in exchange for their lives. Despite the information being publicly available worldwide in the language they were born speaking. The nonsense that the news had everyone running around doing and believing was an embarrassment Also there was no proof the virus even existed. So stop believing people and start knowing stuff. It is literally impossible that the economy can collapse. Learn why. Nobody is going to start firing nukes. When it’s the nuclear option, it’s the nuclear option for everyone all at once, at which point youve reached peak unpredictability. If Putin or Biden reached for the button they’d immediately be shot thru the back of the head. Thats a do or die moment for everyone in the room and nobody is going to let some idiot in a Biden mask nuke their whole family/reality/world without doing anything. Secret Service and KGB still want a home to go home to. Sorry but its NOT really so. Its actually a tired worn out script. Are you stupid and childish enough to think that people are pulling together entire productions and broadcasting them worldwide at great expense to themselves, and there’s no agenda whatsoever? That they just did all that to save you the pain of thinking. And that 20 years of Doom and gloom predictions that never came true had no other intended purpose?
    As you throw people you actually know under the bus over it, to the delight of strangers online who drank the same Kool Aid? Stop LARPing nonsense you heard on the internet from idiots. Think and then tell us what YOU thought of. At the point in time that you actually think of anything. Otherwise what are we doing here?

  5. Hi Ed,
    This is one of your best articles ever – expert analysis, straight to the point, and climaxed with a most mysterious ending. Also brings to mind T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” . . . as relevant today as when it was first published in 1925. Thanks again Ed for your talents as a critical thinker and amazing writer, and may God Bless You always.

  6. Most people are willfully ignorant. They don’t want or can’t handle the truth. A person must want to know truth. It takes desire and effort. Each person must (ask, seek, knock) for truth. The ultimate truth is the knowledge/belief in God. God is the ultimate truth from/through which all other truth can be discerned and understood.
    2 Thessalonians 2:10-14
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
    14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1. Your first paragraph pretty much sums it up for my case – prior to 15-20 years ago, I was one of those war hawks who believed America was a force for good…..until I started to read, read, read – – what a turn around!
      Furthermore, it led me to discover that all of Western Civilization was under attack – and since it developed and grew almost exclusively in a European White culture – it seemed more than coincidental that White nations have been targeted. How so?
      Why are White nations being targeted for destruction? And by who?
      “I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.” – Rudyard …
      What say we broaden the perspective by asking questions?
      Why is this happening? – takes some reading, but it took me a lot of research to finally post the evidence in my library – all I did was connect a lot of dots among the hard work done by various authors.

      1. I think the predominate problem in America is Fascism. This is evident through the fasces symbolism displayed behind the podium in the U.S. House of Representatives.
        Fascism is when the government controls everything through business (or the reverse). This involves collaboration between government & business in order to enrich each other at the expense of the lives and liberties of the people. Another word for Fascism is “Crony Capitalism”. It doesn’t matter if it’s liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, secular or Christian. Both work together to enrich each other off the backs of the people and their freedoms. In the U.S., the Defense industry/ Pentagon/ & lobbyists and the Pharmaceutical/ Food industry/FDA/ & lobbyists are examples of Crony Capitalism in industry. Connections between the government/ industry tycoons/ and lobbyists is more important than actual competition due to the revolving door.
        I believe any change must come from the ground up, local grass roots movements and helping people understand what is happening. Understanding the purpose of our existence and the plans that God has preordained for humanity will explain this country’s and the world’s situation. I am no longer surprised by any information (i.e., political, financial, scientific, medical, environmental, societal, cultural, religious, etc.). I am convinced, there is a much greater plan afoot. President H.W. Bush referred to it in several speeches as “The Ancient Hope”. He also referred to it in several speeches as “a New World Order” as did Henry Kissinger and President George W. Bush. More recently this plan has been called “The Great Reset” based on the book by Klaus Schwab. It is really the plan/conspiracy for a global “One World” government by a Luciferian/Satanic elite cabal. This cabal of the ruling class/elites and others in positions of power have chosen to side with Lucifer/Satan for worldly success/power/fame/money, etc. The first attempt for a global “one world” government was by Nimrod at the tower of Babel (Genesis 10:8-10)(Genesis 11). Here is a document that further explains–Summary-of-Lucifer-and-the-Kabbalistic-Jews–Teresa-Hillebrandt.pdf

        1. You are right, theree is another stranger theory about world domination related to what you wrote. It has to do with an extraterrestrial race called The Anunnakis, according to that theory about 500,000 years ago, an extraterrestrial race came from other worlds looking for gold and precious minerals, so they created the human race with slavery DNA genes, in order for humans to mine the earth and to create wealth for their masters

          I think that not only fascism is the problem, but the existence of the state itself. I think that only a global anarchist revolution to abolish all states, all governments of the world can really lead to an end of slavery and suffering in the world

          1. The Book of Judges in the Bible gives the history of the Israelites for about 300 yrs. after the death of Joshua. It describes what happened when the Israelites resorted to anarchy rule. The key verse is Judges 17:6 KJV & Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” It is a book of failure. Chapters 17-20 describes the culmination of the failure of the anarchy rule. It is an interesting read from the King Jams Bible Version. The ultimate take away is that in humankind’s current fallen/ sinful state we are not capable of ruling ourselves (i.e. anarchy). Later, as the Bible story continues to unfold (i.e. The Books of 1 & 11 Kings) human kings and governments also fail. Success will only come as described in the final chapters of the Book of Revelation when God/Jesus rules over humanity in righteousness and peace.

            1. I guess you are right, all types and forms of governments would be not a be a solution, capitalism, socialism, social-democracy, fascism, monarchies, feudalism and even anarchist-socialism can lead to chaos like you said. Because in a money-less state-less social order, people would go to the food providers and electronics items providers and take a lot of things for themselves, creating an economic chaos. I think crime would increase, because humans are still too barbarian. I was formerly a social-democrat, then a socialist and lately have evolved into an anarchist-socialist, with all the deep studying i have done thanks to the internet about the real roots of states, of governments. so i have jumped to the conclusion that all types of states-governments are evil and they only benefit those in the upper classes, and this has been happening for thousands of years until today since the creation of states.

              so the only type of social order left that humans shoulid try is anarchist-socialism.

              Here is a writing from The Anarchist Library about the nature of states:


              “Socialism, the Socialists, the whole Socialistic philosophy, have fooled us as probably this world was never fooled before. Instead of teaching us to rely on ourselves, and insist individually and collectively on equality of opportunity and a square deal, they have told us that governments are our friends; that we must strengthen them; that we must load them with power; that we must make them run our railroads and our telegraphs; that we must give them the ownership of this and the management of that; that we must work for them in ever larger numbers; that we must look to them for the overthrow of all those special privileges which clothe the few in purple and the multitude in rags. Never was there a more cruel lie. Never were the people lured by fine words and subtle theories more fatally to their own destruction.

              It is government that parcels out among the few our priceless heritage, the earth, and defends, with all its military and legal forces, the privilege so granted. It is government that creates the millionaire, and it is government that throws into jail the helpless pauper it has created if he dares to take a crust of bread. It is government that creates and maintains the army of monopolists that ride us and the swarm of official leeches that suck our blood. Every new official is another stone added to that government fortress behind which monopoly and special privilege rest secure, while from it issues a devastating fire on those who question the parasite’s right to gorge himself. It is government that orders the peaceful German worker to shoot down the peaceful French worker, with whom he has only interests in common; interests diametrically opposed to those of the heartless few who set the machinery of war in motion.

              And a link about the origin, the roots ofanother writing, from the philosopher Nietzsche and the origin of the state:


              Another link from a libertarian anarchist about how evil governments are. (Look how the government of Maduro betrayed the democratic socialist ideology of Hugo Chavez), Under Chavez the minimum wage of Venezuela was about 600 dollars per month. Under Maduro it is about less than 5 dollars per month:


              And the whole book published online about how Jesus was an anarchist and real christianity should be communist and anarchist. The type of christianity preached by most churches is false


              1. The Bible has a lot to say about topics such as these, for example:
                Ecclesiates 1:8-10 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
                Job 4:17-19 (KJV)
                Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
                Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
                How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
                Psalm 118:8 (KJV)
                It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
                Isaiah 64:6-7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
                Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)
                The heart is deceitful above all things,
                and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                John 2:24-25 (KJV)
                But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man:
                for he knew what was in man.
                Romans 3:4 (KJV)
                God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;
                as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
                Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

  7. Fascinating… Regis, eh? I had never heard of it until just now. But having heard of it in this context, Ed – I’ll never forget it. Thanks for this article which fits so well my thinking on Biden vs Trump. How many billions of Afghanistan money and now Russian money has Biden stolen? Any self-respecting country with reserves held in the US should be thinking of moving it out right now!

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