Sunday, June 12, 2011

The season of the witch

When I look over my shoulder,
What do you think I see ?
Some other cat looking over
His shoulder at me
And he's strange, sure he's strange.
You've got to pick up every stitch,
You've got to pick up every stitch,
Beatniks out to make it rich,
Oh no, must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch, yeah,
Must be the season of the witch.
You've got to pick up every stitch,
Two rabbits running in the ditch,
Beatniks out to make it rich,
Oh no, must be the season of the witch ...

Donovan, "Season of the Witch"
from Sunshine Superman

I can remember, like watery images from a dream, when the news -- good, bad, or indifferent -- fit into a more or less comprehensible world. That would be, oh, let's say for simplicity, before the Kennedy assassination. In those Old Normal days, you read in the paper of political thunderbolts hurled across the aisle, labor strikes, crime stories, love stories, Sputniks and marches and new vaccines to cure old diseases.

You could wonder whether we were heading for mutual assured destruction or colonies on Mars, or ponder the human condition. But even the bad stuff, the scary stuff, made a kind of sense.

No more. Increasingly, it seems like mankind, if not nature entire, is having a collective nervous breakdown, a mass psychotic acting out like dancing manias in the Middle Ages.

Consider these items -- and we will ignore everything about a certain Congressman's brief encounter -- all drawn from a few pages of the news aggregation site Lucianne.com:
A string of suicide bombings across Afghanistan, including one by a young boy pushing an ice cream cart, has killed at least 21 people today - many of them children.
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PELHAM, N.H. - Pelham police say they were justified in using a Taser several times on a cow, despite a complaint from its owner. Last Saturday, one of Wendy Bordeleau’s two cows got loose from her 30-acre farm. About a dozen people were trying to coral 800-pound Houdini across busy Mammoth Road when police showed up with their tasers.
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The rarefied world of government arts funding apparently has run out of artists specializing in elephant-dung and human-urine media. Now comes the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announcement it will make grants for digital media - specifically video-game design.
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Mayor Bloomberg's grand vision to improve New Yorkers' health by severely limiting the sale of high-calorie beverages on city property is bad news for the little guy, say blind vendors who operate stands in city-owned buildings. The vendors were notified Monday that they can dedicate just two slots in their beverage machines for high-calorie drinks such as soda, iced tea, juice and Gatorade -- and the buttons must be "in the position of the lowest-selling potential," according to the new regulations.
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This year's MTV Movie Awards aerobically established a new low. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are starring in the upcoming summer comedy "Friends with Benefits," yet another movie exploring the "dream life" of casual and very cold sex. As they introduced the award for Best Male Performance, Timberlake and Kunis grabbed each other's private parts on national TV.
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Judicial Watch uncovered hundreds of documents from the City of Dayton, Ohio, showing that Department of Justice (DOJ) officials pressured the Dayton Police and Fire Departments to lower testing standards because not enough African-American candidates passed the written exam.
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Counties, school districts and community colleges would have broad authority to seek taxes on income and products like cigarettes and alcohol under a bill approved by the California Senate this afternoon.  
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David Cameron courted controversy today by talking about families who had children before they could afford to support them.The Prime Minister said he was determined to 'change values' in Britain so that hard-working families would be rewarded.But he was criticised for his comments about poorer families when he contrasted constituents who waited to get married and start a family to people on benefit having 'as many children as they want'.
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), has spent $3,634,807 over the past decade funding research that involves getting monkeys to smoke and drink drugs such as PCP, methamphetamine (METH), heroin, and cocaine and then studying their behavior, including during different phases of the female monkeys’ menstrual cycles. 
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BLIZZARDS, hailstorms and hurricanes: the 2012 Olympic torch has been designed to weather anything a typical British summer can throw at it. Yet despite the ambitions of designers and the event sponsors, EDF Energy, attempts to create the world's first low-carbon "green" Olympic flame have failed. Unlike previous designs, the ultra-light torch is designed to feel like a piece of hi-tech sports equipment rather than a flaming brand.
Something, way past generic human folly, is sucking us into a whirlpool of moral and intellectual vacuity. Maybe our mass communications and entertainment add a multiplier effect to every crazy act, projecting it across the globe faster than reason can build defenses, spreading mental contagion.

It's the season of dumbing down, of technological hypnosis, of everyone reforming everyone while nothing must be denied to the protected classes. Must be the season of the witch.

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3 comments:

-Jas said...

Too many people, the constricting, pressurizing effect of mass media/travel = pressure cooker = fundamental transformation.

Van Wijk said...

Paul Kersey of SBPDL is convinced we'll see mass riots this summer.

Do you own a good rifle, Rick? Don't answer if you'd rather not.

Rick Darby said...

Jas,

Your equation is a concise summation of what seems to be happening.

Van Wijk,

I'm skeptical about mass riots this year. The Liberal Establishment will cut everything from the budget before it shuts the valve on the welfare pipeline. We're not at that point and probably won't be for a few more years.

More likely, the same barely suppressed tensions and ethnic bribery will continue as usual.