It is she who said monsters are made. Think Frankenstein, definitely constructed by a human.
And we do this all the time…in our heads simply repeating the stories we tell ourselves that create indelible images, which we then project onto the world we live in. Or better said, the world we wish we lived in.
The Planet We Made
Olafur Eliasson is an Icelandic–Danishartist known for sculptured and large-scale installation art that employ elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. He designed the cover of Time this month to highlight our collective climate crisis that will affect and impact everyone on Earth. Rich or poor, everyone will pay a huge price for further dithering and delaying on taking immediate action Now.
Olafur tells Time to create the effect on TIME’s cover, he employed a technique called after imaging. By following the instructions on the cover, when the page changes, your eyes re-imagine our overheated planet in the healthy vibrant greens and blues we, the human race, were born into and began our journey as a species through time.
The Monsters We Make
This same elusive after imaging takes place inside our minds. The images that get stored inside our minds are created by the stories we tell ourselves and the images we consume as ordinary citizens.
These images, let’s call them cultural images, are stored in our minds as belief systems. Beliefs are vastly more complicated images than the one created by Olafur Eliasson for the cover of TIME. However, compared to reality, beliefs are pathetic and paltry.
Belief systems tend to leave far more outside (the evil other) than inside (the person who sees the the world like you do). All of us adopt and cultivate belief systems. They help us know who we can trust. And, they help us survive by acting as short cuts to reality.
By popping your beliefs into a situation, you can just get down to action. Or really reaction to a situation because beliefs allow you to skip the work of hard thinking, critical analysis, and feeling into what you are actually experiencing.
Systems of belief are informed by the families we grow up in, the cultures we live in, and the religions we participate in (or do not participate in). Systems of belief are further evolved and informed by friends, peers, teachers, clubs, politics, and media, among many other sources.
Whether you accept the stories and images imparted to you through these systems, whether you believe them or you don’t believe them, beliefs about how the world is or isn’t are formed and held in the mind very much like the phantom image Olafur Eliasson created on the cover of TIME.
Each and every belief are things you have choose to accept, to believe, and to store in your head. You choose to believe the things you think are true or what you don’t believe or believe to be not true, regardless of whether they are empirically true or not true.
Once you commit to a belief (in other words you swallow an idea hook, line, and sinker), it creates an indelible image of how the world is, which gets overlay onto everything you do and everyone around you. Very much like the elusive image Olafur Eliasson made for the November 2022 cover of TIME. You put them there, and then you project them on the world.
Beliefs are more likes wishes, fears, and desires. They accord with more how we want the world to be rather than how it really is. Our wish/fear/wants live inside our minds and are projected on the world every moment of our lives. They hoover and cling to everything and everyone we come into contact with like a ghostly aura. Depending on what our projected system of beliefs tells us we should believe about a person or a thing that comes into our narrow bandwidth of focused conscious attention, aligns our actions and behavior in the world.
This rather simple ability has oversized implications–some good, some bad. It is an ability that we take for granted as human beings. Our ability to create systems of beliefs is a form of ignorance (ig–nor–ance, what we choose not to see) and it has gotten the better of us. It is what allows us to turn ordinary human beings into monsters or our world into a wasteland.
Kendra R. Parker explains our creation of and fascination with monsters this way:
When Dracula appeared in the 19th century, there was all of this fear, the English were preoccupied with borders, boundaries and nationalism. Between like 1881 and 1900 there was an increase in the number of non-English Jewish people. There was this xenophobia, this fear of Jewish people, this sort of threat of external colonization. And so these fears about the threatening outsider, who is going to come in and disturb the national pure body, finds its way into Bram Stoker's Dracula.
And if we come to the United States in 1898, we have newspaper images popping up out of North Carolina that depict Black men as vampires because there was this fear of Black men. There's this fear of black men being in politics and so that if you got black political power, then they're going to take over and destroy white women and all of that. And so you've got all of this propaganda.
And there are two images in particular. One is called "The Vampire that Hovers Over North Carolina." It appears in 1898, and it's a Black male vampire coming out of a ballot box. And there's another image that same time period in North Carolina where you got vampires coming out of the grave to vote and they're Black. And so there's this fear that if you let these monsters vote, they will take over and destroy our way of life.
The Monsters We Are
When we use our system of beliefs to turn other human beings into monsters, it is ourselves who become the monster. When hate becomes our fuel, then the transformation is complete. The monster has been made.
It is a way of being in the world that leads to Hell. It is the path of destruction, of mayhem, and of death.
It is a way of being in the world that may begin by being suspicious, distrustful, and skeptical. But it can quickly eclipse who you think you are and make you into a person who takes pleasure in being cynical, ghoulish, grisly, and grotesque.
Such a journey is often summed up by the popular phrase —Take The Red Pill. This means a person that falls down a rabbit hole. They start out innocently following juicy breadcrumbs of gossip and plausibly outrageous happens that grow ever more implausible. But once you get hooked on these toxic breadcrumbs carefully left behind by Master Manipulators who are experts in making the implausible sound plausible. Indeed, the Truth that you are willing to die for.
How To Make of a Monster
Step 1) Chop the world into absolutely good and absolutely evil, then choose a role to play in this absolute drama (it goes without saying that whatever side you play on… that is the righteous side, the good guys, the side that is going to slay absolute evil)
Step 2) Select a Mask for the role you will play in the absolute drama to rid the world of absolute evil (make sure you are the Super Hero of your story and everyone else is the bad guy)
Step 3) Strap Your Mask Tightly To Your Face So It Doesn’t Slip or Fall Off (you don’t want anyone to see you are merely human like the people and other living beings you are dehumanizing)
Step 4) Cut Up Bits and Pieces from the World and Other Stories, Then Mash Them Into Your Mask So You Become Unrecognizable Like Camouflage (it doesn’t matter if the bits and pieces make sense anymore, you are creating your super hero version of yourself!)
Step 5) Add Lots of Layers to Your Mask, Be Sure to Use Lots of Devilish Deceit and Deception, More Camouflage to Help You Better Play Your Role (God forbid anyone recognize that you’re really human behind your Fake Persona)
Step 6) Distort, Deform, and Mangle Your Mask to Create Fantastic New Levels of Distractions and Illusions, Even More Camouflage… Fighting Evil Isn’t for Sissies (this will draw others to you — your followers, your zombie army)
Step 7) Forget You Are Wearing A Mask: Now You Are A Monster
I have not read this book, Metaflesh. But, the image of the cover is captivating. To me, it perfectly captures how we can turn ourselves into monsters using any system of belief, any one at all. In the land of make believe, nothing is sacred. Once we slip down a rabbit holes inside our minds, the inner Hellish landscape allows us to endlessly violently project onto others what we cannot admit to ourselves that we are.
This is a book review of Metaflesh from where I got the image:
Metaflesh is written by Evan J. Peterson, author of The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir and DragStar!, the world’s first drag performer role-playing game. Metaflesh is a book of verse and prose from the point of view of Frankenstein’s Monster. The reflections are inspired not only by Mary Shelley’s seminal work (double entendre fully intended) but also by the pop culture descendants of her novel. Sources include a wide variety of Frankenstein/mad scientist movies and song lyrics. The book also contains themes of Jewish folklore, queer culture, camp, and a lot of David Cronenberg-style body horror. The book covers the gamut of the Monster’s experiences through over a century of movies and songs, and portrays the Monster as both gender-fluid and a sort of chimerical film critic, reviewing portrayals of their self through lyric poetry and flash fiction.
This is an ingenious book of metafiction. Just as Dr. Frankenstein cut up different people and stitched the bits together, Peterson cut up and reassembled his sources, turning them into something greater than the sum of their parts. Borrowing from William S. Burroughs cut-up technique, he splices together Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with F.T. Marinetti’s Manifesto del Futurismo (Futurist Manifesto) and with J. G. Ballard’s essay, “Why I want to F*ck Ronald Reagan.” He apostrophizes the sexually explicit films of avant-garde queer Canadian creator Bruce LaBruce and doesn’t forget to include General Mills’ Frankenberry breakfast cereal or select lines from Mommy Dearest and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The combined imagery of classical Greek mythology, white supremacy, drag queens, Judaism, and zombie erotica do not merge into a hot mess but meld together into a deliciously readable book.
This literary retrospective is sad, funny, quirky, surgically precise, and captivating. I was never bored and didn’t skip through parts. I tore through my first reading at speed and have been taking my time through subsequent readings. The only spot which slows me down, pulling me to a frowning halt, is a simile in the poem, “His Name is In Me”: “gross as the tallest savage.” Although I’m aware that white supremacist imagery is intentionally used throughout the book—punching up, not down—the use of the word “savage” feels out of place here. It is a racial slur used against Black and Indigenous peoples and stands out awkwardly in a poem strongly based in Judaic imagery. If it is a slur used against Jews, I am unaware, but this is my only quibble with the entire book. -- Book Review: Metaflesh by Evan J. Peterson
Someone OnceTold Me
Someone once told me that my blog The StoryTelling Species Series was just a story. He really just wanted to put it down and elevate himself because we were having a very strong disagreement about COVID. I knew he was wrong, but could not explain to him why he was so wrong then.
Now I can. I knew it is the stories we tell ourselves that make us into heroes or villains, good or evil, saints or monsters. Now I know how it happens inside our minds.
Given how susceptible we are to believe our own stories and lies about ourselves, it is best to give all other people the benefit of the doubt and trust they are not the monster you are afraid of… the one that lives inside of you. It is best just be human and to recognize that we have a little bit of good and a little bit of bad inside of us.
It is when we hang onto the evil inside of us and refuse to let go of it that we make ourselves into monsters and turn Earth into Hell. Trust that reality is far more interesting than the stories we tell ourselves about our selves and others.
Trust that you belong here and now with everyone else and that together we can heal ourselves. This is something we can only do together. And if we heal, Earth heals and our burning hot planet may once again shine in its brilliant, beautiful, life sustaining blues and greens!
And Other Things to Remember about January 6, 2021
First Archetypal Animation | Trying to Work It Out
In the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, my brother-in-law was heard telling his son, “I can’t wait for the shooting and killing to begin.”
I don’t share this to expose what a despicable man he is (although after spending 2.5 weeks with him after attending a memorial service for my sister-in-law who lost her battle to breast cancer, he showed me just how repugnant, wretched, beastly, and hate-filled he has become as a sorry excuse for a man. I am video blogging about the good, the bad, and the ugly in myBig Sky Series).
Rather I share this sad sentiment to shine light on the reality that the 309,000 people living in the US who do not believe in the Big Lie and do not believe violence is justified to overturn an election whose results they don’t like probably know someone who does.
The University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats have been tracking insurrectionist sentiments in U.S. adults, most recently in surveys in June. We have found that 47 million American adults – nearly 1 in 5 – agree with the statement that “the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.” Of those, 21 million also agree that “use of force is justified to restore Donald J. Trump to the presidency.”
Why should we be paying attention to this when there are so many other Big Problems such as Climate Change, poverty, and disease that need our time and attention. Because the ramifications of the United States of American falling prey to autocratic, authoritarian, dictatorial rule are huge. And as a democracy, we have never been nearer to such an outcome since the Civil War.
Here is what Timothy Snyder, Yale history professor, predicts would happen if a Trump 2024 coup that is carefully being architected right now through our legal systems and then shored up with new legislation restricting voting rights and further bolstered by installing more compliant men and women at state and local levels who are willing to do as the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger refused to do when Trumped asked him to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in Georgia.
Yale history professor Timothy Snyder predicts the horrific aftermath of a Trump coup in 2024
If Trump runs in 2024, he will lose the popular vote. If corrupt GOP state legislators install Trump as President, the United States will quickly and catastrophically cease to exist. That's what Yale history professor Timothy Snyder says in the latest issue of his "Thinking About" newsletter.
“In a situation where he is installed as president after losing an election, Mr. Trump would vainly try to control what will quickly cease to be the United States. His allies who wish to destroy the state will be the only winners. The precise scenario of the collapse of the United States is impossible to predict, but some of the following is likely to happen, and quickly.
Tens of millions of people protest. Paramilitaries on both sides emerge. Violence leads to fake and real stories of deaths, and to revenge. Police and armed forces will know neither whom they should obey nor whom they should arrest. With traditional authority broken, those wearing uniforms and bearing arms will become partisans, take sides, and start shooting one another. Governors will look for exit strategies for their states. Americans will rush to parts of the disintegrating country they find safer, in a process that looks increasingly like ethnic cleansing. The stock market and then the economy will crash. The dollar will cease to be the world currency.”
It would perhaps be easier if the 47 million people who believe the election was stolen, and especially the 21 million who are ready to take violent action to right their misperceived wrong, lived in a single state like Texas, and then let that state secede from the union like the South wanted to do during the Civil War. But that is not our shared reality. We are interwoven and connected to the 47 million American adults who believe the election was stolen from Trump and cross paths with the 21 million adults who are willing to use violence to get their way.
They are our brothers (or brother-in-laws), sisters, uncles, aunts, parents, children, and friends. So what do we do?
We stay informed. We find was to stay sane as my Big Sky Seriesis video blogging about. We endure the uncertainty and the extreme discomfort, anxiety, and fear that goes with it. And despite it all, we find ways to restore our sense of faith in people that at our centers, we are capable of heroic acts of kindness, goodness, and unselfishness as demonstrated just yesterday when Los Angeles police officers risked their lives to pull a pilot from his crashed plane seconds before a commuter train crashed into it.
What follows is a curation of some of the reporting on Jan 6 one year later and what has been learned as well as what remains a threat. It is by no means a comprehensive list. For example, I have made a conscious decision not to highlight “news” sources touting the Big Lie even as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulls the oldest trick days after marking this sad day in American history. It is a standard go to trick in the authoritarian’s playbook, which is pretend the other side is doing exactly what you are doing.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office knocked Democrats over “the left’s Big Lie” — which it pegged as the belief that “there is some evil anti-voting conspiracy sweeping America” — as Democrats look to push for federal voting rights legislation.
A memo from the minority leader’s office on Sunday predicts that Democrats will “try to use fake hysteria to break the Senate and silence millions of Americans’ voices so they can take over elections and ram through their radical agenda,” likely referring to calls by many Democrats to abolish the filibuster in the Senate to pass voting rights reforms.
I have roughly laid out the information below by news sources, begining with a compelling interview with Evan Osonos about the building of a Right-Wing media empire just in time for the 2024 election.
Second Archetypal Animation | Purveyors of Rage
Building of a Right-Wing Media Empire to CancelCancel Culture
Fresh Air Interview with EVAN OSNOS who wrote about Dan Bongino in the New Yorker about how he is building a right-wing media empire just in time for the 2024 election--how to cancel cancel culture.
A Several Things That Grabbed My Attention:
When Evan Osnos asked Bongino for an interview, Bongino refused stating, “Why should I want to talk to the enemy.”
Bongino calls face masks mouth diapers and face burkas. While Bongino is vaccinated himself, he tells his followers to remain unvaccinated. When asked about this, he doesn’t see the connection to his vaccination status and continued health versus his followers deaths because they listened to him, remained unvaccinated, caught COVID, and died.
His fellow secret service agents said, “It’s like there are 2 Bonginos; the one who was a secret service agent and the one he is now.” He plays into the suspicion conservatives have that government is not working for us–the common man and woman in America with conservative values.
Bongino made the link between war and the battlefield with politics and differences between parties. He has been very successful in marrying the idea that violence and politics go together. He wrapped himself very tightly around Donald Trump that helped his growing business rise exponentially. He is better at tapping into rage than Alex Jones and others doing the same. Rush died. FoxNews and Matt Drudge are grappling with intense competition on the right for the spotlight.
He has a lot of gun related advertisers and survivalist businesses as well as Omaha steaks and sleep products. Guns and survivalist thinking are phenomena confined to the right. He promotes the idea that elections are rigged and are not to be trusted. He grew up during the time of the NRA dominance and embraces the idea and term the NRA promoted about having a combat mindset.
It is important to understand why we are at the moment we are now, which is arguably worst than one year ago.
This is a six-month Times investigation that has synchronized and mapped out thousands of videos and police radio communications from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, providing the most complete picture to date of what happened — and why.
7 Basic Characteristics Every Democracy Needs| The Advertiser Mirror, March 2, 2021 | (1) Civil liability, (2) Democratic values, (3) Guarantee of rights and common welfare, (4) Decentralized democracy, (5) Political participation, (6) Constitutional principle, (7) Democratic models
‘American democracy will continue to be tested’: Peril author Robert Costa on Trump, the big lie and 2024 | Interview by David Smith in Washington | A Trump 2024 sign seen at a vendor’s table during an anti-vaccine, anti-mask mandate rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last month. Photograph: Paul Weaver/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock | The Guardian, Sep 26, 2021
Chaos in Washington as Trump supporters storm Capitol| Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022 | Israel Hayom — This is where we stand | US President Trump tweets: These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots.
The Dan Bongino Show | iHeart | He’s a former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer, and New York Times best-selling author. Join Dan Bongino each weekday as he tackles the hottest political issues, debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric. [Note:He is a former Secret Service Agent and NYPD officer…he is not so much debunking Republican establishment rhetoric as wrapping it and building a new authoritarian narrative to pave the way for Trump’s glorious return.]
Top Fox hosts lobbied Trump to act on Jan. 6, texts show | By David Bauder, December 15, 2021 | AP | “The revelation that Fox News Channel personalities sent text messages to the White House during the Jan. 6 insurrection is another example of how the network’s stars sought to influence then-President Donald Trump instead of simply reporting or commenting on him. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade all texted advice to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, as a mob of pro-Donald Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice chair of the congressional committee probing the riot.”
Marketplace Tech Description: One year after the assault on the Capitol, more police departments have deployed artificial intelligence programs for surveillance.
In the weeks after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, law enforcement agencies and internet sleuths identified hundreds of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Many were later arrested or faced consequences at their jobs or in their communities.
Authorities used a variety of technologies to speed up that process, which was needed because there were millions of images, videos, messages, social media posts and bits of location data to parse.
Anjana Susarla is professor of responsible artificial intelligence and information systems at Michigan State University and has been studying the role that tech, especially image recognition, is playing in the ongoing search for suspects. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Amanpour and Company Reporting
Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun
Overview: Barton Gellman was among the journalists who predicted in 2020 that President Trump would not admit defeat if he lost the presidential election. Now, in a cover story for The Atlantic, Gellman says the former president is in an even better position to seize power. He speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about why he believes democracy will be on trial in the 2024 presidential election. Originally aired on December 10, 2021.
PBS NewsHour & WAMU Reporting
January 6 Was A Shot Across the Bow | It is a Harbinger
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman says the Republican party is increasingly unwilling to accept defeat and, in fact, is "prepared to win by sacrificing the essential elements of democracy." His new Atlantic article is 'Trump's Next Coup Has Already Begun.'
Third Archetypal Animation | As The End of Democracy Draws Near
The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol affected many people — residents, elected officials and their staff, journalists, and the police who were called in to protect them.
WAMU's Naomi Starobin and Gabe Bullard put together this montage of the voices of some of these people who talked about the events of that day and how it impacted them.
This is the full episode of the PBS NewsHour for Jan. 7, 2022. At minute 23:30, Judy introduced a podcast she and three amazing women reporters witnessed and reported on live while the insurrection unfolded. Lisa Desjardins was inside the Capitol as the rioters invaded and had to hide. She tells about her experience inside the Capitol that day. Amna Nawaz was previously a war correspondent and has parachuted into dangerous places to report on them. She was outside of the Capitol as the rioters invaded and interviewed them in real time. She said the force and energy was just as violent and vitriolic as any of the places she reported during her days as a foreign correspondent reporting on wars. Yamiche Alcindor was at the White House as the day unfolded reporting on what Trump was not doing as the carnage at the Capitol unfolded.
Description: Congress is still investigating the people and organizations linked to the Jan. 6 attack — the most violent assault on the U.S. Capitol since the British attack during the war of 1812. The PBS NewsHour looked back at what happened that day, the lasting impacts on those who survived, where the investigations stand, and the broader effects on American politics, culture and democracy itself.
Fourth Archetypal Animation | Carnage at the Capitol
For months, my colleagues and I at the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats have been tracking insurrectionist sentiments in U.S. adults, most recently in surveys in June. We have found that 47 million American adults – nearly 1 in 5 – agree with the statement that “the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.” Of those, 21 million also agree that “use of force is justified to restore Donald J. Trump to the presidency.”
The Guardian | David Smith in Washington@smithinamerica, Wed 5 Jan 2022 02.00 EST
Fifth Archetypal Animation | “I Just Want to Occupy Your Mind”
"In the year since the insurrection that reverberated around the world, Trump’s stranglehold on Republicans has seemingly become stronger, not weaker. Graham was soon back on the golf course with him; McCarthy was soon kissing the ring at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Many leaders of the party have set about changing the narrative of the insurrection to portray it as a heroic last stand – a new “lost cause”.
"Trump was the first president in American history to inspire an attempted coup. After a rally where the defeated incumbent urged supporters to “fight like hell”, the angry mob laid siege to the US Capitol to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory."
"Five people died, scores of police were beaten and bloodied and there was about $1.5m in damage in the first major attack on the Capitol since the war of 1812. More than 700 people have been charged in one of the biggest criminal investigations in American history."
"Today the loudest voices in the Republican party belong to the extremists. For them, Trump’s “big lie” that the election was stolen from him due to voter fraud, rendering Biden an illegitimate president, goes hand in hand with the lie that the insurrection was a morally justified crusade, an righteous endeavor to save democracy, not destroy it."
"Trump himself perpetuates this through a regular barrage of interviews, rallies and emailed statements since he was barred from Twitter. Notably he has sought to lionize Ashli Babbitt, who was shot dead during the riot, as a martyr."
"Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican congresswoman, has cast rioters currently held in detention in a similar light. In November she visit a Washington jail’s so-called “patriot wing” and complained the inmates were enduring “inhumane” conditions because of their political beliefs."
"Other pro-Trump Republicans in the House echo these messages – one referred to the Capitol attack as a “normal tourist visit” – or do little to contradict them. Some Republican senators are evidently more uncomfortable with the web of deceit and urge the party to look forward to the next election. But again only a small minority are willing to take Trump on directly."
It started with 'The Big Lie." Many argue that led directly to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th last year.
Over the last twelve months, hundreds have been arrested and charged in connection with the insurrection, including nearly a dozen from New England and six from Massachusetts.
But that's just a fraction of those who breached the Capitol that day. And as investigations - both by law enforcement and Congress continue - it has become clear that there was coordination, planning, at least by and for some of the participants, behind that breach.
We talk more about accountability, and what the future may hold for extremism locally and nationally with Joan Donovan, Research Director at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy and Andrew Lelling, former US Attorney for Massachusetts under the Trump Administration. Lelling coordinated with the U.S. Attorney's office in the District of Columbia on prosecutions.
Description: One year after the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, the House select committee’s investigation into what happened that day is far from over. Much of the committee’s work has been behind closed doors, but the bipartisan group of lawmakers plan to enter a more public phase in 2022. This week, Kyle Cheney joins Ryan Lizza to answer a big question: What has the Jan. 6 committee accomplished so far?
Seventh Archetypal Animation | Blessed Be The Fruit
Description of Interview: President Biden has promised to face down authoritarianism and defend democracy – something Margaret Atwood sees as surprisingly fragile. The author is renowned around the world for her dystopian novels, including "The Handmaid’s Tale." In her latest project she takes a turn, with a focus on utopian ideals and how we might do better. It’s all part of a new online learning experience on Disco called "Practical Utopias: An Exploration of the Possible." Originally aired on December 7, 2021.
Description of Interview: Clashing ideologies about the meaning of democracy in America are no less harrowing than the events of January 6. Journalist Bill Moyers, a 30-time Emmy Award winner, shares his views and concerns in the new PBS documentary "Preserving Democracy," airing tomorrow. Moyers speaks with Hari Sreenivasan alongside historian Kathleen Belew – who also appears in the film – about the insurrection and the danger of a recurrence. Originally aired on January 5, 2022.
Description of Interview: In the Trump impeachment trial, a key element of the prosecution's case is a dramatic video taken at the Capitol during the insurrection. Who were the actual faces in the crowd? Ronan Farrow has profiled three different rioters to learn more about their backgrounds. All three have been arrested and now face criminal charges. One made threats on Farrow's life. Michel Martin speaks with the reporter about his investigation. Originally aired on February 10, 2021.
Description of Interview: Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley sees January 6, 2021 as part of a history of fascist impulses in American politics. This is the focus of his book "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them." His latest article in The Guardian is titled “America is now in fascism’s legal phase.” Stanley speaks with Michel Martin about what he calls an “extremely critical moment” for democracy around the world. Originally aired on January 6, 2021.
Description of Interview: A new study on the January 6 Capitol insurrection finds that of the nearly 400 rioters arrested or charged, 93% are white and 86% are male. Michel Martin speaks to the study’s principal investigator, Professor Robert Pape, to discuss these findings and some surprising revelations about the attackers and their motives. Originally aired on May 6, 2021.
Description of Interview: As former president Donald Trump's second impeachment trial enters its third day, the question remains whether his words or actions incited the January 6 assault on the Capitol. But little attention has been paid to a video that was shown that same day, at the January 6 "March to Save America" rally in Washington, D.C. Jason Stanley, a scholar of fascist propaganda, claims that this short video -- shown immediately after Rudy Giuliani left the stage, prior to the attack on the Capitol -- was full of themes and tactics that threaten liberal democracy. Stanley breaks the video down with Hari Sreenivasan and elaborates on its role in the violence that took place on that infamous day. Originally aired on February 11, 2021.
Description of Interview: "Presidents are not kings, and the plaintiff is not president." These were the words of a U.S. Federal judge rejecting former President Donald Trump's request to withhold records about the January 6th insurrection. The ruling will give a bipartisan house committee access to hundreds of pages of documents from the Trump White House. The committee also has issued 10 new subpoenas to former Trump officials. The Washington Post has conducted its own extensive investigation called "The Attack: Before, During and After." It included more than 75 journalists and interviews with over 230 people. Here is Michel Martin speaking with Post reporters Amy Gardner and Aaron Davis about the cascade of warnings received before January 6th. Originally aired on November 10, 2021.
"We often hear that, unlike in fledgling democracies, America's institutions are strong. But, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." If people abuse them, attack them, disregard them, they will slowly collapse."
Also, keep an eye out for Fareed Zakaria’s latest special on CNN: The Fight to Save American Democracy. It provides a deep dive into the rise of totalitarian, authoritative, and fascist regimes that follow surprisingly similar recognizable patterns to grab power and control thereby crushing previously democratic societies like Hitler did in 1930’s Germany. The parallels are terrifying. This special will be available at the link above on Jan 16, 2022.
Description: Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md., 8th District) talks about the year since the Jan. 6 insurrection, which he writes about in his new book, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy. Virginia Delegate Marcus Simon (D-53rd District) previews the legislative session, and the strategy for Democrats in a Republican-controlled House.
Power of Denialism
Denialism Is A Dangerous Virus | The Daily Show
“Don’t Look Up!”
Description: Based on real events that haven’t happened - yet. Don’t Look Up in select theaters December 10 and on Netflix December 24. DON’T LOOK UP tells the story of two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. Written and Directed by Adam McKay.
This awesome movie with an all star cast (better watch out conspiracy theory believers (that’s you QAnon, Deep staters, False flagers operations, “Stolen election” conspiracy theory, Illuminati believers, etc.) totally captures humans ability to ignore and deny reality and facts in pursuit of selfish, egotistical, self-obsessed, money-grubbing, miserly, opportunistic, self-absorbed interests. Did I miss an adjective here?
Where Do We Go From Here?
This was such a hopeful and inspiring segment in the face of so much depressing realization of the forces at work in this moment and the terrible odds the U.S. has it to make it as a democratic nation beyond 2024.
Description: PBS NewsHour spent much of last week trying to examine what still divides our country and the deep polarization that preceded the Jan. 6 riots. Now, Paul Solman looks at multiple efforts to bridge those major political and cultural fissures in the U.S., beginning with smaller steps forward.
Description of Interview: Loretta J. Ross is a visiting professor at Smith College whose teaching focuses on white supremacy in the age of Trump. Ross speaks with Michel Martin about January 6 as a possible opportunity for reflection and healing. Originally aired on January 6, 2022
I wanted to link you, my readers who have made it this far down, to Christiane Amanpour’s January 7, 2022 episode, but it is only available to view on your local PBS station. In this episode Christiane with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Timothy Snyder; Loretta J. Ross speaks with Michel Martin on whether January 6 provides an opportunity for reflection and healing.
Here is the link to Christiane’s interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Timothy Snyder that really hits it out of the park as far as what are the take away lessons from Jan. 6, 2022 and things to pay close attention to in the years leading up to the next US Presidential Election in 2024. Will this fragile democracy make it? Listen and learn for you are part of the answer.
I was also looking for Christiane’s interview with the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu who died in the early days of this dawning year. Christiane’s Jan 7, 2022 episode was a recollection of interviews she had done that spoke to the actions and ramifications of the events of Jan 6, 2021. I have not found a link to her interview, but I found this one on the Dalai Lama’s Finding Joy and Happiness station on YouTube. It speaks to the same spirit that Christiane had recognized and was illuminating with her interview with Desmond Tutu.
Description: His Holiness the Dalai Lama reunites online with Archbishop Desmond Tutu from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 24, 2021, on the occasion of the release of their new movie "Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times". For more info please see https://missionjoy.org/
We have so much to learn from these two Holy men who stand outside of the self-destructive forces of modern Western Civilization that seems hell bent on standing in a circle and annihilating the world in a mutual massacre of scapegoats. It doesn’t matter what side you stand on when the massacre of scapegoats begins the world is at the beginning of the end for the human race for we have evolved technologies too powerful for our primitive, puny minds to handle with the compassion, understanding, and care necessary to use them anymore.
What is our collective fate? I have no idea, but I am certain each and every person is casting their votes in the ever unfolding moment. We do it in their hearts and minds. We do it in the thoughts we think. We do it even more loudly in the actions we take.
As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Recently, as I have been struggling to understand and survive my husband’s toxic family structure long poisoned by his mother’s narcissistic personality disorder, I ran across this truth in a video by clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani who is a leading expert on Narcissistic Abuse, Psychopathy, and Sociopathy. She counsel her patients who are mainly the victims of narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths that their words and what they say they will do is always in direction opposition to what they do. It is the very same issue that all of us must heed now in our struggle to save our democracy and this is because our current most dominant system of consciousness, Western Civilization, rewards people who are narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths.
We have the power to create a more perfect union, but this creative process is on-going and must be lived with as much consciousness of ourselves and our own inner, hidden motives as possible. Without that, without conscious growth as an individual, we are doomed to live out our fate, which is our own unconsciousness projected out onto others.
Sources for schema above include (beginning from bottom to top, except when repeated from same source):
Ideapod | The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely
Jungian Genealogy, by Iona Miller | Embracing Shadow | “If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc.“ ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 423.
Remember that you are a beautiful conscious being! Let your light shine today. When you are fully connected to who you are deep down at the center of your being, your actions will align with life and you will be a creative force for change rather than a destructive force.
Image Source: Soldier/submachine gun by WikiImages | Pixabay | Deutsch • Member since Dec. 13, 2011 Dead man by soumen82hazra on Pixabay | English • Member since April 24, 2020 Gild Walking with Teddy Bear by reyerbaby on Pixabay | lisa runnels • Age 59 • magee/united states • Member since Jan. 13, 2012
Image Source: 7 Basic Characteristics Every Democracy Needs| The Advertiser Mirror, March 2, 2021 | (1) Civil liability, (2) Democratic values, (3) Guarantee of rights and common welfare, (4) Decentralized democracy, (5) Political participation, (6) Constitutional principle, (7) Democratic models
Second Archetypal Animation | Purveyors of Rage Culture
Images from Pixabay: Red monster by GregMontani Greg Montani • Age 46 • Bayern • Member since May 11, 2015 Green Scream by DaModernDaVinci Shaun • Perth/Australia • Member since Dec. 15, 2018 • #947 Man Eating Hand by Sammy-Sander Sam Williams • Italy • Member since Nov. 8, 2018
Third Archetypal Animation | As The End of Democracy Draws Near
Pixabay Images: Sinking Statue of Liberty by PhotoMIX-Company Photo Mix • Europe • Member since Oct. 21, 2015
Chaos in Washington as Trump supporters storm Capitol| Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022 | Israel Hayom — This is where we stand | US President Trump tweets: These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots.
Fourth Archetypal Animation | Carnage at the Capitol
Images from Pixabay: Watching the World Fall Apart by Alexas_Fotos Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay • but it continues on Pexels.com/under the same name • Member since Jan. 6, 2015