Welcome to Bergeron!

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America is becoming Bergeron – a new country based on the principles laid out in Kurt Vonnegut’s depressingly prescient short story, Harrison Bergeron.

It is a country in which – as in the book – you may not act if anyone of lesser strength or ability or drive cannot act at the same level. You must accommodate yourself to their level.

Everything is leveled – ever downward.

Until all are depressingly . . . equal.

In misery. In poverty. In thrall to suffocating edicts limiting what they are permitted to do – and told they must not do – on the basis of what others can’t do. Or resent you for being able to do, which they can’t.

One of the most obvious expressions of this principle is on the road, where the law punishes competence as a kind of affront to the incompetent. If some people can’t handle making a right turn on red without creeping out in front of right-of-way traffic and causing a wreck thereby, no one else is allowed to make a right-on-red. If someone ignores the law forbidding it and makes a right-on-red safely and competently, by judging the flow of traffic and applying the necessary degree of acceleration to merge with it smoothly, he is punished for being competent.

For having ability – and daring to use it.

Some will say that, no, the offender ignored the law. True – but only superficially.

Consider that the competent execution of the action isn’t a mitigating factor. Just as health is no excuse for not Diapering.

Which is proof positive that the true offense – not mentioned but nonetheless – is lack of obedience premised on the acceptance of incompetence (and sickness) even in its absence.

At the first hint of snow, the roads are now inundated with liquid brine – if they’re not closed outright, as in my part of Virginia – where the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed even before it snows, stays closed if it doesn’t actually snow . . . because it might snow.

Because some people can’t deal with snow.

Highway speed limits are today what they were 60 years go – notwithstanding 60 years of improvements in tire/brake/suspension technology and half a dozen “safety assists” in addition to that.

Glaucomic granny sets the pace.

And now – because granny might die – everyone is treated as if they, too, were a granny and might die.

Healthy people at very little to no risk of death from catching a cold must live in perpetual fear of death. If they don’t fear it, having no reason to – they must be forced to act – and look – as if they did.

For the sake of those who do fear it.

Instead of sequestering granny, everyone else is sequestered.

And Diapered.

Soon, they will be Needled. Not because they need it – being healthy – but because some people aren’t. Everyone must be made unhealthy – by injecting them with substances that make them so, which suppress the competence of their own healthy immune system to ward off colds.

A public sneeze will soon be treated the same as spraying a crowd with machine gun fire – and there are Bergeronites who equate the two. Even if you don’t sneeze. Because you might.

Ergo, the Diaper.

It’s as vindictive a policy as forcing people who can drive to operate at the level of those who can’t – and punishing them if they don’t.

It all flows from the same ugly principle. The Sickness Regime is merely the latest and entirely predictable evolution of least common denominatorism – the Bergeroning of America.

It has been evolving for a long time, gradually – until it reached a critical mass – gesundheit! – this year.

Decades before the locking-down of the healthy population to protect the unhealthy portion of the population, it became common practice – in government schools – to limit the progression of instruction of the bright kids to accommodate the dullest kids.

It was called “mainstreaming.”

When kids played team sports, participation trophies were handed out to everyone in lieu of  trophies for winning.

Adults lacking ability were hired for jobs over those with ability. This was called “affirmative action” – and it worked in the same way (and on the basis of the same motives) as forcing a champion sprinter to run in boots so that a mediocre rival could keep up with him.

Because some people can’t use a rearview mirror, everyone must be forced to buy a back-up camera. Because some people are terrible drivers when sober, the slightest amount of alcohol in the system of a good driver subjects him to a charge of “drunk” driving without regard to his actual driving.

Everything has to be idiot-proofed . . . for the sake of the idiots at the expense of those who aren’t.

People with the foresight to live below their means, who set aside money for their own retirement, are punished for their prudence by being forced to “contribute” money to subsidize the retirement of the imprudent, thereby rendering them just as dependent.

People who can competently handle a firearm – having never given reason to believe otherwise – are presumed incompetent to handle a firearm on account of the demonstrated incompetence of other people.

And now, the healthy must pretend they are sick – and be treated as presumptively sick. The fact that they aren’t isn’t a mitigating factor. In fact, it is a kind of perverse crime in that they are punished for living normally – on the basis of the fact that they aren’t sick.

This is being characterized as “selfish.”

It is an actionable offense in many areas.

Granny isn’t forced to enter a restaurant – and can enter wearing a Face Diaper if she likes.That’s not Bergeronic enough. The restaurant must force all of its employees and patrons to wear a Face Diaper.

Every level of American society is being pulled toward the floor like a tablecloth grabbed by a temper-tantruming toddler – who will never be allowed to grow up – by making the adults at the table sit on the floor, amid the spilled soup and broken plates.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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78 COMMENTS

    • If Franken ever runs for president again [shudder], he should choose Jill Stein [Shudder] as his running mate- Then we’d see the most appropriate campaign signs ever- “Franken Stein”.

  1. Except one thing, in the story everyone got leveled in everything. In our reality where people get leveled is only in select things. So if you have a strength in a chosen area you get leveled but if your weaknesses are in an area not chosen, tough luck. Bootstraps.

    So if you can make money because of the skills you have and developed then you get leveled. If you’re not good at social manipulation and such well tough luck. It’s a highly unfair way of having things because people are mixes of strengths and weaknesses and knee capping people in their strengths leave them with nothing to balance out their weaknesses or compensate for them.

    • Morning, Brent –

      That was very insightful – and spot on. Hierarchy exists, based on a sick kind of merit – that of ability to manipulate and grift. This is hugely rewarded, in politics and business. One is at a disadvantage who is honest and unwilling to do crooked/shady things.

      This gives psychopaths a huge competitive advantage.

  2. Eric…saw the title at LRC & wondered, will he write something about “prescience”?

    Like Orwell or Huxley or Heinlein or Wm Golding or Shirley Jackson ororor this good job by sweet social scientist Vonnegut was an example of reading comprehension around the poker table. Reading the action was taking place right then, “real world,” as Bergeron’s martyrdom was being penned.

    That same action that has been going down continuously all the way back into “pre”history.

    And that action, lowest common denominator’ing, is 96% of humanimal GDP fraction.

    Steinbeck’s Winter of Our Discontent came out in ’61, too. The ‘Beck’s “fictional” milieu & context was the current day then, a period too many here now look back on as “good old days.”

    Nothing new, neither the LCD stuff nor the falsifying the past stuff.

    “*Everybody*” “controls” the present, so “controls” the past, so “controls” the future – which is why/how past is prologue. Nothing changes because nothing can because biological determinism. Here weus! go loop-de-loo, here weus! go loop-de-lie…”our” country tis of thee collective ass off.

    Tools & tech now, & from/in “the fictional future” are just projections of the always here & now humanimal that regurgitate-creates them. Ultimate aim of the deathwish LCD’s is, has always been, projection of that wish for the ultimate LCD of all to “the other.” The ultimate LCD wet dream is reducing those “other” fractions to room temperature.

    Vonnegut saw/experienced this bio-design fookery in Dresden, saw the tools/tech of the future that had been waiting for him in his past – luck of draw he wasn’t room temp’d there – just as any eyes that see, rather than blink away, can see.

    Sweet social scientists know “social” was gaily stolen @getgo by antisocials…& that the Direction Of Shot, the time is a flat disc operating system, is within-out & bottom-up…not top-down. Most of the big brains brag is micro bandwidth’d & soft pudding up through which bubbles these dreams of dreamlessness.

  3. People always seemed to resent it if I saved a dime or decided to forego a toy and put the money away for something better, even if I didn’t know at the time what that something better might be. I’ve been aware of this attitude since I was about six years old. i’m considerably older now, and that much about the world hasn’t changed.

    My nephew has a new, very expensive pickup truck. It shuts off whenver he comes to a stop light. I used to get rid of cars when they started doing that.

    • There’s something in many humans where they hate savers. If you are prepared you’re ‘lucky’ a ‘hoarder’ etc and so on. There’s always some way in which to cast the savers as bad people and then justify stealing from them.

      • Hi Brent,

        I had a conversation along these lines with my sister the other day. We were talking about the ongoing issue I’m having with my left shoulder and not being able to sleep much. She suggested I buy a reclining chair, which I agree is a good suggestion – about the chair. The problem is I can’t afford to buy one right now. She suggested “just put it on the card; they have great financing deals.” She knows I never buy anything I can’t pay for when I buy it. I told her: I just spent a large amount to get my teeth fixed; I was able to get my teeth fixed because I don’t finance anything. If I finance the chair, and am making payments (plus interest) then what do I do if something unforeseen comes up that I have to come up with money for? Now I will have to get into debt. So I’ll wait on the chair untilI can afford to buy it.

        My sister is a wonderful person but also a broke person. I’m not rich, but I’m not broke. Because I never buy what I can’t afford – until I can!

        • Hey Eric!

          GREAT idear about getting a recliner! I bought a nice rocking recliner about a dozen years ago- It’s touted as some “zero gravity” thing, which means that the way it supports you, it feels like there’s practically nothing supporting your body (I just bought it because it was the most comfy of the few dozen or so I tried in the furniture store- and was higher off the ground than most- a man’s chair!).

          I’m afraid to sit in it, ’cause I know if I dare recline, I WILL fall fall asleep in short order- something I never had to worry about in any other chair in my life!

          It was a two-for-one sale, and they wouldn’t give me a discount if I only took one..so I took both, even though I had no need or room for the extry one. Ended up selling the extry one…. Shoot! If I had known you then, I would have gladly given it to ya- with the only cost being you coming to pick it up. Heh…that would’ve been fun! (If you ever get one…get leather…they don’;t wear…. Was a good choice!).

          Hehe…the thought of financing…..a CHAIR! My sister’s done that…but she wasn’t even a nice person!

          • Fine•an•sing da’ blues…but when the notes (to the tune) is all counterfeit…maybe it ain’t da’ blues at all…maybe that red in tooth & claw’s a whole different mood than blue…even if & tho coursing veins do look like how much is the monthly (weekly?) payment for those blue swayed jimmy choos in the windowskin?

            The vigorish is red vines licorice & the concession stand was sellin’ hell outta’ those neckbreakers long before you or me was born.

          • Dammit!

            And I could have returned the por favor by taking you for a Hell Ride in a press car! Well, once I get back out of the hole – caused by the holes in my teefus – a recliner is on the docket. Much cheaper than surgery!

            • Awww, mannnnn!!!!!

              I didn’t even think of that!

              Got some good roads for it here, too! When my friend/client came to drop off a van I bought from him a few years back, on his way back, he was doing 115 on the Cumberland Pkwy…in his F350…with a (empty) trailer. I could just imagine one’a your fancy-pants press cars!

              I gotta find out if they use radar here or what, and maybe get a radar detector if they don’t- I’m tired of keeping it to only 25MPH above the speed limit. (a 7500 lb. truck with a V-10 is about as close as I get to a sports car!)

        • It seems only weirdos like us delay gratification and cover our own asses these days. And every day it gets more difficult because the government is there stealing from us for the benefit of people who deliberately live paycheck to paycheck whom if they just didn’t indulge themselves to the limit of their credit could take care of themselves.

          And I know I’ve mentioned it before but one of my favorite cartoons is a street scene with people’s net worth. Everyone is in the red except the beggar who has a positive $3.50 or something like that.

          • Hi Brent,

            Yup. My neighbors, who are nice people, are always broke (and the breadwinner is a government worker) but they have two new/near-new vehicles, including a half-ton truck that probably sold (and was financed) for $45k-plus. I have an 18-year-old truck, bought used – in cash – for $7,500.

            They complain about her salary – paid for by me, via the taxes I am compelled to pay on the house I thought I paid for years ago. Their monthly car payments are very likely more than what I need to live on each month – and which I can afford to pay because I don’t drive a new/nearly new vehicle of buy stuff I can’t afford.

            If only others would do the same!

            • There so many people who deliberately live in debt serfdom and monthly payments and apparently want to drag us all into that hell. Obamacare for instance and likely Trump’s new version of it. Never mind supporting endless regulations to force financing things because they become needlessly expensive. Every time I turn around there’s people pushing some new monthly nut scheme for things.

              They want to be enslaved through the chains of debt and services and won’t be satisfied until they drag the rest of us into it. Social pressure, political force, taxation for government programs, any tool possible.

              • Hi Brent,

                Yup – it’s very true. Debt has been normalized and so most people consider it odd to live within much less below your means. They can “afford” a new car with all the latest “safety assists” – so why don’t you have one, too?

                I sometimes think the thing to do is max out all my credit cards, buy as much stuff as possible… and then just declare bankruptcy like so many do and walk way from the debt… with the stuff.

                But I have this nagging problem with self-respect…

                • “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” But you will “pay” me, citizen.

                  Stim-response, whether recognized or recognizable or not, is a thing. Those poor pups that Seligman induced “learned helplessness” (ffs…wasn’t it actual helplessness?) in didn’t know where the electric shocks were coming from, or when.

                  Later, Seligman’s stuff found its way into “enhanced interrogation techniques” abroad…but they were already being used on the domestic kennel.

                  Before debt was normalized downwards to the masses various “good life” periods were “normalized” upwards. And those became like your “sweet tooth.” Does that put keeping up with the sugar rush Jonesin’ in perspective?

                  Had to have it, that sweet life from before.

                  Roaring 20’s – after much elsewhere had been blown up, & needed rebuilding (a la Bastiat’s busted windows) — with its shoeshine stock touts.

                  Late 40’s into the 60’s & all that Mad Men scrambling, post blowing most everywhere else up, & needing to replace all the windows again.

                  Smell the set up? Trying to get back what was “lost.” The takeaway close.

                  Except it was never lost. It was just bait. The old give ‘em just enough rope trick.

                  There was a title in yesterday’s LRC, “The Curse of Game Theory: Why It’s in Your Self-Interest To Break the Rules.” When you click on the title it doesn’t come up. But it’s out there. Worth a read, some thought.

                  BJ’s Lind’s asymmetrics may sound kinda’ new, but it isn’t. Guerilla’s been takin’ it to the chimps forever.

                  https://risingtidefoundation.net/2020/10/10/the-curse-of-game-theory-why-its-in-your-self-interest-to-exit-the-rules-of-the-game/

                • **”But I have this nagging problem with self-respect…”**

                  Meh, it doesn’t work for those of us who have been responsible, anyway. It only works for those who owe for everything they “own”, ’cause if ya own anything outright, they’ll put a lien against it if ya don’t pay them off….with interest and expenses and penalties!

                  Money-changers never lose. Even the deadbeats who think they’re stiffing them, they’re the ones who’ll be back again to borry again, at 29%.

                  That’s why it’s erasier for them to credit than it was for me to get my first credit card when I was 40, even though I never owed anybody anything.

                  In fact, in their perverted eyes, if you’ve never had credit, then you’ve never “demonstrated financial responsibility”- but if you’ve been financially irresponsible, by living on credit…..

                  And then even when the banks do get stiffed, Uncle bails ’em out with OUR money, even if we’ve never done business with them- much less ever stiffed the bastards!

                  This is all so sick…just like everything else is these days.

                  • Hiya Nunz!

                    That’s the troof and the facts! Remember that?

                    My buddy Tim – about my age, never had a credit card in his life until his mid 40s, which was just a couple of years ago – applied for a card after his divorce. He was denied. Notwithstanding he owns his house and 30-plus acres. That he has no debt and money in the bank and owns a repair shop. As you say, because he didn’t have a history of debt, he could not get credit.

                    Maybe we are the suckers.

                    • Hey Ya Eric!

                      Hehe, imagine if the credit “worthiness” mentality were applied to other things:

                      “You can’t be a babysitter unless you’ve successfully completed a child-abuse rehabilitation program”? LOL!

                      I would have been happy to live my life without a credit card…only ever got one for online purchases.

                      I used it ONCE in a sore, -just recently- ’cause I forgot to bring some Benjamins when I went shopping; Felt like an idjit, ’cause I didn’t know how to run it through the machine! (The cashier must have that in her rotation of stories…. “This old dude came in and had to use his credit card, and didn’t know how to do it!”.

                    • “Owns…”

                      What else isn’t owned is the game.

                      What’s not debatable is if you’re not completely out of the game, living some sort of off-grid Jeremiah Johnson life, you’re in the game.

                      (flashing on the stereotyped injun asserting impossibility of owning earth, followed by said injun’s territory being took, & the takers coming right back ‘round to asserting the impossibility of owning earth – at least for the earthlings under takers’ control {most of whom such taken ones have clamored for & can’t/won’t live without “leadership.”)

                      Also not debatable that protesting too much, or not at all – let alone assertions contradicting reality — changes the game not one bit. Should be doesn’t dent is, &, but for some reaching rule proving exceptions, never did.

                      “You” were trained so long ago you forgot – if you ever knew at all — games have rules but that rules aren’t laws. The more rules & laws are conflated, the more likely the conflator is being gamed – but doesn’t “think” (feel) so.

                      It’s Monopoly. In the jungle.

                      The money is fake. Interest rates are fake. Self-ownership never existed in your lifetime, nor in the lifetimes of nearby older generations, so ownership of satellites, like homes, businesses, is fake. You was born on the bayou (buy you) – & it’s a commune.

                      The rules are from the held aloft rulers mouth to your ear…in 12 notes; do what you want with them, Van Halen said, because there are no rules – & that’s a law.

                      Same is understood by anyone who has been in a fight, not to mention the camouflaged – faked – fight that is daily life in this “civilized” cage…if comprehension allows – which it mostly doesn’t.

                      Like the G&R tune rhetorically asks, “you know where you are?” – & then answers, because most have no idea where they are, what’s going on, or why.

                      Denial, & hope, is mainstay in The “Social” Dilemma, which I watched recently. Shelley’s story was referenced by one of this “new” crop of young Frankensteins while still managing to miss the larger point: this routine was old when 20-year old Mary got the story published, in 1818.

                      Also just watched the Mr. Jones movie treatment.

                      Gareth Jones was a Russian-speaking Welsh journalist who’d finagled an interview with Hitler. He was convinced the rise of Nazism would bring a new war, & that it would be essential for Britain to be allied with Stalin/USSR in that event.

                      Stalin’s rep was superlative in the press & Jones decided he should go interview the man (of whom he also wanted to ask from whence all the money he was spending to improve the country was coming from in the depths of worldwide economic implosion, “the depression”).

                      But Jones heard whispers of trouble in Ukraine. So he went to see for himself. The Holodomor. Just a few eggs broken, but in return, an omelet!

                      But the scene that sees (no), hears (no), & speaks (no) is between Jones & Eric Blair (George Orwell).

                      Jones presents his findings on the collectivist slaughter by starvation of the Ukranians to an audience that includes Orwell. Orwell pulls Jones aside after the presentation to try a series of increasingly forlorn rationalizations, hoping against hope that Stalin & gang could pull off the socialist equalitarian ideal he so longed for…similar to Duranty’s depicted true belief’rness that a few broken eggs were a small price to pay for the “transformation of humankind.”

                      The soviets kidnapped & murdered 29-year old Jones. The Russians are “harboring” Snowden. Assange is in the Kangaroo court pouch. Duranty died a FL retiree, Pulitzer intact.

                      I read 700 million earthlings get by on less than 2 bucks a day – & that was before the current & ongoing collectivist ukraine’ization of the globe, another intentional starvation dystopia that might relegate Stalin’s Holodomor to an anorexic dysphoria, in comparison.

                      Faces & names but the game remains. Hope & denial, fear & greed, us & them, zero sum laude. You’re in the jungle, baby.

                      https://reason.com/2020/06/27/the-medias-role-in-concealing-stalins-evils-exposed-in-mr-jones/

      • Furniture stores were always all about buying on credit since the 1980s and the end of lay-a-way. Every business wants to be a bank. I saw an article about airlines sniffing around for a bailout. American’s frequent flier program is worth more than the airline itself! One big reason/justification for GM’s bailout in 2009 was Ally bank (AKA GMAC), which was on the hook for millions of bad mortgages. Why an auto manufacturer is waist deep in bad mortgages is never brought up, only that they need bailed out.

        A surprise high flier stock through this pandemic has been Peloton, maker of massively overpriced stationary bicycles. When they had bricks and mortar “stores” in upscale malls I stopped in one just to see if there’s anything that might be worth the price. I couldn’t get a cash price out of the sales rep. They only finance the thing. And of course there’s the monthly payment for access to the service, without which the bike is pretty much worthless. But now that they’re “successful” it looks like Zwift and TrainerRoad are going to go down the same path, even though there’s really no reason other than their VC backers want more money.

    • Saw something about retreating to encircle (entreaty to the circle jerk that is the stop after the noosed drop). The trapdoor center doesn’t hold on purpose, the contents rush thru – physics –, the retreat stops, the sides wrap around, bang you’re dead, or living dead.

      Willie Suttons do it cuz that’s where the money (productivity, actual asset-things) is.

      And many animals, & esp humanimals, is Willie Sutton path of least resistance opportunists that’ll rush thru & simultaneously wrap ‘round themselves. You don’t even hafta’ give ‘em enough rope, they’ll weave their own rapunzel tresses, tie ‘em to the trusses, & jump.

      Apogee-sense was, always is, the center folding set up, a manufactured consent/illusion.

      Can start with any of them, any of these stapled inflection points, as the tactic is used over & over again, much as a constrictor loops coil after coil around prey & tightens a bit more after each exhalation, but an apogee centerfold was the you’ve been play’d mate of the year ’13 miss fed reserve.

      That pin-up was followed by more coils in the snakejacket.
      A fork in that one’s tongue was gold confiscation by the fiat printers/digitizers. Another was NixNix on the gold window ’71.
      Yet another is the ongoing fixing of money metal prices.

      But the fake money, & all that entails the tails on the donkeys (including seed corn swiped & eaten debt spending & “good times”) came in ’13, despite fait accompli taking its time with the prey exhalations.

      All those seeming good times were set up & illusion.

      Long games are always being played with “opponents” who are wired to rather eat the marshmallow in hand immediately than to wait a few minutes to double the marshmallows. It’s like shooting s’mores in a barrel, & that’s like irresistible to the too may “shooters” out there.

      Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here? Hell, s/he’s always here.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhkH1FE1mZA

      Casey’s piece in this day’s LRC assort strings together some of the spinning in place apogees that is history & prologue (with the apparently obligatory boilerplate re america’s once upon a time uniqueness, synonymous with the asserted uniqueness of humanimal amongst the ‘lower’ animals…B-movie with a great tagline: A man went looking for America. And couldn’t find it anywhere.).

      The murder-suicide pact’animal in spinnin’ in place action.

  4. I thought you meant Patrice Bergeron, the great center on the hateful Boston Bruins.

    You need to look deeper. Our current (socialist) American worldview, without ill intent, sees society as a big family. Adults support the young until the young become adults. Kindness prevents the family from casting the old folks out to die in the snowbank. The result is as you say. And no, says the ideology of autonomy and competence, society isn’t a family. The Bergeron effect is in pursuit of a more sinister purpose: to atomize and dominate. True enough. But keep in mind that in the American iteration of “1984,” the powers that be don’t care if Winston and Julia sneak away for their little trysts and read forbidden literature. Their resistance is futile. We’re all the Borg now.

    • Nah! Don’t get yourself in a nut-roll, Imbroglio, there’s always been in American politics an ebb and flow, their low points being in our own Civil War, then the bumbling FDR’s Great Depression (from which the entire rest of industrialized had escaped by 1932) followed by the sainted if utterly incompetent JFK, who started the Vietnam War “To make the world safe for democracy,” finally feeling good about ourselves in the Gulf War which proved that we could, at least, still kick the s–t out of somebody, if only a rag-tag collective of lightly-armed camel jockeys – Yippie! Kill for Christ and the American Way! BTW, my war was Vietnam in which I did two tours, the first as a rifle platoon leader with the 1st ID, the second with the 5th Special Forces Gp, assigned to MACV-SOG, only declassified in the year 2,000, or twenty-five years after all US participation ended in that hapless little land. Why so long to ‘fess up I never knew, since everybody involved with that op knew what was going on.

  5. It’s been and still is called “The Conflict of the Ages”.
    It started in the garden and it’s still going on.
    Spock told Kirk; “Just because you don’t understand me, doesn’t mean I’m confused.” Just replace Spock with, guess who.

    “Ye shall not surly die.”
    rod

  6. They put the salt brine on the roads in Iowa the same way as you described. I often wonder if the fog-like smog that stuff produces is bad to inhale, or even what exactly is in it. I have been busy moving out of a blue city and cannot keep up with The Diaper Report, have you guys noticed an increase in the slave diaper wearers who keep their diapers wrapped around their ears and pull it down below their chin and keep it there, like a chin-fat bra? I notice it everywhere now, especially on single lone drivers. It seems like its gone beyond virtue signaling. Like it’s become attached to them now, they’ve come to like, love, their obedience mark? Wasn’t there a line along about that in the book, 1984?
    I vaguely recall watching the film, The Mask, both Jim Kerry’s film and the iron mask film, is there predictive programming in those two?
    I’m no longer creeped out big time by all the people wearing face diapers like I was at first, now, for various reasons, they kind of piss me off.

  7. OK, just to play devil’s advocate, what do you do about the fools who think they have some ability they do not? Are you going to let them die? Deny them the “right” to travel in areas that do not have public transportation? Not allow them to see the edge of the canyon or top of the mountain?

    I know the answer is to show them the “behind the scenes” video of that accomplishment. The years of training for that Everest climb, the decades spent in on the practice court grabbing rebounds, the lost youth spent at the piano keyboard while friends played in the backyard.

    But that’s not what we teach children. We teach them that all you have to do is play the political game and maybe have rich parents, and you too will win! You don’t need ability, or talent or anything but rich parents and connections. Looks help too, but even that’s going away with Nvidia’s new real-time videoconferencing renderer. If you don’t have that stuff you might be able to play along in the talent show, but there’s only a few winners there, even second place is just a nice way of calling you a loser.

    The true threat isn’t the modern intellectual communist, it’s the sub 87 IQ who wants what you’ve got. They’re the ones who break stuff.

    • Thing is, RK, before the rot had infiltrated every level of society, it was understood that the sub-87s were an enemy to be resisted and dispatched. Post-rot…..the victims of the sub-87s are portrayed as the bad guys, for daring to earn anything above mere subsistence, as they are somehow an impediment to the sub-87s elevating themselves to haute couture [It’s O-K for them, just not for ebil white people!]

      • Or pitied. As Judge Smails said in Caddy Shack, “The world needs ditch diggers too.” But even that isn’t the case as we’ve seen. Someone might be able to do some shovel duty for a while, but not like the old days of sending men into a coal seam from dawn to dusk. It got easier and cheaper to just dig off the top of the mountain with heavy equipment, especially after OSHA and the injury lawyers got done with the mine owners.

        Society tolerated bad waiters and angry bartenders because there wasn’t much choice. Businesses had to dumb down the reservation systems to the point of total inflexibility because speech recognition wasn’t good enough yet. But it caught up, and we don’t want to deal with the chair-sitter in the call centers. In a few more months of cooking our own meals and making our own coffee we might just forget about restaurant row forever. For sure there won’t be anyone at the ticket counter. “Contactless transactions” are going to be the norm, not because we’re worried about diseases (although that’s the excuse we’ll use), but because don’t want to have to deal with sub-average IQ, at least when it has emotions we have to placate.

        What then?

    • What are you going to do with the fools who think they have ability they don’t have? You are going to let reality handle it. Their safety is not your job, just as yours is not theirs. Their health, education, and welfare are not your job, and vice versa. The premise of your question is that you’re responsible for them in some way—and if you’re responsible in some way then you’re responsible in all ways. Including both ways: They become responsible for you. Which is why articles like this have to be written. You are not your brother’s keeper.

      • “I do not know: am I my brother’s keeper?” was said by Cane after he killed Able as a response to God asking a Columbo-style question.

        A tough call. Libertarians tend to forget that without charity there’s a vacuum that gets filled by the state. Much of what we are reaping today started in the 1970s evangelical movement and attempts to “modernize” church. The message went from “We are the church” to “God will provide.” And the Pollyanna click-your-heels-three-times-for-salvation message. Sacrifice became throwing a $5 bill in the collection plate while the church cruised on the endowment. Especially after the great society programs took over the cities. This drove people away at a time when a dose of personal responsibility was desperately needed (and filled by cults and pop psychology).

        Anyway, I’d much rather volunteer to help my fellow man than through coercion. And clearly there’s a lack of morality in leftist thinkers that seems to be ignored or maybe they think morality is derived spontaneously somehow. It doesn’t help that Marx’s drivel encourages that sort of behavior.

        • Hi RK,

          Of course, the cruel irony is that government “help” makes it hard for people to help. If people weren’t taxed such that they just barely have enough to cover their expenses, most would happily – freely – help others cover theirs.

          Government makes people selfish in the worst meaning of that term.

          • Selfless (weus!), so virtueless, fight-flight-freeze (greed-fear-hope/denial) make governments.

            Selfishness’s first virtue is the self it boundary-establishes…& that establishmentarians, epitomized by gov/nat/states, would deny & destroy.

  8. Why even bother to analyze and make sense of everything these days? It’s pointless. It’s not just “the elites” or a political party or ideology, or corruption or hidden agendas, etc.- but rather SOCIETY HAS GONE CTAZY.

    The only answer, if you don’t want to join them/have their insanity inflicted upon you, is to extricate oneself from society.

    Patagonia; the jungle; the Amazon; etc. It’s going to soon be the only option, ’cause things are only getting worse- not better -and by the minute now.

    …or we can just keep bitching about how everything is perpetually going to hell for the rest of our lives……

    • But do we not have a de facto iron curtain in place right now? Can’t even go to Mexico or Canada. Nowhere to run, all we can do is watch it unfold and hope it avoids us, which it won’t. At least we can stand up and be counted – that as society went crazy, we stood our ground, trying to preserve or resurrect what once was, that future generations may experience the freedom and humanity we experienced. I’ll bitch and resist, with my middle finger in the air even as the ship slips beneath the waves.

      • My nephew just got back from a vacation to Mexico…..
        At what point does life consist of just resisting vs. actually living?
        I’ve been resisting as long as I can remember, and it just keeps getting exponentially worse. I want to actually LIVE a little before I croak.

        Resistance used to be an occasional thing. Something you gave thought to once in a while when driving, or when doing business- to avoid the tax man, etc. It didn’t consume most of one’s time and thoughts, like it now does. And it’s only going to GET WORSE.

        • Hi Nunz,

          We are all of us being carried along by a rip tide over which we have little control. But that doesn’t mean we resign ourselves to being carried along with it. Resistance can take many forms. It may be only in spirit, inside one’s head. But the point is to never “love Big Brother.”

          It may be our lot to face a ditch and bullet in the back of the head. I hope not. I will do all I can to avoid that. But the flow of history cannot be abated; all we can do is hope the cataract changes course for the better and do what we can toward that end.

  9. The safer the world becomes the more people seem to spiral about “how duh-duh-duh-dangerouuus!” It is.

    A hundred and fifty years ago if you were exceptionally weak or dumb, you just didn’t make it, and that was understood. Now that we have such a tremendous amount of wealth and tech that is keeping the dumb and weak alive for no other reasons than the benevolence or outright theft of the productive class in society, and the Karen rulers to telling us all how we ought to be safe little kiddies and not get huwwrrrt.

    It’s now that we have the luxury of fussing over every little discomfort, bad smell or imaginary fear. Life in general is so safe for most that they just go along because they have never faced actual danger and hardship.
    Join that with mass media mind control 50,000 hours of state funded indoctrination camps (public schools) and you have a populace made largely of slaves who don’t even know they are slaves.

    It’s as if people have been duped into thinking that the more years on this planet = better life. What about the quality of the years you DO have?

    • Hi Sicilian,

      Exactly. There is a difference between living and existing. My mother is doing the latter – isolated from her family in a sealed (by the government) nursing home, having her actual diaper changed by strangers. She is biologically alive but her life ended some time ago.

      These “safety” freaks are attempting to do the same to all of us.

  10. In my county, the officials have their panties in a bunch over railroad crossings. Eight people have died in car vs. train wrecks in the last two years. So they want arms at every single one, at great cost to us suckers er …. taxpayers.
    There are many risks you take when driving a car, but bring hit by a train is the most avoidable one of all. They’re restricted to a narrow path of travel that never varies they’re noisy and all our intersections have signs telling us that it’s possible a train might be in a specific area and advising people to stop and check.
    I do not like the crossing gates that lower. There was one near my former job and it was always broken, i.e. it would stop us on a busy state road when no train was there. If it was just flashing lights malfunctioning, we could check for the train, see it was clear and go ahead and cross. But the gates blocked us about once a week.
    But now we have to pay to install 16 of them because some people are too busy, too stupid or too distracted to check for the train.

    • Where I used to live, several blacks -including several chillun’- were squished by trains whilst walking on or crossing the tracks. Some theorized that train tracks are racist…I think someone was leaving fried chicken and watermelon between the rails.

      • Well six of our eight squished citizens were women, but all were of the Caucasian variety. So obviously the train tracks here are sexist.
        Or maybe they should just put away their damn phones and pay attention to the road they’re on.

      • You beat me to it. There is an awful lot of things which are adequately explained by suicide- wandered into the wilderness, ran head on into a truck, fell off the bridge, and especially hit by a train. If it’s an accident, then the insurance might pay out. We live in a sick world.

        And Nunzio- it’s more effective if there is a trail of donuts leading onto the tracks…

    • Most of the morons that get crushed by trains deserve the Darwin Award for removing themselves from the gene pool. Trying to save them only further downgrades society.

      • Yeah, it always makes me wonder, Mike. I’d imagine headphones, sailfawns, and drugs must play a part in most of these cases where people failed to notice several hundred thousand tons of steel “sneaking up on them”, ’cause my cousin and I would often walk on commuter rail tracks (LIRR) when we were 12-13…and never had a problem.

        We’d use a little common sense, like always looking for an “out” if walking a stretch where there might be nowhere to go if a train should come- and putting our ear to the rail before entering precarious places (And we’re not even Injuns!).

        Ah…those were the days. A cop saw us once, and just remarked “Hey guys, if a train comes along, it could spoil your whole day!”- we just laughed and continued non-chalantly on our way down the tracks, with no problem.

        You haven’t lived until you’ve stood within a couple of feet of a 10 car consist of coaches being pulled by a diesel loco at 65MPH, and feel the vacuum created by it just after the last car passes! (Learned more about physics from such things than we ever did in any classroom!)

  11. Harrison Bergeron is one way of getting to Bergeron. Another would be mandatory medications to make the populace more compliant and to control “anti-social” tendencies. I know there are some sci-fi novels where this technique is used, but I can’t remember the titles of any of them.

    • One was Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World. As I recall drug pacification of the masses was also a plot point in the British dystopian science fiction series Blake’s 7, as it was in the early George Lucas film THX-1138. I’m sure there are others but those immediately come to mind.

      • Thanks Jason. I remember Brave New World but haven’t seen Blake’s 7 or THX-1138. I didn’t used to like those kinds of movies because it always seemed too far fetched to me that they would ever be able to make the population submit to regular forced medications. Now it’s already in place for newborns and school children and seemingly just around the corner for the rest of us.

      • In 1984 everyone got a daily ration of “Victory Gin” in order to make sure that they were at least mildly buzzed at all times.

    • “The Stepford Wives” was a good one; all the women took a pill that made them obedient little “Good Housekeeping” wives……..not a bad idea 😆 . Apologies to the female readers here.

      • No – the Stepford Wives were all robotic replacements for the originals, so they didn’t need pills, and the pills wouldn’t have worked on silicon anyway.

  12. Is that the book where people with higher intelligence were forced to wear earphones blaring noise all day and one of the characters was a “chemist” who didn’t know the difference between ounces and grams? (Going from decades-old dim memory.) Of course that makes everything “fair” and everyone “equal”!

  13. “People who set aside money for their own retirement, are punished by being forced to “contribute” money to subsidize the retirement of the imprudent.” — EP

    Nowhere is this dichotomy clearer than in the case of public pension funds. Not only are many government employees making over $100K, their generous pension formulas pay out a large portion of their final salary for life after retirement.

    Most state public pension schemes are underfunded; direly so in failed regimes such as Illinois, New Jersey and Kentucky.

    Worse, they still assume their investments will make 7.0 percent or more annually, when the 10-year US Treasury note offers a skinny 0.78% yield today. A highly valued stock market is not going to carry on rising 7 percent annually from here.

    It’s going to be a spectacular whinefest when public employees’ pension schemes smack the wall, and they come hat in hand to remind the less-fortunate rest of the populace of all they do for us.

    Sorry … I gave at the office, Jack. 😉

    • Here in flyover country, Nebraska, teachers can retire with full pension at age 53, and many do. Taxpayers in Nebraska now pay more to retired teachers than active teachers.

  14. To your point, MADD is crusading to have ignition interlock devices installed in all cars, because since some people drive drunk, all people should be presumed to be guilty of it.

    If all cars had ignition interlocks, we could save 80% of drunk driving deaths, they say:
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291043

    Government and regulation is a ratchet, it only ever tightens, and we’re being squeezed harder as time goes on. How do we, who are in the minority on these issues, resist?

    • Hi OL,

      It’s a very good question; ultimately, it is the question. How do we resist? Well, one way is by being precise with words – and principles. Don’t accept guilt – or punishment – for things you’ve not done, because someone else did them or because someone worries you “might.”use facts – and ridicule – to keep these ninnies (at best) in their place.

      For example, MADD:

      Women are on the whole weaker physically than men; therefore – according to the “logic” of MADD – all women must be accompanied by a man at all times to keep them safe. Etc.

      • Generally speaking:
        Men are expendable regarding the survival of the species. We men have always known this, and it gives us a much broader understanding of life in general. That life requires risk, and the assessment of risks that are always present. Women, being the benefactors of protection by men, are exposed to less risk than men are. Until lately. With the intentional willful destruction of masculinity, women are exposed to more risk, and have no hereditary understanding of it. They assume that risk can be abated by the proper CONTROL of others, because this is what they have been told by those who desire to have such control. Never mind that the psychosis of those in government who express this desire is by far the greatest risk any of us will ever experience. Give me liberty or give me death is not a philosophical statement. It’s a rule of life. The state has only one tool. The threat of violence. It isn’t shy about using it. In fact, governments have only demonstrated one particular talent. Killing people. They are better at it than any other particular factor. We are supposed to be terrified of a virus that only recently passed the one million mark, while governments have averaged killing more than that every year for the last hundred years.

        • Morning, JWK!

          Indeed. As has been pointed out by others, the state has replaced men as the protector of women. And so women look to the state rather than men to protect them. Men – not without reason – have decided that it is no longer their role to protect/provide for women. Of course, they are still made to do so – but in a generic way, via taxation. Women, too, of course – via the same mechanism.

          Who benefits?

          Men – and women – have to work constantly to provide for themselves and a faceless/limitless horde of dependents they don’t even know personally.

          It was arguably a much better deal for both when a man who had even a blue collar job could comfortably provide for a wife and children on his income alone. Which he could just as easily do today, were it not for taxes – and the doubling of the work force via the induction of women into it.

          The latter were lured into it by propaganda about the glory of a career and the independence (from men) it would provide. But for most women – as most men – a “career” is just a job and while any honest work is admirable, it’s not the thing that gives life meaning. It is a means to an end, or – arguably – ought to be.

          Women – like men – are now dependent on their job. For most, there is no respite, until they are too old to work anymore.

          Is this really better than being dependent – by choice – on one another, for the sake of each other and for one’s own family?

          • Quite true. The tax bill most of us are burdened with, including all taxes by all political units is quite close to 50%, if not more than that. Which has driven mothers out of the home. Which means children are raised by strangers, even before they are old enough for state indoctrination facilities (public schools). Which means one could argue that our tax bill is directly to blame for a great deal of our social woes. Public schools being responsible for the remainder. There never has been, is not now, and never will be such a thing as good government. All are predicated on the assumption of the authority to use violence, up to and including murder, to force compliance with their psychotic edicts.

  15. Seems as if we have passed Bergeron a few floors up from where our elevator is now. It’s just easier to tear people, systems, institutions, and history down than to build up and elevate.

    As our society and education levels deteriorate, this is what happens as a consequence and of necessity. So now we aim standards to just below the median and cater to those in the bottom quartile. But as we continue to descend, the median and bottom quartile get lower and lower, thus amplifying the apparent effects to those looking aghast from the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Bergeron is a symptom, not the disease. There’s no vaccine or way out either.

    Our country, culture, society, and way of life are in steep decline. By all accounts, this will continue apace, and likely accelerate. The only real questions that remain are when do we bottom out, what will that look like, and where do we go from there? I weep for our children.

    • C’mon, BAC, don’t get yourself in a nut-roll over the human condition. Would you rather live in today’s world or have been born in 1850, during which your worries would include beri-beri, cholera, hostile Injuns, getting vaccumed up in the draft to serve in the Civil War, wherein more Americans died than in all the other wars in our national history combined, then WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam (my war), then finally the ridiculous Gulf War which really was little more than a live-fire exercise with the hapless camel jockeys as targets. The truth is the best time in our history to have been born an American, at least as long as the Chinese don’t invade and force us into indentured servitude as payback for the Korean Conflict

      • Hi John,

        There are always pros and cons. The main con, today, as I see it is that it has become very difficult to avoid the con parts, chiefly due to technology and homogeneity and pervasive social-political-corporate control of practically everything. People, on an individual and day-to-day basis, had immensely more freedom of action in terms of things like being able to just fade into the background, move around, start over someplace else – and so on. The forces that exert the control they have over us today weren’t able to exert the same control in those days.

        Consider, as an example, how difficult it currently is for almost everyone to avoid Face Diapering. Not because of laws but because everything is so enmeshed together.

        I do, however, agree with your general point – with a caveat. I submit that the era recently over was the apogee of civilization. People who experienced life in America at any point from roughly the 1950s through the late 1990s experienced a degree of material abundance, health and opportunity which may never be reached again.

  16. The Slowest Common Denominator must rule. To not do so is racistsexistageist. Yes, we are gravitating toward the mean…and those imposing the restrictions mean well…they do mean better than anyone.

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