It has to be the “news.” What is heard – and read – by people who listen – and obey. It is the only thing that explains the regional Diapering I’ve been seeing in my area.
In Roanoke, Va., Diapering appears to be on the wane. At Kroger – the supermarket I visit regularly to gauge the spread of the national pathology, it is now the case that only about half the patients are Diapered. A month ago, almost everyone you saw in the joint was Diapered.
They suddenly seem to feel better and it shows. You can see it – literally.
But in Floyd, Va., roughly thirty-five miles away from Roanoke, about two-thirds of the patients are still quite sick, if one goes by how they look. Including healthy young men donning Diapers in the parking lot, prior to entering the joint. It was quite a sight – and I saw a lot of it.
What accounts for it? This disparity of Diapering?
It has to be what they see – on the TeeVee.
In neither area are the bodies stacking up, as they have never been – anywhere – outside of nursing homes. But in my area, which used to be a healthier area, you’d swear they were about to – any minute now! – if you went by the visuals.
It looks like what it used to look like in Roanoke, a month ago.
It is the power of Landru. Of the images generated by the machine – the TeeVee – which tells them to be afraid of what they can’t see but must believe. Many of them do. The “mandates” aren’t being enforced much in either area but that is no longer necessary. All that is necessary is to know what Landru – the glowing image – expects of them.
I don’t watch him myself since I prefer to maintain my mental hygiene but I have it on good authority that Landru has been purveying fear about “the cases!” “the cases!” being more abundant in Floyd (and nearby Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech) than in Roanoke – and Needling being less abundant in Floyd, with the dire implication that it is (sigh) still dangerous to not efface your face when shopping in Floyd.
And so, many do.
It doesn’t matter that they’re fine. That they have been fine, all along. They are told by Landru that all is not fine, that they risk not being fine. That they must – for the good of the body – continue to wear the Obedience Rag.
Perhaps you have been seeing it, too.
It tells us much about the power of programming.
Which supersedes the evidence of their eyes; blanks out the knowledge assimilated by their brains – if they chose to assimilate it. Effaces their judgment. Lobotomizes their skepticism. Instead, a fear reaction to the Tele-Prompter’d injunctions of Landru, Star Trek shorthand for the god in the box.
That’s all it takes, apparently, to make a lot of people practice practically anything.
In a way, they are Tele-Prompted. Scripted vessels that regurgitate and pantomime the will of Landru. They repeat the words they hear, in the manner of a bird that can mimic the sounds it hears but without an understanding of the words it repeats.
Orwell, who was a linguist par excellence, had a word for this – Duckspeak. The automatic, vocal support of political orthodoxies. To speak without thinking. Put more plainly, to emit noises – as a duck does – without consciousness or even awareness. A kind of biological reflex.
Only ducks don’t “mask” up. That would be beneath them.
It is apparently not beneath the humans who who have become like ducks but without the mitigating fact of being ducks. One cannot rightly fault a duck for quacking uproariously without reason because a duck cannot reason. It is, after all, a duck.
But a man ought to aspire to more than quacking.
In freshman philosophy, they used to teach the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. I think, therefore I am. But what of those who don’t think? Who react?
What are they?
Well, they are pitiable for openers. In the manner of a chrysalis that never opens, of potential never manifested. Of abortion – and failure. One feels sadness – initially – when seeing them dutifully, robotically, reaching in their pocket for their Face Pampers and putting them on as they exit their cars and head toward the entrance to the store that isn’t making them put them on anymore.
Some – even sadder – continue to wear their Pampers within their car. It is like watching someone who has not only shit their pants but walks around with the brown spot showing and being almost proud of showing it.
But it is also something else. Something alarming. In the manner of a herd of dangerous beasts, set loose by a malevolent rancher who wants them to be terrified, wants them to trample everything in their path.
What is the cure for terror ennobled? These people feel they are doing the right – the essential – thing – by doing as they are told. That it must be done.
Because they heard it on the TeeVee. It is the will of Landru!
Turning him off is the way to the cure. But how many will listen to such a prescription, having become addicted to the pill?
. . .
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