by Ray Jason
One of the great joys of my sea gypsy life is the ease with which I can alternate between solitude and camaraderie. Scattered about the Archipelago of Bliss are many friends living on the shore or on their own islands. They often invite me to come and anchor near their home and hang out for a few days. I frequently do so. These are always delightful interludes.
But when the lonesome call of contemplation beckons me, there are many empty lagoons where I can linger alone. There, my only companions are the creatures of the sea and the sky and my books and my thoughts. But occasionally I will be joined by another sailing boat that is – how can I say this – different. Most people would describe them as “outlaw boats,” but I consider them “emancipated boats.”
These are sailors who do not bother to check in with the authorities, but who wander the Wide Waters as sea vagabonds without a country. I can easily ascertain this by making an offhand remark about how easy and inexpensive it is to clear into this particular country. If they agree with that assessment, I know that they have not actually checked in, because it is neither easy nor inexpensive to do so here. Then I will make another casual remark about the “unfettered freedom of the cruising life.” Usually, at this point our eyes will lock and they will know that I know.
In my own personal quest for ultimate liberation, I have not quite reached that stage, but I certainly see the wisdom and the romance in it. The more deeply I examine our contemporary society, the more indisputable it is that we are unknowingly ensnared in an ever-expanding control web. So the desire to slice through the strands and escape the monster that is weaving that web grows steadily within me.
As I sit here with my clipboard composing this essay, I can actually reach out and touch three pieces of evidence to support my control web assertion. Here is my new passport which now contains a tracking chip. Beside it is my laptop which I will use to upload this to my blog in a few hours. When I turn it on will some pimply Anti-Snowden be staring at me through its webcam as he dines on a chili-cheese dog and a Dr. Pepper? And over there in my mail pile is an envelope containing a new debit card. But my current one does not expire for a couple of years, so why has this arrived? The answer is because it too contains a tracking chip. However, there is no reason for me to be concerned since the bank assures me that it is for “my added convenience.”
But it has nothing to do with “my added convenience” and everything to do with “their additional control.” When I describe these human spiders as The Malignant Overlords, I am not just trying to be playful with the language. I am attempting to be disturbingly accurate with it. Such a phrase seems excessive to most people, but that’s because most of us are not pathological, we are caring and kind individuals. So it is hard to believe that other humans are so psychopathic that even though they already possess too much wealth and power, they still crave even more control over us.
The evidence supporting this is not just sitting on my chart table. It is everywhere - if one is willing to suspend their Kardashiamania and look at the world. If one does so, they will probably conclude as I have, that all vectors point to further degradation in the human condition for the vast majority of humanity. Indeed, it is the seeming impossibility of positive improvement that inspired the title of this essay – “What could possibly go right?”
Here is some of that additional evidence:
· Surveillance. When Edward Snowden’s revelations first appeared, the national debate should have been over how swiftly this illegal snooping into everyday people’s lives could be ended. Instead, our Malignant Overlords steered the discussion to “How much unauthorized eavesdropping is acceptable?” They justified this by claiming it would protect us from “terrorists.” Tragically, most of us fail to realize that this is just the latest phony bogeyman that replaced the “Red Menace” after the Soviet Union evaporated.
My concern for privacy is not delusionary. Ponder for a moment the three main machines that you use in your life – your computer, your phone and your car. They all have tracking devices installed within them. Oh, but I forgot – that is for your “added convenience.” Actually, it is so that a tiny elite can gain even greater control over the mass of humanity.
· Eliminating Cash. This latest tool in our rulers’ obscene bag of tricks should be terrifying to everyone; and yet it seems to be going unnoticed. If money becomes totally digital, it means that governments with their super-computers will have complete knowledge of your personal finances. Certainly they would only use this information for your benefit or for the greater good. And surely they would not just “disappear” your life savings if they so wished. In Chile in the 70s, they “disappeared” living human beings by shoving them out of military aircraft over the Pacific Ocean. It would be wise to assume that the M.O.s would vaporize your money, if it seemed to be in their interests.
· Deliberate Dependency. Currently in the USA almost half of the population receives some sort of government check. This is the ultimate tactic for introducing Soft Servitude. When .gov informs the recipients that that their food stamps will be cut by 33%, there might be some who call for revolution. But the vast majority will just grumble and accept an even greater burden of subservience. We should all heed these wise words of Goethe: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
· Police Militarization. Anticipating that the masses might get restless due to the financial tribulation that may await them, the Malignant Overlords have installed a militarized police apparatus that would make Big Brother proud. The friendly policeman on the neighborhood beat has been supplanted by buzz-cut, chubby cops who look like galactic storm troopers with their body armor and weaponry. Since decent-paying jobs have practically vanished in the U.S., these enforcers might have more allegiance towards their paycheck then to the folks on the other side of the cul-de-sac.
· Election Reality Show. I have been trying to fathom why the news media has been so election-crazed almost a year and a half before the next presidential selection. Then I realized that their true mission is probably to drown us in this drivel in the hopes of making the citizens believe that voting is important and actually matters. Emma Goldman, way back in the 19th Century, had a pretty accurate understanding of the true value of the representative democracy charade. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” And that was long before Corporate Personhood and SuperPacs and TV smear ads and Diebold voting machines. This explains the enormous dichotomy between Congressional approval ratings and the insane frequency of incumbent re-election victories.
So the next time an outlaw boat anchors near me, I’ll row over with a bottle of good rum. We’ll regale each other with tales of squalls full of lightning and exquisite sunsets and visits from manta rays. We’ll curse the adverse currents and celebrate a steady night wind. And just before rowing home to AVENTURA, I might propose a final toast:
“Here’s to our sea gypsy tribe – we have embraced lives of freedom and adventure and we have rejected lives of obedience!”