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March 06, 2017

How to Survive In the Age of Rage

Just in case people don't get this: I'm not being rhetorical when I say that a large fraction of the country, on both the left and the nevertrumper/GOPe side of things, has gone insane.

The world feels like a Twilight Zone episode to them -- the world they went to sleep in on November 8, 2016 was not the same world they woke up to the next day of November 9, 2016.

Parts of it looked the same, but nothing looked quite the same.

The feeling they have is the horrific, creepy feeling of the uncanny -- a feeling that things look normal and familiar from most angles, but you can't shake the sense that there's something off or alien about them. A classic trope of the uncanny is the automaton or doll which appears human, or, even worse, the human who appears to be a doll. (Content warning on that -- very creepy.)

They feel that they are in a nightmare. If you've ever described a nightmare (or just a dream) to someone, you know it's full of stuff like "And you were there, but you weren't you, and I was at work, but it was also high school..." It's weird precisely because familiar stuff appears unfamiliar, and what we usually experience as solid, steady, unchanging terrain -- like our workplace --is now a shapeshifting landscape.

They were wholly unprepared for the reality of Trump -- they never even prepared themselves psychologically for such an outcome, because it was inconceivable and absurd, and only Dumb People thought stuff like "Trump could win," and as they're fond of telling you, they are definitely not the Dumb People.

And now that that verity, that one important keystone of Empirically True Reality has shapeshifted into spiked jello they did as a shot at a frat party, anything could be true, and anything could be false, and that's a scary place to find oneself in.

Remember how shellshocked and benumbed liberals were after 9/11? Oh we all were, don't get me wrong. But they were shellshocked and benumbed because it wasn't just 3000 Americans that were slaughtered that day, it was all their sacred religious pieties and all their smug certainties about how the world really worked.

Americans experienced the shock of sudden almost-inconceivable horror on 9/11, but progressives experienced something even worse: The feeling that they'd been wrong their whole lives.

We lost two towers and 3000 people that day; they lost their comfortable fictions and pretenses.

They had it worse, actually.

And I'll keep saying this until the day I die: They weren't really all that bothered by the loss of life as they were by the loss of certainty. The loss of that feeling of superiority.

They got it back soon enough. Within a year they were back to being very confident about all their fictions and very superior about all of them.

Within a year, they were certain of the progressive cause again, and were back to fighting against the Colonialist White Power Structure.

But the Trump Terrorist Event -- the fact of Trump's victory -- hit them much more deeply than 9/11 did. They didn't just lose two towers and 3000 people on Election Day.

On Election Day, most knew Trump had won, but still held out hope that Hilary wouldn't concede or that Detroit would suddenly "find" 100,000 uncounted votes.

November 9, 2016 was when the actual SMOD -- reality -- hit.

They lost their feeling of control and power over America. And believe me, after 8 years of Obama, and with the social and cultural winds at their back, able to gin up social media hate-mobs against anyone who even said something they didn't like, and able to sic the IRS on conservative groups and get away with it scot-free -- they felt like they were in total control.

And they were right to feel that way: They were in total control.

And now that's gone.

November 9, 2016 -- the day they realized it was not a nightmare, but a reality akin to a nightmare -- was the progressives' 9/11. Just as real Americans felt the loss of security and control over their own fates that day, so did progressives feel that on 11/9.

What you're seeing from progressives now, and the media, is the same sort of urgent fury you saw from real Americans after 9/11 -- an anger that a great evil had been done, and honor demanded furious retribution.

Many people might have gone a little round the bend after 9/11. I think I did. In fact I know I did. I'm not proud of that, but neither am I too ashamed to admit it.

At least there was justifiable cause.

And now a great evil has finally shaken the progressives in the same way-- they lost all three branches of government.

And they've gone crazy.

In my experience, there is nothing quite so dangerous as an inflated but brittle ego. An inflated ego which is resilient is annoying and dangerous, but, being resilient, it does not really react bigly to threats. It shakes threats off, so it doesn't need to lash out or go on little Nervous Breakdown Picnics out in Ego Protection Park.

But large brittle egos do. Large egos lash out, and brittle ones -- ones that are easily punctured by pins -- must lash out aggressively, constantly, almost randomly.

11/9 stole from them the two things most sacred: their sense of superiority and infallibility, and their precious political power over the people they hate.

And they're reacting rather poorly to that.

The daily hysteria, paranoia, conspiricizing, meltdowns, tantrums, out of left field accusations -- these are not signs of healthy minds.

We are used to saying X Derangement Syndrome but I really think there is some actual derangement going on.

And I would like to tell everyone reading: Please do not give in to it. Do not let their sickness become your sickness.

When they panic, do not let their panic cause you agitation.

It's normal that that should happen -- that's how panics and mass hysterias spread, one infected person spreading the disease through pheremones and weird, alarming psychic energy to the next -- but try to insulate yourself from it, and keep telling yourself, "This is their hysteria, they are trying to spread it because crazy people resent the sane and want everyone to share their delusions, to validate those delusions. Their claims meant little to me when they were speaking them to me in a much more rational, lucid state of mind; they should mean even less now they're firing all their fear synapses at once like some kind of broke-brain radio tower."

Tune out when you fear you're being infected. Get off the internet, turn off the tv, and do something more productive, like reading, or, if worse comes to worse, your actual job.

Quarantine your mind from the infected. I don't mean insulate yourself from news -- I mean insulate yourself from the welter of crazy paranoiac emotions flowing from these sad nutters. The news will still be posted six hours after the Babbling Breakfast Club's daily 8am to 12pm freak-out, when you can digest it in a calm state without all the screaming.

Not every take needs to be a Hot Take, and certainly not every thought has to be had in an atmosphere of mental pandemonium.

Men and women think best in the quiet and stillness. Many writers and religious thinkers advocated doing their work at night, when there was the least noise and bustle.

These freak-outs are going to be daily. A friend of mine posited "this should be over in a month and a half," but I don't agree -- I think it will be going on for eight years.

Yeah -- eight.

That's gonna take some adjustment on our parts if we want to keep our calm and bliss intact.

Let not your mellow be harshed.

They are making noise and pounding the table precisely because they don't have the facts and proof they are sure is just around the corner. If they had the facts, they'd've already been leaked.

They are attempting to get the herd stampeding by screaming about wolves just outside herd's perimeter. And yet, when we say "Where is this wolf you keep speaking of?," they tell us only that they have solid intelligence that an investigation will most likely prove the existence of the wolves.

This is partly just an application standard public opinion information operations -- psyops -- in this day and age. The game is to make all sorts of outlandish claims and then demand that every person DENOUNCE WHATEVER BASED ON THIS INCOMPLETE, SKETCHY, AND POSSIBLY COMPLETELY FABRICATED CLAIM I HAVE MADE. The idea is if you can panic a few people to start running, then other people will start running just because the first few did, and then even the people who do not run off easy will start running because if everyone is running, one is a fool to stay in place.

However, it's only partly that. That -- the running of deliberate psyops to shape public opinion -- is cynical to the point of being nigh sociopathic, but it's also rational. Evil, but rational.

But most of this is just pure panic and delusion and paranoia and hysteria on their part.

And hysteria loves company. Crazy people do not like being told they're crazy -- they do not like being told that they are not Napoleon Bonaparte. It is very important to crazy people that others see the world as they do -- otherwise, being crazy, and being captive in your own little cell of warped perspective and bad chemicals, is a very lonely existence.

Pairs who experience the syndrome of follie a deux -- a madness shared between two (or several) people -- are inseparable and have a bond as strong as between a husband and wife, precisely because there is literally nothing more gratifying and sacred to a broken mind than finding another mind that believes in and validates all the same delusions.

They're on the crazy train, and they're trying to sell more tickets.

Decline to ride.

Changed: Secret Square suggested that 11/9 -- the bizarro 9/11 -- would be better, so I changed it to that.

To be honest, I was having trouble with this date in the first place. November 8, 2016 didn't really work, because it really wasn't till late at night -- on November 9 -- that Trump's victory was official.

Good suggestion, Secret Square.


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posted by Ace at 02:07 PM

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