Notice to Fellow Shock Sufferers

During all the years I have been writing regularly for public consumption, I have never received such a high proportion of reader response of the deeply personal, forlorn, almost despairing sort that I have been getting over the past two months. Even during the American Thinker years when I had tens of thousands of readers in a normal week; even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision; even in the aftermath of Benghazi and Obama’s reelection; even during the slow murder of Charlie Gard against his parents’ direct wishes in a British “hospital”; during none of those moments of heightened emotion did I see the general tone of correspondence that I am seeing these days. 

There is a unique aura of hopelessness about this situation. For this time, the source of outrage or disgust is not any government action or political hypocrisy, nor any instance of frustration or angst over a semi-detached “Them.” This time, the source of the spiritual infection is close and ubiquitous, and thus in a certain way indefinable. Rather, we might say that this time the problem is everyone. Your neighbor. Your fellow man. Your family.

We are watching everyone around us succumbing to the flimsiest propaganda and the most transparent power lunge — and succumbing out of pure immature, self-absorbed, materialistic fear. We are having thrust in our faces a truth that perhaps we always knew in the back of our minds, but which we were normally able to suppress well enough to be able to carry on with our daily lives, namely that in the name of an irrational primal fear, almost every human being around us, including many of those we have casually called our friends and family, would unhesitatingly strip us of all our freedoms on a moment’s notice if commanded to do so by the State; and further, that most of them would willingly support and defend an order to imprison us or even shoot us dead for violating the terms of our enslavement, if they thought our behavior was in any way a threat to their material comfort and emotional security. (To be clear, I am not referring here to those who, under constant assault from the media vultures, have merely become excessively fearful of an overhyped pandemic. I am referring to those who have allowed that fear to translate into acquiescence to totalitarianism. Unfortunately, this second group now appears to comprise most of the first.)

We are living through the world’s grandest staging of Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiment, and learning that there is no level of pain and hardship that our fellow men would not inflict upon us in the name of simply doing as they are told. And unlike the subjects of that infamous experiment — almost sixty years of social and moral deterioration having passed since Milgram’s original research — our torturers will not even break a sweat as they crank the dial to deliver the highest voltage shock to us, let alone dare to question the orders they are being politely urged by their masters to follow.

So here we are, sharing a few moments of solace together in Limbo — now, perhaps, you can see why I chose that name for this site — feeling increasingly like war prisoners tapping out secret code to one another through the cell walls, just to reassure ourselves that a few likeminded others are still alive out there. And when I say “alive,” I mean thinking and feeling like free souls, even while our material (including social) existence grows ever more restrictive and unsavory. 

And with that I return to where I began today. I have been struck, of late, by the number of e-mails I have received from various readers — old and new, longtime friends and strangers — which end with direct encouragement to “keep writing,” often followed with a personal note to the effect that visiting this site has become a kind of daily sanity break for those readers at this moment when there suddenly seems to be so little rationality left in the world. 

I mention this today for three reasons.

First, I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to those who honor me with such sentiments, and to ensure you that the feeling is mutual, which is to say that I continue writing here as regularly as possible, in spite of an absurdly busy work schedule, because spending time here, writing for myself and for any other souls struggling, as I am, to find hints of humanity in a time of spiraling inhumanity, is a profound pleasure for me — the kind of pleasure that one can perhaps only experience against a deeply contrasting context.

Second, I wish to apologize for writing a little sparsely, by my own standards, over the past week or so, precisely when I feel least inclined to “take a break,” and most invested in the intellectual and spiritual wellbeing of my good visitors and friends. As noted above, my day job — teaching online university classes in this “social distancing” environment while trying to salvage for my students a little of the value of a proper learning experience — has become an extremely time-consuming routine of producing video lectures while responding to student messages and assignments. I therefore wish to assure my most regular readers that if I do not post an article (or two) on any given day, it is never for lack of enthusiasm or will to continue our conversation, but only for lack of time. Bear with me — and as usual, I remind you that there is a ton of archived content on this site to keep you busy while you wait for my slightly unpredictable output.

Third, here are a few pictures to help you relax and remember that for all our natural tendency, as material beings, to see the fate of our societies as the fate of the universe, the two issues are only very tenuously related, and the former ultimately of little consequence, let alone threat, to the latter.

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