Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I envy those who can unironically praise and express love for themselves in our multicultural post-modern USA. Who are these people? They’re the oppressed. Just as they have to work twice as hard to succeed in this biased society, they need to be twice as proud as unoppressed people in order to achieve the same level of self-esteem.

Who’s unoppressed? The straight white men. White women can at least be proud of being women, at least until someone points out how many of them voted for Dump, and the other historically awful crap they’ve done.

I’m lucky, because in addition to being white I’m also a Jew. It’s okay to be proud of being a Jew as long as you’re suitably ashamed of the Israeli expulsion of Muslim Palestinians prior to 1948 Independence and the subsequent abuses of the Occupation. The Jews who deny any wrong-doing in this regard, well, I’m ashamed of them. And they’re ashamed of me. They call me a “self-hating Jew.” Have you ever really gotten to know a Jew? If you have, I’m sure you’ll agree that the moniker “self-hating Jew” is redundant.

So white Jews are a special case of white people. Then again, isn’t every white person? You can be proudly Irish, because you saved civilization and survived the famine. You can be proudly Russian, because of Tolstoy etc., and that you survived any number of things. You can be proudly German, because of Goethe, but I suggest you counterweigh that pride with some healthy shame because of you-know-what.

Really, it’s the WASPs who need to check their pride, at least here in the US, but also around the world. They owned like half the world at one point, and despite extending their pinkies while drinking tea, they weren’t the kindest of overlords. But, hey, the overlord business isn’t about kindness. The Chinese in Tibet, Uyghur-land, Indochina, etc. have earned a lot of shame, but the British got them all hooked on opium, so it’s even, I guess. The Japanese in China, Thailand, etc., were brutal oppressors, but they did invent sushi, origami, sake, and they got Hiroshimaed and Nagasakied by the WASPs and their minions.

WASPs carry the whiteness elitism for the rest of the white mongrels. Whiteness is what allows the rest of us white people to pass as possible members of the elite group of oppressors. We look like we could possibly be related to some wealthy authority figure, like John Jacob Astor or Colonel Sanders. That’s usually enough to keep a cop from shooting us during a routine traffic stop.

On the other end of the oppression spectrum are the black Africans, as opposed to the white, Arab, and Berber Africans. When those afraid to say “black” in the USA say, “African American,” they mean Black African American, not those others, who might also consider themselves both African and American. When the African Diaspora is referred to, it usually means black Africans who are dispersed all over the world, mainly due to being shipped around as slave labor. A black African nation has never dropped a nuclear weapon. Black Africans have never oppressed anyone but each other, although they have been known to oppress homosexuals, albinos, women and children, so there’s some intersectional discrimination there.

Africa is the continent most of the black people in the USA hail from, ancestrally, and that continent was raped, literally and figuratively – robbed of its resources, sovereignty, and cultural potential – by the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Belgian, German, and English white people, primarily. In the USA, then, the white people, as WASPs by association if not blood and culture, represent the primary despoilers of what we call “the global south,” and the black people represent its primary victims. And this is reflected today mainly in the status of black people as targets of political and social rhetoric, economic oppression, and abuse from the law.

Anyway, that’s where the racial hierarchy derives from, and where it shakes out today. Yes, the class issue is powerfully blended in there. It would be simpler if all white people were heterosexual WASP adult able-bodied men, and all black people were equally poor and incarcerated. But it’s not simple, it’s complicated, although the fact that it’s complicated shouldn’t distract us from the simple, straightforward, everyday injustices perpetrated against the descendants of slaves by the descendants of the beneficiaries of slavery. There’s a particular antagonism by white authority that emerges from that dichotomy, and while it isn’t bounded within that dichotomy, there’s a peculiarity of the persecution that lies inside those limits. A peculiar institution, if you will.

At a certain point in history, black people became associated with the struggle against oppression. Probably, and I’m just guessing here, but probably because they were being oppressed and didn’t like it.

At this point in writing this, I’ve just seen the new footage from Sandra Bland’s phone camera of her being extremely aggressively threatened by the police officer who arrested her just before the Texas police killed her. I mean, it’s pretty obvious they killed her. For not signaling a lane change.

Anyway, so, yeah, at a certain point enough of the conscience of the world was sickened and infuriated by the way white people were abusing, enslaving, and murdering black people, and started rooting for and even helping black people, who had already been fighting against white cruelty from the beginning, really, eventually the eyes of the rest of the world couldn’t remain closed, so now pressure was coming from both outside and inside the evil system.

Anyway, a lot of white people still hold a grudge. They liked slavery. They thought it was good for them, and some even pretend they believe it was good for black people. And even after slavery, they didn’t want to let go of being cruel to black people. So everyone who was against them being cruel to black people became their enemy.

So by the 1960s, black people became associated, on the right, with hippies and birth control and socialism. So all that got mixed together in the racist mind. They saw liberals in favor of black people, and black people were their enemy, so black people and their desire not to be murdered or imprisoned or generally screwed with became synonymous with indigenous rights and recycling and whatever. That’s why they’re so offended by football players taking the knee. They know somehow it’s anti-racism, so they also assume it must be anti-patriotism, anti-militarism, anti-heterosexuality, and anti-white. The rightwing white people have now hopelessly entangled their Racism with anti-multiculturalism, anti-peace, anti-sexual freedom, anti- feminism, anti-unionism, anti-disablism, and general overall Anti-leftism.

They’re being intersectional! It’s a start!

Seriously, though, it’s kind of convenient for all of us. They are a one-stop shop of hatefulness! Of course, it’s always more complicated than that. I mean, there’s always someone who has to pipe up with, “I’m anti-labor but I’m also anti-racist.” Or, “I’m anti-multiculturalism, but I’m also Jewish.” Or, “I’m anti-abortion and anti-trans-rights, but I’m also black!” I get the feeling such people are just being perverse. A bunch of hateful people have done us the favor of wrapping themselves up in a Nazi bow of total hatred, and these “devil’s advocates” are trying to confuse the issue. Let’s focus on the straightforward, all-inclusive enemies first. Then we can deal with these other losers.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

It’s a dangerous world. How do you make it safe? You can’t make everyone safe. You have to start by making yourself safe. How? By deflecting, so I hear. Deflection. It’s the coward’s way and you’ve got to give it to cowards, they’re all safety first.

I’d like to deflect a few things. Because I’ve heard that’s what clever people do, they deflect. Or maybe not clever people, successful people. I’m not sure what characterizes these people, to be honest, but deflection seems to be thought of as a successful strategy. I’m not sure for what. But successful on its own terms or on some terms.

I heard from an anonymous source that, at UCLA, a stupid uninoculated millennial may have exposed 500 people or so to the measles, those people were quarantined, and the school has been hushing it up, but you didn’t hear it from me.

My writing partner is saddened that chimps in the Detroit Zoo are no longer allowed to smoke. I agree, it’s an unfortunate decision. Everything gets ruined by these priggish bluestocking martinets. One of my fondest childhood memories is of going into the Great Ape House and seeing Jo Mendi II relaxing with a cigarette and the morning paper. What are the chimps supposed to do now when they’re having coffee or a beer?

Trump writes up an executive order that health workers can refuse to give medical care for religious reasons. So if a Satanic pharmacist doesn’t want to sell you reading glasses because you’ll use them to read the Bible, you’re out of luck, Junior.

Look, I’ve wasted my life. I did it just to see what that would be like. And it’s fine. It’s miserable, yeah, but lots of people are miserable who haven’t wasted their lives at all. They’ve created quite beautiful things, like restaurants or symphonies or babies. Yet they can be miserable, physically miserable, living in misery. I’m just miserable because I’m haunted by self-disgust. Because I’ve wasted my life, and I did it on purpose, just to see what it would be like. And it’s great, really.

But it was a stupid thing to do, in other ways. But then, wasn’t it stupid of us to allow things to get to this point? Where everything is melting and burning, and only incredibly stupid, vile people are allowed to hold public office? That’s not so smart, right? So why is it an issue that I’ve stupidly allowed my life and my potential to rot and vaporize? I mean, haven’t we all been just as stupid, in our own way? And by “our own way,” I mean “your own way” because I’ve already accounted for myself. I’m outside the equation. I wasn’t trying to do anything smart. I was just trying to get away without doing anything smart. But you all, you’ve actually been living. You’ve been trying. I mean, Yo Yo Ma and Ai Wei Wei and you others, you’ve been really trying. And sure, you’ve done some beautiful, meaningful stuff. But in the end, y’know, all the coral is going to be bleached and dead. And cities are all destroyed. Floods. Y’know, stuff like that, it hasn’t really done a damn thing to forestall the end of our world, it’s just made pretty noises and objects. It’s made people think. It’s made people do things, but whatever it made them think and do, it didn’t really stop the steamroller of destruction coming for us.

Not to dwell on destruction. They took a picture of a black hole, did you see this thing? And what’s more destructive than a black hole? Beyond the event horizon, everything turns into nonsense. It’s so beautiful. It’s a torus. It’s a toroidal shape. And here I am, you don’t need me to interpret that extreme gravity for you, I’m the guy who wasted his life, remember? I wasted my life to see what would happen. Could it really be accomplished, the wasting of one’s life? More importantly, could I do it? Because I’m no one special. I accepted the mission because it’s important to me to be no one special. Not just anyone can waste his life. And yet just anyone did. It takes a really extraordinary person to commit to be ordinary, but not just ordinary, but, yes, maybe yes, maybe just ordinary, yes. Maybe.

So I wasted my life, that’s such a tragedy? I’m not gonna get worked up about it. You need to get right with God. No, not really. But check your own whatever. Because from where I sit, lying down, staring at the ceiling, things look pretty bad for everyone. Legit bad. Bad in legit fashion.

I mean, we’ve almost poisoned all our water. What were we thinking? And you all have to take responsibility for that. I don’t, because I was busy wasting my life. We’re killing all life on this planet at an alarming rate. And by we I mean You. You did this. I was busy with my life’s all- encompassing project of wasting my life. It kept me busy every single minute of every day.

Seriously, you try it. Too late, am I right? You’ve already achieved. You’ve over-achieved. Yes you have. It’s way too late for you to waste your lives now. What can I tell you, as someone who’s gone beyond that event horizon of the wasted life? Can I tell you it’s beautiful here? Can I? I can. It is sometimes. And horrible. Much like your own lives. But I’ve gone over the event horizon, where matter is, I don’t know, it just, maybe it just, we don’t know. And by we, I mean you. You don’t know. You don’t understand. It’s beyond understanding.

They could’ve left well enough alone. They could’ve let the damn chimps enjoy their smoking time. They could’ve kept abortion legal. They could’ve used the Electoral College for its intended purpose and set Donald Dump on fire when they had the chance. And they say I’ve wasted my life. The Electoral College wasted its life.

They’ve been cheaping out with the military. The Navy has some seriously understaffed battleships. That’s why they keep crashing into things and killing people. Same with the Air Force. No, it’s not just public education that they’re starving. It’s gotten so bad they’re even pocketing money that should be keeping sailors and soldiers and pilots safe on the job. Well, members of the armed forces are just workers, after all. Why should they be safe? Why should they have any more safety than any other poor slobs. The embezzling class, they really are awful people and by they I don’t mean you, although if it is you, shame on you.

Look, I just wanna deflect, that’s the name of the game, right? Sure, I wasted my life, but let’s face it, we’re all in this together. And by we I mean you.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I’ve been trying to channel someone with admirable traits lately, because I have none left. Not sure I ever did. Was I kind and forgiving at one time? Emotionally generous? Did I suffer fools gladly? Did I suckle baby iguanas at my teat of human kindness?

I am despicable. Self-despicable. I am very self-reliant in that one regard. I can definitely despise myself. All by myself.

I do have one consolation. At least I’m not a social climber. I lack the prehensile tail, much less the embouchure it takes to cling to someone else’s upwardly moving prehensile tail by my lips.

But the rest of you, oh my god, how did you all get like this? You’re worse than me! And I’m not the only one who thinks so. I say that without a shred of proof, just evidence gathered like one might gather crumbs on a table cloth and call them a cookie. Like Alex Jones does with fragments of lies.

Just think: Alex Jones exists. That alone ought to be enough to convince any objective observer that our species has outlived its redemptive potential.

I can’t figure out who I hate more: the left, the right, or the middle? Or the up? Or the down? There is an interlocking ecology of annoyances these days. I can’t stand the interrogation of the self that brings forth nothing but oversimplifications. The academics who can’t utter one comprehensible word, and the academics who CAN utter comprehensible words but they’re always reactionary words. I don’t know who’s more intolerable, the people I can’t stand or the people who can’t stand me or the ones who overlap into both categories.

The white people and the Chinese and the Persians and Greeks and Mongols and Tatars started it. Conquering. But even that idea is too complicated for a lot of you. I can’t even itemize what aggrieves me anymore. This is how bad it’s gotten. This is how bad YOU’VE all gotten.

It’s the white men, it’s the black men, it’s the straight men, it’s the gay men, it’s the women of color, it’s the white women, it’s the Jews it’s the gentiles it’s the god damn Buddhists. I’m just, I’m fed up. Not a single one of you has a decent idea about how to proceed. We’re just gonna run in place here. Just jog in place shouting one incomprehensible chant over and over while our spinning wheels wear out the turf and dig a hole underneath ourselves, a bottomless pit for us to fall into.

I’ve tried to be patient and gracious. A lot of good that did. You people lose respect for a gracious individual. You think just because you can walk all over someone that that’s all he’s good for. Well, in my case, you’re right, but it’s still very shallow of you.

It doesn’t make sense to make sense anymore. Ideologies have all become grotesque. They’ve swollen like some kind of leathery pumpkins, swollen with their own internal moisture festering with bacteria, like an obese blister growing on some eldritch garden vine.

I’ve tried being analytical. I’ve tried being emotional. I’ve tried being exuberant. I’ve tried being sober. None of these conditions appeals to me.

I heard someone call this an election year. It’s not. It’s still 2019. That’s nothing. That’s a nothing year. This is the year of grasping the fog. I got an idea, why don’t we all just take the fog, braid it into rope, and hang ourselves from the clouds. Huh? How about it? Why, what’s so great about what YOU’VE got planned?

I understand I’m not giving you a chance, with this vague Jeremiad. Super vague, I know. “What exactly are you upset about, Jeff? Can you be specific so we might at least pretend to care? Go through the motions of caring, like an NRA-beholden legislator after a mass school shooting?” No, I can’t. I’m just utterly, atomistically aggrieved. My agitation is Brownian, like molecules in broth. I just can’t, y’know? I just can’t. The prospect of receiving your insincere thoughts and prayers for my groping, blind aggravation is no incentive to focus.

Can’t you just feel it? Every ethnic, socio-economic, phenotypic, genotypic – every kind of person there is, each and all up in arms, everyone for themselves and God against all. I know you’ve got to have felt like this at some point recently. You haven’t? You might have but you’re not sure because I’m being so expansively inclusive it’s hard to tell?

I’m just trying to give voice to the desperate sensation that there is no way out of the mess. That’s all. And I am succeeding to my own satisfaction, although satisfied I am not.

I hate what’s going on these days. I hate the plot, the writing, everything. But I will admit, I’m interested. You have my attention. I’m invested. Not monetarily. Monetarily? Really? Me? You gotta be kidding. No, I’m bankrupt of every asset you could imagine. I have no interest but the honest one. I’m binging on Earth, and the human species. I’m hooked. I actually have real affection for this story I hate, the plot twists I can’t stomach, the characters I’d like to throttle. I can’t help it. You got me interested. I’m hooked.

This is why we’re doomed. I suspect the only reason we’re all participating in this sick nihilistic mumblecore charade, this existential doomsday soap opera, is because we want to know what happens next. Will Dick finally get down with Jane on Search for Tomorrow? We’re so weak.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

When I first saw David Frum, I said to myself, Damn, that guy’s ugly. Then I heard the bs that came out of his slobbering maw and said, aloud, “Uch, shut up.” Frum is one of those conservatives who fancies himself fair-minded, so he sporadically takes some positions which those defining conservatism at any given time call “liberal.” It’s like being a light-drinking alcoholic.

Last week, as current editor of the Atlantic, Frum took his ersatz common sense and applied it to what I’m going to call “the immigration question.” On the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, I do indeed intend the phrase to echo “the Jewish question” which was posed by a certain common-sense party in Europe in the 30s and 40s. I don’t mean to call Frum a Nazi, but to aver that there is an unflattering comparison to be made between the way Jews were considered a problem back then and the way immigrants are being considered a problem right now, and Frum’s discussion highlights just about all of its unflattering aspects.

To Frum, immigrants lower the national IQ, strain our social budget, and pollute what it means to be American. That is an oversimplification of his argument, but not a gross one. I want to state plainly that, in this case, I am a bigot. Even if the above statements were true, I wouldn’t consider them problems.

If we had to rescue millions of severely mentally handicapped children from extermination in, say, Europe, or, say, Uganda, or, say, Syria, the fact that they would bring down the national testing average would not be one of my concerns. The real issue Frum elides, however, is that, as a nation, we don’t commit resources to our public schools. In our cities, “common-sense” Republicans and Democrats alike are bailing on providing education to the public. With or without immigrants, this would be true. Neo-liberalism, or trickle-down economics, or the Washington Consensus, or whatever those with “common sense” want to call it, is doing its best to starve the public of resources, or outright steal the public’s resources, and all the “immigration question” does is offer these “common-sense” advocates of privatization and “market solutions” with another crisis they can use to bludgeon the public sphere into submission.

Frum warns of the strain allowing too many low-earning immigrants into our work force is going to put on Social Security and other entitlement programs. I’m sorry, that’s such a farcical assertion on Frum’s part I can barely bring myself to address it. The idea that the so-called “trust fund” of Social Security is being strained by anything other than those who have stolen from it is easily dismissed, and the same goes for Medicare and any other guarantee of public welfare. The notion that the savings systems behind these programs are “going bankrupt” is a delusion. If we cared even an iota as much about supplying medical care or housing for people as we do about giving trillions for our defense contractor friends to pocket, there would be no strain. I never hear that we’re putting too great a strain on our defense budget by investing in fighter jets that can’t fly or wars based on manufactured evidence. We don’t strain to fund that which we care about. Therefore, Frum would find Social Security a strain whether immigrants were factored in or not. It’s a matter of priorities. Whatever government function Frum holds as a low priority, he warns us it’s going to fare even worse if we let too many Mexican hillbillies into the country. That is, Frum will hold up immigration as yet another reason we can’t afford the amenities of a modern republic, amenities he has never supported.

My favorite assertion from Frum is that he’s been warning us about the rise of white nationalism since the 80s or something, if we don’t enact “common-sense” reforms of our immigration system. This is really his main thesis. As a light-drinking alcoholic, Frum can’t stomach the hard-core incompetence and outright fascism of the Donald Dump administration. So, until the GOP is no longer led by Donald Dump, he has no choice but to rely, at least rhetorically, on Democrats for “common sense.” He says something to the effect of, “If Good People won’t do something good about immigration, the Bad People will do something Bad about it.” And this is a global problem, he insists. And he’s right. Globally, the economic elite are forcing austerity on everyone else, causing us to compete for fewer and fewer resources due to artificial shortages, and rightwing parties of the kind Frum has, throughout his career, given periodic rhetorical support for, have used this enforced austerity to strengthen bigotry of the kind Frum believes we now have too much of.

Frum’s insistence that immigrants just aren’t suited to contribute to our national discussion on rights that are singularly American is true. A Catholic farmer from Mexico isn’t predisposed to fight for trans rights. A Syrian refugee might balk at voting for the rights of same-sex couples to marry. But then again, they’re not the main forces agitating against those rights. White people are. Thanks to the economics Frum takes as the tacit basis for all his arguments, the fascist right is rising. I’ve been warning Frum to stop pushing for an end to the public sphere. But he wouldn’t listen. And now we’ve got fascism knocking on the door.

The story goes that Frum was once reading Solzhenitsyn on a bus full of Democrats and they made fun of him or something. And from then on he vowed to disregard the left. If he’d been on a bus full of Republicans who’d made fun of him for reading Edward Said things would have gone in another direction. Instead of defecting to the ostensible center from the right, Frum would have done so from the left, perhaps. I mean, seeing as he’s so fair-minded and full of common sense, it was probably his destiny to champion answers to “the immigration question.”

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri


Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Spread the word to all the venture capitalists you know: I have the secret to eternal youth, immortality, invulnerability, invisibility, time travel, instantaneous transport, and control of all matter and energy. Right now it’s in the secret idea development stage, but just a few billion dollars will turn me and few lucky dupes into the saviors of humanity and make us wealthy beyond the limits of earthly human reason.

An investment of a million dollars will buy you “nice try” status, and you will receive a promissory coupon for an unlimited number of rides in the Mach 99 fat-tire stroller to oblivion. Two million dollars gets you twice as many rides. And so on until math runs out.

An investment of 400 million dollars will get you on the board of directors, 150% of voting shares, and an invisible royal garment.

I can take just a drop of your blood and turn it into enough loaves and fishes to feed a great multitude.

Now is our time! The time of infinite promise and zero fulfillment! We shall be gods, promising good fortune and, ultimately, heaven, but delivering only that which a mythical savior who lacks actual existence can deliver.

We promise you high-speed rail but we can’t even deliver potable water to people in Michigan, a state surrounded by the Great Lakes. We promise you 100% surveillance but we can’t even give you justice when cops are caught on video killing your children.

We are the best and brightest: when it comes to promising, we can do it all. When it comes to luxuries and miraculous sights, sounds, flavors and sensations, we procure them for ourselves.

And when it comes to solving the actual problems afflicting humanity, we, just like God, do absolutely nothing, almost as if we didn’t exist.

But we do. We are the living church, glories of architecture, marble and gold, the paragon of all the arts and sciences, and you can visit us long enough to worship and drop a few coins in our collection plate. After all, the people create the gods, and feed them with their blood and money.

You know who contributed the altarpiece? Henry Kissinger. Just think, you could pray to a sculpture that Henry Kissinger paid for! The man who won the Nobel Peace Prize for killing the greatest number of Indochinese in a single war.

We have all the money. Do you want some? You’ll have to make it worth our while. Shine some shoes. We’ll pay you as little as possible. You know what the ideal wage is, from our point of view? Zero dollars. That’s what we call a perfect wage. If we could show that we paid all our workers exactly zero dollars, our stock price would go through the roof! It would fly through the roof and up and up an infinite distance.

It is my dream, as an entrepreneur, to create a company so dazzlingly new and world-changing that all the money I accumulate will rise up to me like prayers. Money and love and dreams will lift me above all fear and need, and I will dwell forever in the sun, out of reach of the sorrows of this world. Only the most beautiful music, played by the most masterful artists, will shimmer around my ears, and only the most pure and sublimely prepared food, from the most fetishistic farmers, brewers, bakers, gatherers, or vintners, will pass between my lips. With noble sadness will I look down and observe all the violence, deprivation, and depravity, the follies of you, humankind, about which I can only do my tiniest part, because were I to do more I would deny myself something, and that can never be. Beings who respect themselves never deny themselves anything, because they love themselves, and that is above all the goal: to love the self, to shower love upon oneself.

That is why you suffer, puny humanity: you don’t love yourselves enough. You haven’t found something you’re passionate about, and pursued that with every ounce of strength, as an act of love for the self. No wonder you’re always killing each other, forced to drink poisoned water, lacking quality schools, unable to access medicines you need to live. People who love themselves will always find a way. But not you. It’s no wonder you don’t love yourselves. You’re weak.

I hope I’ve shown you the true way, now, with this little sermon of mine. Learn to love yourselves. Learn to fix what’s lacking in yourselves, that’s what’s lacking. Whatever you do, don’t try to dismantle the church or dethrone the gods. The gods cannot be pulled down.

Or at least that’s what we’d like you to believe. Please believe us. Please us by believing. Believe! Believe!

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I’m going to say this twice. Once here at the top, and a second time near the end. The first time because I think it’s something on which everyone who opposes the controlling economic, political, and information system, as it is, can all agree. The second time because I will want to remind us all of its salience in light of what I’m about to lay out: the basis of a unified conspiracy theory of global fascist movements, large and small, in governments and in the streets.

This is the statement I wish to color all that will proceed hence: The establishment opposed to Donald Dump believe there is a line, below which he sits, on his tasteless gold toilet, tweeting his misspelled words and doing his second-tier, déclassé-collar crimes, while they look down their noses from their understated, right-thinking, right-acting positions of propriety. What they don’t realize is that, while they bend over to scold him and dirt-devil up the shards and crumbs of the taco bowl he left on their lovely carpet, Dump is actually their own ass crack hanging shamefully out of the back of their silk-linen blend trousers.

I’m not arguing that Donald Dump conspired with Russia to break laws and undermine the 2016 election. He and/or his shitty family may have done that, and there may be evidence in the Mueller report that warrants further investigation into that. There is certainly the appearance of impropriety, which is one reason there was an investigation in the first place.

Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the 2016 election because of Bernie Sanders or because of Russia. The British public didn’t vote “leave” because of Russian interference. I want to make it clear that I am in no way pushing those narratives. But that doesn’t mean Russia’s noodling around, egging rightward mischief here and there, while entangled in shady deals for a few million here, a few million there, isn’t a dark-money connection worth understanding. It is. John Gotti was a little tiny parodic maquette of the larger capitalist system, but he had to be brought down. Jon Burge wasn’t in charge of all the racism in Chicago, but he was a problem, and if he could die again much more brutally, that would be a good thing.

The premise that, as a wise man named Chuck Mertz has said time and time again, “Everybody’s stupid,” seems to apply. There seems to be a mini-consensus among some left "radicals," or whatever, that interference by Russia in our electoral affairs is meaningless, and Mueller's investigation was just wasted time (which aligns with the GOP's outlook, ironically; it’s even caused otherwise intelligent people to sound like Bill O’Reilly when criticizing “the media” and their “sexing up” of “Russiagate” –Rachel “Useful Idiot” Maddow is not the entire media). Looking at Russia’s bit of aid in the Brexit vote and other international skulking, I would say it's the Russian government's goal, albeit in its little way, to fuel rightwing nationalist movements in the west while making deals with Dump and Dump-style wannabe or wannastay rich business criminals to push fasco-populist parties, candidates and policies. They hope to facilitate the slide of uber-capitalism into fascism. It's a definite pattern that qualifies as modus operandi. It likely has them loosely affiliated with Bannon, Gorka, The Northern League, white supremacists in the US, Australia, and national front nativist fascists in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Scandinavia...

The resuscitation of Nazism and black-shirtism is the underlayment of capital’s anti-labor and anti-communitarian movement, progressing like a glacier from Reagan and Thatcher till now. This is its varnish peeling off. When the economy cratered in 2008, revealing its biggest institutions to be unwieldy and dangerously top-heavy monstrosities, unfit for conducting affairs in a stable world society, finance capital knew it had to do something to derail the obvious popular conclusion that they were a Frankenstein that must be split into smaller pieces, their wealth divided into manageable portions that could possibly be doled out to the public. They couldn’t have the public discussing wealth redistribution, so they had to revive, or rather exploit the preexisting condition of, the fascist antipathy toward socialism, progressivism, multiculturalism, and all the other boogeymen of misdirected white male resentment.

Seen in this light, the smug left's desire to own the libs regarding Russia is pretty myopic. They should care about this cabal of low rent tycoon-style gangsters that’s populated a layer of power and has a lickspittle toady in the White House, helping move uber-capitalism toward a violent confrontation that is not the violent confrontation we want. Or at least, not the one I want. Maybe you all want it, I dunno.

Of course Russia didn’t start the rise of the right. Of course they’re not the biggest force behind it, not by a long shot. I’m not sure they could even be called a big force behind it. They’re more a little node IN it. They didn’t hijack our election, although I’m sure they would’ve loved to, but they did stick their fingers in it. I mean, if you don’t connect the right’s figurehead, Donald Dump, the cartoon duck with no pants, and his financial entanglements with the Russian oligarchy and Putin, and their desire to seed and see discord in the West, and get how they fall in line with capital’s ultimate desires, I think you need to take another look. It’s a grotesque little criminal partnership, with racist and fascist hatred, and the threat of violence, as a little fence around it.

Dump, who has allowed at least one Russian oligarch to launder millions through at least one of his properties and has multiple questionable real estate deals in that Wild West of the East, is just one little player in this racket, but he happens to be the POTUS now. It’s dangerous and sickening.

Look, Donald Dump is a crook. He pockets taxpayer money through his stupid hotel. Even if that were all he did, I’d want to know about it, and I’d be pissed. But he gives violent Nazi ideologues something to live for, and kill for.

I see why some leftists have a problem caring about Russia’s contribution to the rising right: they can only think about one thing at a time. If you say Russia had a hand in something, they have to say, no, you need to keep talking about how bad Obama and the Clintons are. OMG I’ve talked about how much I can’t stand Obama and the Clintons’ gifting a laisse-faire economy to finance capital, sucking the blood out of communities, enabling monopolies, sending trade-makers into the war zones they create to find great opportunities, selling labor down the river, SINCE THIS SHOW STARTED! They’ve set up the finance industry to make me poor! And to make the already poor really really destitute, desperate, and dead. Don’t think I don’t feel visceral rage about it every day.

And yes, Dump is the clownish, miniature version of the cruddy misleadership we’ve had all along. But he’s also the clown prince of the fragmented neo-Nazi movement, his name a talisman in an Australian mass-killer’s viral polemic. This is a bad global movement. It wants overt colonialism back again. If you think white schoolkids have it bad, wait till one of these fascists sets off a dirty bomb in a Bolivian metropolis. Yes, the neo-liberal project of uber- capitalism has primed the pump for these putsches. But this jag-off, this Donald Dump, is the boss now of the shadow that capitalism casts. He’s the neo-liberal’s henchman. He was dandled on the knee of Roy Cohn, himself a grand petty criminal and a natural born race-and-red-baiter if there ever was one.

Putin’s a capo in the mob, and he treats Dump like another capo, albeit a kind of Fredo Corleone- type of capo. And I don’t want Dump to have even that much juice. I want him crushed under a collapsing plaster Parthenon of his own gilded garishness.

It’s an international mafia of creepy anti-communists, anti-socialists, and just plain greedy, lawless jerks who are finding each other and feeding the angry white classes below them with more fodder for their racism and eschatological violence. A white working class longing to ignite a race war is a gift to these guys. They love a divided working class. So do the Kochs. So do the Clintons. But no one’s doing it quite the way Dump and Aaron Banks, the insurance and diamond millionaire and rabid pusher of Brexit, do it, both of whom wish they were richer and aren’t embarrassed to get their hands covered in Russian poop to become so.

Look, Dump’s not clever enough to profit from helping Haiti. He’s smart enough to know that helping black people is the LAST thing his voters want. And they aren’t a majority, those voters. So some of them have to be violent, conspiracy-enthralled assholes to keep the nonsense level up to eleven. That’s the only way he wins. Yes, the neo-liberals win by making soft progressives believe they’re kind and virtuous. These Dumpensteins win by making hard fascists think they have a chance to found a thousand year Reich on the blood of Jews, immigrants, queer people, and people of color.

Of course it’s more about money for most of them (except Putin who really wants to control as much land as possible, because that’s what statesmen want – real estate; he’s like a real estate tycoon with an army).

It’s a loose affiliation of creeps with common goals that are even worse in the short run than the ones we’ve gotten used to. I want them taken down, and if possible, to drag the system of which they are a parody down with them.

The reason Russia is important is specifically BECAUSE this is being investigated by the FBI. All these threads are connected, and if the FBI accidentally does its job (partly out of justified malicious feelings toward Dump) that might be a chance to learn about nefarious fascist support schemes in other spheres. I might remind you that Donald Dump is the POTUS who hired both Bannon AND entangled his own finances in Russia. So if you want to find the hub this whole mess is revolving around at this moment, why not look at the supposedly MOST POWERFUL POSITION IN GLOBAL POLITICS? I mean, I'm absolutely certain that if threads lead from Dump and money-laundering to Russia (and Deutschebank), those threads will connect with the National Christian Foundation, the US’s largest Christian charity, Bannon and Bolsonaro (and the DOJ and IMF), Marine LaPenn, maybe even Macron and Merkel and of course Netanyahu, and the right wing in Australia and Hungary. I believe both libs and reds have tunnel vision here. This is a global movement of suspicious money funding anti-labor and anti-community operations in all sectors in both hemispheres.

The question the ruling class asks, whatever deal they’re making, whatever legislation they’re buying, whatever violence they’re facilitating, is “How can we conduce actions and policies that will disrupt the efforts of those without money and power to organize and empower themselves?”

What I think is funny is that establishment types think bringing down Dump will rescue the system. What they don't realize, and what I would like to remind our listeners for a second time, is that Dump is just their own ass crack hanging embarrassingly out of their jeans.

So let's see what's in that report and if it goes anywhere, shall we? It could eventually connect with machinations the discovery of which will one day force the mask off those in charge of keeping a right and proper face on the kind of interference in public processes that somehow keep happening everywhere.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I like Purim. Purim is the Jewish Carnivàle or Mardi Gras. It celebrates the story of Esther, who saved the Jews from destruction during the Babylonian captivity. The Biblical story was embellished in some aggadot, or Talmudic stories, and later apocryphal legends and early medieval fan fiction. The Targum Esther, or Targum Sheni, from about the 4th century CE, and the Targum Yerushalmi, really go to town in their elaborations on the tale. They expand the Megillah the way Spike Jonze took “Where the Wild Things Are,” a 38-page book that’s mostly pictures, and turned it into a two-hour horror movie that was basically The Revenant meets HR Puffinstuff. I drew most of my information from Volume IV of Louis Ginzburg’s 7-volume masterpiece of lore-gathering, The Legends of the Jews.

Part of the celebration of Purim is the telling of the story. And I shall be hitting some of the highlights:

King Ahashverus, of whom there is no historical record, ruled all the world from Ethiopia to India, so says the Megillah. Targums say that, before the events of the story, the king sent several armies out to conquer India. Mordecai, his Jewish advisor, had a battalion. Haman, one of his Amalek advisors, had a battalion. Various other commanders had battalions. And each commander had a war chest. And Haman, like a jerk, squandered his war chest on chicken tikka masala and mango lassis, so when he couldn’t pay his troops, he goes begging to Mordecai, and Mordecai says, can’t help ya bruh. But Haman begs so pitifully, Mordecai says, Okay, but you have to agree to be my slave for the remainder of the India campaign. Haman agreed, and they wrote up a contract. But they didn’t have any paper. So they wrote it on Mordecai’s knee. Mordecai apparently had it tattooed on his knee, because even years later, to get on Haman’s nerves, every time he’d pass by Haman in the palace or in the street, he’d lift up his knee in a very silly walk, and point to it, so Haman could see this shameful reminder of his stupidity, and Mordecai would go, “Hey, man! How you doin’?” This may be the root of Haman’s grudge against Mordecai and the other Jews.

I’m not making this up. Someone else made this up, about 1,600 years ago. Targum person. Targum scribe. What should we call them. T-something. In the manner of Harold Bloom. T-bone.

More details in the expanded version. King Ahashverus throws a big party for everyone. Remember, the Persians and Medes were heathen trash, just really low-class. And one of the nights of the party, Ahashverus is totally bombed and like, “Oh, you wanna talk about the hottest woman? My wife is the so the hottest woman. Vashti! Show us your tits! Show us your coochie! Shake your moneymaker!” But Queen Vashti refuses – not out of any sense of modesty – come on, she’s a heathen, she’d be more than happy to flash her goodies at a party – no, according to T-bone, God gave Vashti a full-body rash, that’s why she wouldn’t strip. And Ahashverus didn’t just spurn her, he had her executed. That’s in the fan fiction version, the Targums.

Some have reclaimed the Esther story for female empowerment, and I applaud that. These stories belong to those who tell them – but there’s a beauty contest for virgins, for the king to pick his next wife, and I find that problematic. But here T-bone steps up: according to the Targums, Esther, Mordecai’s niece, wasn’t shallowly beautiful in the conventional sense. In fact, at the time she was brought before Ahashverus she was 75 years old. According to T-bone. She was just brimming with grace, that was the attraction, her amazing grace, although T-bone does say that her good looks held on well into her dotage. We don’t know how the Biblical people lived so long. They WERE on the Mediterranean diet.

T-bone says Esther never had to do the nasty with the king. Every night an angel came down in the form of Esther and took that bullet for her. They could’ve called the book the 75-year-old virgin.

Esther keeps secret that she’s Mordecai’s niece and that she’s Jewish. Really, it never came up in conversation. Shushan, the city where this all takes place, and for which there also is no historical record, is a very cosmopolitan place full of Zoroastrians and animists and Mithraites and Greeks, I assume, and the king didn’t care what she was as long as she was attractive.

The Megillah loves to dwell on the comeuppance Haman and his family and all Jew-haters got for being dicks. T-bone takes that further. It’s the most unprogressive thing about the Esther story and especially its later versions: make sure your enemies are as humiliated as possible before you destroy them utterly.

I’m not against this, I’m just saying it’s not Rabbi Hillel standing on one leg saying, “Do not do to others what you would not appreciate someone else doing to you, that is the whole of law.” Apparently, it’s not the whole of the law.

First, God has Ahashverus raise Haman to the office of highest advisor. No one knows why. Mordecai had earlier exposed a plot to poison the king, but he got nothing, and somehow Haman got all these rewards. It’s a little like when God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in Egypt; it’s a set-up for the great fall of the antagonist. God’s just not very subtle or clever with the foreshadowing.

But fall he does. Haman convinces the king to declare that all the Jews of the whole land be destroyed, and apparently there’s the usual kind of widespread Jew-hatred there and in the provinces, and all the fascists are getting their cudgels ready. The Jews cry out unto Heaven.

God says to Moses, “What’s with all those sheeps weeping and wailing?” Moses, always the straight man, says, “Those aren’t sheep you idiot! Those are the Children of Israel!” “Oh!” says God, feigning surprise, “well that simply won’t do, will it?”

It all starts to come apart when King Ahashverus can’t sleep one night. T-bone has an angel toss him out of bed 365 times. So the king has his royal readers read back the record of goings-on about Shushan in the past few years, and discovers that Mordecai was never rewarded for saving the life of the king. That’s why he couldn’t sleep!

The next morning Ahashverus calls in Haman, his top advisor, and says, “How should we celebrate he whom the king delights to honor?” And egotistical, narcissistic Haman, thinking the king means him, says, “Oh, have him dressed in your finest coronation purples, and your most

gigantic but comfortable crown, and let him carry that stick with all the jewels on it, and have him mounted on your mightiest, sexiest war steed, and led through the streets by one of the chamberlains or whatever, who shall herald him thus: ‘Behold the one whom the king delights to honor!’” And the king says, “That’s great. Go do all that stuff for Mordecai.”

The next bit is a little slapstick, and I believe it appears in a 16th century play, the earliest existing full-length play in Yiddish, in a tradition of purimshpil called, “The Ahashverusspiel.”

Haman’s like, Mordecai? I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank, who is that?
The king says, Mordecai the Jew.
Haman’s like, There must be 600 Mordecai the Jews in Shushan. There are six on my block. The king says, Mordecai who sits in the king’s gate.
Haman says, There are 18 gates to the city, can you be more specific?
The king says, Mordecai who sits four seats to your left in the council chambers!
Haman says, OH! That Mordecai. Why didn’t you say so?

So Haman has to bathe and shave Mordecai, dress him in all that great garb, let Mordecai use him as a step-stool to get on the royal steed, and lead him, resplendent in the king’s best raiment, through town, announcing like a common herald, “Behold how the king honors he whom the king delights to honor.”

In the original, Haman’s daughter sees her father thus humiliated, and when she does, she collapses. The whole Haman family was in on this and they thought the day was gonna go completely different.

But T-bone was not content with a collapsing daughter. No. She sees the procession down below, looking out from an upper story window, and, thinking it’s her father on horseback and the hated Jew Mordecai leading his horse through town, she dumps a chalice of poo on him from the window. Why a chalice? Why not a bucket? Cuz these people are heathen trash. They don’t know how to treat fine dinnerware. Anyway, she sees that she’s just dumped excrement on her own father’s head, leaps from the window and goes splat on the pavement and dies. Right at Haman’s feet.

Meanwhile, Esther tells Ahashverus she’s a Jew and that Haman is a brute and a no-goodnik and a perv, and some angels come down and disguise themselves as Haman’s ten sons and chop down some precious trees in the royal orchard so they get in trouble. Haman and all his sons, says T-bone, are crucified on one gigantic cross made of some tree that really wants to be used that way.

But the king can’t rescind the order to kill all the Jews, because it was a command given with the royal seal, but he allows the Jews to prepare and fight back. And they kill all the Proud Boys and incels other alt-right scum of Shushan and the surrounding environs. The Megillah delights in reporting how many hundreds of thousands of Jew-haters are killed, and the Targums even more so.

Which is good. When we laugh at that video of Richard Spencer getting punched in the face, or at that Hungarian fascist dying of a heart attack during his speech, and some candy-ass centrist says, “If we mock their pain we’re no different from them,” you just tell them the God of Sarah, Rachel, Judith and Esther is on your side. Feminism is anti-fascist. Judaism ought to be feminist and anti-fascist. Our milk of human kindness need not extend to those who would facilitate policies promoting genocide, especially when they have attained high positions in government, like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, and of course the biggest, most undeserving dick of them all, who somehow rose to ridiculously high office: that lumpy old twat, Haman.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I foresee a return to an in-person cash economy, and furthermore, a return to in-person communities. Why's dat? Here, I'll explain a little my utopian notion.

We have a president who is a fraudulent man. That is, even the facade that he's a man is a fraud. He literally cannot utter two sentences without lying, and even when what he's saying is trivial he manages to make you feel you're being lied to. "It's a beautiful day. Really, it's just one of those beautiful sunny days." I don't believe you, and I'm right here in the day with you. Forget this, I'm going inside. It must be raining guano or something.

This is more than a constitutional crisis, or a crisis of faith in the press and government. This is the rubber chickens come home to roost. This is a crisis of reality. We can't have this much reality be in question, it's too much. I'd rather just have the old worries, like under Reagan, that we were gonna die in a nuclear holocaust. That's existential. This crap is existentialIST.

Felicity Huffman, so woke playing that trans person, so woke that she bought her kid's way into college. Wait, that's what rich people do. But not always fraudulently. Not always by committing illegal lying. But it’s not always necessary to lie illegally. Because behind the lie of merit-based anything is the embarrassing obscenity that money trumps merit. Money trumps truth. That Fyre Festival, its roots go all the way back to Barnum, it’s entertaining that people with too much disposable income and gullibility and lousy taste in music got taken in such a public way. They were promised entertainment and, lo and behold, they became entertainment. Turns out that, even if the product is a $250,000 festival ticket, the product is you.

We now have a two-decades' legacy of facade masquerading as substance. It's been over twenty years since people made millions on companies that were made of nothing. The tech bubble burst back then, but it's never really gone away. Vaporware is normal now, vapor-everything, and we haven't learned our lessons at all. Not from the tech bubble, not from the housing bubble. It's all a fraud bubble, but we won't admit it. Trillions and trillions of dollars of wealth is just aether. It's nothing. There is no there there, no there anywhere. I ask you, oh wise people, where is there any there?

It's the economy of lies, but economy has drenched every corner of contemporary human existence. We are a society of lies. Not a society of laws, a lie can obviously trump the law. We're a society of lies. Not simulations. Lies. We may indeed be living in a simulation, we can't do anything about that. But we don't have to tolerate all these lies, this atmosphere, this firmament of lies. We can punch through it, punch the face of the god of lies.

We have fraud laws. We have laws against misrepresentation. What we need is laws against plain old lying about stuff. Lying to cheat people of their money or labor or attention. Why is it legal to lie outright? I don’t care if it’s a matter of opinion that the new Barfburger tastes just like real caviar. It’s a lie. A six-inch sandwich doesn’t measure six inches because “six-inch” is just “the name,” not a guarantee of a number of inches? Axe Body Spray will not make throngs of blonde, brunette, and red-haired women chase after you. That is a dramatization of an adolescent heterosexual male fantasy. They’ve presented it in order to tap into your anxieties and desires around sex, procreation, companionship, and, ultimately, mortality. Also, women don’t segregate into herds according to hair color.

As I’ve said before, this is our educational system: advertising. Lies. Indoctrination through lies into the lying culture, the lie of patriarchy, the lie of money and what it means about one’s own value as person. Just lies all the time. You may say to yourself, “but I don’t pay attention to advertising.” Do you pay attention to anything? Because it’s all advertising. Some of it more, some less, but it’s all advertising. A pickle? Advertising. A homemade pickle? Advertising for the DIY lifestyle. A 6th-century pre-Islamic poem about onions? Advertising. A mountain? A mountain in the middle of the Sahara desert that no human being has ever laid eyes on? How could that be advertising? It is advertising. I don’t know how, but it is advertising. An as-yet- undiscovered asteroid in a galaxy on the other side of the universe?

Is that a question? What do you think the answer is going to be? Yes, it’s advertising!

Advertising is what the universe is made of. It’s the fabric of spacetime down to the very Planck level.

Then how can we fight the lies, you ask? How should I know?

Brands. It’s brands, that’s the real culprit. We’re all brands, everything is a brand. No more brands. Brands are edifices of lies, lies are the bricks of which brands are built.

We are slave laborers for the pharaoh of lies, lugging giant stones to build monuments to liars. Our ability to divine fact from fiction, and act rationally in response, has not progressed beyond the ancient Egyptians, beyond the first Homo sapiens.

I started this out by predicting a return to an in-person cash economy. There’s just too much distance and air and space between what you’re promised and what you receive. We need to close that gap. But I think on the way to explaining my prediction things got out of hand a little.

I’m sorry this is so incoherent. Remember, I’ve done nothing but eat, drink, and breathe lies from the moment I was born, so navigating my way out of a ubiquitous epistemological fluid is probably beyond me. I’m no genius. I’m not even smart. That’s just my brand.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Three identical triplets. Have you met them? For a long time they hadn't even met each other. They were separated at birth. Then, twenty years later, they were reunited. It was joyous. There were astounding parallels in their separate upbringings. There were stunning and amusing similarities between them. And then things took a dark turn.

Look, it's on Hulu. I'll try not to spoil anything, but I will probably fail. I'll jump in and fail right now: their separation at birth was arranged by a theorist of hereditary psychology who had himself survived the Holocaust. Survived as in, he was Jewish and didn't get killed.

But this isn't about Jews. It's about ideas. The ideas the Nazi doctors explored about heredity and human nature and biology were medieval. Their methods of investigation involved torturing their subjects in ways that would make a Spanish Inquisitor cringe, and gag with nausea. They transplanted eye tissue, that's one, without anesthetizing the living donors. I won't go further because, for reasons of financial ineptitude, I had to sell my book about the Nazi doctors. I'll buy it again when I'm rich.

Now, this Jewish researcher, he arranged to have several sets of twins separated at birth and placed with families who differed in class and demeanor. Their development in these differing environments was followed under the guise of routine follow-up monitoring in the adoption process.

The underlings of this Holocaust-survivor mastermind were grad students or post-docs, going to the subjects' houses, filming them as they put them through your usual childhood inventory of skills and behavior. I say usual, because I underwent therapy as a child, and the tests were very familiar to me. These underling researchers were keeping a secret, because they knew that each solitary individual they were testing was actually an unwitting member of a matching set. They kept it secret from the adopted children and the adoptive parents.

One woman, who looked disturbingly like a more cube-shaped Madeline Albright, and who would only admit to having aided and abetted this study in the most minimal way, evaluated the ethical questions it might raise thus: see, this was the 50s and 60s, we didn't know this was bad.

Thin-lipped octogenarians, note: bright red lipstick is a horrible choice. Oh, wait, that's bad. That's a bad thing to say, bagging on cubic Madeline Albright's looks. Now I know better.

So, yeah, in the 50s and 60s a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust could "not know" it was ethically atrocious to manipulate human beings by experimenting on them as if they were strains of wheat.

We're civilized now. Not like long ago. Long ago we were brutes. Now we wear garments of woven plant fibers. We live in sophisticated communities, connected by technology. We trade with each other, we exchange currency tokens for a variety of goods. We enter into contracts of temporary servitude. We hold transcendent philosophies concerning love, art, and war. We are really something.

We have rights, because we are human. We extend rights to others.

And we talk and talk. And we get our food from slaves. We poison our water supply. We rape and murder our children, and our children shoot us. And we give them top security clearance.

We're civilized now. Not like before. Finally, just as human history is about to be destroyed by human progress, humans have achieved a state of civilization. Of humanity, even.

At this pivotal juncture, perhaps we should take stock of what we have really learned: each and every one of us, as far as I can judge from experience, is prone to the arrogance of believing ourselves neutral, innocent, capable of deeds untainted by impure motives. From the most ruthless dictator, ruling with an iron hand, to the most oppressed, dispossessed victim of ostracization and deprivation, we are each capable of negligence, rationalized destructiveness, even outright cruelty, justified to ourselves by avoiding eye-contact with our consciences. We keep the most unthinkable questions unthought. We keep them in our blindspot. But as the anonymous industrial poet says: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."

We know now that the Stanley Milgram experiment at Yale, where subjects were led to believe they were giving electric shocks to another participant in the study -- as much as it was a study in deferring to authority, was itself an unethical authority to be deferred to. We are trapped. Now we know! Now we know! We sing that mantra daily. Now we know that it's wrong to say this or that. Now we know that it's wrong to buy and sell people as property. Now we know that women have been kept under a crushing boot of patriarchy for centuries, exceptions notwithstanding but nevertheless pointed to as the one that proves the rule. Now we know it's not nice to persecute those who differ from the majority in one respect or another. Now we know that White European domination has been enforced with lore and science along with the guns and chains. Now we know! Now we know! 

It's an absurd refrain. Now we know the Earth is not the center of the universe! Now we know the age and nature of the sun. Now we know we belong to the Kingdom of animals, the vertebrates, the mammals, the primates, the apes. Now we know! Now we know! NOW we know. Now WE know. Now we KNOW!

Now we know the Nazis were bad. Back when the Nazis were just starting out, it was understandable not to know. But now we know. Except for the people right now who are Nazis. They don't seem to know.

Now we know that considering some groups as divinely determined from birth to be contaminated and only worthy of the most filthy employment was wrong. It was understandable when the Vedas were passed down orally, it was understandable when Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar arrived to enlighten us. But now we know! Except the hundreds of millions who don't know, to this day, that there is no such thing as an Untouchable.

Except we used to know the Vietnam War was bad. Now it's up for debate again. Maybe it was good after all? Maybe we just didn't try hard enough to make killing every Southeast Asian in sight into a good thing? Let's look at it again, maybe we can get the answer the new colonialists want. Everything old is new again!

Except the hundreds of thousands of Jews who still believe we came to Palestine in peace, and it was no harm, no foul to take land from the people already there, they were bedouin, they were nomads! They didn't own houses! This is my house now, being a bedouin means your house isn't a house and it isn't yours. Except the people who believe our first black president was born in Africa, and the world's economies are run by the Rothschilds, Joe McCarthy was a hero, and various levels of melanin equate to various levels of intellectual ability, and the Middle Ages is the history of gallant white people on horses jousting for courtly love.

All the things we know, all these ways we've become enlightened, they're really contingent on the mood of the audience, and that's all popular opinion is. No truth is so valid that it can't be dismissed during a popular or ignored commission of a crime against humanity. We knew back when Nixon tried to cover up all his crimes that the president ought not be above the law. Yet here we are! But now we know, because we see. But now we see, and now we don't.

We're not the Wise Ape, the Tool-maker, the Value Ape. We're the Magic Ape. Now you see our rationality and compassion. Now you see our irrational hatred and arrogant cruelty. Now you see our self-recriminations, now you see our self-justification, now you see R. Kelly and Brett Kavanaugh in their highest shrieking dudgeon.

You gotta read the room. And you gotta push the window wider to let more light into the room. But the window always stays the same size. When it moves to the left, the things on the right fall out of frame, and vice-versa.

We really are magic, because we never let any idea, good or bad, die completely away. It's not that there is no truth, it's that the truth is magic: now you see it, now you don't.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!