Welcome to 2018 – If 2018 Will Have You

An Odd Bit Of Background:

Early in 2016 I had a dream in which I was getting ready to move into a house which was made with high-tech materials which were supposed to hold up to everything. Unfortunately the materials couldn’t hold up to each other, and the house started falling apart almost from the beginning – even as efforts were being made to keep it up. Eventually I had to tell the workers to stop working on what was left of the building, and what remained quickly collapsed onto the ground. A horrific enough dream, with an easily understood meaning (which came true almost immediately).

The dream continued, however, and I then looked off into the valley below, where a city had grown with all sorts of buildings and amenities visible and hidden to the eye. I don’t remember the exact comment I made, but it was something about the stuff below falling apart (maybe a wish for it not to? I don’t remember), but right after I made the statement things started falling apart. Buildings fell, transit systems mafunctioned, vehicles crashed into each other – just EVERYTHING that could go wrong seemed to suddenly WANT to go wrong, and in the worst possible way.

And while I woke up after a few things fell apart, I wouldn’t be surprised to have watched things collapse, fall apart or otherwise get destroyed for as long as I was sleeping.

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On Myself:

Now, the dream is nearly two years old (as of the publication date of this blog entry), but in telling me what to look for and (in code) what will happen, it’s still the clearest guide I’ve had in a long time. It told me that my life was about to fall apart in some ways, and it did so. It also told me that the world was about to fall apart as well – and while I was to fix my life, I was to watch the world as its wreckage grew.

I have made my efforts to fix myself (as I said last year, for the first time ever I could say I was an adult instead of acted like one for a small bit), although I keep finding stuff and wouldn’t be surprised if there were limits to my developing of virtue/destroying of vice. Especially at the age of 52 going on 53, with more of my life behind me than ahead of me.

Looking Outward:

As for the outside world, we’re talking about some MAJOR issues. There was a lot of fighting going on to protect certain sacred cows, but it appears that Presidente-For-Life Trump won the two most important things he and his allies were fighting for (I don’t expect him to retire from office. Whether he dies in two days or twenty-and-two years, he’ll die as active president, the 25th amendment be damned.) – a Tax Code made to insure that money flows solely to the rich and to corporations (citizens – note that we’re not talking of people, but corporations as citizens and therefore as having rights), and the right of Corporations to dictate what we see in the internet. Anything and everything else is moot, as the system has been fully set up.

There’s plenty of other things going on in the outside world as well. Between Fox and Sinclair Broadcasting, radical conservative broadcasting looks to have a stranglehold on the American Broadcast Television market. The telecoms have been working to insure that they have the right to control what gets looked at online – indeed, at this moment one has to wonder why they’re not freely dictating what’s seen and not seen (of course, this may have already started. I’ve noticed troubles downloading Verizon-owned Yahoo! Mail onto my T-Mobile cellphone, wonder if this is the beginning.).

I won’t comment on the TV thing, except to note that, like the tax law commented on above, this has been forty years in the making. These people have been playing the long game, and the fruits of their plans are JUST beginning to ripen.

On Hollywood Finally Being Forced To Get Its Act Together:

Speaking of the Mainstream Media (Television and movies mainly, although it’s extended to radio and politics, to varying degrees of success), the Sexual Abuse of women has finally become an offense worthy of wiping someone off of the face of the entertainment world. Starting with the bizarre spectacle of Bill Cosby being outed as a guy who could only get it up when the female was literally out of it, the movement against molesters suddenly gained steam as men who were in actual positions of power and glory got knocked down off their perches. Starting with Harvey Weinstein and his cavalcade of victims, we get Kevin Spacey being outed as having a thing for BOYS, Louis CK getting destroyed for HIS habits, Garrison Keillor wiped off the face of the earth (Did you know there WAS a show named A Prairie Home Companion?) and politicians from Al Franken to Roy Moore either resigning their seat or losing elections in places they should have cakewalked to victory in. We even got stories on the width of Roman Polanski’s lustings over teenage girls (let’s just say Samantha wasn’t the first nor the youngest, just the person who spoke up and was believed).

Maybe it was the fact that many of the men being outed and tossed out of the Entertainment and Political world were old enough to have been retired in an earlier, “less progressive” time. Surely they were offputting enough to have been cracked jokes about (as an example from across the pond, listen to people talk about Jimmy Savile in the ’90s, when people would joke about the then well-thought about guy).

On a more positive note, it’s possible that the old boy’s system is falling apart and is being replaced by women. After all, the top three movies in 2017 (Star Wars 8 – The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman and Beauty and The Beast) were Female-fronted movies, with Wonder Woman directed by a woman. It’s possible that, more than clearing away some dead weight, Hollywood may, after a decade of the rising power of its female stars, be ready to hand more and more power to women – and cleaning up its support and power structures in an effort (and part of the price paid) to do so.

Cyber Bullshit Rising:

Meanwhile one of the most anticipated movies to come down the pike is a movie titled “Ready Player One” – a movie where life in the real world is depicted as having gotten so bad that people escape to cyberspace to feel like they have any sort of agency; and CyberCurrency (BitCoin, LiteCoin, IOTA, etc.) has suddenly become the biggest thing in the internet since browsers could put images on the same page as text.

Now, the fact is I could do without Ready Player One, since we’re talking about a movie where escape from reality is treated as the primary right. Never mind the frightening ideas that come out of such a thought (Imagine an imaginary world so alluring that the real world can go to shit and you don’t care, Imagine a world so ugly and distasteful that an alternative cyber world is a necessity…); I can assure you that any power that can make your life on earth so hellish that you give up all hope of improvement within the real world will also be able to make life in the escape world so hellish that you wish you could find your way back to the real world. That’s the thing about absolute power – it brooks no limitations on the pain and suffering of those under its boot, backing off only when it’s amused enough to merely watch for the moment.

As for CyberCurrency, it scares me to death. You think a bunch of old guys whose sole reason for their power is their control of money is bad, imagine a bunch of wired up geeks who know (and wish to learn) no concept of mercy, for whom a major source of pleasure is seeing how many people they can make lose their jobs FOREVER, whose emotional identifiers are arrogance and autistic separation from the people around them – imagine these geeks going around with control over your money. At least the old guys everyone calls Banksters understood human desires and were willing to give you the chance to become independent of them (or at least could deal with that possibility); the computer geeks of Silicon Valley have plans of taking absolute control over your being and giving you nothing – not even the concept of relief from pain and hopelessness – in return. And…whatever you may say about Gold, it is an item with a supply that is strictly limited – can you say that about cyber currencies? Remember, any Fiat Currency is limited only by the self-control of the person or persons in control of said currency – and that includes currences that are solely ones and zeroes, with the additional note that such currencies can disappear without a trace or a thought (you have to work to make an real-world fiat currency become worth nothing once it takes on a steady worth.)

Implosions Possibly Happening Now:

Speaking of things that should not be, this year has seen the beginnings of the utter collapse of two items. Many folks will know about them, others will learn about it in due time.

The first implosion I see starting was Cook County (And Chicago, and possibly Illinois, with it), thanks to the attempted “Soda Tax.” foisted upon the county in desperate need for tax monies (in part because of a state-instituted shortfall in retirement monies), the short-lived tax caused such an uproar that the county was forced to rescend the taxes about two months after instituting them – and the collapse, I think, is nowhere near stopping.

One thing you must understand about living in urban areas – people have much less of a problem paying taxes in urban areas in part because they see them as part of the cost of living in an urban area. You want good libraries for you and the kids, you pay a library tax; you want good mass transit, you pay the Transit tax; you want good water wherever you go, you pay the Sewer bill, etc. As long as the taxes aren’t TOO onerous or arbitrary and the people understand where the money is going they’ll pay, and those who don’t want to pay move to Northwest Indiana and enjoy the “Red-Headed Stepchild” status that northwest Indiana enjoys (Enjoy because it’s chosen. Again, those who live in NW Indiana know that services are crappier across the border from Illinois, but they live there anyway for reasons – and many of those reasons are indeed understandable, even once you strip out the bullshit that passes as news about Chicago.).

The Sodapop tax (actually sweetened beverage tax, as only water was untaxed and some places went so far as to tax THAT alongside everything – that’s how organized the opposition to the tax was amongst the corporations being gifted a cause in which they could play the good guys for once) broke those rules – especially once it became known that SNAP recipients could not be taxed for buying pop. Once that favoritism was thrown into the mix, it became a matter of time until the tax was doomed – and the moment we learned that what was expected to bring in $5 million/month had only brought in $300,000 in that same time (implying losses of other taxes from grocery shoppers translating into a likely loss in overall tax revenue) insured that the tax was doomed.

And the thing is, I’m sure many people who had gone to the extemes of going to Elgin or Hammond (a Walmart just over the Illinois border, natch) or even all the way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, found themselves rethinking their love of Chicago. After all, if there’s no logic to the taxation, the state can’t even make its bills, if the state has its local and county-wide safety nets destroyed and its governments forced to embrace cruelty towards those in need (which I’m sure Rauner is counting as his proudest action at the moment – if you can’t celebrate your successes, why not celebrate your enemy’s failures and losses?); why not move elsewhere? Do you REALLY need mass transit, or a store within three blocks of you when you can drive to the town’s Walmart and stock up for the next two weeks? Do you really need to care about the local poor when you can insure that your larder can last for a month?

The second implosion I saw starting this year is of The Apple Corporation.

Think of it: You know something’s going wrong with a certain item, but nobody seems willing to take you seriously. They either look at you funny, or give you “logical explanations” for what you’re experiencing, and either way making you feel stupid for even bringing the item up. And then, suddenly –

¡¡¡BLAM!!!

An instance of what you’ve been talking about has been admitted to, and suddenly everyone must take you – and your dismissals of ALL their points, across the whole time range you’ve been arguing your points – seriously.

That is what happened to a lot of iPhone users who had been complaining for years about the company slowing things down with new iOS updates that happened to come when a new iPhone came out when it was discovered that Apple had put in some battery management programming to insure that phones with worn-down batteries could continue to run under cases of heightened demand. Never mind [a whole bunch of logical reasons I had put here but decided to remove for brevity and honesty purposes]; since Apple has been proven to have slowed down their phones on this one occasion, they must be guilty of having done so since the first iPhone.

Mind you, Apple is a company that once was known for doing things RIGHT and, to be honest, has been living off of that reputation for too long; so in a way SOMETHING was bound to come up. And even if their actions are justified (as I think they are in this case), we’re talking about a situation where a whole mess of wrong – true, false, or mythical – has finally been confirmed as truth. And while Apple has plenty of money and is still profitable, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the company has become a zombie corporation in ten years time, with nobody buying their stuff and “venture capitalists” strip-mining the cash hoards for their stakeholders.

Implosions Happening Sometime In The Future (so far as I can see):

As for a lot of other institutions, there’s lots of bloat and ballooning going around. Higher Education, Medical, Lawyering, even many of the so-called STEM disciplines – every one of them is bloated at the top and is quite happy to cut out the meat of their businesses, sure that the boys in Silicon Valley will come in with “better, stronger, more sustainable, more robust, cheaper, more easily kept up” solutions – and for some reason keep redefining all the definitions to justify their cutting. Professors are replaced with “Adjucts” who are de facto stand-ins for the computerized learning gets stuffed into universities for the same excessive costs, Medicine costs rise as service drops and people come to fear going to the doctor, Law Schools pump out multiples of the number of lawyers actually needed, music goes from an art worked out by people to a mechanical science worked through computer algorhythms and auto-tune.

And if you think poets, painters and pianists will be left alone, I suggest you check out AlphaGo and AlphaZero – If they can shake up both the Go and the Chess worlds after a limited amount of self-learning, I’d hate to see them set upon the idea of poetry and novel-writing. They could easily destroy whole areas of human activity, if the nerds of Silicon Valley decided to do so.

In short, there’s a whole lot of stuff that desperately needs to be destroyed – and the folks in power are destroying EVERYTHING ELSE.

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Not very positive, is it?

Well, that was the vision of the future I was given, and unless and until I recieve a different vision of the future coming, I’m sticking with it. Doesn’t mean I’m not looking nor that I’m without hope, just means I haven’t seen it yet.

The simple fact is, I’m not about to let myself be brightsided. Indeed, I’m beginning to think about putting up a page on this that would list all of America’s favorite saying that I would proceed to demolish. That may be another posting, but know that there are plenty of phrases NOT stated by Nietzche that are as stupid as the Nietzchian bromides that keep getting shoved up my ears whenever someone wants me to ignore what’s going on.

Hopefully this year goes better. I’ll be watching, don’t you doubt that.

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