Worry and Loathing in the City of Westminster

CJ Hopkins

Our descent into City Airport was like the drop-ship scene in the movie Aliens. The BA CityFlyer Embraer 190, a narrow-body twin-engine airliner, rolled over into a 40-degree bank and began bucking like a mechanical bull. Simulated “chimes” began chiming frantically. Flight attendants bolted for their seats.

The German entrepreneur in the seat beside me, certainly an anxious leaflet, immediately adopted the “brace” position. I gripped his shoulder reassuringly and screamed into his ear like a drunken hillbilly, “WE’RE ON AN EXPRESS ELEVATOR TO HELL! GOING DOWN!”

Therefore began my newest trip to London. This time, I wasn’t there to speak with “the Left”or to hound endoparasitoid xenomorphs. I was there on Serious Conspiracy Theorist Organization, which I discussed to the chirpy MI6 operative posing as a “survey taker” that followed me out of Border Control asking concerns about my “nation of home” and my “experience with the passport scanners,” and so on.

She was wearing one of those rubber “Mission Difficult” masks that made her look like a middle-aged British lady. I waited on a chance, head faked, juked right, and lost her in the crowd. As I got in the “Arrivals” lobby, I turned and screamed in her general direction, “NOT MY FIRST RODEO, MR. PHELPS!”

I don’t understand what was up with all the shouting. I have actually been try out different types of medication for this sinus condition I have actually had for months. My Sinus Expert detected me with “long” or potentially “long-term Covid,” or some yet-to-be-named devastating syndrome caused by some other bio-weapon that produces cold-and-flu-like symptoms and has a survival rate of 99.8 percent. So, possibly it was bad response to my meds. Whatever it was, I was feeling tense.

And the climate-change armageddon didn’t help. Emerging from the Tube in Westminster resembled walking into a huge open-air sauna. Bodies were lying all around on the sidewalks. AFP photographers in hazmat fits were taking pictures of the carnage.

Herds of corpulent American travelers staggered through the streets in semi-fugue states sweating profusely and thumbing their phones like an intrusion of alien albino hippos attempting to call up to their UAPsand schedule instant emergency extraction. I pushed and pushed and elbowed my way down Tothill Street to my pod hotel, signed in, and continued to get hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of similar Kubrickian corridors that eventually led me to my luxury pod, and cleaned myself up for the night’s festivities.

What was I doing back in London in the middle of a heat wave?

Well … OK, I’m permitted to tell you about it now. As you are most likely aware, Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Russell Brand were doing this public occasion last Thursday …

… but that’s not what I was really there for. Not that the Thursday event wasn’t enjoyable. It was. Regardless of the rather costly tickets, there was a good size home and spirits were high. Russell Brand name remained in top kind, putting out torrents of intellectual free-association like an English Neal Cassady and nailing the punchlines of all the jokes. Michael was also firing on all cylinders. He worked your home like a seasoned political leader, whipping the crowd into a genuine frenzy of anti-totalitarian fervor.

Stella Assange took the stage at one point and informed us on the official crucifixion of her other half, which, sadly, now looks like a fait accompli. Matt, who had simply made it to London that early morning, therefore was jet-lagged and delieriously sleep-deprived, ignored the speech he had rewritten on the plane, and just winged it, and somehow pulled it off … because that, as they state, is show biz.

Here’s the cash part of Matt’s speech, which he paraphrased in London (focus mine):

“What Michael and I were looking at was something brand-new, an Internet-age method to political control that uses brute digital force to modify reality itself. We definitely saw lots of examples of censorship and de-platforming and federal government partnership in those efforts. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the concept behind the sweeping system of digital surveillance combined with thousands and even countless subtle benefits and penalties constructed into the online experience, is to condition individuals to censor themselves.

Early the next early morning, Michael, Matt, and a secret cabal of international journalists, editors, organizers, political satirists, academics, and other Extremely Severe Individuals whose names I am not at liberty to discuss gathered in an undisclosed location and spent the better part of the day sharing harmful misinformation and planning about how to defeat (or marginally interrupt) the network of federal governments, Intelligence firms, global corporations, NGOs, and so-called disinformation professionals known as the Censorship Industrial Complex.

There were delegates from the United States, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and other nominally sovereign nations.

This heretofore clandestine conference was carried out in what seemed a WWII-era air-raid shelter that had been transformed into a private BDSM club under military-level OPSEC procedures (i.e., the conference was conducted according to the procedures, not the architectural conversion). I’m not totally sure why that was. We weren’t doing anything even remotely prohibited. Nevertheless, considered that I’m under criminal investigation here in Germany for tweeting the cover art of my book, and the internal revenue service’s abrupt interest in Matt, and Package Klarenberg’s current experience in Luton, possibly the abundance of caution was warranted. The last thing we needed was the UK Thoughtpolice goose-stepping in like Basil Fawlty and dragging everybody off to Room 101.

Anyway, that’s what I was really there for. I had actually never satisfied most of the people in participation, except online on the double-encrypted Russian-backed dark-web conspiracy-theorist channels where we hatch our right-wing-extremist plots to defend individuals’s rights to freedom-of-speech and participate in other harmful anti-Democracy habits. I’m still not sure who I really fulfilled in London, as we were all using identical Mickey-Mouse masks and speaking through portable voice modifiers. (In any secret conference like this, you have to presume you have actually been penetrated!)

After the required arguing about the agenda, we settled in and shared our nation reports, which, unsurprisingly, were all variations on a style. I won’t enter into all the information. Michael Shellenberger’s non-profit has actually been tracking those advancements. Matt Taibbi and Racket Newsare reporting it. Other alternative media outlets are reporting it. Millions of individuals all around the world are discussing it, blogging about it, and arguing with each other about it. Your Twitter feed is most likely loaded with it. Alex Gutentag simply published a huge postabout it.

So, what is it, exactly, that is going on?

The important things that was horrifying about listening to my associates reporting on the state of things in their nations– or, rather, the important things that should be scary but is becoming a mundane fact of life– is that more or less the exact same totalitarian program is being presented in countries throughout the world. The censorship. The main propaganda. The criminalization of dissent. The pathologization of dissent. The control of our understanding of reality. The collaborated improvement of the world into a smiley-faced neo-Orwellian authorities state in which politics no longer matters due to the fact that society has actually been divided into 2 standard classes, i.e., “the normals,” who are prepared to mindlessly follow orders and parrot whatever official propaganda they are fed, and “the deviants,” or “extremists,” who are not.

Seriously, all satire aside, consider the implications of that.

As you sit there in whichever nominally sovereign nation you’re sitting there reading this in, ask yourself, “how and why is this taking place?” Then ask yourself, “why is it taking place now?”

If you do not have answers to those concerns, it might behoove you to try to come up with some. That is basically what I have actually been trying to do– in a satirical and sometimes not so satirical manner– in these Approval Factory essaysfor the last 7 years. I’m not going to summarize all of it once again here. I’ve done that, repeatedly, in my essays and books. I did it the last time I went to London to give a talk at the Real Left Conference.

I did it once again at this gathering in London. It did not discuss all that well.

The thing is, most of us are so laser-focused on the trees that we can not see the forest. But our enemies see the forest. They see the forest like fucking eagles. They own the fucking forest and whatever in it. While we hop like squirrels from tree to tree, sidetracked from interruption by interruption, from restricted hangout by limited hangout, they are constructing a huge fucking fence around it and releasing the Forest-Ranger Sturmabteilung.

I’m reminded of that notorious Karl Rove quote. He was referring to the USA, naturally, but it was GloboCap (i.e., the Corporatocracy) that he was truly speaking for whether he understood it or not …

“That’s not the way the world really works any longer … we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own truth. And while you’re studying that truth– sensibly, as you will– we’ll act again, producing other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will figure out. We’re history’s stars, and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
The New York Times Publication

If we do not wish to end up “studying that truth,” the global, pathologized-totalitarian truth that is being subtly and not so discreetly executed at the same time in countries throughout the world, at some time we had better come up with some real answers to those questions above.

The supranational, globally-hegemonic, post-ideological system of power that runs our world– whatever you require to call it– has responses to those questions. It has a story. It is a story about a beneficent worldwide empire governed by reliable clinical professionals who are attempting to conserve the world from Whatever and secure everybody from “disinformation” and “damaging” speech, ideas, and so on. Like every great story, it has an antagonist. United States. We are the official enemy.

Right, Left, libertarian, anarchist, Islamic fundamentalist, Christian fundamentalist … it does not make one iota of difference. There is just the Empire, and those who oppose it. The Empire does not provide a shit why. It is conducting a global “Clear-and-Hold” operation, wiping out internal resistance and establishing ideological uniformity. It could not care less what you believe you think in. All it desires is mindless obedience and rote repetition of its propaganda. That’s how totalitarianism works.

And there I go with my story again. If anyone has a different story that understands the last 7 years– and probably the last 30 years– truthfully, I would like to hear it. My story fills me with fear and loathing, however the just other meaningful story I’m hearing at the minute is the Empire’s story, and I think all of us understand how that a person ends.

CJ Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Permission Factory Essaysare released by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Material, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com  or consentfactory.org. ASSISTANCE OFFGUARDIAN

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