This is the moment when you want to believe that this is all a dream, that what you’re experiencing is the result of a hallucinatory dream, but you’re awake. This is real. —cil
I’m still rubbing my eyes with disbelief: The New York Times, that venerable stalwart of American journalism, called the GOP the “stupid party.” I’m not sure which shocks me more, that the Times editors would allow the use of the word “stupid,” as a derogatory descriptor, or that, as a colloquial expression, the label is correct. Have we really come this far down the rabbit hole? Can any of this be real?
This hallucinatory existence feels strange to me. I’m looking through the news articles this morning and might wonder if someone slipped some magical mushrooms into my dinner last night. The only problem with that line of thinking is that I didn’t eat dinner last night. I had a piece of cake and strawberry soda early in the evening and never felt the need for more. That shouldn’t be enough to alter reality.
Yet, every ounce of reason in my body says this can’t be real. We cannot be looking at a presidential contest so incredibly illogical. We cannot be living in a world where the first question on my lips in the morning is, “Okay, who was bombed this morning?” And a candidate’s spouse was nude on the cover of the New York Post? Society is supposed to be moving forward, yet, from where I’m sitting this morning, it appears to be imploding.
A Dichotomy of Reason
We are an intelligent society. We have developed technology that gives us immediate access to all the information in the world through a device we carry in our pockets. We explore space, we fly faster than the speed of sound, we map the depths of the ocean. We do incredible and amazing things on a daily basis. So, we should be an extremely advanced society that embraces learning and is always looking for the next innovation. Right? That would be the reasonable and perhaps logical assumption.
Yet, that’s not where we are. Too many of our population despises anyone with intelligence. Nearly half the people in the United States questions the validity of scientific fact. A significant portion of the people eligible to vote in this election believe that the color of one’s skin or the nationality of one’s parents somehow makes them less human. A frighteningly high number of people still hold to the misguided and ludicrous notion that women should be subservient to men. For every person who is trying to look forward, to provide for the poor and the under-privileged (a group whose numbers are growing), there is someone who considers the poor a drain on society and thinks that paying them substandard wages is a solution.
There is no bridge that joins such an overwhelming gap in reason. There is no reconciliation between applied thought and absolute idiocy. Compromise cannot be found between those who say, “we can,” in the face of those who stubbornly reply, “don’t you dare.”
Absence Of A High
The whole purpose of taking psychotropic drugs is not merely for the hallucinatory effects, but for the high that accompanies them. The hallucinations are supposed to be fun, mind-freeing, out-of-bounds creativity that allows us to imagine the impossible in ways that seem, at least momentarily, plausible. Hallucinatory drugs spark innovation in part because they make us feel good about creating something new and developing a new experience.
Unfortunately, this hallucination we experience now has no high. There’s no feeling of hope at what might be possible. There’s no vision of a better world. There’s no concept of moving forward. How can there be any high when we wake up to messages like these:
Monday Texas will be the 8th state in the U.S. to permit gun owners to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. https://t.co/yCNlVDnSGL
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) August 1, 2016
Three crew and two officers have been killed after a Russian military helicopter was shot down in Syria https://t.co/uuvJTmL9Vf
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 1, 2016
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) August 1, 2016
ISIS Joins Donald Trump in Dishonoring Humayun Khan’s Sacrifice https://t.co/SiAwmpAdfi
— Jeff Lewis (@ChicagoPhotoSho) August 1, 2016
— The News Club (@TheNewsClub_US) August 1, 2016
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 1, 2016
Now, please tell me, where is the upside in all this chaos? Aren’t hallucinations supposed to be fun?
Fighting Through The Fog
As I’m writing this morning, I’m listening to the sound of stunt planes and helicopters as they buzz overhead. They provide a soundtrack that is reminiscent of some clip from a combat movie. Fortunately, I know they’re just practicing for an air contest at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this month. I’m hoping their attempts at straining the laws of physics are successful and don’t turn the South end of our subdivision into a flaming post-apocalyptic nightmare. All the noise serves to emphasize the fact that these hallucinations are real. There’s no waking up from a dream a dream and finding comfort.
I’ve heard of people who get lost in their hallucinations and never come out. I’ve never witnessed in person, but as I imagine what it must be like I worry that this is the state of our nation and that there is no recovery as we choose to overdose on the insanity. I fear we have become too addicted to the hallucinatory state to remember what normalcy is. Our nation is committing suicide chasing something that isn’t real.
Looking out the window in front of me, I see a stunt plane low over a neighbor’s house. At least, this week they’re stunt planes. How soon might it be before they’re war planes? Where is this dark, dangerous hallucination taking us?
We need to fight through this fog, get back to a sensible, stable reality before it’s too late. Or maybe it’s too late. The fog deepens. Blurred lines disappear. Everything fades to white …