It’s always fun to see what new internet sensation will next captivate and surprise the blogosphere everywhere and all at once. The most recent phenomenon to take the media-bubble by storm occurred last week by means of the Laurel or Yanny debate. In the event the reader has been living under a rock, or in a cave, over the last several days it all started when someone on reddit posted a short audio clip of a computer pronouncing the word “laurel”. Of course nothing would have come from it, except that other people who heard the clip swore they heard a word similar to “yanny” being pronounced instead.
As the debate went viral across all media platforms, Team Trump even Twittered on the matter from the White House.
At first, I thought it may have been an acoustic hoax whereby two separate recordings were alternating, but that was not the case. When I, personally, played the clip to people in the same room, at the same time, they heard either “laurel” or “yanny”; as did I. We were confounded at how we heard completely different sounds from the same recording.
Obviously, there was a scientific explanation and the mystery was solved according to the frequency by which people processed the audio.
This also called to mind an internet sensation from three years ago known as “The Dress”. It was another ethernetic spectacle, except one which began on Tumblr when a user posted a photo of a striped frock along with the caption:
“guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f–k out.”
Evidently, in viewing photos of the woman’s dress for sale, neural connections to the visual cortex caused some to see the garment as blue with black lace fringe, whereas others could see it only as white with gold lace fringe.
In pondering both of these viral online and media curiosities by which people listened to, and viewed, the same things – yet heard, and saw, them in such diverse ways, I began to wonder if similar anomalies could be occurring within partisan politics today; and if these might not even be anomalies at all.
Consider, for example, the Trump Deplorables versus ANTIFA, the Fox News and MSNBC cable news networks, cable TV hosts Sean Hannity versus Rachel Maddow, and U.S House Intelligence Committee leaders Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff: All represent two sides of their respective coins, all completely divergent from the other; two interpretations of the same story, or trains on the same track traveling in opposite directions.
How can that be?
In the example of certain internet peculiarities, and as identified heretofore, there were scientific explanations.
However, when perusing political partisanship, perhaps the “science” equates more to preferences, or values; and, ultimately, (dare I say it?) morality?
For example, in an attempt to minimize any blowback from the forthcoming Inspector General’s report, FBI officials have admitted their spying on Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. The spying occurred by way of a secret surveillance initiative code named “Crossfire Hurricane”.
Unsurprisingly, however, instead of factually reporting on what the President of the United States has called the biggest American political scandal since Watergate, the New York Times continued to spin, enable, and downplay the government’s crimes as “missteps”, congressional and presidential allegations of “bias”, and “sound-bite-sized accusations” of “conspiracy”.
According to the Times:
And there were missteps. Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, was cited by internal investigators for dishonesty about his conversations with reporters about Mrs. Clinton. That gave ammunition for Mr. Trump’s claims that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted. And Mr. Strzok and Lisa Page, an F.B.I. lawyer, exchanged texts criticizing Mr. Trump, allowing the president to point to evidence of bias when they became public.
The messages were unsparing. They questioned Mr. Trump’s intelligence, believed he promoted intolerance and feared he would damage the bureau.
The inspector general’s upcoming report is expected to criticize those messages for giving the appearance of bias. It is not clear, however, whether inspectors found evidence supporting Mr. Trump’s assertion that agents tried to protect Mrs. Clinton, a claim the F.B.I. has adamantly denied.
Mr. Trump’s daily Twitter posts, though, offer sound-bite-sized accusations — witch hunt, hoax, deep state, rigged system — that fan the flames of conspiracy. Capitol Hill allies reliably echo those comments.
In return, a takedown of the NYT article was published in the National Review:
The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.
The Times averts its eyes from this point — although if a Republican administration tried this sort of thing on a Democratic candidate, it would be the only point.
Have you, Dear Reader, ever noticed how the morality of the Liberal Left changes like the wind? The same media platforms, and pundits, who daily call upon the ghost of Richard Nixon to disparage Republicans, are now desperately downplaying the largest political scandal in the history of the United States.
But, unlike the debates on Laurel versus Yanny, or The Dress, political perceptions are not relative according to the science of the senses. Instead, they are choices.
This is why the Corporate Mainstream Media outlets spin and the social media platforms censor. They do so in order to prevent the various truth-bombs from bursting hourly within the most secure of safe spaces. That implies motive. Notwithstanding, even though the Messengers have strenuously tried to dam (and damn?) the endless floods of facts, they have failed; because the barrage, like waves, keeps on coming and coming; one after the other.
Even previous scandals like the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scheme have been recently resurrected into the light of a new day.
And then, as if on cue, gunfire erupted on one of Trump’s golf courses in Florida as well as at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas; where multiple people were killed. According to CNN, it was the 22nd school shooting this year.
Angelica Martinez, a 14-year-old student, told CNN she and her schoolmates were being evacuated at one point ‘like it’s a fire drill.’
‘We were all standing (outside), but not even five minutes later, we started hearing gunshots,’ she said. ‘And then everybody starts running, but like the teachers are telling us to stay put, but we’re all just running away.’
Nonetheless, if the political headlines were hitting a little too close to the bullseye, then the timing of another school shooting may have seemed fortuitous for some; but at the expense of others.
Typically, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t question the official narratives of mass causality events; except these are not normal times. That and the fact a former United States Naval Intelligence Briefing Team member, by the name of William Cooper, warned America in 1991 about a secret CIA initiative that was, allegedly, designed to “do away with the 2nd Amendment”. In his book, “Behold a Pale Horse”, Cooper wrote:
The government encouraged the manufacture and importation of firearms for the criminals to use. This is intended to foster a feeling of insecurity, which would lead the American people to voluntarily disarm themselves by passing laws against firearms. Using drugs and hypnosis on mental patients in a process called Orion, the CIA inculcated the desire in these people to open fire on schoolyards and thus inflame the antigun lobby. This plan is well under way, and so far is working perfectly. The middle class is begging the government to do away with the 2nd amendment.
– Cooper, Milton William. (1991). “Behold a Pale Horse”, Light Technology Publications, page 225.
Change the national narrative AND take the guns. Two birds, one stone? By accident or design?
In any event, whether the most recent school shootings in Parkland and Santa Fe were conspiracy or coincidence is beyond the purview of this piece. The point is, for the time being, that the recent school shooting in Santa Fe did not successfully divert the dialogue from the Obama administration’s egregious spying on its political opposition. This , in spite of the predictable, pre-conditioned, and programmatic, non-stop coverage by mainstream media outlets, the Democratic Party calls for congressional action on gun control, and the typical George Soros backed organizations calling the NRA a “terrorist organization”.
Indeed, to the political leftists, and according to the science affecting their particular senses:
– It is moral to conveniently, and expeditiously, exploit the insanity of children in order to challenge the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
– It is moral to impeach a president upon the allegations of a porn star, but not by way of a veritable stained dress once worn by a young White House intern.
– It is moral to prosecute a president for non-existent Russian collusion, but not a Democratic Party presidential candidate who colluded with Russian agents to conspire against her political opponent; or a former U.S. Secretary of State whose “charitable” foundation received $145 million for selling 20% of America’s uranium supply to Russia.
– It is moral for the former FBI director and the assistant Attorney General who illegally covered up the bona fide crimes of said former presidential candidate and Secretary of State, to now conspire together in an illegal coup against a constitutionally elected president.
Does the law even matter anymore? Did it ever matter?
Or, in a random universe, is morality relative and power the final arbiter of every dispute?
These were the exact questions I was contemplating at dinner a few nights ago when a seemingly random series of circumstances propelled me toward new insights.
It all began when my wife showed me the graduation invitation for a young man who looked similar to a younger version of an actor whose name I couldn’t quite recall. I knew the actor was in a movie from a few years back that I really liked, but I couldn’t remember the name of the film either. So, I picked up my phone and searched for “best modern westerns”. The film I had earlier enjoyed was called “Hell or High Water” and the actor’s name was Ben Foster.
At the same time, however, the name of another film popped up in the search. The title was “3:10 to Yuma”; a film I had not seen because I had, up until that point, confused it with a Nicolas Cage film which had horrible reviews. Needless to say, I was surprised to see that particular film ranked in a search for “best modern westerns”. Upon later researching “3:10 to Yuma”, however, I realized it was not the film I had thought. It was, instead, a remake that came out in 2007 and starred Christian Bale and Russell Crowe.
Paradoxically, it appeared the actor Ben Foster was in that film too.
Slightly strange happenings within the random universe.
So I went ahead and acquired the film, called it up on my system, and watched it that very night.
It blew me away.
As someone who enjoys a good western, I was additionally pleased to have been presented with a profound moral tale.
The story began when the henchmen of a money lender who, on behalf of the railroad, burned down the barn of an indebted farmer named Dan Evans, played by Christian Bale. The farmer was a one-legged Civil War veteran who, the following day, took his two young sons in search of the family’s scattered herd of cattle. In so doing, they came across a stagecoach robbery and then face-to-face with the notorious arch-villain, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe); along with Wade’s wicked apprentice, Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), who revered his boss with starry-eyed devotion.
The story unwound as revelation after revelation unfurled. Good moral men and solid citizens shirked their duties and retreated in the face of evil in order to save their own lives. But one man, alone, initially marched onward for the sake of his family, and then made the ultimate sacrifice for what was right; and solely for what was right.
In the film, Russell Crowe superbly portrayed the evil Ben Wade as an urbane gentlemen-devil, always challenging, teasing, and tempting. Then, when the time was right, he killed for his own sake. Wade was courteously brutal, and a lady’s man, who even quoted the Bible at times. He was, in fact, charming; and even likable in his twisted way.
The ethos of the fictional Ben Wade got me to thinking.
If morality was truly relative in a random universe, then proficient practically would, in turn, represent the highest of ideals, would it not? Therefore, on either an individual or group basis, the ultimate value of practically would naturally manifest in surviving dire circumstances and getting what one wants in all other scenarios.
In other words, in every scene, the end would justify the means.
I believe this type of morality can be seen today in the concept of taqiyya in Islam where lying to the heathens is condoned as a just act. Within the modern Democratic Party, however, the practicality is evidenced as hypocrisy. For example, liberal politicians, like Eric Swalwell (D-CA), openly feign concern for children, yet deny them armed protection in their schools; even though the congressman is safely surrounded by armed security within his taxpayer-subsidized office.
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Congressman Swalwell asked:
“Why do you need an AR-15 to protect your house?”
To which Tucker replied:
“I don’t know, why do you need one? You have them in your building where you work.”
Of course such hypocrisy is shameful but there is, also, a more complete type of evil where subterfuge and dissimulation are considered unnecessary in the bold descent towards hell. In the film, 3:10 to Yuma, Ben Wade was such a man. He saw no need for demurs, or equivocation, or masquerades. He simply killed who he wanted, took what he wanted, and satisfied his own demands with a wry smile and consummate skill. Always one step ahead in nearly every situation, he also toyed with those around him in cat and mouse ways.
In the random universe, Wade was undefeated. He was the most corrupt in a corrupt world and, therefore, by that standard, he had no equal; all others were mere pikers and wannabes. Unsurpassed brutality was the means by which Wade remained top dog in a pack of the most violent hellhounds to ever have raged upon the fictional landscape of the old, Wild West.
Nevertheless, when the cripple, Dan Evans, later confronted Wade in a saloon, the farmer demanded what he was owed and more. Five dollars more, to be exact. And when Wade inquired as to what the extra five bucks was for, Christian Bale, playing Dan Evans, replied with one of the best lines ever delivered in film.
He said: “For making me nervous.”
And thus began an onscreen dialogue, and a moral tale, masterfully effectuated by the actors Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in their respective roles.
As the story ticked forward like a clock, the arch-criminal Wade first challenged and taunted the plain-spoken Evans, then presented temptations to the farmer that would have legitimately benefitted both him and his family. In every instance, Evans refused, even on the occasions when the evil Wade had the upper hand and the stakes were life and death.
In the example of Wade, what first began as curiosity about Evans later became intrigue, then fascination, and then, the outlaw seemed even mesmerized by the example of a crippled man who loved his family more than life; and, in the end, what was right above all else.
There are some uncompromised values that override all forms of practically on earth. Ultimately, these values comprise a code of morality that, for some, transcends even life and death; and of which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
Today, in the real world, the old ways are still present and the dark powers, like cornered animals, may soon choose to trigger some sort of “nuclear option” in a plot gimmick designed to consolidate their power and save their collective asses.
Regardless, the culminating conclusion of any climax will commence upon the countervailing action, or inaction, of common people.
What allegorical sounds, and shades, and colors will they perceive?
Even now, there are those speaking out, and in plain language, at the illegalities. A former advisor to both President Clinton and Hillary Clinton recently wrote that Robert Mueller must be stopped in order to protect us all. A columnist and practicing attorney from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania additionally penned an article, this week, on how the FBI and CIA restarted the Cold War to protect themselves.
In the instances of internet and media sensations where science plays tricks on the mind, the stakes don’t matter; so it’s all in good fun.
Conversely, in today’s geopolitics the stakes could not matter more. And the choices are moral.
For some people, right is right, and in the end, it actually becomes an altar upon which all else will be sacrificed. In Latin, this was understood as fiat justitia ruat cælum, which translates as follows:
Let justice be done though the heavens fall.
In the random universe, victory resides within the hearts and minds of those most committed.