This week is brought to you by Mass Formation Psychosis
I am now living in a world in which everyone appears to have gone completely crazy. The upshot is that I myself have found myself getting not a little agitated, to say the least.
Last week in a chat group on telegram which has nothing to do with all of this, and therefore includes both vachsars and anti-vachsars, I went completely off the deep end at a guy who threw into the conversation that he had to go get his son tested, as some other kid in his class had tested positive.
I asked what would happen if he didn’t get his kid tested - especially as the whole class had been sent home for the week anyway - can the teachers actually issue any penalties? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. His answer was that he (the father) had diabetes and “couldn’t take the risk”.
There was a little more back and forth, but the upshot was that I ended up slapping on the caps lock to point out that ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE CAN’T SPREAD DISEASE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Whereupon someone else in the group who generally agrees with me butted in to say I shouldn’t be so rude because it was hardly this guys fault that the government was doing this, and I caps locked her to say YES IT IS! WE ARE ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN; CAN NO ONE ELSE SEE THIS? AM I GOING MAD?!! I then left the group, physically shaking with rage.
That was Tuesday. I spent the rest of the day on the bed with Josh watching YouTube Fail Army videos of people falling over on ice or messing up skateboard tricks or almost being eaten by alligators while golfing. Some of them were really quite funny.
‘Tondal’s Vision’ by Hieronymous Bosch
Josh got to this point before I did. He’s finding it hard to travel on the bus to town, because every time he goes on it he has the overwhelming urge to stand up in the middle and start yelling TAKE OFF YOUR MASKS, YOU CRETINS! THEY DON’T DO ANYTHING! STOP THIS STUPID CHARADE SO WE CAN ALL GET ON WITH OUR LIVES!!!
On Wednesday I still couldn’t do any work, so I went to the pharmacy for some Neurofen (which the pharmacist practically threw at me to get me out of the shop as I wouldn’t wear a mask), and on the way bumped into Ilana at a local coffee spot. I kid you not, when I saw her I yelled at the sky THANK YOU, GOD! and almost wept with relief, just to see a friend who can see clearly.
Yesterday Josh and I were out in town, and I stopped off to get some fast food. As I was waiting for it, I browsed telegram and came across this story of the mother who put her 13 year old son in the boot of her car to take him to the testing centre, as she didn’t want to potentially expose herself to Covid. The woman is a teacher, by the way.
“Have you seen this story about a woman who’s son tested positive, and she didn’t want to expose herself, so she put him in the-”
“Boot of the car,” Josh finished. “Yeah,” he said, with a look.
“How do… I mean why… what… why…”
“Yeah.” Josh said.
“But that’s… her son.”
I collected my chips from the very grumpy young lady behind the counter and tried not to think about it. What is there to think about it?
Mind you, people are going crazy the other way too. A friend who shall remain nameless has bought a plot of land up north with some other parties with the idea to all build abodes of their own and share agricultural land and chores. In theory it’s what we should all be doing, but it’s turned into a complete nightmare as the other parties scramble to do what they can before the end of the world, which they are convinced is coming any day now (and who’s to say they’re not correct?).
Plants are being thrown into the ground with no real consideration for growing conditions or even layout, expensive equipment is being bought on a whim, apparently no thought has been given to security, everything is just being done in a mad melee on the say so of Ice Age Farmer’s YouTube videos, and of course they’re now all fighting among themselves.
This is, needless to say, not rational behaviour.
Then there’s my sister, who for the last few weeks has been having an actual nervous breakdown because she and her husband are now considering having kids (she’s 37) and this decision has brought home to her the emptiness of her consumer driven lifestyle - at least, I think that’s what the problem is, it’s difficult for me to understand because like everything else in the world right now, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense by any normal standard.
On Saturday I listened to an excellent lecture by an English chap who - totally coincidentally - explained my sister’s problem perfectly, by describing how our society encourages rigid individuality, which essentially can be thought of as pathologising notions of community and helping one another. He spoke very eloquently about how we are all being turned into narcissists, and in being encouraged to think only of ourselves, we’re losing touch with one another. In turn, we’re told the solution for the emptiness we of course feel as a result is to think only of ourselves even more. And so it goes. No wonder so many people are mad.
In the Q&A section of the talk, someone quite confidently told the lecturer that this was all being done by the Jesuits.
It’s no wonder that of the three hour conversation between Joe Rogan and Robert Malone last week, the part that went viral was when Malone spoke about mass formation psychosis. People are desperate to make sense of what’s going on right now.
And I guess this is what a society afflicted by mass formation psychosis looks like. If we’re not part of the hypnotised cohort, who think nothing of telling the unjabbed that they are no longer human, we’re being driven equally crazy by them as we struggle to find sense in a senseless world.
Which makes it very difficult to know what to do. Certainly fleeing for the hills doesn’t seem a viable alternative. The best I can come up with is to find sanctuary with those individuals in our lives who do also understand what’s going on. To remind ourselves regularly of what ‘sane’ looks like by reading literature and going back to classic movies, music and other art forms that embody truth. To develop a strong sense of ourselves, and to reconnect with that part of ourselves daily that knows which way up is.
To find meaning in doing something productive and useful, whether it’s looking after children or animals or plants, or helping out a friend or neighbour, or simply working hard at our jobs. Or a combination of all of those things.
To do everything we can to hold on to who we are.