Censorship in the age of media unreality
Last week, former U.S. president Donald Trump was indicted and may be arrested for a crime, but the curious thing is that it is a crime that no one seems to be able to understand or explain. The media keeps saying it is related to “hush money” paid to some prostitute or porn actress (same difference), but paying someone to shut up is not a crime in itself. It appears to be really just a minor accounting issue, where the payment should have come from one account instead of another.
On the same day, a Trump supporter was supposedly arrested for posting a comedy meme, four years ago. He is accused of trying to “interfere with the elections.”
Since neither of the events make much sense, I think that they are fake. That is, these are fake charges created in order to scare people and generate even more social and political division, but they are not real, or will have no real consequences.
However, it is also possible that the U.S. is really sliding into some kind of New Soviet state, where they first find someone they don’t like, and then find a crime to charge him with. “Show me the man and I will show you the crime,” as Stalin or his lieutenant Beria is supposed to have said.
It’s not just the U.S.: that twisted form of justice may apply now to the whole Western world, as a woman in France was also arrested the other day for having insulted Macron, and will have to pay a fine of 12,000 euros. Apparently, she called him “ordure” (trash) in a Facebook post, which doesn’t really seem like much. I think most of us will agree that Macron is trash? But it seems saying that is a crime now.
Is that case fake, too? Who knows. Whether such events are manufactured to scare people, or people are being really arrested for things they posted on social media, the result is the same — a stifling of any kind of speech undesired by the status quo.
Yesterday at a line in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, I saw that someone scribbled with a pen “Macron’s wife” on an ad showing an old woman sunbathing and smiling. The same artist wrote “Covid” in a picture of a man with a smiley mask. Harmless fun, but I guess the artistic vandal could be arrested these days?
The more politicians talk about “democracy”, the less we seem to have it.
Since we are talking about France, there have been huge protests against Macron’s pension reform, which was pushed through by decree without even passing through a vote on their chamber of deputies. I don’t know if such law is needed or not, but it sure is unpopular. Thousands of people went to the streets, burned cars and fought with the police. You’d think “democracy” means the “rule of the people” and therefore a leader should take their wishes into account, but it doesn’t really work this way. (Perhaps they should call it “bankocracy”?).
Regardless, most of our information about what is going on in the world comes from the media. At a certain level, we have to trust that what they are saying is at least partly real or, as they say in movies, “based on a true story”. Even the most deranged conspiracy theorist has to accept that at least part of what is shown is true, otherwise, how can he even construct his conspiracy theories?
The problem is that, with technology and social changes, we reached a point at which it is very difficult to even know what is real and what isn’t. There are many strange aspects, for instance, in many of the recent school shootings, which makes one suspect of some kind of fake or manipulated event. Even the fact that there are so many of them should render us suspicious. I am sure at least a few of those are not real, or at least did not happen exactly the way they are portrayed. For instance, one very unusual thing that we see in some of those shootings is the presence of survivors of previous shootings in the new event. I remember one specific case in which one of the victims interviewed had already survived three different shootings (Las Vegas, Uvalde, and somewhere else). What are the odds?
Ok, then, I guess we can accept that at least a few some of those supposed shootings are fake. But where do we stop? JKF’s murder? 9/11? The moon landings? The existence of nuclear bombs? I think there are good arguments to disbelieve any of those “established facts”. On the other hand, do we have enough information to construct an alternative theory to the official narrative? Who really killed JFK? Where the planes in 9/11 real or clever video editing? As usual, there are always lots of questions, but few answers.
But right now even questioning the official media narrative (or just affirming that a certain event did not really happen) appears to be a crime in itself, so I guess it’s time to start passing around samizdat?