Wilder Stories

This nation  and the rest of the world are headed into new territory. While the launching pad for this blog in April 2018 was a walk across Massachusetts appealing to citizens and government alike to insist on the truth about the crime of the century — the attacks of September 2001 known as 9/11 — continued search for truth in other realms is necessary as well.

Our Story’ is the title of today’s meditation by Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Click HERE for it after reading to the end of this entry. Sunday’s and yesterday’s Rohr meditations are HERE and HERE. Rohr, a Franciscan friar, asks readers to ask themselves “What is real?” You’re not “religious,” so you can skip his thing? OK. You are free to go about navigating reality as anything you like.

Our Town’ is the title of a 1938 play by Thornton Wilder millions of present-day Americans have probably seen. In 1938 there was still plenty of agriculture being practiced at the local level. (Manufacturing too.) Much more food was local and organic than today. The interstate highway system had yet to be built (or perhaps even conceived — Eisenhower was still in the Army). Frequent travel in jetliners was unknown. Ditto credit cards. Let alone the Internet via which people are reading this. That’s the kind of world James Howard Kunstler, whom I first came across as a “peak oiler” 15 or so years ago, says we humans are returning to, like it or not. Kunstler, who strives to be hip and profane while commenting on current affairs and trends, has been a Trump apologist in the last year or three but seemingly has shifted, at least in part, to earlier enthusiasms. He titled his blog entry for yesterday “Flying Blind.” Chunks of it could have been taken whole from The Long Emergency (2005) and other works of his; they’re about the past and maybe the future.

‘Our Democracy’: The pull-out quote from today’s column in the New York Times by Bret Stephens is “A dissident is to a dictatorship what a bald fact is to an edifice of lies.” (The complete sentence finishes with “… the revelation of which causes the whole thing to crumble.”) Naturally, this jumped out because although Stephens’s column is on foreign policy, the sentence applies to what truthers focus on, namely that much of U.S. foreign and domestic policy since late 2001 is based on an edifice of lies, enabled by news media corporations’ failing to challenge unscientific and implausible elements of the 9/11 narratives. Given that this nation was founded on the idea that Americans should be able to get the truth from their news media, and given that Big Tech is starting to rein in alternative news and opinion sources, democracy in the United States is in question. This week newspapers are running a column by E.J. Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post headlined in one newspaper “Biden proclaims a New Democracy,” emphasizing “the dishonesty of the Trump years” as if that’s the only executive branch dishonesty that matters now that Biden is president. But the Bush and Obama administrations both upheld the Big Lies of 9/11, and if the new president’s “call to national unity” is founded on unifying around lies with cover from the news media and Big Tech, that’s a losing proposition for democracy. It’s an enticement into a dictatorship of falsehood. Call it “our democracy” if you like.

— Mark Channing Miller

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