Ground Zero, Recent Shows
4/27/20: I WANT YOU TO BE THE EYES AND EARS OF THE STATE

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

My show has taken on this heavy cloak of responsibility lately. The responsibility has been firmly planted in the worry that I could very well have to become unpopular and call out disinformation even when it offends the very audience that wants to believe in the prevailing theory instead of the compelling evidence to the contrary.

It used to be that the speculation surrounding the story helped produce thought forms leading to the educated guess. Now the speculations are loaded with disinformation that can create a schism and the snag will kill any and all serious investigation and intellectual honesty about what really is happening.

The art of disinformation is there to fine tune your paranoia.

When I lived in Buenos Aries during the final days of the Dirty War, I realized a very valuable thing. Paranoid fantasies eventually come true and those who have been labeled paranoid in the past become the rational thinkers in the present.

But while all of the paranoia shifts to heightened awareness, there are still exceptions to all of this metaphysical rationale.

Exceptions that prove to be deadly for the scapegoat that winds up with a loaded gun in his mouth. Waiting for his head to be aerated by someone whose paranoia becomes the driving force for their survival. A person who believes their theories are true even when all of the evidence proves otherwise.

We must understand that a lot of what is covert is not obvious and in the police state, that which is allegedly obvious can be misleading because of cognitive Infiltration.

To summarize Alex Carey, in “The Public Relations Industry’s Secret War on Activists” there are three important developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Your life in wartime especially against what is being called the invisible enemy, is controlled by lie upon lie and in a police state it is difficult to trust your neighbor because they may be an informant or worse a neighbor waiting to snuff you out for the food they need or the money they need for drugs. There was a term that I created to illustrate this.

It is term called, Psychocondria, a mental illness where mass paranoia creates an atmosphere where a scapegoat is ridiculed and blamed because of a vicious rumor or circumstantial associations.

This mental illness is being spread by one carrier to others who pass it on to unsuspecting people.

It is probably worse than getting COVID-19 and after the lockdown is over there may be a case to be made for mental therapy and a reason to buy a firearm.

There’s an old Cinderella song called “Don’t know what you got till it’s Gone,” heard it on the radio today, did not realize it was over 30 years old. I got to thinking about how things are right now and how a hair band form 30 years ago had a little bit of vision.

I know that the song was not about taking things for granted during a pandemic but it certainly sounded like a sound track for our times.

There is also the soundtrack of somber piano music that is played on every TV commercial that is airing right now is either telling is we are going to kill someone or that we are in this together. It is like we are living in an endless funeral that no one can attend but we see it play out on the news, 24 hours 7 days a week and it just won’t let up.

It is like all of the propaganda has to generate all of this shallow empathy and in the process all tragedies seem to lose their impact.

It is hard to feel you have purpose when you are in lockdown. That is why so many people are ready to get on with their lives while the paranoid are still reticent to leave their homes.

We are always wondering what our underlying purpose is in this world, and some people don’t even take the time to contemplate their place in the universe. They are very satisfied with being machines that eat, drink and defecate; only taking breaks for an occasional first shooter game or reality show.

At this point in time, the human experience seems to be a fight against toxicity, whether physically, mentally or spiritually.

It is also a period where victimhood is rewarded with massive amounts of attention. No matter the situation we assume that victimization is universal because human behavior is cruel, children are bullies, adults are abused by other adults, we have human trafficking, human slavery, racism, and many of us do not understand bizarre behaviors and changes in attitudes about gender.

We are addicted to outrage and become hungry for truth when we are confused. We are satiated when we hear words that we already believe are true, rather than the uncomfortable reality that makes you feel fragile and vulnerable.

We have never had abuse that feels this good.

Now in some ways this is predictable. The pandemic has led to a breakdown in knowledge and certainty. We don’t know much about the virus or the best way of dealing with it, but we know it’s killing a lot of us and we’re afraid. This is happening to the entire human race at the same time, and we’re all connected on the internet.

The internet has been a fountain of information that has been policed by Facebook and other social media platforms so that information that they feel is conspiracy theory does not make it on their platform.

However, even stories that are true but not blessed by the mainstream media are getting blocked.

Facebook, Twitter and other social-media sites have given rise to an online snitching culture, in which users are expected to monitor one another’s actions and report problematic activity to the company. In order to encourage users to police each other, for example, Facebook has made “flagging” an essential component of its content moderation system. And so we have put each other under mass surveillance—and we are barely beginning to consider the implications.

Governments are experts in getting people to police one another. Communist East Germany had a vast network of citizen informants during the second half of the 20th century. Northern Ireland entices informants to hand over information on drug smuggling with large payouts. In the US, the FBI has pressured Muslims to become informants. But late-capitalist society has entered a new era: one in which corporations, whose interests are primarily financial, encourage consumers to rat each other out.

As we have said that the Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rat – the other Rat is the rat that thinks it is a justice warrior by calling the police on people that commit the sin of being two feet away from each other instead of six feet.

Yes, it is prudent to remain in your home, social distance, and do all of those ethical things – but the dehumanizing process is creating a person that becomes the eyes and ears of the state.

These individuals are more than happy to capture footage on their I-phone of someone walking their dog but fail to get involved when someone is in real need of help because they fear they will be infected.

Local police in the U.S. are arresting people who fail to comply with social distancing and stay-at-home orders. The American Civil Liberties Union cautions against this practice, saying jail time is potentially more dangerous, as it could expose detainees to COVID-19 and may disproportionately affect minority communities that are already highly policed. 

In the time of the pandemic the world’s snitches are in their glory, pointing fingers at “non-essential” businesses struggling to keep the lights on and at neighbors brazenly standing too closely together. Rarely have entitled scolds been so empowered to tattle on people doing stuff of which they disapprove. Lockdown commandments hand them the opportunity not just to publicly shame violators—an annoying hobby, yet one to which they have every right—but to inform to the authorities, with all that entails.

As an epidemic, snitching seems to be competing with the virus itself in its spread.

As always, informers are encouraged in their excess by many government officials. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised that “snitches get rewards,” and his sentiments are shared by rules-makers and enforcers elsewhere.

A certain segment of the public has eagerly embraced the role of social-distancing Stasi police, recording perceived violations of safe practices and not just reprimanding the supposed violators for exercising independent judgment, but handing their details off to the authorities.

To their credit, some police departments aren’t so enthusiastic about the flood of helpful tips. Police in Las Vegas and Michigan asked locals to please stop clogging 911 with calls about construction workers continuing to build things and people out for runs.

That’s understandable when you realize just how motivated many Americans are to fink on their friends and neighbors. Between March 23 and April 8, a dedicated tip line in Kentucky received roughly 30,000 calls from people concerned about the alleged social-distancing faux pas of individuals and businesses.

Tip lines aren’t the only means by which Americans turn each other in.

Jurisdictions around the country have launched online forms so people can set the cops on “non-essential” businesses that continue to serve customers and people who stand too close together. Most are meant only for reporting violations by commercial establishments, but New York State’s form accepts complaints about all claimed breaches of the state’s restrictive social-distancing guidelines.

Of course, social-distancing guidelines exist for a reason: there’s a pandemic on, and people are getting sick and dying. Nobody wants to end up on a ventilator and we all want to minimize the harm done by COVID-19. That motivates some people to personally confront those engaging in what seems to be unsafe behavior, or to publicly shame them on social media. Others, though, bypass the personal touch and instead report violators to the powers that be.

Reporting violations to the authorities, in most cases, results in a police response. And there are very few circumstances in which police interactions with the public make things better.

The ACLU has warned that this behavior is not good for the spread of COVID-19 as those who are arrested are usually packed in jail cells with others that may have COVID-19.

Yet that’s exactly what people are asking for when they turn to tip lines and reporting forms that have government authorities on the other end.

Snitch culture is dangerous in a larger way, too, since it erodes the structure of a free society by breaking community bonds.

According to a peer reviewed paper, Denunciation and Social control written in 2017 by University of Chicago’s Patrick Bergemann : “Denunciations provide the means by which individuals can harm others whom they dislike and gain relative to them within their communities, Ultimately, this can lead to a reorientation of society away from cooperation and trust, and toward hierarchy and obedience.”

So pandemic snitches may preen and pat themselves on the back as guardians of public health, but they’re doing long-term damage to the society in which they live. The virus will pass, but distrust of nosy neighbors who peer through the curtains looking for violations of one petty rule or another to report to the authorities will persist for years to come.

Does that mean you have to just grin and bear it if a business designated as “non-essential” opens its back door to customers, or if the people across the street gather for a party in disapproved numbers?

Well, you should probably give it some thought; you don’t have to join them, after all.

But, in the absence of immediately dangerous behavior like a violent crime, the worst possible reaction is turning to the authorities as a tattletale. You really can’t claim to be morally superior to the subjects of your ire if you get them abused by cops or infected in a crowded jail cell. And you certainly have no moral standing if you erode our society with your snitching.

What is most disconcerting is that there are a lot of Americans that are now participating in snitching if not in person or with Cops they turn their outrage to the internet, where they publish video or pictures of people – basically shaming them on social media.

I made what I thought was a harmless statement online which created a stir of people praising me. Those who saw the statement as divisive were posting it on other sites and even suggesting that I have been encouraging people to leave their homes and ignoring the stay at home orders. There were others that were becoming threatening—many phone calls and nasty e-mails later I took down the statement.

The insults and threats were overwhelming.

Meanwhile, a producer of my show, was attacked on public transportation over the weekend. He was assaulted by a homeless vagrant, that hit him in the head and neck and tried to steal his laptop.

He was not alone and when he asked for help no one wanted to help because they were afraid of getting COVID-19. So they sat and watched as he was being beaten almost to death. When the police were summoned, they were not able to do much with the case except take a statement and citing the vagrant him for harassment. Again this is because of fears of COVID-19 distancing.

The fear rules over the facts as many people who are educated about the virus know that it causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. But the virus is spreading rapidly and starting to max out the health care system in several cities.

However, stating the fact gets you harassed by people who say we cannot ignore the deaths and be irresponsible.

But the fear is destroying our common sense. No one is dismissing the deaths – it just seems that the death reports are muddling the fact that many people recover from the virus.

So with all of the distancing it all appears that witnessing an attack on public transit is far more accepted than helping someone. Becoming the eyes and ears of the State is eroding our social structure.

Last Friday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf seems to be enjoying his run as dictator for a day. His Department of Health has set up a “snitch portal” for people to rat out businesses they believe are violating the state’s COVID diktats.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has posted an online form so residents can file a complaint about how a business is handling COVID-19.

According to the Department of Health, more than 1,200 complaints have been filed since the form was posted online.

The complaint form asks for information about the business, your relationship to business/facility, and the public health complaint. The form gives a list of a dozen potential public health concerns including, employees coming to work sick, social distancing not being practiced, equipment not being sanitized, and employees not being allowed to stay home when sick.

Competitors could use this portal to harass each other. Crooks could use it to tie up police resources while they go and break into businesses and homes.

More devious minds than mine can and will come up with more twisted misuses of this system, beyond its stated purpose of encouraging people to become little secret police against each other.

Virginia’s Democrat Governor Ralph Northam just took the opportunity of crisis empowerment to gut the Second Amendment.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose city was totally unprepared to handle the pandemic on his watch, set up a similar snitch line. It immediately turned into a profane inspiration as people were sending pics of their penises and middle fingers.

In a society driven by manufactured mass paranoia, personal betrayal is seen as a virtue instead of the lowest form of human behavior. This perverse version of reality has been an excellent tool in dirty wars created to bring a society into dystopia.

Ask yourself, do you really want to be living in a society of informants that can be paid or get special treatment by the government, sending innocent people to jail or is it necessary to see people being harangued, losing their jobs, thrown out of their homes, losing their children and families because of an out of control information society?

I think everyone who can possibly stay at home to try to “flatten the curve” and short-circuit this novel coronavirus, the better. But do people really have to turn America into Cold war East Germany in order to prove a point?

Possibly a certain paranoia and fear will remain, and deep suspicions will endure, after in crisis-hit times neighbor so easily turned against neighbor.

As much as it pains us to admit sometimes the people around you are the most dangerous to your personal safety, your property and your liberty.

The people by whom you’re surrounded can strongly affect the outcome of an event, as many of us have discovered during the COVID-19 lockdowns taking place all over the world.

 

And now, many of us are realizing that there’s also a lot to learn about the folks just outside our inner circles: our neighbors, our co-workers, our extended families, and other communities in which we’re involved like churches or schools.

The snitch society breeds this mistrust and when this “lift” of the lockdown is over you should be very careful about changes in attitudes from neighbors and others who may out of desperation rob you, or harm you or your family.

What I am talking about is illustrated in one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes “The Monsters are due on Maple Street” illustrates how easily civilized manners can crumble in the face of panic.

In that episode it takes a citywide power failure to send people into a crazed frenzy – where panic and paranoia breed a neighborhood of suspicion and resentment.

In Rod Servings Classic Monologue style in this episode he states: He states that the tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children…the children yet unborn.

In this episode we see how small town USA can become a tribe of hostile monsters when paranoia reaches out to find a scapegoat to blame all of their misfortunes on.

All it took was a few devastating seeds that plant the thoughts of mistrust into the minds of the neighborhood and they all become monsters and attack one another.

All you need to do is sit back and let it all enter you head. Just invest your time in worthless propaganda devised to spark mistrust. It’s easy and before you know It, you will feel that being a rat is a noble cause. Left to the extreme you can become the cheerleader for death and destruction.

In these times it is best to know about your surroundings, your neighbors, their needs and their skills, whether or not they are disabled or are in need of things. We actually had a woman in our neighborhood that was attacked because she was carrying plastic bottles to the recycle center for money.

Remember when I told you about how the number 13 or Three ten sounded like the word threaten? Well there are things that we have taken for granted that can become threats – even friends or associates we thought had our best interests at heart.

A threat is exactly what it sounds like. A threat can range from a belligerent drunk to a group of teen gangs to a neighborhood busybody who is involving herself in everyone’s business. A threat might also be more low-key – it might be the guy down the road who watches you and your family a little too closely or the snitch who peeks through the curtains right before the cops roll up every single time. Avoid the threat, but watch them. Watch them carefully. If you’re good at reading people, you’ll often be able to catch some hints before they escalate.

There is one thing about human behavior – it often can surprise you.

That does not mean everyone is deliberately being malicious. Some are realizing too late that they should have been better prepared, so they want to get closer to those who got ready ahead of time.

Most of their actions are ruled by fear.

They may become inadvertent threats if they become more desperate as time goes on. They may outright ask for some eggs, some toilet paper, a cup of sugar for whatever they’re baking. And your response can be a damned if you do damned if you don’t kind of thing.

If you help them out, they may expect you to continue doing so. If you do not help them out, they may get angry and talk to others about your “selfishness.” The next thing you know, you have an assortment of angry people pounding on your door.

It’s up to you how you handle this, but I strongly suggest you do it in a manner that discourages future requests.

Those are just a few possibilities. If you can offer help in a way that doesn’t put you at risk, it won’t hurt to do so.  Building rapport among neighbors is always a good idea.
When the lockdown lifts the test will not be over. It’s going to be one hell of a tough examination… for everybody.

And its duration is yet unknown, but months don’t begin to do it justice.

Naturally, some folks will finish well before it ends and go do other stuff, but until it’s generally over, we won’t have the grades, which grading itself, will take even longer than the exams.

History will decide how we do in this great test of wills.

So stay in and take care of your families and stay clear of those who are ignorant – treat this like a defensive driver course and beware of what could happen and the repercussions of what being on lockdown can do to a person.