The Conspiracy Myth by Charles Eisenstein

I came across this brilliant essay last night and it articulates everything I have been trying to convey the past few months…..

‘The whole phrase “right-wing conspiracy theorist” is a bit odd, since traditionally it is the Left that has been most alert to the proclivity of the powerful to abuse their power. Traditionally, it is the Left that is suspicious of corporate interests, that urges us to “question authority,” and that has in fact been the main victim of government infiltration and surveillance.

Fifty years ago, if anyone said, “There is a secret program called COINTELPRO that is spying on civil rights groups and sowing division within them with poison pen letters and fabricated rumors,” that would have been a conspiracy theory by today’s standards. The same, 25 years ago, with, “There is a secret program in which the CIA facilitates narcotics sales into American inner cities and uses the money to fund right-wing paramilitaries in Central America.”

The same with government infiltration of environmental groups and peace activists starting in the 1980s. Or more recently, the infiltration of the Standing Rock movement. Or the real estate industry’s decades-long conspiracy to redline neighborhoods to keep black people out. Given this history, why all of a sudden is it the Left urging everyone to trust “the Man” — to trust the pronouncements of the pharmaceutical companies and pharma-funded organizations like the CDC and WHO?

Why is skepticism towards these institutions labeled “right wing”? It isn’t as if only the privileged are “inconvenienced” by lockdown. It is devastating the lives of tens or hundreds of millions of the global precariat. The UN World Food Program is warning that by the end of the year, 260 million people will face starvation. Most are black and brown people in Africa and South Asia. One might argue that to restrict the debate to epidemiological questions of mortality is itself a privileged stance that erases the suffering of those who are most marginalized to begin with.’

Full essay here:

https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/the-conspiracy-myth/

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Mercury Sea

B and I spent the afternoon together in her new home and then walked to the sea as the evening light enticed us.  It was a day made all the more special because I haven’t seen her for over two months, and normally we see each other at least once a week. Normally we hug and kiss hello, but we didn’t.  I love Bernie because she makes me laugh and we see absurdity in so much and say outrageous things to each other, knowing that we share a love of the absurd and darkly comic.  Also she is so empathic, and loving but has this tough south London side, and she sort of sparkles. She always says my family are like something from Howard’s End, which I find so endearing. 

The atmosphere in Hastings felt lighter.  It made us sad to see the pubs all shut as normally on an evening like that they would be heaving.  They were like ghost ships.  Some fish and chip shops were open and people were standing outside in civilised distanced manner waiting to order.  People seemed happy.  Small gatherings of families were on the beach enjoying a brave evening swim in the shimmering sea. It was so rarefied and like a cloak of silky mercury.

I am so grateful that I have been in the UK during this time with so much more relative freedom. My friend Dr William Bird has been advising the government on physical activity during this pandemic and I am so grateful for his voice of reason. And yet, still people are up in arms about people visiting the beach even though it is the safest place and so very easy to sit at safe distance. It is simply unbelievable how easily people have descended into fear, blame and finger-pointing. Trying to keep the faith that we will come through this in eventual calm and love.

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All about my Mother

With so much more time on our hands, and now the opportunity to see others, with ‘social distancing’ in place, I took my mother to see my Dad’s gravestone in Northiam, a village a few miles beyond Rye. My Mum has bravely navigated this strange dystopian scene with her usual strength and independence, although she admits to being bored a lot, as she can’t go to her archeology or poetry groups, but she still works on her pottery. At 80, she is an incredible woman, and has lived an amazing life. She has been a viticulturist, a vintner, a shepherdess, a small-holder, a fruit tree planter, a tree warden, a woodswoman, a teacher, a mother of four, renovator of French houses (with my Dad,) a jazz and classical pianist, a singer, (madrigals, choirs, opera) and is now a mad potter. She speaks several languages, reads Zola in French and makes strange cakes with zero fat in them, and always containing ginger, which I actually love, and writes poetry. She always asks if she can read me her latest poem, which I always indulge her in, as they are funny, sweet and pretty clever. She has a great sense of fun, could swim the channel, has a beautiful speaking voice and is hilariously funny, and she makes me laugh so much, and she never minds if I laugh at her poems, because she knows they are a little odd. She loves to reminisce about her first kiss and her first loves.

When my beautiful Dad was alive, they were inseparable, and had a wonderful relationship, but she lost him when they were only 55, and she went a bit off the rails afterwards. She channeled everything into learning jazz piano. Already an accomplished pianist, she was determined to master jazz, and joined a jazz workshop and immediately fell in love with the main leader of the workshop, a charismatic and strange man, who was a brilliant sax player and who took a lot of drugs. Mum started hanging out with some strange dudes and even built a jacuzzi in her basement, because she fancied all the jazz dudes and we teased her that she wanted to entice them all into the jacuzzi. She built it and then promptly sold the house. She and my Dad moved house so many times, and even moved countries three times, I have lost count how many moves, but it’s no wonder I have always been so nomadic.

We got to the graveyard and it was a really beautiful and hot day. The air was so still and the greens of the trees intense. As I sat on the grass and wiped the dust from the granite of the stone, my Mum said ‘Ooh what’s that wonderful smell of flowers?’ and I said I didn’t notice, I couldn’t smell anything. The graveyard is tiny and there weren’t any flowers or even shrubs nearby. The heat of the day made it feel very languid and we wandered into the nearby field and along the path in the middle of a vast farmer’s field with some kind of crop growing. The field must have been about a quarter of a mile wide and I wanted to walk to the edge of the woods, but she said her knees weren’t up to the job, so we turned back. At which point she said she could smell the flowers again. I said I couldn’t smell anything. She said ‘It must be your perfume.’ I said I wasn’t wearing any, so I said, ‘Mum, I think it’s Dad. They say that when spirits visit you, there is a smell of flowers, and I can’t smell the flowers, so it’s Dad saying hello to you.’ Mum said she loved that thought. He loved her so much. He still does.

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Summer Goddess with Flowers

Available as a painting and an online painting course. To gladden the heart using colour as therapy and painting as meditation.

www.alicemason.net

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Plasticdemic

I’ve seen it all now. We succeeded in banning plastic straws a few months ago, and today I saw something on social media called The Cuddle Curtain. It was a huge sheet of plastic with two sets of arm ‘condoms’ which two people having a hug could stand either side of and ‘hug’ each other, sheathed in plastic. This world will be entirely awash in plastic, due to all the masks, gloves, PPE, etc. I personally am aghast that someone could think a ‘cuddle curtain’ would be something to celebrate. Plastic is the virus on the planet.

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Diaries…

There is something happening. The clarity of mind that comes from a deep connection to the land where I live. With so few distractions or rushing, much deeper sleep and no alcohol whatsoever during this lockdown, I have come to know this part of the earth better than I have ever known anything. I walk above the sea on the cliff path and especially at high tide, when the sea is lapping against the edge of the land, I can feel a sort of fizzing in the air, and the faintest sound of bubbles. There is an acquiescence and a sort of peace. Even more in awe of nature, I can communicate with it and I can feel a fusion with it.

Is it a form of Stockholm syndrome? I understand how people can fall in love with their captors, because it is an instinct of survival. At first when my freedom was taken away, I suffered headaches and psychic pain. I knew that the only way I could heal was through giving myself up to nature. I lay down every day in the bluebell woods above the sea, away from sight, and allowed nature to soothe me, and finally understood that only Gaia could be my healer. Now the colours of flowers are brighter than ever and I stop and commune with them on my walks. I have never been any good at gardening because I always feel I need to apologise to plants if I disrupt their lives. I can plant things, and sweep, but not much more.

I still miss so much, and especially my daughter with her radiant joy, and our shared laughter and friendship. I miss us together in the back garden of the Stag and cold white wine. But wine is only a celebration for me. I have promised myself that I want to wait until there is something to celebrate before I drink it.

Today refugees crossed the channel again in a dinghy. Pett Level seems to be a favourite landing beach. There were 25 in all including a family of six. I hope they get the asylum they seek. It made me so aware of how close we are to France and how close I am to possibilities.

A Zoom meeting with my lovely friends in different countries tonight and some art and writing therapy. We talked of this dystopia we are all living in and our shared common experiences. Every week we discuss the different aspects of processing this new territory, and the one thing that unites us and that is our shared creativity. It is more vital than ever.

Without the usual distractions in life, we are being forced to confront our own existential discomfort. The little things we do in life to distract from these things are coping mechanisms. Some people are so addicted to being busy, they are for the first time ever, confronting their issues. And on top of this, the questions arise as to what is really happening. Why are healthy people being quarantined? Is there a deep state agenda? So many questions. So much time to ponder them. Little wonder some of us are picking up on the collective consciousness and unease.

May we all find peace in the deep healing that comes from true connection with nature.

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Crucible / Emergence

A painting about transcendence. A crucible is a container or vessel which is used to melt liquids at very high temperatures. It is also a trial or difficult time from which a transcendence can occur and from which a more beautiful world can emerge.

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Questioning

Heaven forbid that we should commit the cardinal sin of agreeing with or finding resonance with a narrative expounded by someone outside our usual political milieu. We should always question stories by main stream media, after all they are just journalists looking for click-bait. We should always question statistics and listen to other points of view, especially at this crucial time when our rights are being eroded under the guise of coronavirus lockdown. We should examine our own entrenched and intransigent political affiliations and belief systems. My own affiliations are being rocked to their core. I feel like an outlier, but I know there are many like me, but I simply need contact with my friends. Lockdown gives people tunnel vision. It blocks new neural pathways from forming, as we are cut of from physical contact with our friends and in-person conversation, where ideas formulate and bubble through diverse communication. Yesterday I listened to a Dr Dolores Cahill, and found it very interesting, but felt sure she would be vilified in the witch hunt against alternative narrativists because she is in the Irish Freedom Party. At this point in history, I am prepared to listen to anyone with a different viewpoint. This time I am apolitical.  It was very rigorous, long and challenged many confirmation biases. I am sure Snopes and others are rapidly writing their diatribes de-bunking Dr Cahill now. She was speaking up against lockdowns, with scientific research as empirical evidence. I have no idea if she is right, but to me it was heartening news.

A quote below from Naomi Klein’s article ‘How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic.’

‘It’s a future in which our homes are never again exclusively personal spaces, but are also, via high-speed digital connectivity, our schools, our doctor’s offices, our gyms, and, if determined by the state, our jails. Of course, for many of us, those same homes were already turning into our never-off workplaces and our primary entertainment venues before the pandemic, and surveillance incarceration “in the community” was already booming. But in the future that is hastily being constructed, all of these trends are poised for a warp-speed acceleration.

This is a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone, then screen “shared” on a mediated platform. It’s a future that employs far fewer teachers, doctors and drivers. It accepts no cash or credit cards (under guise of virus control), and has skeletal mass transit and far less live art. It’s a future that claims to be run on “artificial intelligence”, but is actually held together by tens of millions of anonymous workers tucked away in warehouses, data centres, content-moderation mills, electronic sweatshops, lithium mines, industrial farms, meat-processing plants and prisons, where they are left unprotected from disease and hyper-exploitation. It’s a future in which our every move, our every word, our every relationship is trackable, traceable and data-mineable by unprecedented collaborations between government and tech giants.’

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Crucible

Crucible:

‘A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures.

A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.

The Crucible  is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93. It was written in the McCarthy era.

McCarthyism was the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term refers to U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s.  It was characterized by heightened political repression and a campaign spreading fear of communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents.  After the mid-1950s, McCarthyism began to decline, mainly due to the gradual loss of public popularity and opposition from the U.S. Supreme court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren.  The Warren Court made a series of rulings that helped bring an end to McCarthyism.’

During this time of ‘lockdown’ I have kept myself sane through, as always my painting practice. A few of my paintings below. ‘Crucible’ is a work in progress. I want to create something beautiful out of this trial we are going through. I am reading ‘A More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible’ By Charles Eisenstein, who has become my kind of ‘guru’ in this great unknowing. I feel that The Crucible is such a great metaphor for this time for all the reasons I have quoted above. Female doctors coming up with explanations and questions of conventional narratives are being discredited rampantly. Youtube is taking down videos of people questioning the narrative. Even holistic doctors are being taken down from Facebook and Youtube. It is a witch hunt. When someone questions anything they are called conspiraloons, which in my opinion is a form of gaslighting; making the questioner believe they must be crazy.

At the beginning of lockdown, I jokingly said that by the time the pubs, cafes and bars re-open everyone will have fallen out with their friends on social media. I don’t think I was far off the mark.

Everyone is even more polarised than before. I have noticed that even those who have read Chomsky or Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ are not prepared to question what is really going on. It seems people are only prepared to question a sequence of events after the fact, from a historical perspective. Or if it is from a safe distance. For example when Bush and Blair et al invaded Iraq, citing weapons of mass destruction, nobody believed them and there were marches and demonstrations in London. It turned out to be fallacious rubbish, and the entire middle east, and subsequently Europe has been de-stabilised ever since. I don’t question that there is a virus, but I question all the stats, ramifications, effects and sinister laws as a result. Are we only prepared to question a narrative that is miles away from us, or that is happening to people of a different race or religion? Are we too afraid to question what is happening to us at the time it is happening? There is no doubt that there is a virus, but if asking questions about how it got there, or if the stats are highly unreliable at best, or why people who die from heart attacks are having Covid on their death certificate, are ‘unreasonable’ questions, then I must have entered a parallel universe. I have seen drone footage by Sussex police hovering over families having picnics in sand dunes yesterday in the glorious sunshine. It feels vital for me to write at this time. Just to have somewhere to put my thoughts, as I don’t want to forget.

As for future travel, I don’t want to go back to my old ways. I am so glad I went back to L.A. when I did. I don’t think I will fly again. When the borders open I am hoping to drive through France and Spain and take my time, looking at places I have lived in and loved. I want to revisit my old beloved Corbieres mountains and then drive to Andalucia. In the mean time, I am being soothed by the sea, the cliff path, the bluebells in spring, the bird song, the rhododendrons, walking, music and painting. Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays especially have been my soundtrack.

Crucible. In progress.
Strata
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Thoughts

Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous.”

Not so very long ago, we were globally concerned about single-use plastics. As a result of this pandemic the world will be even more awash with the stuff . Remember when we were concerned about straws? Now everyone is breathing in plastic micro fibres from masks, even walking alone by the sea, with a mask, breathing in goodness knows what from those masks, driving alone in a car in a mask, using throw away plastic gloves, some wearing plastic visors daily. My friend sent me photo of herself wearing a plastic head and shoulder ‘veil’ headgear thing. She said she bought it on Amazon. She is a fit and healthy woman. She was wearing it to run errands about her privileged seaside town in California.. There are plastic shields in shops, possibly to be installed next in restaurants. Is this really what we want? My answer is a resounding no. The damage done to our beloved planet will be overwhelming.

Sadly my social life is still largely reduced to Zoom, Whatsapp and Facebook. My observations on social media have appalled me. To prove how easily human beings become informants, social media is the perfect signifier and facilitator. How people parrot the same phrases ad nauseum; ‘lockdown is lockdown’, ‘stay home, stay safe’.

People who question the conventional narrative are named ‘right wing’. Hmm, interesting. I have never in my life considered myself right wing. On the contrary. Then I will re-name myself a free thinker. I see how social media leads to binary thinking and has resulted in the death of nuance.

I decided that it is best to stay emotionally detached and simply observe how quickly people will roll over into unquestioning acquiescence. Of course the virus exists, I have no doubt about it, and I have not been following the stats, because I don’t trust the official stories. One only needs to have a limited knowledge of history to know how manipulated narratives are, and how people are so easily controlled through fear. It has always been thus. Fear weakens the immune system. The insidious ramifications of the lockdowns will be possibly more damaging than, if not equal to, the virus itself.

This pandemic has shown me what I have known all along. That society has always been fragile. That I have always felt like an outsider, questioning, slightly removed and somewhat of an anarchist in my thinking. Thank goodness I have always found friends and partners to accompany me along the way. N is as radical as I am, but a quieter person. Thank goodness that this time has given us quality time together. I have learned so much about myself. I am passionate with righteous anger sometimes, but my ability to contemplate nature, beauty and art has kept me sane in these most bizarre of bizarre times.

Charles Eisenstein’s brilliant essay, ‘The Coronation’ has given me a sort of solace in knowing I am not alone in my thinking, and there is so much to mine from his observations, but here are a few thoughts from it.

“As Covid stirs our compassion, more and more of us realize that we don’t want to go back to a normal so sorely lacking it. We have the opportunity now to forge a new, more compassionate normal.” Charles Eisenstein

He is, however, also aware of alternative outcomes and explores his concerns about what might be happening behind the scenes whilst we are all isolating; about long-term loss of freedom of movement; totalitarian world government; civil liberties, freedom of assembly, sovereignty over our bodies, the future of in-person gatherings; technology and surveillance; forcible medical treatment; suspension of habeas corpus; military policing of civilians; possible agendas and manipulation by malevolent global powers; the effects of social isolation, lack of touch and fear on our immune systems and health; biological / chemical / psychological warfare; children dying of hunger, the undiscussed suicide epidemic, auto-immune disease, nuclear armageddon, ecological collapse and other threats to our survival which haven’t catalysed the same response; insulation, isolation, domination, and separation.

“Whether or not current controls are permanent, a precedent is being set for:

The tracking of people’s movements at all times (because coronavirus)

The suspension of freedom of assembly (because coronavirus)

The military policing of civilians (because coronavirus)

Extrajudicial, indefinite detention (quarantine, because coronavirus)

The banning of cash (because coronavirus)

Censorship of the Internet (to combat disinformation, because coronavirus)

Compulsory vaccination and other medical treatment, establishing the state’s sovereignty over our bodies (because coronavirus)

The classification of all activities and destinations into the expressly permitted and the expressly forbidden (you can leave your house for this, but not that), eliminating the un-policed, non-juridical gray zone. That totality is the very essence of totalitarianism. Necessary now though, because, well, coronavirus.” Charles Eisenstein

Eisenstein believes that we can all influence the future – individually and collectively. Nothing is inevitable. Nothing written in stone.

“A more beautiful world shimmers just beneath the surface, bobbing up whenever the systems that hold it underwater loosen their grip.” Charles Eisenstein

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