"If I was running the Russian intel services, I’d just pay to send a few Nebraska county commissioners to Disneyland — that would keep our seventeen US intel agencies busy until kingdom come trying to figure out the angle."
He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile, along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive). These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.
You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here. To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED.
Forget about sharks. In their Valentine’s Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials’ Warnings on Russia?, The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:
The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country’s political and social divisions.
Hmmm…. After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don’t you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world — maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart’s bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they’ll bother with our elections.
Let’s face it, the United States is doing a stellar job of destroying itself with bad ideas, foolish ideologies, and pervasive self-deceit. If I was running the Russian intel services, I’d just pay to send a few Nebraska county commissioners to Disneyland — that would keep our seventeen US intel agencies busy until kingdom come trying to figure out the angle. And it would cheaper than spending a hundred grand to (expletive deleted) with Facebook.
But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven’t happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.
The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures “colluding” with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the “Steele Dossier” and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary’s and John Podesta’s email.
There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN “analyst,” taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.
The “resistance” may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire.
PS: Readers may wonder why I did not devote this space to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It is exactly what you get in a society that wants to erase behavioral boundaries. It is especially dangerous where adolescent boys are concerned. The country has a gigantic boundary problem.
We have also created perfect conditions — between the anomie of suburbia and the dreariness of our school systems — to induce explosions of violent despair. That’s why these things happen.
Until we change these conditions, expect ever more of it.