STORMING THE HIGH CASTLE
THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY
During the Thanksgiving holiday, I did something I haven’t done in a while – I binge watched a television series. I eagerly wanted to see the television show, The Man in the High Castle, after I saw the previews. I am a Philip K. Dick fan and the book about the “what if” the axis powers won World War II was more or less his vision that has the same dystopian qualities as Orwell’s “1984.”
The Man in the High Castle can be now seen as a dark reflection of present-day America. My friends who watched it with me reacted in many ways; some were even stressed and frightened at how we are now living in the same universe that Dick created.
In the TV adaptation, there are Nazis that occupy the East and the Midwest and there are Japanese leaders who rule the Pacific states. With their various governments, they have created a safe and habitable country. It makes us wonder if the Nazis and the Japanese had won, would it be as oppressive as we want to believe?
The story is also a lot like Sinclair Lewis’, It Can’t Happen Here, which also seems to be a noteworthy painting of society as Lewis wrote about a populist American senator who is elected to the presidency after promising change and hope and promoting a return to patriotism and traditional values. After his election, the senator takes complete control of the government and imposes a totalitarian dictatorship with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force.
It’s much like Hitler did with the SS.
Philip K. Dick attempts to illustrate more overt and ugly commentary on how Americans could accept Nazi and Japanese rule if it were presented to them after a defeat in World War II. It paints a monstrous but humanized version of an America that has accepted the banality of evil and normalized the unthinkable.
The Man in the High Castle has its moments of showing active political resistance but for what is still in question. Everyone seems to be living what appears to be the American dream, even though it is at the expense of many Americans that are Jewish, poor or handicapped.
We see they are victims of the ovens as a nice folksy sheriff tells a young truck driver that what appears to be snow is the ash of those who have been burned. The nice Barney Fife-like officer even offers that young truck driver a sandwich his wife had made. We then see his red armband. He then says, “but I will have to see your papers first.” Without a wince the young man hands him his documents and he is sent on his way.
It is frightening at how normal this is. It is equally chilling how normal this is in our reality as well.
The plot is also driven by a series of newsreel-style films collectively known as, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which seems to depict America winning World War II. These propaganda reels are dangerous to the Nazis and their rule. They paint a different reality and it seems that while the allies allegedly won the war, the Nazis won the minds of those in power and used the propaganda necessary to convince everyone to comply.
In Dick’s book, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, is a popular but distinctly fictional alternate history novel. In the series, it seems to actually come from our own world, showing that an Axis victory wasn’t inevitable. It indicates that there are times where something as small as a grasshopper can overpower a great obstacle.
In this case the obstacle is the banality of evil and the acceptance of an ideology without a fight.
World War II was won by the good guys – but the bad guys hid behind the scenes and slowly infiltrated every aspect of our lives and devised a plan to brainwash people in accepting their destructive ideologies.
A long time ago, when I was very young, I had this nightmare.
In it, people were lined up at the airport. They were being searched and the police were wearing black uniforms with red armbands.
Their uniforms looked a bit familiar to me. I then looked ahead at the gate and hanging above near the gate number was a red flag with a white circle. In the middle of the circle was a Nazi Swastika.
You may think that this was frightening enough, but this was not the worst part of the nightmare.
The nightmare was that no one cared. They were so emotionally drained, they were willing to accept anything that would deliver them from the pain and the fear.
I suppose it is not all that obvious to point out that everything you see and hear has an effect on you. All information that is offered to you, even information not spoken, has irreversible affects on you and changes the way you see the world.
Even if you were to tune me out because I have trampled on your confirmation bias, it wouldn’t matter all that much because somewhere there is someone who is listening to me and is relating the ideas I present.
Arguably, this is dangerous to some people because there are those who see what I say as a threat to their normal, conformist and comfortable attitudes about what is being set by a well organized machine of half-truths and newspeak provided by network narratives.
You will never leave this moment we are having together entirely behind.
It is very profound how it all works.
We are sadly reaching a point in the United States where hatred is being expressed to various “others’ that have been scapegoated to shift the blame or guilt complexes that we either hide or rationalize as normal.
We are now reaching a point where people want to “normalize the unthinkable” as they gradually accept the global hive mind as an inevitable rite of passage.
The push towards a New World Order has revived or has seen a rebirth in ideas that we would once see as unthinkable or that were part of an evil empire that wanted to suffocate the last breath from a thriving and free constitutional republic.
The rebirth of new formats, are actually despotic old formats, suitably retooled to support world government goals, processes and institutions that are strengthening, growing and consolidating at our expense.
With the imposition of uncivil controls and exclusion, comes the escalation of chaos.
Much of what we can call “moral values” have been burned away and then pulverized by angry observers that are now beginning to normalize the unthinkable and it is in this mode of thought that will profoundly affect you.
Every word that is spoken, every bit of programming you get from music, movies and television shows brings us closer to a major twist in the fabric we once called liberty and justice. It is failing and it is leading us into a civil upheaval.
The words being used now are indicative of this twist in an ideology we believed would endure; that we believed was worth fighting for.
Soon the words we are hearing will take control of us and the memes they generate will dictate and force the changes in you that you once avoided or hated. It will generate attitudes in you that history has shown creates a destructive dynamic.
By then what you once thought was a conquered evil in the world will re-emerge and it will be seen as inconceivable and deplorable, but accepted as the normal way of existence.
I am afraid while image and action parameters would prevent our government from being so obvious about tyranny and Nazism, the spirit of what this means to me and to all of us should sound a very loud alarm about how we can edge closer to a consensus philosophy that normalizes the unimaginable.
It is becoming a reality that all races in this country are fanning the flames of civil upheaval. We are all dividing and joining various collectives that are throwing blame around and focusing on old resentments we thought were dissolving with generational knowledge and understanding.
We are seeing dangerous patterns in American behavior that are digging a deep and growing chasm between the America we believe we are living in and the social injustices shaping the new reality of a globalist police state.
With all of our social networks that have been created to connect us, we are seeing a disconnect in people who are using things like Facebook and Twitter to reveal their hate, anger and absence of morality, responsibility and will.
It is as if there is a far-reaching conspiracy of cultural terrorists that have been successful in convincing the consensus that everyone is to be hated, every word has to be protested, and every protest is to be non-inclusive.
It is also ironic that the marketing of hate and even combating hate has become an effective money making business. We have been seeing lucrative businesses and NGO’s that have made it their business to fight the far right and to push an agenda of destroying diversity and undermining the process of continuity and peace in the United States.
We are all being radicalized in different ways and with all of the advanced types of programming, we are leaning toward normalizing the same ideologies that were embraced by the Nazis.
Almost everyone is part of some subculture now, and it’s not questioned or noticed because it’s not unusual. To say though that some of these subcultures also have the same tenets and rules as a cult would be anathema and would be laughed at if not ridiculed.
On a larger scale, we can use this same allegory to say that it is not out of the norm to have subcultures and groups that organize in order to bully and hate those they don’t necessarily agree with.
An even greater tragedy is the triteness of cruelty and intolerance some subcultures are spreading.
Political subcultures are also becoming more dangerous in their views and they are embracing contradictory positions in order to promulgate a culturally constructed “rise” in nationalism that is espousing the old idea America is only for Americans.
We see subcultures that claim to be vigilant defenders of tolerance, and complain about police brutality and in the same breath, want more policing, shoot first ask questions later policies, and the elimination of due process.
All of the so-called efforts to eliminate and combat social injustices seem to be limited to arm chair activism, encouraged by those who practice bumper sticker patriotism and get their inspiration from various internet memes and refrigerator magnets that have politically correct euphemisms printed on them.
We have all at one time or another, normalized what can be called, the unthinkable.