For what it's worth
Editorials by Ed Note
Questioning a "New Normal"
I recently read Peter Jay’s Tales from the Crip article, Welcome to Normal, in the July Vegas Cannabis Magazine and felt compelled to respond to Peter. I also hope more people read it as it made me realize it is time to stand up and be heard.
Today, I’ll start with a question. Is there actually a clear definition of Normal? I’ll use Merriam-Webster and start with the history and etymology of the word normal. ‘…was borrowed from Latin normālis "made according to a carpenter's square, forming a right angle," from norma "carpenter's square" + -ālis -AL entry” Ok that actually doesn’t help much but is quite interesting to think that we took a word based on forming a right angle and put such connotations as “being of the sort or kind that is expected as usual, ordinary, or average, conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern, according with, constituting, or not deviating
from a norm, rule, or principle.” And “occurring naturally, of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development, free from mental illness, and mentally sound” to it. And finally, I’ll close with a definition from the American Psychological Association, “…relating to what is considered standard, average, typical, or healthy. However, the term is most often applied to behavior that conforms to a culturally accepted norm, especially as an indication that a person is mentally healthy
and does not have a psychological disorder.” (Emphasis added)
So, how do we define normal in regard to what we are seeing today?
Are we acquiescing to a new normal dictated to us under the guise of protecting us from the scourge virus, Corona? I’m not even going to bring up the question of whether this virus is the scourge we are being told to fear, if it was man-made for population control or to manipulate societies based on some more scrofulous agenda, or if it is just another virus that came at a convenient time. All of this is fodder for future talks. By this acquiescence, are we engaging in behavior that conforms to a culturally accepted norm or are we changing a culture that we’ll never be able to return to? Is this new norm a useful place to be?
According to Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary General, stated that “…the (Corona) virus is not only spreading sickness and death,” he said, “it is pushing people into poverty and hunger. In some cases, it is reversing decades of development progress.” I agree. It took decades for people’s dreams and promises of prosperity and happiness in the land of opportunity to see great elements of fluidity. Now, small businesses are indeed being pushed, even bullied, out of business by governmental mandates under the guise of ‘protecting us.’ I’ve asked before, “Whose protecting us from the Government?” Yes, I do agree with the UN Secretary General, we are being pushed into poverty and even more into a totalitarian dependence upon the government who is pushing us.
We are moving more and more towards a brave new world. The media or whatever powers that are in control are using the virus to create a greater dystopian society, the ‘essential worker’ as opposed to the ‘non-essential worker.’ Call it what you may, it is clearly becoming those who live well and those who they step on. Do we really want this Normal? Are we adapting mandates of social distancing and a fear of other individuals? Are we accepting big state-big business and technology taking the place of people as the new norm? I don’t want to believe that this brave new world is really what we hoped for?
One of the main tenants in a brave new world according to the famous literary novel of the same name, Brave New World, written in 1931, by Aldous Huxley, is to remove human relationships from society. Well, anyone who shopped in a retail store BC (before Corona) and then to the same store in what Peter Jay labels the “Post-Covid world”, (this label I’ll address later), will see that many people are now distant, unfriendly, some even rude and judgmental behind the mandatory or voluntary masking of society in public. I won’t debate here whether the mask is actually useful or not for health purposes. Is the new normal now to distance oneself from other humans and to accept that getting too close is dangerous ergo avoid contact at all costs? This mindset being imposed upon society, is not normal. Humans are not dangerous and interaction with others is no more a risk than other past activities. If making us believe otherwise is not a grand step in ‘removing human relationships’ I’m not sure what is.
The human being may be one of ‘..the most resilient creatures on this planet’ however, it has been shown historically that the human being is easily manipulated, often hypocritically shepherded into various teachings, which many of those teachings have proven to be dangerous. Many of the ideologies people choose to follow are based on main media disinformation, charismatic speakers, and word on the street, much like the covid reports fed daily through the same channels and mass media outlets. I’ll not go too deeply into the fact that this new virus has become a major marketing tool spawning countless products and services that are being declared as needed and some mandatory to purchase. Much like some psychologists who diagnose a mental illness, so they have more clientele to treat for the mental illness they just declared. [See: Intoxicating Power of the DSM, by Ed Note] Create the illness, sell the products related to the illness. Great concept, too bad we are buying into it (pun intended) both financially and mentally.
Peter Jay’s article exampled how easily the public is manipulated when it mentioned 9-11 and French fries. Yet it also shows how flippant they are. After all, I’m not hearing them called Freedom Fries anywhere. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your viewpoint, we have moved far from 9-11 and got back to life as normal. But wait! Did we? Post 9-11 we saw federal law change with great impact on our freedoms and movement.
We saw such laws as the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, authorizing the use of Transportation Security Administration agents at every airport and air-marshals on nearly if not all flights. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act mandating major changes and controversy around privacy as it lowered the legal bar for the government to engage in wiretapping and other surveillance practices. The USA Patriot Act.
And of course, the main federal agency to emerge from the attacks, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The DHS absorbed and reorganized 22 existing federal agencies that deal with domestic safety, law enforcement and immigration and has promulgated regulations on everything from border security to natural disaster management.
With all that said, an obvious and possibly the most intrusive new normal of post 9-11 is the use of facial recognition cameras on nearly every intersection. The implementation of 5G will show even more disastrous intrusions and the change of the world. What’s next FEMA Camps? This 9-11 normal is a direct violation of the “…right of an individual to be protected against intrusion into his personal life or affairs, or those of his family by direct physical means …” as defining privacy [Privacy.org, 2006, para. 10] but alas we aren’t talking about post 9-11 normal here are we? We’re talking about post corona and the new normal being inculated upon the people by some nefarious sources be they conspiracy theory or truth, under the guise of ‘protecting us.’ I have discussed the loss of personal liberties and rights under the lie of protecting society in other dissertations, so I shall not do that here.
To accept that technology should replace anybody possible, to foster an “Evolve or Die” mentality is to evolve into an acceptance of reversing decades of developmental progress. The future is truly starting to look pretty dismal as Big Brother strengthens its foothold throughout the country, perhaps the world. And we are allowing this with atrophy and mindless obedience to mass media disinformation, hype, and fear. Much like the post 9-11 fear of all things Muslim, Arab, and South Asian, post Civil War profiling of Blacks, post HIV fear of homosexuals, and now the fear of all people as they are likely carriers of the horrid Covid-19.
To say, ‘Adaptability to Covid-friendly standards is the secret to success in our brave new world,’ is to accept that we must modify our lives and kiss our jobs goodbye. To say that we must adapt to this new norm, is to say, let’s just leave our lives behind and let the system create a new life for us and our friends, who by the way will only be our friends via social media, which Big Brother shall censor, as we will also accept that it is harmful to associate in person. Change is not useful if it doesn’t account for personal liberties, rights and freedoms, and stops your ability to pursue happiness and prosperity.
To accept that it is ok for technology to take the place of humans in jobs etc. is to accept the Big Brother totalitarian mindset. It is just a matter of time before you are arrested for thinking against the state. Brave New World and 1984 although written years ago and before the public understanding of technology spoke out on the very things that are going on right now. Orwell, Huxley, and others wrote their profound understanding of the outcome of allowing technology and big governmental power to reign during a time when the masses refused to see it as possible, mainly because technology wasn’t that known and the government was still more of the, by the, and for the people. Now, during a time when technology is understood, widely accepted, and becoming more and more prevalent in our lives and governmental intrusions more obvious, we still refuse to see what is going on and affecting us personally and socially.
Although I agree that if today I don’t adapt and accept that it’s ok for technology to take the place of human labor or interactions I’ll be left behind. I say being left behind isn’t necessary and certainly not a good thing. Time to wake up and see where we are allowing the world to evolve. Technology should stay in its place, not take ours. It is not a good thing that movie theaters are being replaced with the plethora of streaming media outlets. It is not ok to label people as essential and non-essential nor to accept the lessening of human relationships aka social distancing. It wasn’t but a few months ago that we were decrying couch potatoes and insisting that people go outside and mingle. We were finding things for our children and families to do outside of the house, off the internet. Now, we are saying we were wrong? Now we are saying keep away from your friends and family? Interact only when necessary and be sure to keep 6 feet away for people are dangerous and a threat to your health and safety.
OK, so back to our definitions of NORMAL. Have we determined that anything going on now in our society and others in any way could be considered as “occurring naturally” or even remotely “characterized by average intelligence or development, free from mental illness, and mentally sound?” Certainly, those who are buying into the idea of; it is perfectly acceptable that “…technology should replace anybody possible” are not engaging in “…behavior that conforms to a culturally accepted norm…”
I don’t want to be labeled as that guy who says everyone who believes and follows the narrow avenue of dos and don’ts being mandated and ordinanced has a mental illness or abnormality. Only that it isn’t healthy to blindly allow the long running culturally accepted norm to be altered not only at great expense but in such a way that is literally altering society, business practices, the economy, schooling, and family structure. No one has to agree, but please take a moment and really question what is going on. It will become obvious this is about divide, conquer, and control. It’s about technology taking the place of human relationships, jobs, and even personal understanding of truth and societal norm and big government dictating movement, business, and freedoms. And to now name this as the ‘Post-Covid World’ is to recognize this change as acceptable since we no longer live in BC (Before Corona).
Thank you, but don’t welcome me to this normal. I’d prefer to be welcomed to a normal that has a more holistic and systemic usefulness. The normal being shoved upon us is scarily being ushered in and welcomed with open hands (although sanitized) to subjugate the minds, attitudes, and
beliefs of the people. Let’s stop and think where this is going and don’t go there!
Always in Spirit and Truth