Confession isn't only good for the soul.
This actually makes me trust you more. :)
This is magnificent, Mark, to echo Jerome. Beautifully reasoned and written, and achingly vulnerable.
It's also the answer to a post I did awhile ago, suggesting that admitting where we've been wrong is the best strategy to allow others to do the same. In fact, I talk about celebrating our wrongness because it's a sign we're still learning and haven't calcified. You're amazing!
Having read this, I feel compelled to write an article confessing one of my own major failings.
(It won't be the "War on Terror". I already knew to distrust the purveyors of that psyop. But I'd previously drank another of their deadly poison concoctions, deeming it nectar of truth...)
We, the older GenXers are becoming the heroes that we always knew that we would be, one day.
I think that we knew, intuitively and expressly, that the Baby Boomer world would fall apart, and that it would be up to us to pick up the pieces. All the time that we spent, supposedly apathetically, was really just biding our time..
It is now time to step up.
Taibbi, Shellenberger, Carlson, you, me, our families, friends and classmates; our time has finally come. And in exactly the manner that you are describing.
“…my dependance for a remedy however, is in the wisdom which grows with time and suffering. whether the succeeding generation is to be more virtuous than their predecessors I cannot say; but I am sure they will have more worldly wisdom, and enough, I hope, to know that honesty is the 1st chapter in the book of wisdom." - Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, January 12, 1819
To which immortal words I would add that humility and self-honesty are the foundation upon which honesty with others rests. We are up against our ego, the desire for knowledge (as power) which truly is the root of all evil.
I should know - I traveled with financial liars and thieves at the highest levels, for many years. It didn’t take long for me to see the problem, and start to frame a plan for extricating myself from it…but it took way too long to navigate my withdrawal. I believed I could operate in a corner of that world on my own terms of honor. That was my ego talking; there is no honor among thieves, and the jackals are everywhere.
Excellent essay, Mark. I dare say most of us can tick off most of that bullet list of errors, and most of those who didn't make those mistakes probably made the opposite ones; I doubt many people avoided failing one one side or the other of that particular reactionary pendulum. I know I didn't!
Great article, and one that I can't praise highly enough! Also, the kind of thoughtful and though-provoking essay that I need to ponder more before I can give it the kind of response it deserves. For now, let me just say, very well done!
Thanks Mark. I drank from the Globopsycho chalice when I chose to side with Pharma against the Government. Always knew of evil’s pit of vipers in DC that writhed below their suited up, castigated minions spouting off maligned political rhetoric, was a force to be reckoned with. Should have sucked it up and immersed myself within, where I could have fought the real fight. Guess I selfishly wanted to work with and for the best and the brightest, not to mention the financial incentives. That sip I took, made me believe that I was virtuous and noble for my part in bringing new drugs to the market. Ha!
My apologies to future generations for the crisis I saw brewing decades ago. It was 1992 on the steps of NY Public Library on Madison Avenue that I personally witnessed healthcare being transformed into a political weapon. May God forgive me for not taking up the sword.
April Fools, MTHRFKR - I'm never wrong, you are!!!
Actually, I was all about bombing Afghanistan to keep them in the stone age, but then by the time Iraq happened I was like, this is about locking down America. I've been warning about WWIII ever since.
Then I got jabbed, a Phizer double tap. Bang Bang.
I wasn't afraid of the "virus", I fell prey to the idea I would never see my parents again. I couldn't see at the time, this is just the war of terror all over again.
And now that WWIII looks like it is imminent. I'm pretty sure it is about avoiding accountability for Covid Policy, as well as a kind of expansion of Malthusian eugenics.
I've been a news junkie since I was a child. Just lately though, I find myself retreating from the din, seeking core ideas enduring through time. I will be saving this piece, for the next time that "snow" comes raining down, or rather, to help keep me clear and cool as the current madness metastasizes.
Keep shining this light in that darkness.
Oh my! 💕❤. 💖
This is SO GOOD!
(I'm just part way through as I type this, fantasizing about how to most effectively share this in my various spheres... cross-post? quote-post? email widely? social media? ...)
OT: It’s started.
I think there's a big difference between admitting you were wrong, and being caught out in being wrong. Humility requires self reflection, honesty requires admitting fault, both are virtues. So far, you on the side of the angels, there.
Me, I've always been 'small government', I grew a ups a Reganite (Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem.) who believed America was special; but that also came with it a hard core commitment to having a strong military. Not just strong, but the kind of military that makes bad guys pee themselves when they hear the Marines have landed and that Rangers have secured the airports. As for the intel agencies, I was ok with dirty actions. I was on record as to supporting selective assassination of bad guys.
What I never imagined was that their institutions would be penetrated and corrupted. The transformation of the US Military in my lifetime sickens me. From Don't Ask, Don't Tell right up to the Tranny Army of today, corruption festered and worse. Worse, I strongly suspect that our troops, like the FBI, have been selected and are being conditioned to be used against US citizens, rather than in defense of them.
Now I did go through my conspiracy theory phase in the 90's too (though it started in the 80's with my love for UFO stories and cryptids), so I was well prepared to believe the CIA might be crooked, that they murdered Kennedy. I knew about MK Ultra. But....and here's where I was a sucker....I thought those days were gone. That the crooks had been chased out after the Church Commission. Nope. Turns out the Crooks got Church chased out instead (though they took their time to get their revenge on him).
Now, I don't trust anyone I don't know. And some of them I keep a leery eye on :) I've always been prepper-curious, mostly due to Boy Scout training growing up. Keeping food, ammo, guns stockpiled was always 'normal' to me.
And I have to admit, I was wrong to trust any of our institutions. America is no longer 'special'....except perhaps as an object lesson for future generations. If there are any...
Good story. I cannot remember when I added Cobb's Rule #24, but it had to be after I decided to end my stint as a Theoretically Neoconservative Geopolitical Apologist. The rule is "Only be a fan of the dead." It means that the living don't deserve the idolatry they receive and we kill ourselves softly when we give it. Sometimes it's better to know that the best humans are already dead. What I wrote here happened in 2006, one year before my complete unravelling. https://cobb.typepad.com/cobb/2006/09/the_practical_l.html
Hello Mark. So great to meet you and your heart. This is a wonderful essay, inspiring and touching and empowering.
For various reasons, including being raised by a narcissistic sociopath in a mother's garb, and an emasculated war traumatised father, I was distrustful of anything advertising itself as good for me. I had had a lot of that as a child and knew in my heart that wasn't true. My awake sister has gone so far as to say that our childhood was in fact the boot camp training ground for this war against evil.
Under the guidance of Jung, I spent many decades healing that childhood trauma. That inward gaze, combined with a nurtured distrust for good-for-me-authority, kept me from sipping too deeply from the 'Globalpsycho bar chalice'. Sip I did though, mostly that which further disempowered me while creating hero worship and the thrill of brutal justice. How childish that is! [Headshake.]
I confess to having remained too silent while I watched evil creeping up towards me poorly disguised in sheep's clothing. I knew the evil was there, and like many, felt it was a small thing, annoying and best ignored. I was mostly a compliant indebted worker-bee passively empowering evil by turning my eyes away from it.
For decades I kept the following attached to my office wall:
"When we are faced with an obstacle that is to be overcome, weakness and impatience can do nothing. Strong individuals can stand up to their fate, for their inner security enables them to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness with themselves. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self deception or illusion, that the light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognised."
I Ching 5 Hsu p.25 Baynes/Wilhelm, paraphrased.
You inspired me to make my confession https://heroesvsvillains.substack.com/p/confession