Thursday, April 30, 2020

Illinois Is Not Sending Us Their Best Strippers

Every once in a while, a non-COVID-19 related news story pops up, and it is a relief to recount it. Yesterday's tale was the arrest of a distraught woman from Illinois in the vicinity of the USS Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, which she believed was the USNS Comfort hospital ship. Being a high-class publication, the NY Post coverage makes clear that the woman is a stripper... that's precisely the titillating content that this Murdoch rag promulgates.

Of course, the deranged woman is a QAnon follower, and she ranted about Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, and spoke about taking down Joe Biden. Apparently, she's been a Trump supporter for a while, but she's active in the QAnon community for a couple of weeks and had a rapid downward spiral into madness. The fact that she had eighteen knives is her car suggests that she was no longer willing to 'Trust the Plan' and sought to take matters into her own hands. Eighteen knives! I don't even have that many knives in my house, including the flatware.

The video of her arrest is unsettling, but she was apprehended without incident and sent to a hospital for evaluation:

The whole QAnon thing fascinates me... I believe it started out as a LARP started by a troll, but morphed into a grift that morphed into a cult. I am reminded of the titular play in Robert Chambers' The King in Yellow, a work of art that has the power to unhinge the reader:

During my convalescence I had bought and read for the first time, The King in Yellow. I remember after finishing the first act that it occurred to me that I had better stop. I started up and flung the book into the fireplace; the volume struck the barred grate and fell open on the hearth in the firelight. If I had not caught a glimpse of the opening words in the second act I should never have finished it, but as I stooped to pick it up, my eyes became riveted to the open page, and with a cry of terror, or perhaps it was of joy so poignant that I suffered in every nerve, I snatched the thing out of the coals and crept shaking to my bedroom, where I read it and reread it, and wept and laughed and trembled with a horror which at times assails me yet. This is the thing that troubles me, for I cannot forget Carcosa where black stars hang in the heavens; where the shadows of men's thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, when the twin suns sink into the lake of Hali; and my mind will bear for ever the memory of the Pallid Mask. I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with this beautiful, stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth—a world which now trembles before the King in Yellow. When the French Government seized the translated copies which had just arrived in Paris, London, of course, became eager to read it. It is well known how the book spread like an infectious disease, from city to city, from continent to continent, barred out here, confiscated there, denounced by Press and pulpit, censured even by the most advanced of literary anarchists. No definite principles had been violated in those wicked pages, no doctrine promulgated, no convictions outraged. It could not be judged by any known standard, yet, although it was acknowledged that the supreme note of art had been struck in The King in Yellow, all felt that human nature could not bear the strain, nor thrive on words in which the essence of purest poison lurked. The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.

The QAnon Conspiracy Complex is perfectly tailored to further radicalize Trump dead-enders. It posits that Trump is a super-genius of sterling moral character, that his opponents are evil beyond all possible redemption, and that all of the Deplorables' foes will meet a sticky end, tried and executed by military tribunals. The end result is supposed to be a utopia in which the formerly despised conspiracy theorists will become revered leaders, recognized for the wisdom which led them to see what the 'normies' were unable to see in time. It's a heady narrative, but the fact that it's not coming to fruition is driving people to madness... in a very real sense, as Chambers would put it, the very banality and innocence of the first act only allows the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.

Title taken from this infamous Trump quote.


bowtiejack said...

Good stuff.
Wow! Somebody else who has read The King in Yellow.
And I thought I was the only one.
But now all of that strangeness is evidencing itself in our current life.
Sort of reminds you of the FBI interviewing Heinlein because what he was writing was too close to stuff nobody was supposed to know.

Anathema Device said...

Future historians are going to need the *good* drugs to cope with teasing out and describing the idiocy and weirdness of the past two decades.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I think the book is more popular than you think it is. I've been singing its praises practically since day one.

I don't know if there will be any good drugs, it's looking like roving bands of bondage gear wearing mutants will be licking toads, the way things are going.