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Panic society September 2, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I’d missed this, I think while I was on holiday, reports from JFK, Terminal 8 where:

It didn’t take nearly that much firepower to set off chaos at New York City’s biggest airport earlier this month. Apparently a few people applauding for Usain Bolt in Terminal 8 did the trick. The claps seem to have been mistaken for gunfire, which set people running and knocking over barriers, which also sounded like gunfire. The reports spread between terminals, and within an hour, the whole airport was shut down.

As the author of the piece, Henry Graber notes, in Slate, ‘calm, like panic, is contagious’ but in an environment where threat assessments are ramped up on a continual basis small wonder that there’s an heightened, many would say an exaggerated, if not indeed a completely exaggerated, sense of risk.

And that had me thinking that in some ways – given that accentuation of a sense of risk, small wonder that a candidate like Trump who essentially offers the US the option of pulling the blanket over its head and concealing itself behind physical walls, and mass expulsions of the other, is doing not too bad. Perhaps the real wonder is that Trump isn’t doing better.

But then again. Am I wrong in thinking that there’s been no direct attack on a US airport. None whatsoever (and 9/11 doesn’t strike me as such).

Yet as Graber relates:

Exactly two weeks later, the same thing happened at Los Angeles International Airport. Around 9 p.m. on Sunday, police received reports about an active shooter in Terminal 8. (What is it with Terminal 8s?) “Word spread quickly through the terminals by word-of-mouth, social media, and additional calls were made to Airport Police about an active shooter in other terminals, with some reporting having heard gunshots,” Los Angeles World Airports announced in a press release. Five terminals were evacuated and 27 flights diverted to other airports. In the end, there was no shooter. 

What do these false alarms tells us? What is the state of mind of a nation where they occur? Is it connected to gun violence, or the threat of Islamist violence, or…

Comments»

1. gendjinn - September 2, 2016

“Perhaps the real wonder is that Trump isn’t doing better.”

Because he is an embarrassing buffoon. Reagan/Nixon were infinitely better and so will the next GOP nominee.

“Am I wrong in thinking that there’s been no direct attack on a US airport.”

Depends. There have been lone wolf shootings at LA airport in 02 and 13. Nothing officially AQ.

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2. Dermot O Connor - September 2, 2016

The collective atmosphere in the US isn’t pretty. Wasn’t ideal before 911, but since then it’s been a different country. I moved here in 93, so had 7 or 8 years experience of the ‘before’ state. (1993 – 2000 were really the last years of the 1980s). The ‘long 1980s’, Eric Hobsbawm would have called them! News was filled with OJ Simpson, Jon Benet Ramsey, the Menendez brothers, and endless series of celebrity crime cases (it was freaky to go from ITN/BBC focus on azerbaijan and the disintegrating former USSR to some banal and sordid murder case).

They really didn’t (don’t) care about or want to know about the outside world – and this goes for the entire political ‘spectrum’ here.

The MSM has been feeding people paranoia round the clock; quality of merchandise continues to plummet; debt (personal & public) spirals, and the collective psychotic mental breakdown continues (cops tipping cripples out of wheelchairs, etc). There is no police atrocity you can’t anticipate. Try entering “cop shoots _____ ” into google, with _____ being “grandmother”, “baby”, “seven year old”, “107 year old man” (such stories would be unthinkable in any other western nation; here, they’re reported on Monday and forgotten on Tuesday).

All political debates are framed as “we’re smart, they’re stupid”. Pol. analysis very rarely goes beyond this. In the case of the ‘left’, it’s “we’re good, they’re racist” (it stops there). Or the ‘right’ “we’re good, they’re evil/socialist” (it stops there). Semantic snarl words.

My sister moved here in 94. She’s moving back to Ireland on Sunday. Ostensibly for a 1 year job, but we’ll see. I don’t get the impression she wants her daughter to grow up in this unraveling empire. Ireland has its problems, but the USA is heading somewhere dark. This place has no social cohesion (or ‘asabiyah’, to use an older and more elegant arabic term). Not to sound Hobbesian, as there is more human decency here than is given credit, but I wouldn’t want to put this place under too much stress.

Not to give too many personal details, but in order to ‘stand still’ financially, anyone with a kid or two, a mortgage, and a few health scares, needs something like $7000 a month just to stand still. And here, it’s health that will kill you. E.G., a $1200 month bill for a family would be typical. (Thanks Obama, great job with all the ‘care’). The ACA has been a joke. Usurious credit and student loans, and it makes you wonder why anyone would want to stay here.

So the situation is this: only the very rich or the very poor can be relaxed about healthcare. I made less than $16,000 taxable last year, so was able to qualify for free health care in Oregon (OHP). But the second I go above that, watch out.

My solution was to get out of the 40 hour workplace rat-race, and to abandon all hope of earning much money. Found a niche where I could get by for very little (one of my online contacts calls it “living in cracks in the matrix”); when on very little, you become an invisible man. This requires doing the opposite of most Americans of course. No booze, smokes, drugs, TV, car. Granted, there are many places where this is impossible here, but I managed much of it while living in LA.

Of course, gentrification has kicked into high gear, which makes this path much harder (it closes off many areas, which are now yuppie enclaves). The Occupy bullshit about 1%/99% masks the fact that a very large class of people – the gentry – number 15-20%, and are making out like bandits.

Our mutual friend M (CLR knows who I’m talking about) and I were talking about this country a few week ago. The idea that there’s something ‘off’ about this place, on a supernatural / metaphysical level. The natives may have come to an uneasy peace with it, but the gringos haven’t.

*

William S. Burroughs:

“America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians… the evil was there… waiting.”

*

Michael Hartnett (from ‘USA’):

Why are they afraid?
They live upon a burial ground:
Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Teuton, Celt and Jew
avert their eyes, afraid to look around
and see ghosts of Navaho, Cheyenne and Sioux.
They chained the land and pulled her down
and nailed her to the sea with towns.
She lies on her back, her belly cut in fields
of red and yellow earth. She does not yield,
she is not theirs. She does not love this race.
She will not open her legs to enclose
the scum of Europe, jockeying for grace.

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