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The War on Dreams: Part II

Letter to the Editor:

It is one of the great ironies of tragedy: once we realize that we are getting our asses thoroughly whipped, we inevitably look back in vain, only to discover that it had long ago been foretold. We are amazed to learn that someone who lived centuries ago was able to envision our cruel stupidity, as if it had ever been in doubt. We find these forecasts very mysterious; some see them as a proof of GOD, as this makes things much easier. But at this point it is generally too late. With no way to alter the events of the past, we go back to screwing up the present and strangling the future.

As we now recognize the unforgivable atrocities that our minds have suffered during the ongoing War on Dreams, we cannot help but wonder – Where were you, Nostradamus? Recently, scholars have been scouring the annals of history and forgotten works of seers in search of some harbinger of doom, some sign that it was bound to happen. Why? Perhaps, with such a prediction looming above us, we find comfort in the sense that we are only acting out what is beyond our control. Fortune and fate leave no room for real shame, guilt, or accountability – only sheepish repentance.


The following passage was found in a text written a little over 50 years ago. It is not an omen, but an earnestly outstretched finger, pointing to a present folly. At this time, it seems the War on Dreams had already begun…

“And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.”

– John Steinbeck, East of Eden

…and now we must ask, Will it ever end?



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