February 15, 2001

It's a mad, mad world

by Stephen Bassett 

     “That’s some catch, that Catch-22.”
                                                     Yossarian to Doc Daneeka

Washington, DC  In the years after the war Joseph Heller wrote what not a few literary pundits consider the greatest American novel of the 20th Century.  It’s not easy to write the greatest American novel of the 20th Century.   Some believe its claim to this title is because it was very, very funny.   It was, but that’s not enough. Tom Robbins wrote some novels so funny, if you read them while eating potato chips, you could choke to death.

No, in order to write the greatest American novel of the 20th Century, you have to tap into something deep, something profound about that wonderful claque of bipeds known to biologists and others who care as Homo Sapiens.  And what might that be, you tentatively inquire, not sure you want to read further because you are slightly concerned the author is, how would you say it, deranged?

Paradox.  Catch-22, for those who have not read the book (and if you haven’t, you had better, if you wish to stay sane during the coming months), is the elegant tool used by Doc Daneeka to determine the fitness of bomber pilots to fly.  Anyone who continued to fly off to near certain death was clearly crazy.  Anyone who was crazy was not fit to fly and merely had to ask to be sent home.  Anyone astute enough to ask to not be forced to fly off to near certain death was clearly sane and could not be sent home.

The novel was, of course, filled with these little circular devils working their way within the context of a major, transforming historical event.  That….is why it is the greatest American novel of the 20th Century.

You see, of all the known animal species of which there are millions, only humans understand, suffer from and practice the art of paradox.   Not ants, not pandas, not paramecia – just humans.    Not even the monkey with its 99% similar DNA or the magnificent dolphin with its human sized brain, language and sonar practice the art of paradox.   

Animals can often act against their best interest – eat out the food supply and starve, migrate into the ocean – but that’s not paradox, that’s cause and bad effect – straight-line, non-circular.

Just exactly when Lucy and her descendants became capable of paradox will probably never be known, but one would think it was fairly recent, perhaps even an aspect of modern, “civilized” societies, and further, that as you move closer to the present, it gets worse.  It has been said that one way to go insane is to attempt to hold two mutually exclusive, completely contradictory ideas in your head at the same time. Anyone who doesn’t think that people are getting crazier, has never been stuck at the railroad crossing when the Prozac train passed by. 

It is fitting that Catch-22 was written about and just after the war.    From WWII on you can’t fall down and not hit your head on a paradox.   Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is a favorite.   Another favorite is the one embedded in the prolife movement:  ending a pregnancy is a sin and must not happen, taking measures to avoid a pregnancy in the first place is also a sin, with the exception of complete abstinence, which if practiced faithfully incites a powerful disposition toward masturbation, which is also a sin.   This is not purely circular, but rather spiral with one door out, a bullet in the head (also a sin but not related to the original behavior).

And who can forget the paradox at a seminal moment in the movie, Cool Hand Luke?   You know, the one where poor Luke can’t dig one boss man’s ditch without putting the dirt on the other boss man’s plot.    However, the paradoxes of daily life are not the concern here.    It is those associated with major events that are of importance.   Which brings us to ufology.    You doubted we would get here?

Could the true reason the planet is up to its collective keister in extraterrestrials be they have come here to rid the world of paradox?   Don’t bet against it.

The closest thing to a slam-dunk paradox in science is the wave/particle dualism of matter, and modern physicists are not all that far from resolving that one.  The physical world has no use for paradox – it is strictly a creature of consciousness.    And as anyone who has spent ten minutes on the internet knows, consciousness is evolving right here, right now.  It may be that in order to effect a properly populated, sustainable and just planet, it is required that humans evolve beyond their penchant for paradox – something the visitors have already done.

Also of interest is this: when you look closely at the UFO/ET/Disclosure movement, you find it to be riddled with self-contradiction.  Where to begin?

Scientific credibility

The media and debunkers blather on about the fact that reputable scientists do not believe in here-and-now extraterrestrials.   However, when any reputable scientist does step forward with that view, they are immediately discounted.    Why?    Because there are no extraterrestrials, and any scientist who would believe such, can’t be reputable.

Evidence

The phrase rolls off the tongue of every counter-scheduled guest on every talk show:  “There is not a shred of evidence that shows that……..blah, blah, blah.”   “But have you read this book, seen this document, watched this video, viewed these photographs, talked to this astronaut?”   “No, I haven’t and I don’t need to.”   “Why is that?”   “There are no extraterrestrials, so there can’t be any evidence for extraterrestrials, and so there is nothing to look at.”

Congress and the media

If you talk to the media about the need for congressional hearings, the media will tell you there is no need for hearings and if there were, the congress would hold them.  When you talk to members of congress, you are told that they might consider making a move in this area, but are afraid to do so because the top media show no real interest in or acceptance of UFOs and a cover-up.

Trust

Trust in government is dropping with unpleasant consequences.  Americans are forming militias, blowing up federal buildings, and refusing to pay taxes.  Any prospect of reasonable and effective, federal and state gun policy have been blocked because millions of citizens believe the government will not only take their guns, but will create a national security state, and they will need their guns to take the country back.  There are shootouts, burnouts, and new cult formations.   People are behaving badly.

One of the reasons for this is government lying, excessive secrecy and secrecy abuse.  The UFO cover-up is the crown jewel of military/intel secrecy.   Within the UFO/ET research community are those who believe that disclosure should not take place.  Why?   If the people are told the truth, they would lose trust in government and behave badly.

Experience

If an individual remembers an ET encounter with the aid of hypnosis, it is bogus because recall with the aid of, as opposed to without the aid of, hypnosis, creates false memories.  If they remember such an encounter via unaided, conscious memory, it is invalid.  Why?  There are no extraterrestrials, so it must be a false memory of child abuse.

Proof vs. Hoax

With regard to the skeptics, if you can show that one particular event is completely unexplainable by any known science, it proves nothing.  But if you can show that one particular event was hoaxed, it invalidates and entire phenomenon (crop circles).

The Internet

If you are discussing the internet with the political or business media, they tell you the internet is the most powerful tool ever created for commerce, information dissemination, news, etc.  If you are discussing the internet with the science or political media as a huge resource for information on the UFO/ET reality, they tell you the internet is a grotesque mishmash of nonsense, time wasting detritus, fraud and misinformation. 

There’s more, but you get the picture.  Paradox is powerful stuff.   It can kill. The Nazis used it a lot.  They would herd people into closed ghettos, where, stripped of many belongings or means of support, they would decay into an unsightly mass.  Then the SS would stand on the ghetto walls with visiting media and say, “See what a mess these people are.  That’s why we have to keep them in this ghetto.”

Time to stop the madness.

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Copyright 2000 Stephen Bassett

"Could the true reason the planet is up to its collective keister in extraterrestrials be they have come here to rid the world of paradox?  Don’t bet against it."