From the March 2005 Idaho Observer:
Hearts of Darkness and (the) Apocalypse (is) Now!
Are we behind Lewis Carrol’s Looking Glass or trapped in surreal Salvadore Dali landscape? Are we dreaming in Kansas or is there really a little man behind the curtain creating our worst nightmares for us?
Or, are we being led up the Nan River into Cambodia to greet the death of our nation as reflected in the tortured countenance of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz?
My literary mind autonomically searches for quotes, metaphors and allegories to explain events as they occur in real time. Looking back on my decade-long career as an independent publisher, I see that our nation, since before its birth, has been on an odyssey not unlike the one Chief, Clean, Lance, Chef and Captain Willard were on in Apocalypse Now!
I hopped on the USS Conspiracy in May, 1995 as the editor of The Oregon Observer—one month after the OK City bombing. Funny, I remember watching OK City unfold on CNN April 19, 1995, as a typically sleeping American. Then, just 30 days later, I was reporting the conspiratological developments of OK City as they became known, with my eyes opening wider with each revelation.
Since June, 1995, I have published a monthly newspaper (excepting a four-month transition to starting The IO, a computer crash that killed the Nov., 2001 edition and skipping the September editions in 2003 and 2004 to speak at the Mut zur Ethik conference in Austria). By revisiting those months gone by, those waters closed in behind us—as memorialized in my hardcopy print archive—I can see how invisible forces have been guiding us steadily upstream toward a place not of our choosing and, most likely, not of our liking when we arrive. By picking up those old, yellowing editions I can recall where I was physically at the time they were published and where we were as a nation; I can see clearly how we had no idea where we were being taken—but that we’ve been receiving clues all along the way. Upon reflection, we can see that the clues have been coming closer and closer together and have been becoming more and more sinister and severe as we near our final destination.
Remember how, by the time Capt. Willard, Lance and Chef were the only ones left, the evidence was all around that the end of the journey was near and the jungle was alive with death? What we are seeing now in America indicates that we are no longer surfing and taking in USO shows; we are nearing the end of the journey and the jungle is decorated with allegorical severed heads and metaphorical hanging corpses:
Our economy is drowning in public and private debt; "our" government is planning to increase the tax base and restructure Social Security because it cannot steal enough from the American people to finance its operations (which are regulating and imprisoning its citizens, exploiting resources, poisoning the planet and making enemies).
It is ironic how the activities of good men and women are propelling us more quickly toward our final port of call: The tax honesty movement has made it impossible for the government to collect enough "income" taxes so, rather than curb spending, it is planning to tax us deeper into personal bankruptcy and public debt; the link of mercury-laden vaccines and epidemic autism (and the link between aspartame and pandemic neurotoxicity) is causing government and industry to replace those poisons with other poisons—squalene and sucralose; people acting out in protest of the war prompt further restrictions on our First Amendment rights to speak and assemble; pharmaceutical drug producers are being sued for producing government-approved products that main and kill people so Congress is passing laws to prevent drug companies from being sued...
...and so on until the 9/11 truth movement comes so close to exposing the real terrorists another major event launches the next phase of the plan to prepare us for arrival at whatever horrible port of call we must eventually land.
If you haven’t seen Apocalypse Now! you should. Even The End is appropriate to our analogy here. Our job is to push forward, fearlessly and in faith. As we get closer to our destination, our destiny as a nation, we must increase our resolve to do what needs to be done, to force the madmen into exposing themselves and, when the climax comes, when the sharp blade comes down on the sacrificial oxen’s neck, we must endure the tribulation that will inevitably follow with our honor and principles intact. And then, when those who have led us to this horrible place have been (metaphorically) slain, we can throw down the weapons we had no choice but to use as a means to destroy them, get back into our battle-weary boat and begin reversing the journey that took us nearly to the gates of hell.
It is a blessing that God gave us the ability to think in metaphors and allegories. It allows us to see what is going to happen and how to behave when we are called upon to act nobly. It is through the examples in history and in literature that we can clearly see where we were, where we are and where we are going.
Though technology has changed and (we presume) different actors on the world stage are making decisions, the relationship between people and governments has never changed and there are only a couple possible outcomes to events—as they unfolded eons ago or as they unfold today.
By the way: Hearts of Darkness is a documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now! The story behind the filmed scenes deepens the poignancy of using the cinematographic masterpiece as an allegory to our current national circumstances. (DWH)
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