139

Could we have some silence please?

Christine E. Black

At my Quaker Meeting, occasionally someone will say, “Could we have some silence please?” especially during a business meeting, which we call Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business. Someone may request silence when the discussion becomes too contentious, and we are not progressing towards resolution. We wait and listen.

What are we listening for? As corny and old-fashioned as it may sound, we are waiting for guidance from god.

I have been attending the Quaker Meeting for many years now and have felt increasing awe and reverence for this process by which Quakers conduct business. No shouting. No interrupting. Even the most timid, the most outlying or awkward person may be given time to gather her thoughts, to breathe and to speak, perhaps falteringly, even if she has to pause before continuing. People wait. It is quite amazing. I had never seen anything like it.

Quakers do not vote on issues but discuss, sometimes a lot, and tiringly. Members direct comments to the clerk. At its best, there is time for each person who wants to speak to be heard during the meeting. Instead of voting, we try to discern the “sense of the Meeting” before acting. We are trying to discern god’s will. And even one person can change the movement of the group as he or she feels led to speak.

One voice can be the one to heed even if the whole group is going another way – because we believe that all have direct access to god’s guidance, no one person more than another. If the group has not gathered a sense of unity, then the meeting may decide to postpone action. We wait and listen more — and try again at another meeting.

As I have sat in these business meetings, I have noted what a miracle they are to have survived in this form for hundreds of years of Quaker history, women as well as men, speaking and following and leading.

In this contentious time of lockdowns, isolations, staggering losses of livelihoods and social supports, then violence, snarling faces, flying opinions and accusations, burning buildings, crashing glass, and dizzying confusion of language and numbers and messages changing every day, I have longed to hear someone say those words: “Could we have some silence please?”

This signals a pause for us to collect our thoughts and feelings.

Apart from monthly business meetings, our meetings for worship are filled with mostly silence while we wait and listen for god. As led, someone may stand to share what we call vocal ministry, which is usually brief.

After the message is shared, the Meeting then settles into silence once again, so the message has time to live in the air among us. It is also during our Meetings for Worship that we gather strength to act in the world.

At Meeting, all kinds of people gather in silence, old people, couples, single people, families. We haven’t been able to meet in person for months now, and I do not participate in computer meetings because they usually make me queasy.

Flashing Internet images and slogans on social media and other web sites also make me queasy. Anyone can create in seconds a poster with short texts or an image with a caption, and can immediately broadcast it to thousands, even millions. These patched-together messages blink and flash and multiply. I don’t use Twitter, don’t really understand it, but it sounds to me like something a 13-year old boy made up.

Yet, we see public figures use haphazard phrases — tweets (which sounds silly) that instantly become headlines in national newspapers. This cannot be good for our clear thinking or our culture. We can’t even open our email programs without seeing the lowest forms of speech elevated to look like relevant news. We drown in cacophony and mayhem.

Many at protests and riots hold up their devices, filming, and those films and images fill screens and minds. It becomes very hard to think clearly about anything. The Internet has changed our brains, as Nicholas Carr describes in his book, The Shallows. He describes how our attention spans have been shattered by clicking through short texts and flashing images as we are increasingly challenged to sustain even the concentration required to sit and read a whole book, for instance.

Carr summarizes the findings of early computer scientist Joseph Weizenbuam, who notes the danger as we become more intimately involved with our computers and:

experience more of our lives through the disembodied symbols flickering across our screens — is that we’ll begin to lose our humanness, to sacrifice the very qualities that separate us from machines”
The Shallows (p. 207)

Weizenbaum says that to avoid that fate we must:

have the self-awareness and courage to refuse to delegate to computers the most human of our mental activities and intellectual pursuits, particularly ‘tasks that demand wisdom’”
ibid. (p. 208)

Images, language, repetitions flash too quickly for adequate processing and wise decisions. They repeat across TV stations that call themselves news but work more like advertising.

For instance, inanimate objects like face masks, become imbued with values and feelings like care, protection, altruism, even membership in a community, regardless of conflicting information on their effectiveness to prevent the spread of a virus.

Similarly, Coke can come to represent fun and belonging through repetition, language, and images; a cigarette brand can endow someone masculine strength; Campbell’s soup can represent nurturing.

Advertising is also used to pressure us into conformity, for instance, wear this brand of athletic shoes, and you will exude status and success. Now, advertising strategies become mixed with daily bombarding messages, and it becomes very hard to think independently. Once advertising works, it does not matter what the facts may be.

Could we have some silence please?

Lately, I find myself longing for a Ticonderoga number two pencil, soft lead, rustling steadily over nubby white paper. I am reminded of one of my poetry teachers describing how long it can take to craft a good poem or to compose a whole poetry manuscript. “You know what it’s like,” he said. “It’s like carving a chair.”

I remember how long it takes to learn to play the violin, to learn to draw. These slower, more methodical activities strengthen our brains for concentration; they build pathways for creativity, for problem-solving, ultimately for more careful thinking, for judgement and wisdom, which we seem to be increasingly lacking now.

Shouts and crashes, burning and shooting reverberate through Chicago, Illinois where there were 18 murders in 24 hours this past weekend, according to The Chicago Sun Times. “The most violent weekend in the city’s modern history,” the paper reported.

Eighty-five people were shot and 24 killed in just one weekend. “And no police were anywhere,” the story stated.

On May 31, there were 65,000 911 calls, which was 50,000 more than a usual day, the paper reported, while just a couple of weeks ago, the mayor of that city, as well as other governors and mayors around the county, threatened to jail or fine people who were out anywhere, even small groups.

Young people have been out in massive gatherings now all over the country with small and large businesses looted and destroyed, fires raging in buildings and churches, car windshields smashed and car bodies burned, belying mainstream media reports that the protests were mostly “peaceful.”

We can’t lockdown whole societies for months, rip down whole social fabrics without dire consequences. Young people had no school, no graduations to attend, no sports activities or clubs; they lost part-time jobs pieced together at restaurants or coffee shops; they have had no grandmothers making them go to church youth group or funerals or family picnics because there have been none of these. Just weeks and weeks inside with video games and cell phones and what else?

There is a deep breakdown of trust in our institutions and the means by which we get information. Forty million people are unemployed, a quarter of the U.S. population. A black man is killed by a policeman, almost three months into lockdown. What tinderbox is inside – the killer, the victim, and everyone else?

Can we have some silence, please?

We hear cries to defund the police, but I remember that an average police officer makes about as much as a public-school teacher. The African American police chief in Seattle may disagree with this proposal to defund the police as her entire department has been disbanded with the building taken over by protesters and rioters.

Instead of defunding local police departments, we may consider starting by defunding a fighter jet or two. One of them costs about 89.2 million dollars, according to Lockheed Martin’s web site.

Or, perhaps cutting a nuclear submarine or two. Twelve of them will cost 128 billion dollars, according to an April 8, 2019 Time magazine story.

How many literacy programs for children, teens, and young adults in Chicago would some of that money fund? How many small business loans for black business owners would it provide?

A kid may call the police when his father is beating up his mother. He would want the police to be there. Police get called when someone is suicidal, wielding a knife, maybe high on meth or Fentanyl.

Police have to deal with assaultive mentally ill people shouting in their face; they have to deal with protestors with clubs – and try to contain violence, protect themselves and others, and not get anyone hurt or killed. It is a very hard job, my cop friends have described to me.

One of my friends teased me, saying that maybe I should join him on the right-wing side of politics. I reminded him that I am not on anyone’s wing. In fact, I believe the wings, right and left, have outlived their meanings and their usefulness and think they should lift on the wind and fly off, making room for more independent thinking and more options.

“It’s the responsibility of the alternative media to hit the pause button, to take a breath and not be swept away along with the emotional current,” writes an editor of Off-Guardian magazine, a site developed by writers and thinkers who had been banned from making comments on the Open Comments section of the mainstream U.K paper, The Guardian.

We are in treacherous times when independent thinkers and writers, who question dominant narratives, may be banned from speaking or writing – or worse, lose friends or family members or jobs. This development is deeply sad and worrisome.

Could we have some silence, please?

Seeing computer images of riots, massive looting, a black woman crying over her destroyed business, a black man, DC city employee, in required mask and gloves, outside in the heat, cleaning graffiti from the Lincoln Memorial, I long for one of our elder members, Tim Hall, to stand up and say what I imagine he might after we have sat in a long silence. He may share a message about god’s surrounding love for all of us, no matter who we are.

He might remind us, in his corny, old-fashioned way that I have often found comforting, that in spite of its challenges, this is a mostly good world that God has given us to care for.

Christine E. Black’s work has been published in The American Journal of Poetry, New Millennium Writings, Nimrod International, The Virginia Journal of Education, Friends Journal, Sojourners Magazine, English Journal, Amethyst Review, and other publications. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Pablo Neruda Prize.

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Reader
Reader
Jun 24, 2020 5:44 AM

 

Patrick C
Patrick C
Jun 24, 2020 5:40 AM

Just lovely. I almost didn’t read it because I’m an atheist and a Quaker meeting seems like another century. But couldn’t we just use another century right now? 2020 is a century too far. We are seeing the future and are desperate to unsee it. It also caught me in a personal moment when the noise is so overwhelming I can’t think at all, never mind straight. So yes please, let’s have a little silence, maybe even a lot.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jul 2, 2020 2:14 AM
Reply to  Patrick C

“I’m an atheist and a Quaker meeting seems like another century. But couldn’t we just use another century right now?”

Find a meeting house and go along. They won’t throw you out just because you claim to be an atheist. If you don’t shove it down their throats they’re unlikely to even throw it up. And they won’t rope you in if you decide it’s not–or only occasionally–for you. Just don’t try to tell them what for. Or demand to they get “the Reverend” to referee. That sort of thing gets them foaming at the mouth.

Captain Spock
Captain Spock
Jun 23, 2020 11:58 PM

Really fresh to read your words and remember the silence and the stillness which is always there… Every time i settle into that realm, everything is made fresh again, and solutions to seemingly impossible situations arise naturally, free from the distortions of the crazed social conditioning of the ego… It’s the most ordinary and natural state of Being, and as such it’s the most extraordinary amidst the madness…

Mr Y
Mr Y
Jun 23, 2020 7:52 AM

Can we have some silence please and think?

Tom Sessions
Tom Sessions
Jun 23, 2020 9:08 AM
Reply to  Mr Y

Can we have some silence please and think?

 
No. Or at least, not if by “think” we mean something like deliberate conceptualising, churning through ideas, working things out; activity.
 
It’s more like “silence please and wait” — wait for the mind to settle so that one is better able to become discern the “shape” of the situation, already in the background awareness.
 
So it’s more like “receiving” than “thinking”, but the receiving is something like “detecting”?

Mr Y
Mr Y
Jun 23, 2020 11:15 AM
Reply to  Tom Sessions

Waiting in silence is not for me, actively trying to understand is my cup of tea. Silence helps.

Tom Sessions
Tom Sessions
Jun 26, 2020 8:52 AM
Reply to  Mr Y

“Understanding” may be overrated, of course (if it’s just coming up with a conceptualisation or a self-consistent story based on previous ideas; it’s not necessarily insightful or meaningful).
 
The point of the silence isn’t that it’s just void or undirected; the context of the silence (the topic of the meeting for instance, in the article examples) has an implicit direction to it. No more “action” is required than that – in fact it tends to constrain what’s likely to come up. That “activity” potentially doesn’t just ripple the water making it less likely you’ll perceive the ground of facts; it traps you within the ripples and makes the ripples seem like they are the facts.
 
“Actively trying to understand” has the same nature as “detecting in the background”, but it’s trapped in the froth. It’s not just silence in the sense of staying quiet for a bit so you can think better. Rather, it’s getting to the “before” of thinking.

TorG
TorG
Jun 25, 2020 10:48 PM
Reply to  Mr Y

All the unhappiness of men arises from one simple fact: that they cannot sit quietly in their chamber.
― Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

David Latham
David Latham
Jun 23, 2020 12:34 AM

Very thought provoking article Christine. Your articles always are. I will definitely begin to implement the practice of taking time to be silent and listen for the voice of God.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 23, 2020 5:48 AM
Reply to  David Latham

Beg pardon, David, but another reader has already pointed out that Christine listens for the voice of god. Are you sure your two private direct lines — to god and to God — are not crossed?

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 10:31 PM

“There is a deep breakdown of trust in our institutions and the means by which we get information. …. Can we have some silence, please?”
 
I prefer truth to silence: “Can we have some truth, please?”.
 
That is why I prefer Truther sites such as OffG to general pleas for the silence in which each member of the discussion can listen in on their direct line to god. But media are good because discussion itself is good: “Connect, only Connect” — EM Forster.
 
But the only way to repair that “deep breakdown of trust in our institutions” is to speak the truth about conspirators like TB.Liar, strip him of his ill-gotten millions, his Goldman Sachs fees and his Rothschild directorships, then hang him “pour encourager les autres”.

John Goss
John Goss
Jun 22, 2020 10:01 PM

“We can’t lockdown whole societies for months, rip down whole social fabrics without dire consequences. Young people had no school, no graduations to attend, no sports activities or clubs; they lost part-time jobs pieced together at restaurants or coffee shops; they have had no grandmothers making them go to church youth group or funerals or family picnics because there have been none of these.”

What is worse this virus is less lethal than common flu.
 
https://johnplatinumgoss.com/2020/06/22/never-again/

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jul 2, 2020 1:51 AM
Reply to  John Goss

“What is worse this virus is less lethal than common flu.”

Could it be that, for some viruses, immediate morbidity or lethality is an inappropriate or even irrelevant metric, not one that is–so to speak–the ‘intent’ of the virus? However, whatever is the ‘intent’ of this virus (which, incidentally, is a single strand of encapsulated RNA that, unlike many RNA viruses, has–like most DNA–an error checking mechanism that serves to help establish persistence) was there a significant probability that its high degree of infectivity could overwhelm the fragile (some might say dangerously overelaborated) public health systems that would be called upon to contain it, should it show or attain greater near-immediate or future morbidity or lethality?

Could it be that those who have come to rely on a provision of public healh constructed on a possibly excessively unbalanced understanding of that function but who at any subsequent time have appealed to what they chose to have temporarily co-opted in the service of other causes as ‘the precautionary principle’ be made to wash their mouths (as well as their face masks) out with soap for every single time they have done so?

Could it be that those who have allowed conceptual ‘viruses’ of intractable false binaries to infect the provision of both private and public health (and other) services false, winner-takes-all binaries such as, but not exclusively such as, Pasteurization v Béchampianism (the latter having consequently been denied any academically intelligent assessment of its intrinsic value until, ironically, the early 21st century allopathic ‘discovery’ of the internal, symbiotic ‘biome’ as a direct result of their rigidly pasteurized* investigations into the ‘genome’) are simply ‘reaping the whirlwind’?

Could it be that you just don’t like sucking it up?

* c.f. the post-Batista funding of ‘health services’ in Cuba.

John Goss
John Goss
Jul 3, 2020 11:23 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

First Robbobbobin your comment misled me with the italics. I wondered if you were quoting. I read this article but do not know enough about COVID-19 to b e specific especially when pure strains of the virus are not being tested.
 
https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/
 
 
 

Dave Aldridge
Dave Aldridge
Jun 22, 2020 8:58 PM

Christine Black’s article/essay on the state of affairs in the world is thought provoking and pertinent to everything that ails us as a nation and as a people. We Americans are in this situation together. Our problems are uniquely ours. We must stop demonizing each other and begin a dialogue with each other and indeed with our Creator. Asking for a little silence is the correct thing to do, and to be able to do this we have to rein in our egos first. Then and only then can we even have a chance to hear the ‘still small Voice of God’. Then and only then can we bring true wisdom and compassion to the table where we can begin to find solutions for our common problems.We need a higher perspective and we can only get that from our Creator.

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
Jun 22, 2020 7:17 PM

An article written by someone who is clearly a servile halfwit ? Or an Onion piece drowning in a Swiftian gravy of sardonic sarcasm or bizarre irony
 
 
 

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 22, 2020 8:32 PM
Reply to  Jim McDonagh

“bizarre irony”

Indeed. I quote you from below:

[The internet] “brings out the worst traits in humans since it was rolled out around 1990.”

That I do agree with Mr McDonagh. Your own words describe you perfectly.

Reader
Reader
Jun 24, 2020 6:03 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

I think this article describes an effort to gather wisdom and strength from both the silences and from listening. It reads to me like a form of antidote to the sh**show that surrounds us now. I have visited various Quaker meetings over the years and found them inspiring and refreshing, full of goodness, kindness, strength. While skimming the chatter of a few of these comments, I reminded of another reason I liked the meetings so much: most people are not there. In addition, people are quiet until they have something meaningful to say.

Felix Culpa
Felix Culpa
Jun 22, 2020 6:12 PM

Left and Right were always emotional categories and do nothing but muddy the intellectual waters as intended.
Social progress cannot happen outside of the moral order. Viktor Frankl’s observation that “Man does not create his own essence; rather, he detects it” is the philosophical key to a return of societal tranquility.
Unofficial yet regnant political correctness is the oligarchic, man- made substitution for the moral law.
An example: the U.S. Supreme Court has always existed to impose the will of the oligarchs upon the people. Justice Anthony Kennedy enshrined their unofficial rule as the very stuff of Liberty in the Casey decision with the words: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
This is true; but it rests at the heart, not of liberty, but of political control.

jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 3:41 PM

there is video from v megre called creation about caring for the world. it shows people who moved to the land and idea for future. in russia they already have legal template for rapid development of land with fruit orchards and happy children. there is lots of land so i thik we should focus on this to solve unemployment and health issues and leave tech on the backburner.

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jun 22, 2020 12:13 PM

The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time.

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
Jun 22, 2020 7:22 PM
Reply to  Steve Hayes

True , but it is also absolutely Amoral and brings out the worst traits in humans since it was rolled out around 1990..

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 22, 2020 8:29 PM
Reply to  Jim McDonagh

Yes, your other post on this thread being demonstrable proof of that.

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jun 23, 2020 11:27 AM
Reply to  Jim McDonagh

All tools are amoral. And like any tool the Internet can be used in ways that are beneficial and ways that are harmful. Those who attack the Internet and freedom of expression are the contemporary book burners, witch hunters, and inquisitors of heresy.

Tom
Tom
Jun 22, 2020 11:54 AM

Why are you so silent about the BLM maniacs, supported by the big capitalists of the world? Good writers like Steppling is silent too. Americans, also those far left, are so blinded by skin colour that they refuse all critical thinking. If you are black, you must be supported, no matter what. I am waiting for a critical article about this dangerous movement.

Howard
Howard
Jun 22, 2020 1:11 PM
Reply to  Tom

You must learn to understand what “danger” actually consists of. Locking down the world; forcing people into “protective” gear which causes more harm than good’; threatening to infect every man, woman and child on the planet with a toxic witches’ brew in order to “safeguard” them from the boogeyman – these are the things that constitute “danger” in the real world. Speaking out again systemic racism does not constitute a “danger” – except to racists, who relish their privileged status in society.

jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 2:08 PM
Reply to  Howard

lockdowns are inherently racist, ageist, ableist, classist and sexist. the vaxx cult specifically targets women with vaccines during pregnancy. what sort of terror have pregnant women and their babie faced under this covid regime? what has happened to all the love relationships that were supposed to begin this spring?

jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 2:23 PM
Reply to  jess

jeanice barcelo has videos on concious conception and the dark side of modern medicine. she explains the ritual abuse and trauma based family destruction disguised behind hospital births. the extra torment under these covid measures is probably diabolicaly evil.

Elrin
Elrin
Jun 22, 2020 6:32 PM
Reply to  jess

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxap8J7UKIc&feature=emb_rel_end Thank, I’d never heard of her but have listened to the guy she’s interviewing here though.

Elrin
Elrin
Jun 22, 2020 9:41 PM
Reply to  Elrin
jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 10:47 PM
Reply to  Elrin

i might check it later. the first one was maybe birt canal or something. im listening to miley # is it love or is it art? had some aboriganal live concert earlier. fun, fun, fun.

Arsebiscuits
Arsebiscuits
Jun 22, 2020 1:12 PM
Reply to  Tom

Even the daily mail has done an investigation on BLM on their left wing radicalism and their corporatist make over

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8441405/The-avowed-aims-British-arm-Black-Lives-Matter.html

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 22, 2020 3:13 PM
Reply to  Arsebiscuits

Thanks, I’d missed that.
 
From UK Column: Connected BLM ‘hero’ may be more than meets the eye – Celebrated for saving a right-wing counter-demonstrator, ‘hero’ Patrick Hutchinson, pictured in military-issue tactical gloves, says on LinkedIn he worked as a senior project manager for Universal Private Equity but now is an “elite personal trainer”, whose fellow protestors work for Ark Protection Ltd.
 
David Wilks-Carmichael who incorporated BLM Ltd on June 8th 2020 is also linked to Universal Private Equity
 
From Daily mail:
At Companies House, a firm called Black Lives Matter Limited was set up this month by one David Wilks-Carmichael, who calls himself a ‘venture capital consultant’ — on paper, a strangely capitalistic profession for anyone associated with anti-capitalists.
Mr Wilks-Carmichael has been a director of 17 companies, of which 15 have been dissolved and only one has ever filed accounts.
His only other active company, Universal Private Equity, is not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and appears to be based in a service office in the City of London. According to its most recent financial statements, it has just £5,000 in the bank.
 
When I reached Mr Wilks-Carmichael by telephone this week, he insisted he had nothing to do with the actual Black Lives Matter campaign, still less its British offshoot. He said he had simply formed the company to ‘do some things to hopefully help the social advancement of black people’.
A second company, Black Lives Matter Worldwide Ltd, was also set up this month, by one Omomize Rock. Its registered office is a terrace house in Swindon. No one at the address was available for comment.
The leaders of Black Lives Matter UK appear to be facing a growing number of inquiries from supporters about the group’s lack of transparency.
 

Reachable Spike
Reachable Spike
Jun 22, 2020 7:18 PM
Reply to  Tom

Extremist belligerents — with an accent on “belligerents” because extremism in some cases can be what is called for — get an inordinate amount of attention from the media. I doubt very much that most black people want to damage the neighborhoods in which they live. Similarly, I think that most gay couples who want to get married would simply move on if they encountered a baker unwilling for religious reasons to bake them a cake (rather than file a lawsuit.) Similarly also, I think that most transgender people see the injustice in allowing boys and men with well-developed secondary characteristics to participate in women’s sports.
 
The trouble is, these issues become cause célèbres, create polarization and give rise to resentment if not backlash against the affected groups. And with the polarization comes pressure on the members of the groups to endorse the belligerent cause because the alternative would seem to be to endorse the enmity.
 
The Off-Guardian did a good article that was critical of the violence and questioned its motives. A lonely voice among the left, it appears. People within the affected demographics that question the extremism seem more or less relegated to right-wing publications.

crank
crank
Jun 23, 2020 9:16 AM
Reply to  Tom

Is it possible to make sense of the trajectory of BLM/ Antifa without looking into some deeply taboo subject matter ? I say it is not. This is how I understand the relative silence on the Left as compared to the dissident Right on what is unfolding in America and the West generally.

The Left are wrong footed. The Left define themselves as the opponents of orthodoxy, yet at this moment the cultural current of society is wholly Leftwing, and anyone who identifies otherwise is considered a dangerous threat by the establishment. The media narrative bias is all to the Left at the moment. Government departments, the executive and political parties all display the rainbow insignia of wokeness, as do all major corporations. The ‘non-woke Left’ who have warned of the distracting aspects of identity politics replacing class concerns or the fight against imperialism face a difficult choice : either join the hysterical cultural revolution (with caveats that will echo like whispers in an avalanche); stand against it and be grouped with the Right (or what is left of it); or, remain silent and hope that the proclaimations that ‘silence is violence’ will just go away (they will not).
The power group behind this movement (and I encourage anyone to read widely) are the same as those who have reached the very top of political and economic control too.
Time for some major honesty.

Bas
Bas
Jun 22, 2020 11:28 AM

Human life consist out of coded genes. We pass them on to future generations. On that journey some changes are made by mixing. If that not happen inbreeding occur. Resulting in known facts. One of them have to do with thinking. The result of all human thinking have a name. World history is written proof. Religion, believing in others have done the thinking part, is in that history a quid line of the best results of genes on survival mode. Killing opponents have gotten the name war. A natural human gene action to make sure of survival. We, all of humans, are the result of nature at work. Faintly we remember. Living a life, ever, was better. For all we know it is true. On sub atom level, dust, never ever a complain was received. This future home will be heavenly, with silence as characteristic, for ever.

John Goss
John Goss
Jun 22, 2020 10:58 AM

Although I haven’t been to a Quaker meeting for a few years there is something about meeting that is endearing (including the silence). My thesis was about English novelist and papermaker, Robert Bage (d. 1801), who in “Man as he is” has a Quaker lady, Miss Carlill. (the character probably based on Mary Knowles) in courtship conversation with WIlliam Lindsay towards the end of the last volume. The dialogue goes:
“I like not the doings of thy steeple-house,” said the lady, “there is much noise and little devotion. Thy worship is mechanical.”
“I like very much the devotion of the friends,” answered Mr. Lindsay, “as long as it is silent. When the spirit gets into the bowels, the sighs and groans of so many troubled minds afflict me sorely. When it mounts into the tongue, so seldom it proveth it to be the spirit of wisdom, that I grow sick of heavenly things.”
“Thou art wicked,” said the lady. “If I take thee, it is out of pity for thy poor soul.”
“I take thee,” said the gentleman, “out of pity to thy poor body.”
So they took one another.
 
Bage is a greatly underestimated author. I try when I can to promote his literary talents.
 
I am very fond of Friends and believe their work in the peace movement over the centuries has been second to none.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 9:56 PM
Reply to  John Goss

@John Goss: “Bage is a greatly underestimated author.”
 
Thanks for the tip. Apparently from a Google search, “His work was much admired by urban anarchist reformers such as Godwin”. Which connects Bage, through Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley née Godwin (1797–1851) who wrote the classic Gothic science fiction novel Frankenstein, to her militant feminist mother Mary Wollstonecraft, to her Romantic husband the poet and philosopher Shelley and pivotal turn-of-the-century British movers, shakers and general troublemakers such as Greek freedom fighter Lord Byron “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. All these threads are still influential, having been woven into the fabric of modern times; including your quoted happy ending, a proto-Hegelian synthesis in which her Quaker concern for his soul happily marries his Utilitarian concern for her body.
 
“Nature provides us with a happy example of the synthesis of opposites, with the highest and the lowest functions of the body united in the same organ.” — Hegel

John Goss
John Goss
Jun 22, 2020 10:35 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

@ Dr NG Maroudas
 
Indeed. And William Godwin made a special visit to Bage at his paper-mill in Elford, Staffs. He was not there but a servant told Godwin that he would find Bage on the road walking home to Tamworth, which he did. They had a lively conversation and Godwin wrote to Mary Wollstonecraft about it. She had already reviewed two of his novels. There is one known letter from Bage to Godwin in which he asks whether Godwin can help a local liberal clergyman, Richard Davies, who Bage introduced him to in Tamworth.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 23, 2020 5:01 AM
Reply to  John Goss

Yes, today’s world was already conceived and stirring lustily in England’s Romantic womb. Among the movers and shakers in their Free Thinking circle I forgot to mention Byron’s daughter, Ada Countess Lovelace the computer designer.

Reader
Reader
Jun 24, 2020 6:14 AM
Reply to  John Goss

Thank you for this excerpt. I have often appreciated the humour of Friends. I, too, have admired their work in the peace movement.

John Goss
John Goss
Jul 2, 2020 4:00 PM
Reply to  Reader

Though, I think he may have been a Quaker at some time in his life, and supportive of the sect, there is no evidence to show that he was. Certainly for the last twenty years of his life he was (a liberal) Anglican.
 

Mavis Cruet
Mavis Cruet
Jun 22, 2020 10:38 AM

Is Christine any relation to Catte?

Admin1
Admin
Admin1
Jun 22, 2020 11:23 AM
Reply to  Mavis Cruet

None at all

bob
bob
Jun 22, 2020 10:00 AM

No way out
 

 
 

bob
bob
Jun 22, 2020 8:54 AM

“So, try as we might, what is missing is a great hammer against the narrative from which is issued a devastating psychological manipulation; a hammer that smashes that narrative to pieces. Moreover, and quite stunningly, there is no evident collective desire to obtain one, nor even the ability to recognise circumstances where such a thing is more essential than it ever has been”
 
https://tinyurl.com/y9954ukj
 
 
we have been too quiet for too long – all the analysis in the world has led us to a dead end!
 
Simon Dolan in the High Court on 2nd July seems to be the only hope in the slow stroll to freedom. The government argues there’s no case to answer. The people remain ‘happy’ in their confinement
 
 

jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 3:07 PM
Reply to  bob

there is always the get well soon lyric video.

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 22, 2020 8:22 PM
Reply to  bob

“we have been too quiet for too long”

You’re missing the point.

Who is “we”?

If you stop dividing the world into “us” and “them” (usually the narrative is “us” the “oppressed” and “them” the “oppressors”) then you have to revise the scope of your “we”.

If “we” is everyone (literally everyone) rather than your chosen oppressed group then everyone being “quiet” (literally everyone) would essentially mean an end to all oppression and war.

See?

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
Jun 22, 2020 8:01 AM

“I don’t use Twitter, don’t really understand it, but it sounds to me like something a 13-year old boy made up.”
Or somebody who wants you to think like a thirteen year old.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 7:57 AM

Such generalized expressions of good will are always welcome in general; if everybody were like that, the world would be a better place:
 
“Waiting for the silence / Which shall be the silence of God” — TS Eliot
 
But in time of war, polemics are trump, and spokespeople for the good are forced to take side on specific issues. Same thing applies in the physical realm: defenders of the good are forced to take up guns because that is the only way to stop bad people with guns.
 
So, with genuine respect to Quakers and allied millions of good folk quietly shining their little candles in this naughty world, allow me to post this video Link to a Syrian girl in the Land of Oz, and her specific polemic against the latest Con from Uncle $cam — not Con-911, nor Con-WMD, nor Con-19 but Con-BLM:
 
https://youtu.be/TbTSC4yvVpc

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 22, 2020 12:55 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

A great polemic – delivered with the verve that comes naturally to Syrian Girl.

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 6:02 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Behind that flaming red lipstick logo, Syrian Girl conceals a PhD in Physics. Hope she gets to practice her vocation once the war against Syria is over. I have always regarded political activity as something that is occasionally necessary but usually as futile as ploughing the sea. Natural sciences are the real deal.
 
“To the sure ground of Nature trusts the mind that builds for aye.” — Wordsworth
 
 
 
 
 

Howard
Howard
Jun 22, 2020 3:35 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

I think the push back against BLM is as suspect as the gushing praise – and just as likely to be couched in an agenda not yet revealed. Whatever faults surround BLM, nothing can change the worthiness of the cause it claims to support.
 
I’ve read how it serves the ruling elites’ interests to protest against racism – and the arguments make perfect sense, especially the “divide and conquer” argument. However, once people start protesting racism in earnest they just might end up, like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, widening their arc of protest to include the corporate imperium overtaking the whole world. And this is a connection the ruling class will never allow.

Admin1
Admin
Admin1
Jun 22, 2020 3:52 PM
Reply to  Howard

BLM is a multi-million dollar elite-controlled private army/theatre troupe. It will never widen its sphere of interest to include anything that even remotely threatens the interests that run it and expect a return on their investment.

Howard
Howard
Jun 22, 2020 4:21 PM
Reply to  Admin1

I won’t try to defend BLM itself since almost every thoughtful pundit, left and right, pretty much excoriates it. However, I think the expression “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” bears relevance here. After all, BLM is not the totality of the protesters.
 
If – and yes, it’s a very huge “IF” – a lot of those who BLM directs and handles start thinking independently of the BLM regime, they just might find they must move beyond BLM’s narrowly defined focus. Stranger things have happened.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 22, 2020 6:13 PM
Reply to  Howard

The ’60s counter culture movement was an example of that. Once it had served its purpose of distracting from the anti-war movement, it was quickly closed down with a series of murders at pop concerts, the early deaths of a large number of leaders and musicians, and above all by fake revolutionary groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) that were set up to be taken down.
 
BLM is nowhere near the reach of the counter culture and would not be allowed to approach that level of influence.
 
Mae Brussell’s How Do You Tell a CIA Espionage Plot from a Revolutionary, Radical, Terrorist Guerrilla Army? http://www.prouty.org/brussell/hearst_1.html

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 7:14 PM
Reply to  Howard

there is something strangely propagandistic about Admin 1.

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 3:16 AM
nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 3:14 AM

where is my comment about the cuban police?
im going to post the link again separately in case that was the problem.

gordon
gordon
Jun 22, 2020 1:03 AM

 
i was at cern earlier collecting negative energies noise from cern gran sasso italy and operation ice cube near little america.
 
i was adjusting the monitor as the screams where very noisy even at speaker level 3
as i changed the channel for some light quiet relief i found an interesting filum on the age old corona issue which has clearly been at hand for some great amount of times
 
bot out
 
Coronavirus – 1970s Public Information Film 

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 22, 2020 6:16 AM
Reply to  gordon

A brilliant reworking of Protect and Survive (1975) and Never Go With Strangers (1971). Anyone spot any other public information films they used? 

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 12:46 AM

if the police kill approx 1000 people per year, as in the usa, it is a corrupt and evil system and no decent person, esp a religious person, should support it. it should be abolished and rebuilt from the ground up. try the cuban model:
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/21/lessons-cuban-police?cd-origin=rss
 
“Contrary to the image of brutal and repressive communists, police in Cuba offer an instructive example for activists in the United States. Police live in the cities they patrol. They generally treat citizens with respect. As I documented in my book Dateline Havana, police beatings of criminals are rare and police murders are nonexistent. Cuba has one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America.”

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jun 22, 2020 12:17 PM
Reply to  nomad

And it isn’t a capitalist regime.

jess
jess
Jun 22, 2020 6:45 PM
Reply to  Steve Hayes

the hunza dont have police coz there is no crime. they eat dried apricots and stuff. i did hear in cuba they had much health benefits from growing their own food when there was oil crisis. the health would effect crime including behaviour of police. i tend to think a different word should be found for police. maybe apricoats?

aspnaz
aspnaz
Jun 22, 2020 12:08 AM

We can’t lockdown whole societies for months, rip down whole social fabrics without dire consequences.

 
Completely agree with this statement and am completely convinced that it is intentional. The divisions in western society have also been created intentionally. It is always difficult to distinguish planning from opportunity, but these last four years of Trump in power have been the most revealing of any modern period.
 
The US democrats and their powerful supporters have revealed that they no longer believe in the existing democratic system and have implemented a cold coup from within the USA. Like many left-wing uprisings throughout history, their motivation is an emotional belief that there must be a better way of life, but they do not have a majic wand that can create that Nirvana, and they do not have the details of that new world worked out, so are unable to sell it and get majority support.
 
The motivation can only be the destruction of the USA, for whatever reason. I have read a number of theories on the motivations, but am still searching for more. The cold coup has now progressed to starting riots under the guise of racial tension.
 
The cold coup is moving towards a hot coup and will result in the second civil war in the USA and all that means for the US allies, especially the UK. I do not believe that all the Democrats are complicit, but with the powerful MSM on their side it only takes a few to make the majority believe. People want to believe, which is why they are so easy to lead astray.
 
The article is a longing for the good old days, the days when the Quakers were able to renounce violence while they enjoyed the safety of living in the British Empire which did the violence necessary to keep them comfortable, educated and safe. Handing over your responsibilities to defend your own is something I will never condone: the Quakers did just that, so I have no time for their port-renaissance Nirvana thinking.

aspnaz
aspnaz
Jun 22, 2020 12:09 AM
Reply to  aspnaz

Here is a link to an article that tries to get to the bottom of why people are trying to destroy the western way of life … https://www.theburningplatform.com/2020/06/18/the-enemy-within-2

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Jun 22, 2020 12:05 PM
Reply to  aspnaz

Aspnaz seems to have found The Enemy Within, and they are The Reds Under
Our Beds. Complete with Link to a pensioned U$ spook with dazzling credentials: “had the experience of actually living in a Communist country.”

aspnaz
aspnaz
Jun 22, 2020 12:14 PM
Reply to  Dr NG Maroudas

A closed mind will never find the answer or get anything close. I go to lots of sites: left wing crazy (MoA, although less recently as they have become irrelevant) and right wing crazy (tommy Robinson, breibart) because I am not afraid of other people’s opinions. You are.

FYI, credentials can be bought, they mean nothing, the point is that the article holds together. He may be wrong but it is an intelligent analysis worth considering. Live in the money, like your cat, your cat does not judge you before accepting food from you, as long as it is good food. BTW I hate cats, bit you have to respect them.

I shall await your analysis of what is happening.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 22, 2020 2:25 AM
Reply to  aspnaz

“Left wing uprising,” that is a nonsense term. If anything it appears more like a fight between a gang of corporate fascist oligarch mobster psychopaths about the division of the carcass from their latest kill– WE THE PEOPLE being the prey.
 
https://www.deviantart.com/redamerican1945/art/Eugene-V-Debs-Republican-Democratic-Party-674343047

aspnaz
aspnaz
Jun 22, 2020 11:55 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

I don’t know whether this is more about money than ideology. I often wonder why people like Soros, Gates, Dorsey are so determined to change a world that has been so very good to them.

But they continue to pump money into Antifa, BLM and other political vehicles that do the cheap “divide and conquer” strategies that divide society for … for what? These are billionaires, so it ain’t about fairness or egalitarian society.

Remember when it was all about climate change? The evidence was so corrupted that it was impossible to work out whether any of it was true.

They now encourage defunding the police. What greater attack is there on the middle class than defunding the police?

If this was a shit fight between oligarchs, why would they involve the plebs?

But, I am guessing that you are as much in the dark as I am, I am just trying to find an explanation, all the time cautiously staying away from the explanations provided by money.

Paul
Paul
Jun 21, 2020 11:35 PM

Naïve, but a decent catharsis.
 
Again, from a completely different (Black) point of view on defunding and ending most cop shops.
 
Glen Ford:
 
Abolition of the police begins with community control, in which community representatives not only hire, fire and oversee the cops, but decide the nature of the policing that is necessary and acceptable.
 
“Movements are about amassing power to the people, not collecting promises from corporate flunkies.”
 
The wave of people’s protests across the nation, backed by solidarity actions in cities around the world, has caused the corporate oligarchy and its servants to make promises they can’t keep and give lip service to programs they have always resisted. The Congressional Black Caucus, the vast bulk of whose members backed militarization of local police and elevation of cops to the status of “protected” class, now claims to favor limits on police arsenals, less legal immunities for cops and a grab-bag of other reforms they previously dismissed out of hand. Mayors that know damn well they will have to cut spending across the board due to catastrophic loss of tax revenues during the current, Covid-induced Great Depression, now profess that they plan to withhold funds from cops in deference to the “defund the police” movement. They’re a bunch of Kente-clothed liars, of course, but movements are about amassing power to the people, not collecting promises from corporate flunkies. That means demanding community control of the police, and of those funds that local governments are supposedly diverting from the police to social programs.
 
If anything has been learned from the past half century of Black reliance on Democratic Party politicians, it is that no lasting victories can be achieved without the transfer of control of public resources directly to the people. That was the meaning of “All Power to the People” when the phrase was coined, and must remain the goal of the movement, today. 
 
“No lasting victories can be achieved without the transfer of control of public resources directly to the people.”
 
Although there is no intrinsic contradiction between the three most-voiced demands of the current movement — community control of police, defunding the police, and abolition of policing as we know it – only proposals for community control of the police directly confront the issue of power in the here and now, and also address demands for direct democracy and Black self-determination. Community control of the police was essential to the formation of the Black Panther Party, and has been an active demand of Chicago organizers since 2012.  Support for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) has grown from only one of the 50-member city council (board of aldermen) to 19 co-sponsors  of the enabling legislation. Last fall, more than a thousand activists from across the country met in Chicago to endorse the concept of community control of police, and pledged to fight for its enactment in 22 cities – a list that has grown with the wave of George Floyd protests. 
 
+–+
 
Then, the addictive nature of screens, i.e. phones? All planned dopamine hit experiment — here in a not exactly revolutionary article — by Trevor Haynes
 
“I feel tremendous guilt,” admitted Chamath Palihapitiya, former Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, to an audience of Stanford students. He was responding to a question about his involvement in exploiting consumer behavior. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works,” he explained. In Palihapitiya’s talk, he highlighted something most of us know but few really appreciate: smartphones and the social media platforms they support are turning us into bona fide addicts. While it’s easy to dismiss this claim as hyperbole, platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram leverage the very same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible. Taking a closer look at the underlying science may give you pause the next time you feel your pocket buzz.
 
The human brain contains four major dopamine “pathways,” or connections between different parts of the brain that act as highways for chemical messages called neurotransmitters. Each pathway has its own associated cognitive and motor (movement) processes. Three of these pathways—the mesocortical, mesolimbic, and nigrostriatal pathways—are considered our “reward pathways” and have been shown to be dysfunctional in most cases of addiction. They are responsible for the release of dopamine in various parts of the brain, which shapes the activity of those areas. The fourth, the tuberoinfundibular pathway, regulates the release of a hormone called prolactin that is required for milk production.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Jun 22, 2020 7:19 AM
Reply to  Paul

Lots to agree with but the crisis COULD SHRINK local and state level government, rendering local policing moot: Huge layoffs expected as state and local governments deficit nears $1 trillion by 2021.
 
No wonder U.S. Treasury has held numerous meetings discussing Digital IDs, whether chips or tattoos, to allow federal level monitoring of a supine population.
 
https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/21/watch-james-corbett-interviews-rosemary-frei/#comment-194758

Maxwell
Maxwell
Jun 21, 2020 11:25 PM

The last thing in the world we need right now is silence.
 
Audre Lorde – Your Silence Will Not Protect You 
 

 
“What I most regretted were my silences”
 

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:20 PM

Thank you for your considered piece Christine.
 
My peers on this board are a cynical crowd, many of them difficult to please at the best of times. Ladies and gentlemen:
 
“Can we have some silence, please?”
 

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 12:52 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

not in the face of psychopathy. silence allows evil to prevail.

breweriana
breweriana
Jun 22, 2020 10:56 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

My peers on this board are a cynical crowd”
You mistake cynicism for astute observation.
Writing God once with a small ‘g’ is a typo – but all through the article?
That is very deliberate.
The piece is a homage to Mammon, the truth is shown right there for all to see that read it.

Mike
Mike
Jun 21, 2020 10:59 PM

Speaking of advertising. Iv just watched the return of the EPL this week and the continuation of the mind programing. Every shirt has Black Lives Matter printed on the back and on the arm. In addition the NHS have managed to get their logo on the front of every shirt too. An amazing achievement since we are lead to believe that all these clubs are independently owned business, yet they have all adopted the same political stance simultaneously. Before each game everybody gets down on one knee too, it will be interesting to see how many weeks this campaign goes on for before it does not matter anymore.

To add to advertising, we are also subjected to the subliminal program. You notice most of the players have grown longer hair and beards. Giving us the idea they too have been locked down and unable to visit the salon. However, a closer inspection reveals that their hair is styled/manicured. So it seems they must have had a home visit from the barber. I would not have noticed but for the fact most of the players had gone along with this theme. Perhaps they were advised.

We look into the stands and observe a few VIPs sitting in separate rows wearing their face masks. Because lets not forget, we have to “Stay Alert” to “Save Lives”. However, on the pitch players clash their sweaty bodies and still give each other a hug and a high five when they score a goal.

After the game we are immediately back into social distancing mode were fist bumping seems to be a better look than a hand shake. Because a fist bump is quicker, perhaps the logic is its less likely to infect. A little like the 3 second rule when you drop your sandwich on the floor, if you are swift to pick it up, dust off the sprinkles and give it a blow, then it should be just fine.

Sport has been rigged and used for political advertising for a long time and football is no acceptation. I realise I have probably stepped on a few toes with my comments as many use such events for socialising and to pass their time. I say this from experience as too was one of them.

I say “used to be”, as after watching over the weekend they can keep it, im not interested. Once you have your eyes fully open it feels like watching a bad a movie.

Gwyn
Gwyn
Jun 21, 2020 11:56 PM
Reply to  Mike

Something I found particularly weird (and quite pathetic) was seeing Marcus Rashford (and other black footballers) do a Black Power salute…while down on one knee.

Glenda
Glenda
Jun 22, 2020 6:03 AM
Reply to  Mike

I reckon current fashion of beards and hair is emulating bush rangers, haha. But do not, absolutely do not, get the whole football thing right now. Passive gladiator sport, perhaps? Just think that the amount of money to maintain players could be put to better use right now.

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jun 21, 2020 9:38 PM

 
WE NEED THE CACOPHONY OF MILLIONS
 
Hopefully it’s the end of silence for millions who are living lives of quiet desperation. The problem is the forlorn don’t realize what’s actually causing their despair. The mainstream media news is given the task of diverting rage to issues unthreatening to the surveillance corporate state. They purposely do not cover in detail foreign policy, military interventions, or how trillions are plundered from the treasury and placed into the deep pockets of war profiteers. The state-run mainstream media news doesn’t want to let the public know, that if these working-class tax dollars wasn’t stolen by the usual scumbags it could all be used to build schools, hospitals, affordable housing, free healthcare, infrastructure projects, a guaranteed jobs program employing the more than 40 million currently unemployed and living in a state of precarity.  
 
If the mainstream media news showed the death and destruction resulting from military interventions and economic sanctions as often as they’ve analyzed Trump’s tweets, perhaps we’d see protests calling for the removal of the warmongers in the Congress and Senate who unanimously vote to give billions to the Pentagon leaving social austerity in its wake. 
 
Maybe we’d see protestors screaming the Democratic primaries are rigged and Biden/Obama/Rice were responsible for expanding two wars into seven slaughtering hundreds of thousands in the Middle East and Africa while squandering billions which should’ve been used to enhance the lives of the working-class and the hopeless who seek out opioids and heroin as their alternative to securing decent jobs or learning useful skills.
 
I say fuck the silence we need the cacophony of millions screaming simultaneously “no more regime change wars, or any other needless military interventions.”
 
“I found myself asking the same question over and over: How many decisions – including ones of great historical significance that impact millions of people – are made by men and women who are driven by personal motives rather than by a desire to do the right thing? How many of our top government officials are driven by personal greed instead of national loyalty? How many wars are fought because a president does not want his constituents to perceive him as a wimp? 
Men and women are going into Thailand, the Philippines, Botswana, Bolivia, and every other country where they hope to find people desperate for work. They go to these places with the express purpose of exploiting wretched people – people whose children are severely malnourished, even starving, people who live in shantytowns and have lost all hope of a better life, people who have ceased to even dream of another day. These men and women leave their plush offices in Manhattan or San Francisco or Chicago, streak across continents and oceans in luxurious jetliners, check into first-class hotels, and dine at the finest restaurants the country has to offer. Then they go searching for desperate people.”  Confession of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins 
 
 
 

Ort
Ort
Jun 21, 2020 10:19 PM

I don’t want to disparage Ms. Black’s sincere commentary, but since I’m decidedly ungodly it didn’t resonate with me. The Quakers are waiting for God; I’m waiting for Godot.
 
I know a few religious or spiritual people who express the same relatively benevolent view of the police as the author. For instance, I know an ostensibly leftish member of a religious community (Christian) who thinks my view of police is far too harsh.
 
He preaches a very similar sermon: first of all, society obviously needs police to protect the innocent from depraved and evil criminals. And, c’mon, “most” cops are decent, humane working stiffs; the “bad apples” unfairly give all cops a bad name. In any case, street cops are products of a corrupt system, and thus are more to be pitied than censured; it’s the higher-ups who are responsible for the culture of police violence– they’re the ones you should blame.
 
There is some truth to these assertions. But aside from the implicit “Nuremberg defense” of the latter point, it now occurs to me that this “glass half-full” positive regard for the police and religious piety may have a common denominator: authoritarian submission. Perhaps a reverent belief in a God who is the ultimate Good Cop of the universe, even if the believer doesn’t consciously profess the “Good Cop” analogy, “trickles down” to a sympathetic view of secular police authority.
 
We both seem convinced that the other is looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. He thinks my perception of the ostensible majority of worthy, decent, indispensable police officers is distorted so that they appear minuscule, exceptional, and far away; I think he ignores, denies, and willfully overlooks the extent of the police’s routine despotic authority and abuse of the public.
 
And of course, “silence” is a two-way street:
______________________________________________
 
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence
 
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
 
— Paul Simon, “The Sound Of Silence” (1964)

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:22 PM
Reply to  Ort

“I don’t want to disparage Ms. Black’s sincere commentary”
 
Then don’t.

Ort
Ort
Jun 22, 2020 12:37 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

Too late! I should’ve written “Ms. Black’s sincere commentary notwithstanding…” instead, but the allotted edit time has expired.
 
My attempt at rhetorically expressing polite hesitation or mild regret was too euphemistic, so I set myself up for your snide rejoinder.

breweriana
breweriana
Jun 22, 2020 11:02 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

Boring night for you, eh, J?

Jura Calling
Jura Calling
Jun 22, 2020 9:40 PM
Reply to  John Pretty

This blog / forum is a well organised one. It selects some interesting topics and manages to present a good variety.Those who want to, are allowed to, by open invitation, comment or question or agree with the topic in discussion; to hold a debate or a general discussion. That means everyone, whether or not they agree with the post or not.I have only been aware of the site for a week and enjoy it.It’s refreshing to see somewhere that isn’t crawling with virtue signallers or other ill -informed bores who are obsessed with being outraged about something and bragging about how outraged they are and-therefore- ‘woke’.
 
What i see on this thread is a busy exchange of ideas and opinions.What i also see is you popping out with snipey one liners at anyone daring to criticise the main points of the topic in discussion; a sort of online ‘minder’. It’s dull. It adds nothing.It’s yet another ”don’t say this- say that instead” whine. Soon nobody will be able to voice an opinion about anyone or any thing in case somebody tries to make them self- censor.Nobody put you in charge of free speech.

Charlotte Ruse
Charlotte Ruse
Jun 21, 2020 11:25 PM
Reply to  Ort

“Perhaps a reverent belief in a God who is the ultimate Good Cop of the universe, even if the believer doesn’t consciously profess the “Good Cop” analogy, “trickles down” to a sympathetic view of secular police authority.”

Yes, religion is another form of social control…….

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
Jun 22, 2020 10:15 AM
Reply to  Charlotte Ruse

Language is a form of social control. Money is a form of social control. All ideologies are forms of social control. We are imaginative social animals and come up with a great variety of forms of social control. Personally, I cannot imagine human society without multiple forms of social control. What I find very refreshing about the article is how their form of social control creates the space – silence – in which all voices can be heard. The majority is not always right, which is the curse of democracy. I’m for direct democracy by the way, but am very aware of how ignorance, especially in highly specialised societal structures, is a serious problem for it. Silence – the opportunity to hear all voices and contemplate deeply, patiently, and not in panicked uproar – is one of several ways of helping to ensure that the best wisdom surfaces for all to hear. That’s the scientific way, the wise way, and the Quakers have a lot to offer us in this regard.

Charlotte Ruse
Charlotte Ruse
Jun 22, 2020 10:49 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

More than silence the best thing about Quakers is that they’re for peace and against participation in war….

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
Jun 22, 2020 7:42 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

When the world is ruled by interventionists has gone mad silence makes one complicit at the very least.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
Jun 22, 2020 8:11 PM
Reply to  Jim McDonagh

Not speaking out at all makes one complicit. Listening in silence so as to understand as fully as possible what is being said by all parties, then speaking truth to power does not. I described silence – in this context – as the space within which those who wish to speak can be heard, and heard patiently. In a world gone mad as you rightly say, it is the cacophony of everyone shouting at each other that is part and parcel of that madness, and that impedes coherent progress, a consequence surely of the divide-and-conquer tactics that help the interventionists to carry on unimpeded while we squabble amongst ourselves, desperate to be heard, unwilling to listen in silence.
 
Why do you interpret silence as not speaking out at all when the article clearly describes listening and contemplating how best to act?

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
Jun 23, 2020 1:50 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Responded in an E-mail got a message saying the E-mail was undeliverable ? Reinterpreting the meaning of this, at best, naive article is simply sophistry, at worst a tacit support of the status quo. A variant of turn the other cheek while we tear your head off sophistry.
 
 

Daniel Spaniel
Daniel Spaniel
Jun 21, 2020 11:40 PM

The article was too long for me. I can hardly read a book nowadays.. I started one by Jeanette Winterson, “Art And Lies”.. it started very well.. I can read a Viz annual in the loo.. I’ll look up Perkins, thank you.

Daniel Spaniel
Daniel Spaniel
Jun 21, 2020 11:54 PM
Reply to  Daniel Spaniel

I had another go. Read it backwards. Some good points. Switch off the internet and do something more interesting instead.

Glenda
Glenda
Jun 22, 2020 6:14 AM

Brilliantly said, Charlotte. What disgusts me so much about this current COVID/Gates/vaccine situation is that if all the billions were poured into hospitals, schools, supporting farmers, small businesses, providing clean water, housing and sewerage for poor countries, viruses would not sweep through and decimate so many people. All they are doing now is forcing mandatory vaccines on the populations who will be just as vulnerable in the next pandemic because their circumstances haven’t changed. And Gates, Fauci and co will be laughing all the way to the bank as they patent the next vaccine.

Charlotte Ruse
Charlotte Ruse
Jun 22, 2020 10:28 AM
Reply to  Glenda

Everything the government promotes are scams to enhance the wealth and power of multinational corporations.

Jura Calling
Jura Calling
Jun 21, 2020 8:31 PM

Well that answers one question that’s been niggling me ; I’ve recently been surprised by the seemingly endless pleas for prayer, Bible quotations, and reminders that we need to vibrate more to usher in a God.And that this is a ‘sign’ ( yes- another one) that the end times are close and he’s coming.I ask these mystical ones why he missed both world wars and both Iraqi ‘conflicts’, can’t see Palestine or the millions starving or being used for vaccine experiments in Africa.Now I know. He’s been attending business meetings with the Quakers creating ‘business miracles’ out of a collective silence.
 
”In this contentious time of lockdowns, isolations…. burning buildings, crashing glass, and dizzying confusion of language and numbers..I have longed to hear someone say those words: “Could we have some silence please?”
 
Pretty much everyone in the civilised world heard them.They came from their dictators and were part of the ”stay indoors” threats.And as part of the ‘don’t try questioning the official narrative” warnings.And when we questioned why hospitals were turning us away we were told to remain quiet. Even those telling us were told to observe silence- because if they got caught ‘talking too much’ about it all they’d have no job…

When you are told several times a day that everyone around you is ill or dying and you can’t see it but you’re in danger too, it’s hard to stay quiet.When you;re told that every business must close until further notice you can’t remain quiet ( even in a Quaker’s business meeting).When you’e told that walking in public without permission will guarantee you a fine and a criminal record it’s hard to keep silent.In this current social context, silence is yet more evidence of our willingness to accept propaganda that has no base and to ‘take the knee’ and remain subservient to our abusers.When you see policemen kneeling on necks or shooting people who aren’t a threat- is that a time to be silent and ‘collect our thoughts’ as well ?
 
 ”Anyone can create in seconds a poster with short texts or an image with a caption, and can immediately broadcast it to thousands, even millions.”
 
Like a digital religion ?
 
”Many at protests and riots hold up their devices, filming, and those films and images fill screens and minds.”
 
That’s because, those who are fortunate enough to have their messages about the abuse and dereliction of duty increasing amongst the politicians and police would be called ‘conspiracy theorists’ or ‘ haters’ without the evidence to support what they say.The message needs to spread before the abusers kill all freedom of speech and movement.The gifts God was wise enough to give us so I’m told.
 
”Images, language, repetitions flash too quickly for adequate processing and wise decisions.”
 
Some do.Some don’t.When you see people shot or killed it isn’t ambiguous.
 
”Once advertising works, it does not matter what the facts may be.Could we have some silence please?”
 
Can we have less propaganda and more transparency please ?
 
”Instead of defunding local police departments, we may consider starting by defunding a fighter jet or two.”
 
When the unrest and rioting and conflict are within the walls of a country or state, on their streets, and with our own trusted police forces and politicians, it doesn’t matter about what we do about funding or defunding jets.
 
When you step outside of the bubble of old time religion and into the modern world’s chaos, you may rethink your strategy of staying silent.Believe it or not, the modern cities have Christian flocks in them too and they read from the same book and believe the same scriptures and imagine the same God.The conflict is on the ground, not in the clouds.This is happening in a three dimensional space and being governed by those with five sense only.It’s of the flesh.And those waging the war are of the richer end of the spectrum victimising those with a lot less.What would your God say( after the silence) at one of your Quaker gatherings..
 
 
 
 

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:23 PM
Reply to  Jura Calling

“What would your God say( after the silence) at one of your Quaker gatherings.”
 
He’d probably say you were completely missing the point.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jun 21, 2020 8:08 PM

I really tried to get through this (I have no problem with this religion only this Interpretation.

“In this contentious time of lockdowns, isolations, staggering losses of livelihoods and social supports, then violence, snarling faces, flying opinions and accusations, burning buildings, crashing glass,“

I gave up when no losses of life were mentioned.

Just staggering ‘livelihood’ !

I hope the author brings that up at the next silence.

breweriana
breweriana
Jun 21, 2020 8:19 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Dun:
Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business” says the article.
And the author writes the Creator’s name with a small ‘g’ – Mammon.
 
See where the priorities lie?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jun 22, 2020 7:41 AM
Reply to  breweriana

Yes brewie -some are not interested in the reality of the CV and the excess deaths and misery it has brought, which would have been much much worse had the basic and effective measures of containment not been implemented- even if belatedly here in the U.K.

Many of them just want life to get back to their ‘normal’ – their agenda, their money making, their pleasures – it is just their personal prayers that they ask their gods to answer – make me rich, make me famous, protect me from these horrid foreigners and let me do what I want and make my football team win!! – Devil take all the rest!!

gordon
gordon
Jun 21, 2020 8:05 PM

we need the terror the horror knife attacks bus kaos car mounting pavements
we need the shootings we need to stay home in fear out of the sun vit d and c no dosage.
 
believe your doctor take his oil based medicine eat your chicken fried in canola dose up on corn syrup live near 5g tower.
 
the terror the wars the rape the msm noise the msm noise the msm noise
 
more maddy mccan more stepehen laurence more nutters screaming syria libya
 
without the noise without the terror without the negative neutrino harvesting at gran sasso and operation icecube without all of this
 
the crops may fail
the crops may fail
 

Willem
Willem
Jun 21, 2020 8:04 PM

James Randi may not be a very likable figure (some say), however I came across this Carlos Hoax, a hoax Randi pulled in Australia in 1988 making believe that some famous channeler from the USA by the name of Carlos, would come to Australia doing all sorts of ‘amazing’ stuff and that the media massively fell for (since it was such a ‘great story’) instead of skeptically asking questions that could have exposed the hoax in a minute. Not sure if Randi was as succesfull in Australia as this YouTube clip suggests, but the hoax reminds me of how the media portrays Covid19, reason why I thought I should place it here

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jksKtGoz3og

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:24 PM
Reply to  Willem

“James Randi may not be a very likable figure”
 
Bit weird.

nomad
nomad
Jun 21, 2020 7:55 PM

here’s something to meditate on. if one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, what happens to a good apple dropped into a bucket of bad?

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:25 PM
Reply to  nomad

It floats?

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 12:54 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

no

ZigZagWanderer
ZigZagWanderer
Jun 22, 2020 11:19 AM
Reply to  nomad

The bad apples call the good apple a conspiracy theorist ?

breweriana
breweriana
Jun 21, 2020 7:49 PM

“we are waiting for guidance from god”
That must be money related guidance, then – it’s spelt with a small ‘g’ – Mammon.
And you expect to be taken seriously?
 

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:25 PM
Reply to  breweriana

“And you expect to be taken seriously?”
 
Well you clearly do, brew.

Jojo
Jojo
Jun 21, 2020 7:43 PM

I find it impossible to believe in a god figure. If there were a god, why does it make people suffer disease, sickness, hunger, pain, natural disasters and so forth? Would this god be a sadist?
 
More likely, we are an ant-farm experiment by highly advanced aliens who are watching and logging everything we do for a sociological study. One day they will be finished with us and will simply wipe the slate clean.

breweriana
breweriana
Jun 21, 2020 8:07 PM
Reply to  Jojo

God does not act, because he cannot.
God has left that to us, to make a difference in this, our mortal, or ‘real’ world.
Doing the right thing by others, I believe, makes that difference.
It is all going toward a Higher purpose that we only get a glimpse of, perhaps only once in our lives.

John Pretty
John Pretty
Jun 21, 2020 11:29 PM
Reply to  Jojo

Mmm. That’s the core delusion according to Buddhist philosophy. (Which I think is actually quite similar in some respect to Quaker philosphy).
 
I’ll let you in on a secret jojo. If you promise not to tell anyone. It’s this:
 
“There is suffering.”
 
Learn to accept that reality of life and you will go a long way to attaining true peace of mind. Don’t worry, most seem unable to get their heads around it, and I certainly struggle with it at times, but it really is the answer!
 
 

Jojo
Jojo
Jun 23, 2020 7:32 AM
Reply to  John Pretty

I didn’t have any choice to be born or not. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to be born into a world filled with suffering.
 
You people are all sick, with the only way you can explain the suffering in this world is through rationalizations like the three of you post. Sheese.

IANA
IANA
Jun 21, 2020 11:52 PM
Reply to  Jojo

God doesnt make people suffer. Only people are capable of that as they stray from the path that God has shown through his Son living a sinless life. We are sinners in this world and death and by proxy suffering are the wages of that sin.
 
Thats an unpopular thought these days because mans pride has led him to believe there is no sin. That is the calling of the devil.
 
But God is in all of us and his willing to spare us the wages of our sins if only we would turn from them to him through his Son Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

Chaos
Chaos
Jun 21, 2020 7:41 PM

“Silence is the language the Divine speaks, everything else is just a bad translation”

Harvesta Strong
Harvesta Strong
Jun 21, 2020 7:38 PM

The media is engaged in constant Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which includes repetition, symbolic metaphor, hypnotic themes and anchoring. The digital world is like a mental torture chamber creating cognitive dissonance until people divide and break. The “Matrix” could be seen as any digital forum. Human beings have had the physical world and the dream world from which we have always drawn a foundation of perception for our lives and communities, but now global news, branding, memes, films are constantly actively engaged for control of our minds every waking moment, innoculating us, so to speak, into expecting and accepting augmented humanity on a deep subconscious level. Hollywood knows. “The Congress” shows us where this digital war is heading. “Birdbox” warns, Don’t Look. Not too long ago there was a mass exodus of tech employees warning us of what was coming; they got off social media, apps, and traded in their smart phones for land lines or flips. I agree, we need silence, but this noise IS the war, and somehow we find ourselves living through this time, which I believe is no mistake. You were meant to be here. The OffGuardian was meant to be here . Christine is meant to be here and we need each other to keep talking about the common sense human point of view rather than the looming Internet of Things, Elonlinks, doublespeak, and subjective nonsensical value systems such as social credit and implanted digital currencies. The young people are subjected to this future and need courage from us because they are literally fighting a war for their minds. And we need to listen. Defunding the police for some means “demilitarizing” the police much as Christine described i.e. not demanding that cops who make 65K be psychologists, mediators, lawyers, doctors, or experts in numerous fields, but rather limited specialized fields. Words are becoming meaningless in the digital world. Where they once had the power of a foundation to mean something everyone could agree on to begin discussions, they now are being confused with their exact opposite meaning, causing arguments and divisions. Oh, the Archons they are smirking. Am I now a luddite? I am not sure but any tool can be used for evil and the digital tools are actively being used to cast spells on the people. Putting together a word is literally spelling folks. The technology and science pushed through today’s Matrix supports hidden policy agendas but purport anchored distorted value symbolism. Hence, health “science” has become the new religion, compelling a willingness to perform suggested ritual taken on faith, rather than nonbias peer reviewed findings over time.

nomad
nomad
Jun 21, 2020 7:12 PM

call the police? let me think about that…
https://youtu.be/AzbylLfq5WE

Howard
Howard
Jun 21, 2020 6:25 PM

I would have to question the wisdom of asserting that “this is a mostly good world that God has given us to care for.” This is because, if there is a “God,” He created humans. What more can you say? And “to care for” the world? I think the world would fare better if the dinosaurs had been given the world “to care for.”

paul
paul
Jun 21, 2020 5:53 PM

“27 Police Injured In Peaceful Protests.”
 
I don’t know why the police aren’t simply disbanded and abolished. We can always send out the duty social worker to deal with the 85 weekend murders in Chicago.

nomad
nomad
Jun 21, 2020 7:19 PM
Reply to  paul

probably would be just as effective

nomad
nomad
Jun 21, 2020 7:20 PM
Reply to  nomad

perhaps moreso

Alessandro
Alessandro
Jun 21, 2020 11:31 PM
Reply to  nomad

Ah, so if your other half was murdered you’d call the social worker? No, I didn’t think so.

nomad
nomad
Jun 22, 2020 12:58 AM
Reply to  Alessandro

id have no choice. but theyd probably kill me because of the color of my skin.

crank
crank
Jun 21, 2020 5:01 PM

Christine writes with that rare combination of wisdom and compassion.
I too have been amongst Friends, awaiting the Light of late, and in a very fortunate situation so that I can say that this has helped me personally in these times – as has OffGuardian’s principled stance towards truth.
I have a deep dilemma though. The open, accepting, universalist position of the Quaker way (amongst other, similar paths) has obvious appeal to those of us who value peaceful ways forward for humanity. What though do we do if we are confronted with a group who have a quite different religious vision : one that does not see ‘god’s surrounding love for <i>all</i> of us’, but just for their own in-group ? And what if even the non practicing amongst them who identify in name, still wish to associate with the history and teachings which enforce this particularist position ? And finally, what if, through an honest attempt at examining the world of power and politics- an attempt that is ever mindful of prejudice and the dangers of demonisation and scapegoating, a researcher is convinced by abundant evidence that this group is fomenting division and unrest and chaos amongst those outside their boundary ?
Some conclusions are difficult to integrate, and even more difficult to share. Can the meeting hear literally <i>anything</i> in equinimity and acceptance, or are there limits ?
There is a terrible double edged sword to information technology. As well as a disorientating distraction and a mass hysteria machine, the web is also a research tool like none that we have known before. I have learned so much about things today and things of history, guided by researchers accross the political spectrum and outside of it, reading books that are out of print or unavailable. Yet we do not all read the same things. In our private screen spaces we can develop a very personal worldview that only we (and our closest companions, maybe only tech companies and state spies) really know. How can we build communities when we are not on the same page as our neighbour, if we understand history (and therefore the present) in fundamentally different ways ?

bob
bob
Jun 21, 2020 4:23 PM

this makes me think of this:
 

 
hmmmm?
 

nomad
nomad
Jun 21, 2020 4:19 PM

call the police? let me think about that…
https://youtu.be/IlY9C6pzxKc