By Ray Wilson
I have engaged in many philosophical chats with my friend Petro over the years. A long time ago, he said that he didn’t mind if he died at 65. At the time, there were rumours in the media about a cull of the human population. A few years earlier, Dr. Shipman was jailed for murder, although some speculation suggested he was practising euthanasia to remove people from the population who might become a burden on the health system. Overall, while there is no direct link between the Liverpool Care Pathway and Dr. Shipman, his case did raise important issues about the need for greater scrutiny and regulation of healthcare practises, including end-of-life care protocols like the LCP. The controversy surrounding the LCP ultimately led to its phase-out and the development of new protocols for end-of-life care in the UK. Although it reappeared in a new guise in 2020. Predictive programming, maybe?
“Petro, my friend, you say that now, but you may feel differently in 10 years, and after all, you have got to live longer if only to enjoy spending your pension money.” I said.
“True,” he conceded, “I may have grandchildren as well by then.”
“Exactly, there’s a lot to look forward to.”
We had been talking about how some people may choose to end their lives at a certain age for personal or cultural reasons and that end-of-life decisions must focus on autonomy, dignity, and the individual’s wishes and values.
I missed my chats with Petro as they were curtailed in 2020. We sat in the garden, the sun shone, and if you switched off the television and radio, things didn’t seem too bad. Petro was addicted to the news feed, and slowly, incrementally, we drifted apart. The final straw was when he succumbed to the government’s injectable juice. No argument I could muster against it, and no data sets I used to validate my argument, were of any avail.
“I have made my decision,” he said. That was that.
We have started having our little chats once again, but absolutely nothing has been mentioned about, let’s say, “recent events.”
Petro told me about a dream he’s been having recently. He is an insomniac and is normally desperate to get some Zzz’s, but this recurring nightmare is worrying him so much that he no longer craves sleep at all.
“I have to tell someone,” he says, “I know it sounds ludicrous.”
“Imagine you are walking down the street, minding your own business, when suddenly the world turns upside-down. Sometimes it’s easier just to ignore that something is wrong and pretend everything is fine; after all, nobody else around me seems too concerned. I begin to ask myself. Have I stumbled into a parallel universe? No, but is it just a dream, or possibly a nightmare? Should I try to wake up?”
Pedro explains that everything he sees in the dream is rotated 180 degrees in the coronal plane.
“It’s like watching a movie that’s been flipped on its head, and I am feeling like my head is about to explode.”
I begin to suspect that this is a mass media induced condition brought about by watching too much TV and eating too many microwaved meals.
Pedro continues, “Some days I feel like a character in a Salvador Dali painting with highlights by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s like a funhouse mirror on steroids. Is this a reversal of reality? Is this a psychological phenomenon where the individual perceives the world in a completely opposite way from what it actually is? Waves of severe confusion and disorientation wash over me.”
“Do you think it has anything to do with some dodgy vittles I’ve had?” Petro asks.
I am expecting a punch line, but he’s looking tired and somewhat perturbed.
“Well, you know me, I am all for filtered water, farm shops, and growing your own.” I say eventually.
He describes a dark and twisted world where the fate of nations rests in the hands of a few pulling the strings of the world’s most powerful global conglomerates, politicians, media, and health organizations. Elite global groups and clandestine figures work in the shadows. They are manipulating events and personalities to their advantage, all in the name of achieving world dominance.
“You have been watching too many Bond movies,” I joke. He looks serious and goes on.
“You understand, it’s only a dream, albeit a very authentic one.”
“And yet,” Petro rubs his head, “despite the enormity of their power, the puppeteers seem to revel in making their pawns look like fools. The good citizens see the bankers dining out on bailouts, funding wars, and laundering money. The good citizens are gaslit by a fake world mirror, reversing the sexes, allowing the authorities to imprison their children, creating proxy wars, and using their tactics to divide and conquer.”
He went on to explain that in this dystopian world, the puppeteers control every aspect of their foot soldiers lives, from the policies they enact to the speeches they give, all with the ultimate goal of making the people they serve hate them. He explained how they sabotaged fuel supply lines and destroyed food production. Why would these upstanding members of society do such heinous things? Corruption and blackmail, maybe? A quick advisory call from above on a crackly line: “Invest a million in “Fruit Loop Military Tech” this afternoon,” the voice says as the line goes dead, or the blackmailing caller says, “We know where you live and where your children go to school.”
It’s a black comedy of epic proportions, one that would be hilarious if it didn’t seem so deadly serious.
The puppeteers pull off their Hegelian manoeuvre with such aplomb that it’s almost impossible to keep track of the chaos they’ve created. No, that couldn’t be, could it? Those gentlemen in expensive suits wouldn’t do that, would they? I wasn’t absolutely sure what was going on in the shadows, of course, or even if I was still dreaming. After all, it’s all smoke and mirrors, so wrongdoing looks right. War is peace, and cruelty is kindness. Perversions are normalised, and vice versa. That at least was how it would be in our lovely painting: just fantastical imagining, a story, and nothing to give us nightmares, except this is the worst nightmare I have ever had.
In one corner of the world, a politician proposes a new law that would allow corporations to dump toxic waste into the ocean and ignore train derailments, spilling toxic chemicals and destroying once productive farm land. A ruler, in some far off dominion, declares that excessively high animal populations are the cause of climate change, hinting at the fact that humans are the source of excess carbon. And in yet another, a prime minister threatens to build a wall to keep out immigrants while maintaining open borders. Duplicitous world leaders conspire to crash the money supply while stockpiling their own assets. Another president announces pensions will be frozen and people will have to wait for their money; for many, of course, it may be too late as they will be dead, decreasing the surplus population and saving money.
The puppeteers laugh as the world burns, knowing that each move they make brings them one step closer to their ultimate goal. They play the politicians like marionettes, knowing that the more outrageous their behaviour, the more the people will demand their removal.
And yet, despite their best efforts, the people remain stubbornly loyal to their leaders. They see the world crumbling around them, yet they cling to their illusions of safety and stability.
The puppeteers chuckle at this, knowing that they still have much work to do. They will continue to manipulate events and personalities to sow chaos and discord until the people finally see the truth.
As soon as all the world leaders are deposed, as demanded by the people, the victorious puppeteers can implement their one world government. Order out of a chaotic world that has been reduced to rubble and despair. And as they bask in the glow of their triumph, they will have achieved their ultimate goal: world dominance.
Pedro concluded. “It can’t be that because those parasites couldn’t play their games without people and a planet.”
He sighed deeply, holding his head in his hands.
“Let’s have a cup of coffee,” I suggest; “or maybe a nice herbal tea,” I say quickly, not wanting to add caffeine to the mix.
“As my ol’ mum once said, ‘You need to box clever.’ It’s only a dream after all, but if it ever were to happen, we would see the machinations of deceit for what they are, wouldn’t we?”
“Let’s remember that The Wizard of Oz is eventually revealed to be a frail old man behind a curtain, rather than the all-powerful wizard that the characters had believed him to be.” I say.
“The old man is using the simple smoke and mirrors trick: to create the illusion of power, to intimidate and impress his visitors in order to maintain his authority,” Pedro said.
I nodded in agreement.
“We need to stay vigilant and aware of the games that are being played around us,” I say, “and remember that true power comes from within ourselves, not from external sources.”
Remember, it is when Toto, the little dog, pulls back the curtain that the truth is revealed, and the Wizard admits it’s all “bollocks.”
“Let’s make sure that we are all there for the big unveiling,” says Pedro.
He shows me a photo of his grandson. “Did I tell you there is another on the way?”