What comes after the end?

I was born fifty eight years ago, in a small village (near a large city), where people were “foreigners” until they’d lived there for generations.

I was born premature, in an unheated stone farmhouse, in the middle of a snow storm. I wasn’t expected to survive the night. 58 years ago.

Has it been easy? Well, no. But people like me — perhaps people like us, as a lot of the people here have the same characteristic — never seem to have the easy path. Instead, where other people go in straight lines, we go backwards, sideways and zigzag. But then again, we end up in interesting places, with interesting abilities.

Looking back, through all the near misses, all the almost victories, all the times of stress and loss…. it has been a pretty d*mn good life, particularly when you take in account that it was never meant to have happened.

When I was very little grandma told me I’d live to/through the end of the world. I wish I could ask her what she meant. I’m going to presume it was that I’d be expected to live to 2000, right? Or maybe not. She told me a legend that implied there was a lot of time after 2000. A whole hand full of grains of sand added to 2000, each one a year.

Until this year, I thought of her …. prediction and shrugged.

Today my dad told me not to get over excited about current events. Sure. I get that. He says in the long run, they don’t make much difference. But he said “but then, I’m 90.”

However, when you consider there’s massive fraud being committed before our eyes. Fraud the Soviet Union would be ashamed of putting out in public. Fraud of the kind of which means that we the people don’t really have any say anymore, whatever is pretended. And when the people committing it think they can — like Mao thought he could — legislate science by making our battery tech get way better, by fiat. Or not, since they keep saying we just don’t get energy, we just don’t get modern living. Because we’re killing the Earth, or something. (Though they don’t act like it.) When they’re talking about how we’ll have no possessions, but it will still be a very good life…. Well, I don’t want to go to the corn field.

Perhaps she meant the end of my world, of my nation. Of my home. Easier to believe, when I’ve seen my home town murdered before my eyes these last seven months.

How did our institutions get this corrupted? Is there a way out? I’m not the only one in this country who came very near this sort of thing before. Who lived through all sorts of power-hungry insane rulers. Then we came here. I’m not the only one asking “What comes after the end?”

So, what comes after the end? Books close, and we assume things go on, more or less as expected. But that’s never been the way with my life. Things never go on as expected.

When I was sixteen, I thought I’d come to the end, in another way. I thought I’d run out of pages. That there was no more. Yes, i did something stupid. And then a miracle occurred. No, seriously. I should never have woken up.

A year later, I was an exchange student, landing in NYC for my year in the US. And I thought “I’d never have experienced this if I’d not lived.”

So I never looked for an exit ramp again.

Not even this year.

But I can’t feel the way ahead. I haven’t been able to for seven months. We’ve entered a very odd leg of the pants of time.

Is it the end? Who knows? The end of the world has come for others, at many different times. The unthinkable happened. Everything they knew crumbled. Everything they were, in fact. Mao’s rule comes to mind, but also Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s USSR…. all the panoply of totalitarianism brought into the world by crazy people craving power above all, thinking others were widgets, and fronting themselves with a dream. (Though few dreams are as stupid as the current one, which amounts to that horror John Lennon wrote into “Imagine.” But with teeth.)

And yet, as in that miracle, 41 years ago, there are glimmers in the darkness.

Mostly, honestly, this lot, aiming for world domination, are the most incompetent of a long, long list of incompetent totalitarians. (You have to be incompetent and more than a little crazy to want to rule the world. It’s like wanting to make everyone’s beds for them, to make sure they’re made. And they’re always Procrustes’ bed.) In many ways they’re the gang that can’t shoot straight, else one of their blows would have landed before now. They had all the power, but they couldn’t bring it to a close. And the Republic has survived end gambits before. And the world is a lot more complex than these corruptocrats who mainline Imagine and swallow Marx can even imagine. Because humans aren’t widgets.

Am I looking for an exit ramp? No. That’s not it.

It’s more that dear Lord, I wanted to live through quiet times. I wanted the most exciting thing in my life to be the stories I wrote.

I’m starting to think the months ahead are going to be full of extreme interest.

I don’t see the interesting lasting much past next spring, because this group of would be corruptocrats are the most insanely provincial people to have lived. They don’t understand where food comes from. And people are going to get …. fed up. Long before they can implement their “wonderful” plans.

And me? Like the father, at the end of Puppet Masters, I intend to survive, getting crazier and more evil every year. (That’s probably not what he said, but that was the feel of it.) And live to teach grandkids, and if I’m lucky great grandkids to be crazy and evil as well. In a good way.

And if it’s the end of the world, the end of my beloved country under a wave of stupidity and fraud, I plan to set Procrustes’ bed on fire.

You can’t imprison a free man — or woman — you can only kill him. But honestly and seriously, these people are dumb. They always make the wrong move.

Stay free.

The idiots who think they can stop us have never been right about anything, ever. Why would they be now?

Make your plans to survive.

Stay in touch with your more vulnerable friends.

And keep on going.

What comes after the end?

It’s not the end till I say it is. Till you say it is. Till those of us who are sick and tired of having our lives pulled about by two bit tyrants consent to the end. And no one says that the path of highest probability is inevitable. If that were true, this would be written by a ghost hand.

I assure you it isn’t. Ghosts don’t get eczema on their palms.

Can I be sure?

No one can be sure. But it’s a bad idea to bet against me. It’s a bad idea to bet against Americans in general.

Even is worse comes to worst, I don’t think we stay down. Not for long.

And the only time I say “Uncle” is when I sing Yankee Doodle.

Be not afraid. Hold onto me if you have to. We’re all walking wounded at this point, but there are more than two good legs between us.

Sure. It’s dark and cold ahead. It’s a long way to fall, but our nation invented the airplane and landed on the moon. What makes you think we’ll just…. fall?

We don’t do easy.

We’ll be fine.

After the end we write the sequel.

It’s going to be amazing.

57 thoughts on “What comes after the end?

  1. but dont get under-excited by current events either. i’ve seen a lot of people right of center who are anti-trump just largely because of the abrasive aspects of his personalty who are willing to accept the dems stealing this election even if it means no more trump… and somehow they can’t wrap their brain around letting them get away with it means that they will just steal the next election too… (and the next, and the next, etc etc)

      1. Some are fine with that, because they are grifters, who were only in it to defraud conservative voters in the first place.

        1. Or who were petulant little brats, deprived of the ability to say “I told you so” by those they regard as inferior.

      2. I don’t think the Democratic Party will exist as a coherent unit after Biden gets slapped down. The septua- and octgenerians who run it are dying off, and “the squad” is trying to jump its place in the queue of pols, and they parts has embraced too many conflicting demographics to please many of them, and from top to bottom they’re eaten up by The Crazy.

        The Democratic Party isn’t even running itself any more; like Big Media, it’s one of the jackboots of the new Big Tech smokestack barons, who are trying to use it like the German industrialists tried to use the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Except the Democratic Party is a rotten platform, and incompetent at even subverting an election, must less being a useful minion.

        1. I think the Democratic Party will see a split, assuming Biden loses. Especially if Biden loses badly enough-I suspect the new Big Tech overlords will try and trim out the older generation of power brokers and replace with people like Occasional-Cortex and her Squad of Marching Marxist Morons. The question becomes-what happens to all the old-school, blue-collar Democrats that still think the Party is their spiritual home?

          And, on Trump, I think what annoys Big Tech the most about him is just how they can’t control him-he’s a ferocious self-promoter, he has none of the usual handles they can get a grip on, and he’s an old-school New Yorker in that he’s hard-core, in-your-face and if you don’t stand up to him, he doesn’t respect you. Most of the Big Tech people in charge were bottom-barrel nerds most of the time they were growing up and they don’t know how to face off against this.

    1. “i’ve seen a lot of people right of center who are anti-trump just largely because of the abrasive aspects of his personalty…”

      Yes, me too. That’s pretty normal, in terms of Normies spouting opinions. “That Trump guy, so rude! So non-Presidential!” Then they say they like Biden better because he’s more proper. I hear that all the time.

      This is where my Oddness really shows up, because I cannot understand that argument. The appearance of propriety is NOT more important than the actual laws and policies the guy is pushing. Seriously, it isn’t.

      I used to react very badly to that “he’s so rude” line. “Are you f-ing kidding me?!” would be out of my mouth before my brain even kicked in. Very next thing would be “So you like the demented hair-sniffing pervert better than the rich guy who tweets things funny? What the f- is wrong with you?!”

      But now, having gotten tired of people getting huffy because I called them on their abject, unbelievable, appalling stupidity, I have to acknowledge that… it’s me. I’m weird. Abnormal. Not like the other kids.

      Normies really do vote for the guy with the better hairdo. They vote for the younger one. The more virile one. They vote for the guy giving out free stuff. Because they are Normies. To them, appearance is more important than anything else. If it looks right, it is right.

      This is why it takes so much to get a Normie to pay attention. You’ve gotta beat them with a bat just to get their f-ing minds working. Fear of immanent death is about the only thing that’ll get them off cruise control.

      But this year we actually have fear of immanent death. By the bucket-full. We have a pandemic, we have Leftist assholes rioting, looting and burning in the streets, we have shortages, and we have media panic. So this time, the Normies are paying quite a bit more attention to who’s stealing their votes than they usually would.

      Welcome to the party Normies. Nice of you to finally show up, you morons.

      1. We do NOT have a pandemic. We have a lot of hysterical mouthpieces pushing panic over a variety of the common cold that has turned out to be less serious than the 2009 flu season, because it serves their purposes.

        1. Must disagree. This is a serious disease. Just not for a large proportion of the population. If you have lung/heart/immune issues it could certainly kill you. If you don’t have those things, it may not even give you a cold. I’ve seen both types of cases. Most people will feel crappy for a week or two and then be fine.

          What’s changed since 2009 is that the public health agencies have deteriorated and become purely political. What you’re seeing is a pandemic being used to promote a political faction in Western civilization. The official response is to treat the thing like the Black Plague in public, and then laugh at the rubes in private.

          It’s corruption on a wide scale. It’s been growing for a long time. But we can see it now, because of the pandemic.

            1. The annoying thing is, a lot of the mask-gestapo are the same folks who back in January (pick a January, any of them in the last 7 years!) were pissed at me for listing “able to keep kids home if I think they may be sick” as a major advantage of homeschooling. The ones who get angry at my husband because he’d sometimes stay home when he’s dripping body fluids and it’s probably not allergies, instead of muscling through.

              The flu kills people, every year. We usually got it because of the grandkids of my husband’s co-workers. It kills more kids– healthy kids– than the kung flu has.

              But “shut up, get a flu shot that probably won’t work, the side effects you report don’t exist even thought they’re on the side of the box, and send the kid to school unless they’re so sick they can’t get out of bed.”

              1. I got a nasty reaction from the flu shot this year. As in “fainted three times the next morning and had to be driven to work” light-headed. Not queasy or feverish that we could tell, just knocked cattywampus for 36 hours. I don’t like fainting.

              2. Some of them are also the same people who were declaring vaccinations to be child abuse just last year.

                1. Never met any of those outside of comboxes, although I have been accused of similar things for knowing how vaccines function. Might be the ag background, tends to select against the ‘vaccines never work’ mindset, although it sadly doesn’t prevent magic wand thoughts.

                  My actual view, to headoff the usual combox issues (I MEAN YOU, BOTS!!!), standing-on-one-foot, you’re hacking your immune system. So it won’t work any better than your immune system does, and can be just as dangerous. I’m waiting for these folks who are flippin’ about the kung flu to realize that cytokine storms could, from what we know, be triggered by vaccines as well…. it is, to keep with the programming metaphor, a malfunction.

        2. The 2009 flu season killed about 18000 people. Do you really think that 90% of the reported COVID deaths in the US are falsely attributed?

          Because if you do, that’s as ludicrous as “Bush did 9/11.”

          1. Have you looked at the diagnosis criteria for what they count as correctly attributed COVID?

            In New York, dying of a heart attack because the 911 services were not allowed to take you to a hospital was reclassified as a COVID death explicitly because they jumped from a few dozen to a few hundred A DAY during the lock-down.

            Also, your number for the 2009 season is almost two thirds too low for the previously official estimate of 50k.

            Some numbers here, since previously published articles are less likely to be edited:

            And yes, they have been caught editing numbers. Since some of those numbers had been previously noted for jumping up when they needed pressure to try to make flu shots mandatory, that’s not really surprising, but it is worth noting.

            1. Okay, that’s interesting. That would still mean that, in order for COVID to be less bad than 2009, that the vast majority of the current COVID deaths would have to be misdiagnosed, and while I have little doubt that there are some goofy statistical claims going on, I highly doubt that they account for more than 60% of them.

              Now, a country that almost certainly is overcounting? Belgium. They have the highest COVID death rate in the world, at over 1,300 deaths per million, and the country’s officials have all but admitted that they’re deliberately engaging in practices that would result in overcounting. (To give you an idea of how ridiculous this is, the next highest is Peru, with 1,100 dpm, followed by Spain, with 900 dpm, then Argentina with 816, at which point the differences drop to single digits). That number is the kind of thing you’d get if our officials were deliberately overcounting for reasons.

              1. That would still mean that, in order for COVID to be less bad than 2009, that the vast majority of the current COVID deaths would have to be misdiagnosed, and while I have little doubt that there are some goofy statistical claims going on, I highly doubt that they account for more than 60% of them.

                Based on what?

                Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that putting known infected people into the very population that is most vulnerable to fatal cases– to the tune of the average age of those who are counted as having died in even the inflated numbers being higher than the average life expectancy for women— does not inflate how bad an illness is. That’s… very questionable, but we’ll ignore it for now.

                Multiple states include all deaths after a positive COVID test, all deaths with reported respiratory infections, and all cases where the dead tested positive even with a known-high-false-positive as a COVID death, in addition to any other possible symptoms of COVID. Keep in mind, it was forbidden to give anything but emergency treatment if someone was not identified as a possible COVID case for several months. (That’s what “no elective treatments” means. There’s only elective, and emergency.)

                Influenza and Pneumonia deaths are “calculated” by death certificates.

                This is somewhat like comparing Germany’s method of calculating COVID deaths (no other reasonable cause of death) with those countries that use the “died and could have had it” method.

              2. You are also omitting the financial incentive the CDC established: Wuhan Flu patients have a 30% bonus in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements.

                “Everyone bought a WuFlu sighting….”

                1. Don’t forget the moral incentive– if there can be no non-emergency services performed, and you have someone with anything that can be forced into any aspect of the kung flu, then you are literally saving someone’s life by reporting them as “a possible COVID case.”

                  Because dying of pneumonia while you don’t have COVID is somehow less bad.

      2. This. So much this.

        I guess it’s something innately broken in my head, but my first reaction to situations like this is, “What does whether or not I like someone have to do with whether or not they can do the bleeping job?”

        For just one example, I got stuffed into a group work scenario in a computer class once, and as I was leaving with the group I voiced an opinion on the assignment – to see one of the clearest examples I’d ever seen of primate behavior in action, as the guy who considered himself alpha male totally dismissed my opinion, the beta male beamed and agreed, and the other girl in the group batted her eyelashes at the alpha.

        ….I turned right around to the prof and asked to be assigned to another group. ANY other group. Ended up with a pair of foreign students who each took about 10% of the work and left me to do the rest. And I still think I came out with a better situation than I would have if I’d stuck with the “personable, popular” guy who needed someone to sneer at.

        1. “I guess it’s something innately broken in my head, but my first reaction to situations like this is, “What does whether or not I like someone have to do with whether or not they can do the bleeping job?” ”

          Oh yeah. This is why I like construction instead of corporation. In construction, everybody can -see- who is doing all the work. Sourface guy paints a door in half an hour, Mr. Wonderful paints a door in 2 hours. Mr. Wonderful is out on his ass, Sourface is making bank. That would be me, Mr. Cranky, the son of a bitch who showed up early, stayed late, had all his tools and materials on site and on time, and didn’t take lunch. Because I wanted that money. I saw a lot of popular guys come and go.

          Corporation, Mr. Wonderful is everybody’s pal and gets all the plum jobs. Sourface is still doing all the work, until he gets fired for being sour faced. Then the boss wonders why there’s no work getting done. (Important safety tip, hospitals run like this. But worse, because it’s one big hen party.)

          I can only imagine government. A whole building full of Mr. Wonderfuls, all hired for their winning smiles. Not one of them able to find his own ass with both hands, a map and a flashlight, and no work getting done at all. Ever.

          “…the guy who considered himself alpha male totally dismissed my opinion, the beta male beamed and agreed, and the other girl in the group batted her eyelashes at the alpha.”

          Yeah, that is the stuff that goes right by me. I don’t see it. I’m the idiot who focuses on the assignment and expects everybody else to do the same. But then they don’t, and I get mad. 64 years of that. I get hives when I hear the word “team”.

          1. Teamwork: doing more than your share of the work, for less than your share of the credit.

            An exaggeration, of course. Teams can get amazing things accomplished, if they actually work as a team. Most of the time, they don’t. Too many free rider problems, too many people playing stupid status games.

            Heinlein was right. Three-person teams are about the ideal.

            1. I have some bad memories of my own. The absolute worst was a group project in which group simply failed to happen, and we ended up with two people working more or less in tandem. If I’d realized the other person really wasn’t interested in doing more than the minimum, I would never have agreed to send him my half and let him put the final deliverable together. The result was very visibly two half-projects glued together — he didn’t even bother to reformat so everything had a consistent font, let alone put any sort of introduction, conclusion, or transitional matter on it. But I had a whole bunch of other stuff on my plate at the time, and letting him take care of the final production reduced the stress level to a manageable level, at least it was turned in.

        2. *nodnodnodnodnod*

          In the other group, you’d be doing all the work anyways, be insulted for it, and then have a lower grade because of the pissing-in-corners changes to it.

      3. Trump, for the most part, is classic New Yorker. He’s in-your-face, you have to earn his respect, and he’s got no time or urge for Barbara Streisand. And, to the people that want to be running the country, he’s got no handles-he’s got more money than he knows what to do with, the New York bankers and such respect him, he’s got three ex-wives that he’s still on good terms with, and if he’s got weird habits…nobody knows what they are.
        The thing is, most people have never dealt with or been around a classic New Yorker. Especially not one in a level of authority. We’ve been made used to a very non-NY form of general management, and they confuse that with “leadership.” There’s a difference-perhaps not a very profane one-between management and leadership. Trump tends to lead, and that’s strange for the last few years.
        But, that issue of leadership, most people haven’t had it, hadn’t been around it, and don’t know what it looks like except in decently done movies and TV shows. We’re used to management and that is more of a consensus, “lets let everybody get along” sort of thing.

        1. “You have to earn his respect”

          The problem is that it seems like Trump (like a lot of other people) really believes that the test of a man’s intelligence is how much he agrees with him.

          The main difference between him and normal politicians is that he doesn’t hide that belief.

          1. Well, when you can pull off things like he’s done, you have doubts that there is anyone smarter than you in most rooms. But, I do agree in principal-he does think that he’s the smartest guy in the room and he tends to give marching orders in the form of “debate.”

            1. Yes–which is a trait that he shares with his predecessor, although Obama had a compliant news media that hid his arrogance instead of magnifying it and less reason to believe it. (Then again, beating the Clinton machine in 2008 did require some degree of political savvy.)

      4. I have relatives that hold to that opinion of Trump. It’s frustrating but there’s nothing I can do. And my more leftwing brother has a full-blown case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

        1. The part that really … I suppose disappoints me, are the ones who think He’s brash and icky, and Not Our Kind Dear, even though he does all those things I’ve been claiming we need done, and that matter to me more than status in my clique. Things I’ve been claiming as moral imperatives.

          But they can’t say that, so they claim he’s RAAAAACIST.

    2. “i’ve seen a lot of people right of center who are anti-trump just largely because of the abrasive aspects of his personalty”…years ago, someone did a study in which *actors* were taught a bit of electrical engineering jargon, given fake resumes, and sent out to interview for EE jobs. They did better in the interviews than actual electrical engineers did. (Not sure if the interviews were with the actual managers to whom the selected hires would be reporting, or just to HR recruiters…hope it was the latter)

      There’s a lot of this going on in American politics today. A person who can *act* the verbal style and general look associated with a high-level politician in considered to be one; otherwise, not.

      There was little concern about Edward Kennedy’s abuse of women, for example, because he fit the model of a high-level politician. Trump does not fit the model…nor did Sarah Palin…so any substantive criticisms are multiplied manyfold.

  2. I’m looking around at friends and family and have decided I am chaotic good. I’m going to keep pointing things out, posting articles about fraud, incompetence, and hypocrisy. I’m still writing my blog and my books. Hubby is still helping in his way. And, I pity the people that pushed hubby to the point where he’s going public with his opinions (and that includes his family members). Because he’s good at explaining, reasonable in tone, and throws that double PhD (econ and poli sci) around with a deft hand. I’m kinda looking forward to this all in a weird, twisted way. Oh, and I was born in a freak snowstorm too! At the end of April.

    1. but economics and political science are not real fields of scholarship

      a physics bs who thinks that humans are approximately widgets is totes more authoritative


  3. You never call, you never write, you never send me those manuscripts full of typos and run-on sentences that you’re so fond of. Now I find out it’s because my on-line persona is kindly old Uncle Lar.
    Joking aside, I find your current attitude much better than that of even a couple of weeks ago. Still positive we are going to be screwed, but I detect far more of the Sarah I know and love. All of us USAians are gonna take the worst they dish out and in 73 million ways we do what we do best, drive the autocratic bastiches to frustration.
    Remember too, that despite the fatuous claims of old Algore the internet was created by DARPA as a means of distributed communications go get around any attempt to stop the flow of information. Or as simply put a while back in film: “Can’t stop the signal, Mal!”

  4. In Michael O’Brien’s novel “Strangers and Sojourners,” there is a minor character, a “crazy old Pole” who survived WWII but lost his entire family. He spends his retirement building a huge, elaborate “Enduvdevorldkluk” (End of the World Clock), meant to warn of the Last Days. The end of the world turns out to be very localized (massive forest fire), but the clock does its job. I’ve been thinking a lot of that crazy old Pole lately…

  5. Another interesting question is “what came before the beginning?” There are so many, many people who STILL do not understand why Trump was elected in the first place. They think he was the beginning, rather than a reaction.

    The Overton window is widening in both directions. I will not be at all surprised if white-power groups become mainstream within the next decade. One can only yell at people as a group for so long before they start seeing themselves as a group. From the other side, if I’m going to be called a white-privileged racist, regardless of what I do, what incentive do I have not to become one?

    1. Thing is, if I am a racist, why should I consider being called such an insult, or harmful?

      Okay, there is tactical harm, from people not doing business with me. a) As a general rule, I’m inclined to consider ability to walk away as the major requirement for doing business in the first place. b) The problem with canceling as a method of societal coercion is the people with nothing remaining to lose. Cancellation is more something one fears in potential than one fears it when more than a few examples are being canceled.

      The things that make one regret being called racist are things that pull one against racism.

      Possibly the younger cohorts are more messed up than is apparent to me.

      More specific forecasting then that runs afoul of the theory of non-linearity that I have been gibbering about.

      1. I think the trick has been getting folks het up about an “ism” rather than chagrined or remorseful about, say despising, distrusting, and abusing black people, or Jews, or Irish, or Swedes.

        Fake vices, fake crimes, fake sins are so much easier to play with than your real ones.

        And if you can get everyone arguing about what is and is not racism, no one will notice that you’ve all agreed that RACISM is the problem, not pride, greed, dishonesty and injustice. Neat trick, no?

        1. Pride, greed, sloth, envy, lechery, wrath, gluttony…

          Oh, you wanted a list of Deadly Sins, not of the pillars of the New Woke Left. My mistake. Such a clumsy error…

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