Tralfamadore to Earth: Get Real

Kurt Vonnegut, self-portrait.

Billy Pilgrim

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) wrote darkly hilarious, establishment-skewering short stories and novels. Much of his inspiration can be traced to his traumatic service as a young American soldier – and P.O.W. – at the firebombing of Dresden in World War II. Slaughterhouse Five, his most popular novel which also became a critically acclaimed movie, focuses on precisely that experience. His entire body of works repeatedly addresses the existential question: How does an individual handle a reality as horrible as war?

Vonnegut’s alter-ego in Slaughterhouse Five is the unsubtly-named Billy Pilgrim. After the war, Billy’s life is good. He marries a loving wife, they have beautiful children, his father-in-law sets him up in a lucrative job. But when Billy is plagued by memories of the war, he “time travels” to an alternate life on the planet Tralfamadore. There under a glass dome he makes love to the voluptuous starlet Montana Wildhack while their Tralfamadorian captors observe their Earthling specimens and giggle.

I smile as I think about it now. (Especially remembering Montana Wildhack played by Valerie Perrine in the movie. Yeah, Baby!) Billy Pilgrim’s escapism works as a salve for him, but for others of his characters, the solution to life’s difficulties is more elusive.

From the time I was a teen in the 1970s to this day I have read and reread most of Vonnegut’s work . It holds up. I believe that the bottom line of Vonnegut’s work is this: Life is wonderful but fate can be cruel. It is good to laugh. And look for ways to sabotage the devilment of the toxic people whom fate may cause to intersect with your happy life. Otherwise, outright mental illness, psychopathology, or even suicide can be the unfortunate outcome.

Two Kinds of People

There is a character in another novel for whom everything that happens in life can be summed up as a distinction between two kinds of people. For example, let’s say an old friend skipped breakfast one morning and got right to the work of trimming weeds, then dropped dead from heat exhaustion. He would say, “Well, there’s two kinds of people in this world, those who eat breakfast and those who don’t.” Somehow the fact that the deceased might have had a preexisting heart valve problem had nothing to do with it. It always boiled down to being one of the two kinds of people in the world, which may be true in itself, but is not the whole truth in the death of his friend.

That guy would certainly be feeling his oats these days. It is hardly overstating the case to say that there are two kinds of people in America on virtually any subject you bring up. For all of us, not just for Americans but for all individuals in this 21st century world who believe it is a right and an obligation to pursue happiness, it is now an existential necessity to determine which one of two kinds of people we are.

I am not talking Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive, religious or atheist, black or white, straight or gay, pro-life or pro-abortion, vegan or omnivore, or any of the myriad ways that politics would have us divided. Those divisions are as meaningless to the existential question we face today as whether we eat breakfast or not.

No, the two kinds of people who count today are these: Those who live in reality and those who don’t. For there is no planet Tralfamadore for us, regardless of all the bovine scatology being dished out about UFOs. And deceiving ourselves about reality will get us Earthlings only deeper back toward the Black Hole we supposedly came from.

The Dumbing Down

What reality is, is a harder question to answer today than perhaps ever before in the history of civilization. The information revolution has proved to be more of a dumbing down for society. Caveat emptor: Anything with “smart” attached to it probably isn’t. Smart cars, which run stop signs and depend on batteries with a very short leash. Smart cities, which are Petri dishes for viruses real and imagined and easy prisons when the authorities deem it necessary. And those smart phones, which are so full of information, but all of it delivered in a little bitty peephole of a screen so that via algorithms and AI, the powers that be have a virtual monopoly on our brains to push whatever propaganda and lies they wish. I call smart phones Millennial Ouija Boards, but in truth, all ages are easily sucked in by the smart phone black magic.

I am no Luddite. I adapted early to using computers, so early that my AOL screen name is an easy abbreviation of my name using just five letters. I was using desktop publishing in my direct mail merchandising business before Microsoft even came out with Publisher. My little business survived and thrived when others failed because we embraced e-commerce ahead of our competitors.

But I started getting skeptical about the whole thing about the time Facebook gained steam. I had already discovered that Google’s Adwords was ripping us off with false clicks originating somewhere in Asia. And I saw little need for third parties like PayPal getting between me and my customer. I realized that sites like Amazon and and other etailers that crop up constantly have the following in common: 1. The Chinese model of selling without profit until they have wiped out competition; and 2. the coal mine model of setting up as the company store where they take your paycheck because they’ve killed off local retailers in their market segment and the only way you can get what you want is through subscription. They are so effective at it that they would make John D. Rockefeller blush.

The Dopium of the Masses

Big institutions deceiving the public is nothing new. The history of the world is replete with examples of the elite classes destroying competition and keeping the upper hand over lower classes via mass deception. It can be argued that the Roman Catholic Church got a head start on everybody, taking Christ’s Love and turning it into parking lots. But that’s just old time religion; the Church has nothing on secular politics. Five hundred years ago, Machiavelli detailed the devious politics of the royalty who at that time kept the population subjugated as literal serfs or slaves. In more modern times, wars have been started – or at least accelerated – by false flag incidents designed to enrage the populace against enemies legitimate and merely opportunistic as well. In perhaps the most pivotal example of all, the Warren Commission’s work was obviously part of a cover-up hiding the real story of JFK’s assassination, probably involving the C.I.A. To this day critical files that should have been released by law, have not been. And what about the WMD used as an excuse to start the Gulf War?

I could go on and on with such examples. Despite the promise of America, elites and wannabe elites have never stopped working to keep the masses down via a constantly evolving system of masters vs. the underclass. Now with the quickening technology under their control, oligarchs and politicians have the ultimate subjugation of the human race in their sights.

Perhaps I’m just an old crank and I see the world through binary eyes like one of Vonnegut’s old cranks. Or on the other hand (can’t get away from that binary thing; there are only two hands), maybe my personal and professional experience in this life has taught me a few things. Like skepticism toward authority, for one. And insisting on transparency from those who govern others. And an appreciation of the vagaries and weaknesses of human nature. And especially in the past few years, that we as a civilization are in grave danger of falling into a new Dark Ages.

Willie Stark

Robert Penn Warren

Turning momentarily to another great American author, Robert Penn Warren… The principle figure in his brilliant fictionalization of the 1930s Louisiana populist Huey Long put the crux of the problem then and yet today this way: “Listen to me, you hicks, Listen here and lift up your eyes and look on the God’s blessed and unflyblown truth. If you’ve got the brain of a sapsucker left and can recognize the truth when you see it. This is the truth: you are a hick and nobody ever helped the hick but the hick himself. Up there in town they won’t help you. It is up to you and God, and God helps those who help themselves.”

I am gobsmacked that so many so-called educated, so-called sophisticated Americans should be such stupid suckers.

There are no statistics that accurately reflect just how many are in the sucker category. It is, however, no small number; my guess is that at least 10% up to 25% of the population is prone to swallow any damn thing they hear if they hear it in the right way, like from social media or in slick streaming shows or from the mouth of a Taylor Swift. They don’t read anything, they don’t consider contrary viewpoints, they don’t get outside the bubble of their own comfort and their phone, and they are total, pathetic, Godless, spineless suckers. Then there is a big middle, maybe 50%, that could go either way. Probably the 25% who refused the jabs are the only ones left today squarely in the realist camp. How convenient that every government in the world knows exactly who they are.

The Wuhan Flu Damnpanic

Nothing brought the sucker quotient into starker focus than the so-called Covid 19 Pandemic. Sure, it knocked us all off our rockers at first. I will admit, there were a few days in the beginning that I would not even kiss my wife and frankly, for weeks I took hold of the gas pump wearing a glove. But by the time the panic had taken the world by storm, my B.S. detector was on full Code Red. Turns out, Covid 19 was nothing to most people. It was a corona virus just like common colds and was spread the same way. It had the same effect on old and sick people as the flu.

But opportunity was knocking for the confiscatory class! First, we were fed lies about the masks. We didn’t need them, then we did. Then, they lied in full measure about the “vaccines” stopping the spread. The jabs did no such thing. It came out that hospitals and health care providers were basically paid bounties for classifying deaths as Covid-caused, even if the deaths were the results of gunshots or traffic accidents. That’s why flu cases suddenly hit rock bottom, not because flu vaccines suddenly became effective.

And case counts? Every time a cold went around, all the hypochondriacs ran out to get tested for Covid. The tests were so defective that they gave false positives nearly half the time. Simple, effective, off-label antidotes to severe Covid infection like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were demonized because they made the lethal use of ventilators and the “vaccines” moot – and thus not profitable. There simply was no significant rise in excess deaths during the supposed pandemic, though you’d think so from everything you heard from the media. Yet now, when there actually is a radical rise in excess deaths among young “vaccinated” adults, it is covered up as if myocarditis were a rare side effect.

In retrospect, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the Damnpanic was used as cover in 2019 and 2020 for a worldwide bait and switch operation. The bait was instilling white-hot fear in everybody; the switch was that instead of a cure, we got tyranny. Thus we ended up with a senile, thoroughly corrupt old boob in the White House fronting for those same Machiavellian forces that have lurked behind the scenes throughout history.

They got away with it. They have all the levers of power in their hands now – the justice system, the military, the bureaucracy, and the media. They have instituted a revolving scare message jumping from weather insecurity to health threats to evil enemies. And that 10% or 25% of suckers – they are the ruling class’s stormtroopers pushing everything from fake racial division to health mandates to sexual absurdities and religious persecution – all in the name of supposedly righting injustice when in fact, the discord and chaos is encouraged with the purpose of neutralizing any opposition. It is obvious that the usurpers of the American Republic expect never to be punished for their crimes because with elections in their pockets, they will never be turned out of power.

The Bitch is Back

2024 is shaping up as a pivotal year in the history of humanity. The mad scientists, One World Oligarchs, and bolsho-fascists have teamed up and are putting their plans in place to eliminate the power of the individual. Mask mandates and new “vaccines” are coming. More nonsense about perversion and drug use and parental usurpation and civil order and energy use will be shoved down the throats of the unwilling majority. Manufactured crises will come one after another: mysterious fires, explosions, grid failures, shortages, wars – all the way up to Chernobyl-level events. Donald Trump and anyone else who rises in profile as opposition to the Machiavellians is being neutralized and eliminated. The election will be a sham. The social credit system will be fully implemented. Though contrary voices might be raised on social media, they will be marginalized, criminalized, and shut down. Their utility to the masters used up, the suckers of this world will be steamrolled along with everyone else. What is coming will in effect be the fire-bombing of civilization.

Those of us who believe in human rights – true human rights, starting with each individual soul as laid out in the Bill of Rights – are already operating at a huge disadvantage and have lost a lot of ground in a short period of time. For example, you can see it very plainly in the degradation of conservative media. Ever since the sham election results of 2020, any questioning was met with a chorus of “no proof” and the courts went silent, refusing to grant standing – to ANYbody. Lawfare – warfare by court – was launched like neutron bombs. With very few exceptions, radio talk shows cut way back or cut out callers altogether for fear of being sued and bankrupted in endless litigation because of something someone said. And today leading up to next year’s election, they dwell on polls and debates and primaries and Donald Trump’s persecution as if a real game is on, when everyone on both sides knows the die are loaded and the result is preordained.

You don’t have to look far to see how other professions have been compromised. Most especially doctors. Also police departments. Academics. Priests and chaplains. It is disheartening.

January 6 prosecutions are being conducted as if the demonstrations and the contrived riots were an insurrection, over the top FBI raids are carried out for the simple exercise of free speech rights, and wildly absurd sting operations have become the norm. Persecution of religious expression and the abrogation of private property and parental rights are rampant. And social credit scoring is well underway. The vicious financial persecution of the truckers by the Canadian government was disgustingly successful, no less so than the destruction of human rights in Hong Kong by the CCP. These most egregious examples, sadly, are just the tip of the iceberg for what is going on. Real America is being governed today like the South during Reconstruction; lick the boots of the new man with the whip or take your beating.

One has only to study what alternative media is left standing to find more examples galore. See Robert Malone, Mike Lindell, Emerald Robinson, Jordan Peterson, Victor Davis Hanson, Julie Kelly, and Joe Rogan among others to educate yourself. Do it on the Brave browser. Supposedly your truth-seeking won’t be tracked that way.

Rocky 24

There is most certainly a fight coming. Those who are not in the ten or twenty-five percent will finally wake up, raise their heads from their smart phones, and realize that they own nothing and are not happy. My only regret as an old man is that I am aging out of the fight. It is already shaping up and it is a fight for the individual against tyranny. What form it will ultimately take, I do not know. But right now, we must struggle for constant reality checks. Readiness is everything. We do not know the day or the hour, but most surely we know that the fight is right here on Earth.

Each one of us who cares must stand up now and push back with every means at our disposal. In every instance where we see abuse of our sacred human rights, from governmental abuse of bodily autonomy throughout the panoply of human rights, we must refuse to comply. While the battle lines are forming, each sovereign human being should prepare. Stock up on food. Grow your own. Network with like minds. Arm yourself. Know your rights. Buy a generator. Store fuel. Make sure your local authorities have your back.

And especially, stay positive. Knowing and recognizing the danger coming is not negativity; it is prudence. Be a happy warrior when you know you are fighting for humanity, and most specifically, for your children and grandchildren. When you are raising a family, or running a business, or doing your best in a career or any kind, it is human nature to be reluctant to deal with unpleasant things like the wolf at the door. But you, I, and we all must do so if we expect to maintain the right to pursue happiness. If we don’t beat these bastards back, every day of every one of our lives is going to be like going through an endless divorce, battling mortal cancer, or mourning the death of a child.

So It Goes

I believe I know Kurt Vonnegut quite well from his works and the interviews that have tickled my funny bone and stimulated my synapses. Yet I don’t dare speak for him about the state of the world today. However, I do think, when it gets right down to it, despite some seemingly radical opinions, on a personal level Vonnegut lived in Realville. He was an equal opportunity bubble-burster for extremists on both left and right. The characters in his books are not just cartoon exaggerations or action figures. They come right from real life and come right to life for the reader. And if they are successful human beings, they keep it real one way or another. They don’t stay on Tralfamadore any more than Billy Pilgrim did. The answer to the question for Vonnegut’s heroes is: They are not suckers. They live in reality. As he did, too. Despite chronic depression, flirtations with suicide, and a lifelong diet of Pall Malls, he stayed with the struggle and died as normal a death as anybody does, writing prodigiously up to the end trying to explain the confounding world to his readers.

And so it goes. Not counting the sociopaths on Mount Olympus, there are two types of people in this world: Those that live in reality, and the suckers.

Which kind are you?

For a two-page PDF statement of where Way Out Charlotte Pike is coming from, please CLICK HERE.

Author: John Arra

John Arra is the pen name of a determined individualist who tries to connect the dots of life by writing.

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