The Fear Mask and the “I Surrender” Pose

“For if you put me to death, you will not easily find another, who, to use a rather absurd figure, attaches himself to the city as a gadfly to a horse, which, though large and well bred, is sluggish on account of his size and needs to be aroused by stinging. I think the god fastened me upon the city in some such capacity, and I go about arousing…”

-Socrates, as reported by Plato in The Apology

A gadfly friend of mine has never done the pose of submission to the great state, the “I surrender” pose.

You know, the one where you stick your hands up in the air when someone points a gun at you, exposing your vulnerable torso and midsection.

You know, that “I surrender” pose – the pose that is drilled into you every time you pass through airport security. You must enter the naked body scanner and do the pose of submission. If you don’t you will be barked at, eye-rolled at, and huffed at until you do. The Cancer Industry: C... Sloan, Mark Best Price: $10.19 Buy New $12.75 (as of 05:04 EDT - Details)

Notably, this “I surrender” pose is mere security theater. It looks like it works. It doesn’t actually work. That, alongside the dehumanizing: take off your shoes, get groped, and throw away whatever items you recently bought that happen to be more than 3.3 ounces.

3.4 ounces will take down a plane, we are assured. 3.3 ounces can’t.

Oh really?

Yes, that’s why it must be confiscated. Otherwise, we would never do such an awful thing like confiscate your private property. A half-full 3.4 ounce container can take down a plane too.

Oh really?

Yes, that’s why that too must be confiscated. It’s for your own safety.

Fascinating fiction, this US security theater that doesn’t actually work. But what it does work at is taking some of the most affluent members of society – air travelers – and bossing them around until they submit. The more affluent you are (to a degree) the more you travel by commercial air. The more you travel by commercial air, the more you get put through the compliance tester and obedience enforcer. This is a predictable way to make the most affluent in a society more compliant.

What a toxic thing for America.

You can almost imagine a table of Bush era stooges saying to themselves over beers “What’s the stupidest thing we can get people to do?”

“I know. Hold their hands up in the air for no reason like someone is pointing a gun at them.” Dopesick: Dealers, Doc... Macy, Beth Best Price: $4.90 Buy New $12.75 (as of 05:04 EDT - Details)

“Let a stranger go through their underwear.”

“No I’ve got one better: Let a stranger CONFISCATE their underwear.”

“This is way better: Let a stranger take photos of them naked.”

“No. Even better. Let a stranger touch them in between the legs.”

“No this is way worse. Get a rattled mother to voluntarily throw away pumped breast milk, because it’s a risk to national security, even if that means her baby goes hungry on a flight and screams for three hours.”

You now know the “I surrender” pose I mean, right?

Not once has the gadfly done it, despite being a regular traveler by commercial air.

It says a lot about him that he learned about the TSA-implemented pose and told himself that government would never convince him to do it. He drew a firm line in the sand. A boundary impenetrable.

He would never do the “I surrender” pose for anyone working for the US government, no matter how good of a reason they seemed to be offering him.

That’s all there was to it.

You know what else he’s never done?

Donned a fear mask. Pain Killer: An Empire... Barry Meier Best Price: $3.12 Buy New $7.66 (as of 08:30 EST - Details)

You know, a fear mask – the pieces of fabric that people have started wearing in response to the top-down national fear mask campaign announced on April 3, 2020.

It’s been a popular campaign. Near me, few people were wearing face masks April 2. By the afternoon of April 3, it was hard to find people without one.

Now, I don’t mean to say the gadfly hasn’t ever worn a scarf over his face, or a respirator, or a face mask. The guy is as handy as MacGyver, so of course he’s worn all that and more. Today he’s soldering e-bike parts, tomorrow he’s in the middle of the desert keeping his face protected from a dust storm.

But those devices are only really fear masks when you politicize them, when you put a mask on in response to whatever nonsense the CDC and New York Times try to provoke in you, when you run from a seasonal virus. You know the one. Corona. Then it becomes a fear mask.

There’s a thing about masked faces. They freak people out. People like seeing the full, healthy, relaxed faces of those around them. Reading faces is one way our primal selves avoid danger. Masked faces increase cortisol. They tell you something is wrong. There’s a reason doctors try to avoid masks during hospital rounds: a face is more comforting to a patient.

An additional detail about face masks is that they probably don’t work.

Along with the face mask, has come another fear-induced intervention: the lockdown. The lockdown probably doesn’t work  for any respiratory virus. The lockdown certainly doesn’t work for Covid-19, which is largely spread in households, not community settings. See this.

Psy ops (alternately PSYOPS, Psychological Operations, or Psychological warfare) is a behavior intended to psychologically weaken a target. The US government is renowned for this.

While I don’t know what is an intentional psy op in my life and what isn’t, I know fear is psychologically harmful to me and those around me. To live in a constant state of fear is hell. It shortens life and reduces the quality of the short life you have. Drug Dealer, MD: How D... Lembke, Anna Best Price: $3.20 Buy New $11.00 (as of 05:04 EDT - Details)

“When stress is prolonged,” writes Aphrodite Matsakis, “The adrenal glands and some of these helping biochemicals can become depleted. This depletion can lead to depression, panic attacks, mood swings, rage reactions, and problems responding appropriately to others.”

Notably, the most poignant changes after 9/11 were the ones that worked least, yet created the greatest, most contorted, obeisant behavior in order for a person to travel: the ”I surrender” pose and their brethren.

Notably, the most poignant changes after the ides of March 2020 were the ones that worked least, yet created the greatest, most contorted, obeisant behavior in order for a person to live life: the fear mask and their brethren.

Rooted in fear to obtain compliance, these diktats from government do us harm.

Keeping this in mind, it’s almost natural for a free person to presume, that in time of crisis, awful advice will come from established government officials talking about best practices, or establishment physicians sharing the standard of care, or the received wisdom of the establishment media telling you what is good for you.

In contrast, the gadfly stings with truth. The work of the gadfly is some of the most noble work that can be done in a society, for it brings others into a more accurate relationship with reality and helps them to live a life that is more effective, more in touch, aware.

That is not readily appreciated by all.

Bloated, with inaction, expert committees, legal liability, risk mitigation, the corpulent hind quarters of the ass barely responds to the gadfly’s goading toward the truth. It seeks to pass the rest of life in slumber, to paraphrase Socrates.

The best gadfly is the one who is determined to live life honoring his own boundaries, and to be as truthful as possible with others about where those boundaries are. That person is a natural gadfly. He does not exist to sting another. His mere living of his life, however, is an affront to those who refuse to respect their own boundaries and honestly state those boundaries to others. Fauci: The Bernie Mado... Ortleb, Charles Buy New $5.99 (as of 02:55 EDT - Details)

It can be no surprise that those who abhor truth, who contort their minds to avoid reality, who want to be coddled in the myth of riskless existence, are those most bothered by the very existence of the gadfly.

Some part of them wants to kill him.

They are “triggered” by him. They build “triggering” into an axiomatic evil, and build morality around the inability to trigger, around the inability to be a gadfly.

Here, coddled society comes into conflict with the free man.

They raise moral arguments against his very nature, against his very existence, to defend themselves from the reminder that they have betrayed their own existence, let others repeatedly traverse their own boundaries, trampled those boundaries into things unrecognizable.

And yes, in such desperation, they find it a lot easier to blame the gadfly, who they may have never seen their entire lives, but in whose presence they feel twinges of pain, in a way they do not in coddled society.

Irrationally, with great feeling, he must be to blame for the pain. He must be destroyed.

Otherwise, his existence is just too triggering to be moral, in our age that abhors both pain and struggle, almost as much as it abhors truth.

He must be brought to his knees. He must wear the fear mask. He must assume the “I surrender” pose. He must be made to drink the hemlock. He must be killed.

My friend. The gadfly majestic.