At a significant stage in my life, I quite believe I had the perspective that this life is so arbitrary that it has no interior value. My experiences coincided with what were popularly being interpreted of the Cathar Gospel “Hell is not some other place, some other time ; Hell is the world now! “.
In my poetic ramblings at that time I used to call existence in the world a sickness tiring out the intellect, draining out the last resides
of soul. Today, if I turn on the radio, at some time in the day, Black Eyed Peas “Where is the Love?” will inevitably be playing…not thats a nice song full of hopeful desperation, perhaps more in keeping with our times – when I awoke with these visions of the world, a dark harrowed place, at least Norwegian culture were divided into two camps completely disinterested in eachother and working at cross purpouses – lets say I thought of myself as participant in “the other camp” – listened to Punk Rock, read anarchist classics, joined angry demonstrations against the “establishment” – all the while thinking
no justice could ever grace the “world” and only luck and coincidence would ever secure anything of the kind for myself.
I agreed with the catchphrase at the beginning of “Bullet with Butterfly wings” by Smashing Pumpkins:
The world is a vampire!. The topic, which is insiduous in “post-modern” culture – I only have to say the word “Matrix” and only the most detached and uninterested “initiate”, that is to say, viewer of that
cinematic experience, will not get what I mean.
Im wondering if more people, especially the young and impressionable, while keeping it a secret, wakes up with a scream, in a cold sweat, all tangled up in their bedsheets… drawing back the curtains, not to be entirely comforted… I was, but perhaps it was because I had an “overactive imagination”, perhaps also, if you are twelve in 1984 you are destined to have your ears propped full of dystopian rants and the screeching moral anxiety of a generation that did not push over the “Status
Quo”, but joined it, the 68`ers, now in their late 30`s and with a serious ideological hangover..
Now our culture has elevated shallowness,superficiality,so-called irony and decadence to the position equal to any
other behaviour and expression of our humanity and our civilization
Jim Jones was nothing, if not an idealist. Now youre worried I am going to glorify the man and what he did – or made others do. But, while I suppose you shouldnt care, wouldnt care – the story told by the
tabloids arent exactly true, a lot of generalizations and ignorant banter doubtless is justified when speaking of infamy which is undisputeable. Let`s say that someone as supposedly detached as Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple thought of themselves as, spoke of themselves as – the Pastor,
or rather “father”, the Patriarch -would never allow what happened to begin to happen, it was a process and thats what scares all of us well-established,sane,analytical brainboxes looking at the photos circulating
today. I wouldnt have mentioned it in my blog if it hadnt been for the disgraceful way a tragedy is being dragged in front of us because someone thinks it is interesting to give whatever he dislikes a kick. I dislike Media as the animal it is, I despise it – not individual papers, not individual television companies, not the radios, the corporate tabloid mill, the commercial and private Internet.. but what, bunched up like a fist, the Media is, in the experience of one soul. I watched the Gulf War with the infrared, night-goggled
vision of an “innocent assassin”, some young man, like the pilots of Enola Gay, just flicking a switch, following orders… 30 years after Stanley Kubrick`s Doctor Strangelove!…If I resented, felt strongly against,
despised,loathed, wished the demise of one Iraqi president, and partied with the ranting lunatic in Washington – I could subsconsciously slip my hand in, and support the killing hand.. so easy, like a computer game, like
pretending -like crashing toy tanks against eachother in the sandbox.
There`s no doubt in my mind that the right temperature for ignition, as far as the massacre at Waco,Texas – were supplied by the national Media,
the Media of course, is innocent by definition – even propganda does not draw the killing blade against people, it puts images in front of the eyes, and voices inside the heads – that does these terrible things.
Im saying these things because these brown eyes saw the world, when the curtains were drawn apart and
daylight could come in – when the demigod in the livingroom, whether radio or television doesnt matter – droned on, when the inkblots of newspaper headlines could be visible.. much in the same manner as Jim Jones did. The world werent significantly different in terms of Zeitgeist, we lived in the same century,
the west were the west, when I think of it, despite a suspiciously communist friendly regime plodded along and created good little socialist citizens in Norway – it was much the same as some suburbian Texas or California or wherever at that time.. I am not sure how it is with everyone else, but I am desperately trying not to become a product of my own envoirment – in my view you have lost everything if you allow that to happen, as a sociologist concession to the fact of criminal behaviour, perhaps its barely workable, but only the most defeated will resort to it on their own behalf. From what I see from the CIA tapes and other materials published in the wake of what ensued, which actually originated either from Jim Jones himself or from Jonestown – there are quite in evidence that he and the whole demographic he associated and which drew his audience, his supporters, his family – were worried about what would happen if a war broke out which no one could stop, which would keep on escalating, he was worrying what would become of humanity, of the children – of our world, if a nuclear war was unleashed between the two superpowers.
Jim Jones was “unamerican”, he was not an ordinary patriot, and with regard to fundamentalism, if you bother to read up about what it is, and consider that we are dealing here with Christian theology, you`ll see he was not a fundamentalist – I am saying this because he said he believed that America would drop the bomb on communist China or Soviet because America
could and would profit, probably just briefly, from the carnage; which is a political statement, his symphaties for the prophesied victims of such an action did not make things better. He quit talking about the Bible, God and Jesus
– he went over the top and out of some strange whim began to speak about Principles and Divine Socialism, of how real justice, real freedom and real salvation only could be the product of people`s efforts and hard work…
This is what his moral supporters in the 1960`s heard, this was what he was saying – while not as extreme at the time, and in a proper evangelical christian vocabulary, at the very beginning of the congregation which became
the Peoples Temple. People denigrated and pestered over their early symphathy for Jim Jones included Martin Luther King Jr., none of them would ever agree with the extremist, radicalist, defeatist action done on
the “White day” (they planned a “white” or “dark” – lik Elijah Mohammed, Malcolm X`s former guru, Jones thought that the english language and its definitions attaching to “black” and “white” were racist and furthered
racist thinking, as a measure against this he shared his enthused conviction that God was Black, probably also a Woman, when you think about it – or why just one woman or one man… and so forth) – that day was about how a dream
had died in one person,upon whom “everyone” relied and who the collective would not allow to be questioned, Jim Jones, as we perhaps say it in the vernacular, had gone over the top and become insane, mad, crazy..
as a consequence of the extreme violence, not merely physical – but psychological, unfortunately, the Media has had to make a cartoon character out of him, and by consequence, his victims.. the Media does not allow
these to have choices, invidiuals lives, personalities… and the priorities necessary. Media exaggerates the power of influence of one person to vindicate the “innocent”, which is any body laying around dead when the
smoke has settled..
All over the world a very little body of human beings will have remembered the horror, the violation which this “white day” of November 19th 1978 in Jonestown represented. To the immediate family (913 chiefly Americans died) and survivors of this “utopian” “socialist”
“experiment” in the jungles of French Guyana it is still a heavy day, a difficult day, a day unreconciled.
Apropos – you can find A brief CNN interview with Laura Johnston Kohl, Jonestown survivor –
On the occasion of the 25 years of attempted healing after “event Jonestown” – when media pissed all over itself as if there hadnt been a World War 1, World War 2, Holocaust, Hiroshima Bomb, Stalag death camps, Vietnam, Cambodia and so forth…