A friend sent me an email this morning to say that in honor of the times in which we live, she was writing a new version of the Jabberwock. I replied to her post as follows: “I woke up today with a new first stanza of the poem tumbling in my head.”
For those who have yet to meet the Jabberwok, it’s a fearsome creature in Lewis Caroll’s mock-epic by the same title–a monster void of any description save its eyes which are “aflame.” Of course, that depiction is frightening without embellishments. Generations of children have lain awake in their beds well into the night after hearing the tale.
That hunger for terror some of us carry into adulthood, evidenced by our fascination with Frankenstein and Dracula. Some experts say the diversions help us cope with our present fears. In fact, some people are so seduced by adrenaline they develop an addiction.
Simply put, fear has both positive and negative values, which most of us know, already. But when the world starts to reverberate with unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, I tend to retreat to Alice in Wonderland as a safe haven. Imagined insanity is preferable to the real deal.
Take the fears of QAnon believers, for example. These folks insist a plot is underway to control politicians, creating a deep state where global pedophilia can flourish. A few who hold this notion have embedded themselves in the Republican Party, believing themselves to be patriots. One enthusiast up-ended a Republican senator in the recent Colorado primary and will be on the ballot in November.
If she were alone, her achievement would be scary enough, but another, from Georgia, has a good chance of winning a Congressional House seat in November. A third has won the Oregon Republican primary and is challenging an incumbent Democratic Senator.
To deflect attention from the growing number of QAnon members in their party, Republicans point to Democrats whom they accuse of having conspiracy theories, too. According to them, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff have pushed without evidence their wild-eyed claims that the President of the United States of America is actually a secret Russian double-agent under control of the Kremlin.
A walk more terrifying than any taken through the tulgey wood is to scroll through Facebook. There, conspiracies theories representing the entire spectrum of political fears flourish. A few people seem to relish the coming cataclysm, believing it will lead to a transformative change that will leave the world a better place.
Young people often embrace this last fantasy. Me? I’ve lived long enough to know one man’s utopia is another man’s hell. Further, history teaches revolutions rarely turn out as expected. Nor can pristine motives be trusted. Make America Great is a shining example.
Science, facts, reasons, these are the paths I follow. When passion becomes too heated, it usually ends in gibberish– a rung below outgrabe.