I just finished reading Philip K. Dick’s VALIS a couple of days ago and the effort left me more than a little dazed.
The ending was a little weak I thought, but the tome was an ecumenical hodge-podge of freaked-out genius that was Dick and unique in science-fiction literature.
I spoke briefly about this last week (“The Empire Never Ended“) and I used Dick’s term ‘The Black Iron Prison’ in conjuction with it. PKD used it to describe the Evil Empire and how it keeps its people in constant despair, blurred sense of reality and confusion.
Much as today is described.
We all know that 9/11/2001 represents an event that set other wheels in motion. Wheels in which many evil things were done in the name of all of the good that’s in humanity. And that now, “orwell speak” (war=peace, good=evil, etc.) is common vernacular that was used then to hynoptise the American population into believing they were holy in their ‘righteous might.’
What would Philip Dick think of all this today?
After all, he believed the downfall of Richard Nixon was the beginning of a new enlightened era of peace and gnosis (knowlege).
Dick, like most human beings, overlook the small details. He was a literary genius bar-none and his intuitiveness into the strange and esoteric bordered on the prophetic, so how could he have missed Nixon’s henchmen Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld?
As human beings, most of us anyways, prefer to look forward to better times than the ones we’re experiencing at the time and PKD was no different.
He was looking forward to escaping his Black Iron Prison and seeing the jailor put away for good.
Unfortunately, he neglected to see the jailor’s students/apprentices.
Today, we have the alternative media of the Internet to balance out the control mechanisms used by the corporate held media. Oh sure, most of it is undisciplined trash and almost all of it is personal opinion, but there is gold to be panned from its muddy streams, if one is willing to work and practice at it.
So how do we eventually escape from today’s Black Iron Prison and the world elite who want to evolve it into a surveillance Panopticon?
Keep doing what we’ve been doing of course, by ranting, raving, opinionating and doing most of all what an informed citizenry must do in order to survive.
Philip K. Dick would approve.