by William Skink
Things are getting so weird so fast it’s hard to keep up.
There are reports coming out of Minneapolis that an organized, right-wing element has coopted the protests that have erupted in Minneapolis after a police officer killed George Floyd.
If you have searched the term Boogaloo Bois in the last 24 hours you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, I apologize that I have to write about this like it matters, because it does.
The idea that right-wing militia dudes dressed in tactical gear and Hawaiian shirts are transferring their online meme-magick mockery machine into real life chaos is difficult to accept. I mean, shit, I find it difficult to accept and I’m reading an actual book about this, which is freaking me out a bit.
The book, by Gary Lachman, is titled Dark Star Rising: Magick And Power In The Age Of Trump. I’ll be lazy and use this BoingBoing review for a quick summary:
Before I read Dark Star Rising, I had no idea that Trump was a devoted follower of the New Thought movement, which has it roots in 19th century mysticism. Trump’s family attended Marble Collegiate Church in New York, which was ministered by a pro-Christian nationalist named Norman Vincent Peale, who promulgated a doctrine of “positive thinking” — the idea that you can use your mind to cure yourself of disease, get rich, or even become president (“Change your thoughts and you can change the world”). I also didn’t know that the alt-right bases much of its ideology on an Italian philosopher and mystic born in 1889 named Julius Evola, who thought the problem with Mussolini was that he wasn’t a big enough fascist. And then there’s Aleksandr Dugin, a very influential Russian fascist philosopher who is a kind of Rasputin figure for Putin and who pushes the idea that the only way to return Russia to greatness is by wiping liberal democracy off the face of the earth. Dugin is relatively unknown in the West, except among members of the alt-right and the dark enlightenment, who would love to install the kind of fascist regime Dugin is advocating in their own countries. Dark Star Rising introduced me to all of these phenomena, along with many other related concepts, such as using Pepe memes as a form of chaos magick – a postmodern magical practice that stresses achieving desired outcomes through applied experimentation as opposed to rituals and symbols of traditional mystic practices.
It’s weird to be writing this in such a peaceful environment. It was a beautiful day today in Missoula. I went to a local watering hole with a good friend. The family is watching Lego Movie Part II on the couch. Our baked potatoes were delicious.
And yet, a part of this country could be facing a domestic military deployment and the use of lethal force tonight amidst total confusion about what the threat actually is.
I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings.