I spend the day writing, and before sunset I drive a couple of miles to Ya Nui, a small beach where I can watch the sun go down. I need to refocus my eyes after hours too close to a screen. Holiday families are packing up and drifting away from the beach. Thai guys are fishing from the rocks or taking pictures of their girlfriends. Sometimes, there’s a bride and groom in full wedding dress, with a camera crew, posing in front of the sea and the sky. Or some dude doing a fire-dance, filmed by an attendant drone. I climb around the rocks to a favourite vantage point near the water, and sit and watch as it gets dark.
Or I drive up into the hills. All along the coast road there are views out over the sea towards the West. I go and see my pals at the elephant camp, or glide down a jungle road to Jamrock reggae bar, where I sit on the top deck smoking with Nung, or chatting with whoever is around. People from all over find their way there, and sunset is the best time.
We’ve been getting some amazing shows. Astonishing colours, incredible reach. Some evenings half the sky lights up with flaming oranges, intense pinks and magentas. These super-bright, fire and candy sunsets have been happening for a while now. People bask in the beauty. At tourist viewpoints they arrive by the coach-load to take selfies as the sun sets over the sea. On Facebook people share these benedictions of light. I’ll take a photograph too, if something especially kaleidoscopic is happening. I like the way the slanting light reveals whatever is in the sky, like an X-ray.
There’s something strange about this palette of colours, and the way the light boomerangs from horizon to horizon as the angle of light changes. Often the opposite horizon lights up in a mirror display. Sometimes when the West is blanketed by cloud, there’s a kind of reverse sunset, with the East alight and the West dim. Clouds in the middle of the sky catch fire. Where I’m sitting, the whole horizon of the sea is layered with salmony pinks and greys, the canopy airbrushed with pink striations. The general luminosity means that shadow rays are sometimes projected across the sky, showing up starkly in what is to me a completely novel effect. Sometimes criss-crossing rays and trails create a geometrical hatching on the horizon.
I don’t always take my camera with me; I don’t want to be some kind of obsessive sunset anorak. But there’s something in these kaleidoscopic displays, this celestial kitsch, which I can’t take my eyes off.
The word ‘kitsch’ entered the English language from German (kitsch, meaning gaudy trash, from the dialect word kitschen, to smear or coat). It was much used by art critics in the thirties to distinguish avant garde values from sentimental ‘picture postcard’ art of the autumnal woodlands or kittens in baskets variety. Sunsets over the sea, that kind of thing.
In his great novel of ideas, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), Milan Kundera takes the word and expands its horizons to include not just taste in art but world-view or cultural attitude. He defines it, in a metaphysical sense, as ‘the absolute denial of shit’.
“The fact that until recently the word “shit” appeared in print as s— has nothing to do with moral considerations. You can’t claim that shit is immoral, after all! The objection to shit is a metaphysical one. The daily defecation session is daily proof of the unacceptability of Creation. … The aesthetic ideal of the categorical agreement with being is a world in which shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist. This aesthetic ideal is called kitsch. … Kitsch is the absolute denial of shit, in both the literal and the figurative senses of the word; kitsch excludes everything from its purview which is essentially unacceptable in human existence.” (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Part 6: The Grand March)
‘Kitsch’ is a worldview which denies the unacceptable, acting as if it did not exist. In fact every outlook or movement is liable to devolve into a kitsch version of itself: romantic kitsch, patriotic kitsch, religious kitsch, communist kitsch. In totalitarian kitsch, the ‘shit’ is dissenting thought, and the gulag becomes the septic tank of the totalitarian system.
In bourgeois kitsch, shit consists of sexuality, social unorthodoxy, status-lowering behaviour, dress, language or occupation, and certain political ideas.
As well as actual shit, naturally.
As a small child I sensed the familial constriction of kitsch. I wondered, for instance, why the grown-ups mowed the lawn. It seemed to me, to paraphrase Kundera, a denial of grass.
As soon as I was old enough, I embraced bohemian values. Not only Velvet Underground and The Doors, Nico and Patti Smith, but Chatterton, Keats and Baudelaire, de Quincy and Shelley, Messiean and Bartok, Salvador Dali and David Gascoyne, all showed me something beyond the flimsy paper walls of bourgeois kitsch. They hinted at the sublime.
I didn’t discover Kundera until I was in my thirties, and his musings gave me a new way to think about what I’d been trying to define all my life. What it is that has so bothered me, and made me so difficult and malcontented. Kitsch, perhaps, kitsches of all kinds, have induced this alienation. Anglican kitsch, bourgeois kitsch, Christmas kitsch, married-with-children kitsch, Guardian-reading, New Labour kitsch, educational kitsch, Globalist kitsch. New age, positive-thinking kitsch. Human beings produce kitsch as continuously as they produce shit.
Now, even with church and marriage and child-rearing and The Guardian and my international school career all in the past, I feel it more than ever. There are so many things I can’t discuss with my family members, or even most of my old friends. Certain realities we may never speak of.
There is a new kind of shit, which has given rise to a new kind of kitsch.
Sunset colours are caused by prismatic refraction, with blue in particular scattered by the greater depth of atmosphere the light travels through as the sun declines towards the horizon. Particulates in the atmosphere are also a factor – the ochre moons of harvest, for instance, yellowed by harvest dust. Atmospheric particles, or aerosols as they are called, come from many sources – volcanic activity, industry, smoke, sea-salt, carboniferous exudates from trees.
But the strange new beauty we are getting reflects the fact that something has changed. There is a new source of particulate pollution: the micronised aerosols being injected into the stratosphere purportedly to create a solar shield. This deliberate form of air pollution is highly visible, whether in the form of fresh aircraft trails, veils and mats of white matter not in the known forms of clouds, or the general whitening of the sky, and must, I would think, be the reason for these candy-box colours, the kitschy sunsets I’m so devoted to.
Incidentally, don’t fall for the contrails obfuscation. A condensation trail by definition consists of water droplets. Anything that nucleates cloud is not just water droplets, which under normal circumstances will quickly mix and dissipate into the fluid medium of the atmosphere. As soon as you see a trail persist and spread, you know it contains particles, without which cloud cannot be nucleated. A persistent contrail, in other words, is a ‘chemtrail’, except in conditions so rare as to be practically non-existent.
In any case, it is not the changing appearance of the skies which proves it: it’s the air sampling.
These Phuket sunsets, like all sunsets, are an effect of the content of the atmosphere. The particles being injected into the stratosphere are nano-sized, and so the water droplets which condense around them are smaller than usual. Because of the increased surface area of water, clouds formed in this way are more reflective. That may explain why these sunsets are so luminous, and why clouds in the middle of the sky or even on the opposite horizon from the sinking sun catch fire in such spectacular fashion. It is metallic aerosols that are flooding our evenings with colours: magenta, tangerine, pink, salmon, ochre and flame.
The metallic salts ionise, increasing the conductivity of the atmosphere, which is why, sitting on my roof-terrace or on the top deck at Jamrock with its epic view out over the sea, I see, most evenings, these pops and fizzes of dry, silent lightning backlighting patches of sky.
Once in a while I meet someone who knows about it. But most people don’t seem to have noticed anything at all. It’s strange. For me, this is the backdrop of our times – cobwebbed skies and summer lightning.
There are new clouds in the sky, newly designated by meteorologists. The long, hooked clouds are Cirrus Uncinus. The doomy, undulating blanket-canopies — Asperatus. NASA talks about ‘jet-cirrus’, the high, clumpy scuzz. Strange clouds, persistent haze and impaired visibility are ubiquitous phenomena. Why aren’t people talking about it?
Curiosity has somehow been forestalled. Perhaps they sense, unconsciously, the presence of a lethal text, written huge in the sky.
So mostly I confine my thoughts to these pages. Here on this big island in the Andaman Sea, I keep the sky to myself.
Yesterday, I was with friends visiting me here in Phuket. It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky — not a real one, anyway. Just smeared chemtrails, blending into the light aerosol haze that’s been whitening our skies for years now. Not enough to spoil the day, just taking the edge off the intense sun, so why even mention it? I didn’t.
My friends are younger than I am, smart, educated, and creative. But still there are things you can’t mention without spoiling the mood. We can talk about sex and shit, and drugs and shit, and film and books and families and relationships and shit, and… everything.
But mention chemtrails?
That’s a ‘conspiracy theory’.
Kitsch has not gone away. After all these years, I still haven’t found a way through its smothering, mothering embrace.
Kitsch is the determination to control the conversation. Kitsch will decide the rules. Kitsch will decide what is to be discussed.
It’s as if everything important is now considered indecent. It’s weird. And weird is the right word. I feel our destiny in these silences: the kitsch that is killing us.
The phenomenon has many names. The popular term is chemtrails, which has no scientific standing or definition. Academics and scientists use various acronyms. SRM – Solar Radiation Management; SPICE – Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering; SAG — Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering; SAI – Stratospheric Aerosol Injection; and a number of others.
Whatever you call it, it is happening on a global scale. Regardless of denial about purposes and funding sources and measures taken to keep the reality from public consciousness, our skies have been visibly transformed by a global program of particle injection. This is incontrovertible. We can debate its significance, but for any thinking person to refuse to discuss it is simply a denial of reality. Wilful blindness to threatening realities may not be anything new – but the scale and visibility of this is so great that the act of not seeing involved is almost miraculous.
Having seen what we are seeing, and having substantiated it with a congruence of laboratory tests, visual evidence, documentary evidence, whistle-blower testimony and official pronouncements, we have to ask: Why? What is the purpose of this global operation, and what will be the results?
The official cover-story – the kitsch version – is that it’s all about climate remediation, but this explanation can quickly be discarded. The global warming scare, i.e. anthropogenic climate change through carbon dioxide emissions, is baseless and illogical. Carbon dioxide does not drive climate, and the aim of ‘stabilising’ the climate is hubristic and absurd. Even if this were the true purpose, and had any chance of working, the idea of toxifying the atmosphere and the soils, disrupting the hydrological cycle and shredding the ozone layer in order to prevent a little sea-level rise is tragically insane. It can’t be that. So what is it?
For a long time I accepted the hypothesis that it was all about depopulation: that the contents of the trails might be designed, for instance, to progressively weaken the human immune system in preparation for a global pandemic which would eliminate huge swathes of population across the planet. The depopulation agenda is justified by the global warming myth, and is one of the primary motives for the creation of the myth, but what really drives it is the economic implications of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. Bill Joy’s seminal Wired article, ‘Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us’, is a thought-provoking introduction to the general futurological drift embraced by the technocratic and financial elites. In the intermediate term the biosphere will be collapsed into the waiting arms of Monsanto and Google, with their aluminium-resistant plants and robotic pollinators. Once all our food is synthetic, sucking up nothing but poison from killed soils, once our immune systems are sufficiently wrecked and our minds sufficiently blunted, the war of attrition will be progressively turned up under a political system of total surveillance and control. Zbigniew Brzezinksi, one of the most influential political theorists of his generation, was not alone in envisioning technocratic collectivism as the goal of a global oligarchy; all thinkers on the New World Order take it for granted that totalitarianism is the necessary corollary of the technological Singularity. Nano-technology, robotics, and genetics, the twenty-first century trinity, will all play their part in achieving the aim of reducing humanity, the ‘new enemy’ in the words of the Club of Rome, to a hyper-controlled remnant.
As I’ve learned of the thousands of mass animal die-offs reported across the planet over the past seven years or more, I have begun to wonder whether the effects of these atmospheric pollutants on the entire ecosystem is so destructive, added to the effect of huge toxic and radioactive disasters over the same period, that what we are looking at is nothing less than total biospheric collapse. Quite apart from the acute toxicity of elements like aluminium and barium, the aerosols are having a devastating effect on the ozone layer, leading to increased penetration of Ultra Violet B and C radiation, which is killing the plankton upon which the oxygenation of the atmosphere as well as the entire oceanic food-chain rests.
This is such an obvious and profound risk that I do not believe it can be accidental. Instead, I would put the question: How do you remove seven billion people from the surface of our planet? It’s a more than Herculean task, which requires a full-spectrum approach. Malthusian population checks – war, disease, and famine – are not enough, though they will play their part. The poisoning of air, food and water will be necessary. Enzymic, microbial, chemical and radiative attacks on human fertility and longevity will be required. Ultimately there is only one way to rid the earth of the scourge of so many ‘useless eaters’, and that is ecocide.
Bearing in mind the deliberations on purposeful environmental degradation detailed in ‘The Report from Iron Mountain’, On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace, I suspect that the conclusion has been reached that the human species, adaptable and ingenious as it is, cannot be reduced to near-extinction levels without deconstructing the environment which sustains it – which will then be genetically recreated and redesigned. The genocidal onslaught on humanity through food, water, air and radiation is not enough. Nature itself must die and be reborn. The chosen will escape underground and wait out the carnage – and then return to reseed and remodel the world as they see fit.
It’s not just genocide, it’s omnicide: the death of everything.
Or so I thought.
But now I realise it’s worse than that.
We are supposed to pretend nothing is happening, and just do small-talk.
Sex and shit, and drugs and shit, and films and books and shit and families and relationships and shit…
So I keep the sky to myself, here on this big island in the Andaman Sea.
In this open-air mental ward, lunatics snicker at the sane.
Well obviously, the one who’s seeing things.
So, you might ask, gently, what is it you see in the clouds? Is it there now?
And I’d say:
Yes, it’s always there.
Describe it for me. What do you see?
OK. Well, what I see is The Century of Change.
Yes? Go on.
The glitter of a trillion Damoclean Swords.
OK. What else?
I see war — the war on humanity that was declared in 1991.
You see war, in the clouds?
Yes. I see the coming event which makes this war inevitable. The Technological Singularity — slouching toward Bethlehem to be born.
Do you? Do you see, like I do, a new world? A transhuman future which ‘ends Nature’, augments reality, and turns us all into simulacra. Skynet. Machine intelligence: the deification of an omniscient dead soul.
Sounds more like Terminator than W B Yeats.
Terminator. Ray Kurzweil. Ted Kazynski. Jean Baudrillard. The Singularity is the Precession of Simulacra is the death of the real.
And not just a technological singularity. How could that be? It must entail a political and economical singularity as well. And — the part that makes my flesh crawl — the biological singularity.
I’m sorry. Biological?
Synthetic biology. Pseudo-life. In factious nano-tech. Intelligent micro-dust.
“Oh Rose, thou are Sick.
The Invisible Worm that
flies in the night in the
Howling storm has
Found out thy bed of crimson joy
And his dark, secret love
Doth thy life destroy.”
So now you know.
You know I’m fully delusional, living out my life against a backdrop of science-fiction skies. That’s the reality I’m stuck in. The abyss stares out of me, as I wait for the sky to fall and insects to come burrowing out of my skin. But there you are. Sitting on my roof with dry lightning flickering around the margins of my vision, that’s what I see.
Well, someone had to be the last, right? Our compensation is that we are the ones who get to see this apocalyptic kitsch, as understanding dawns, right before the end.
But don’t talk about it.
It’s not polite.
Just watch the sunset. Take a picture and post it on Facebook.
Genocide is beautiful.