Ryan: War

Photo by Sean Ryan

Virgil begins The Aeneid in darkness. "I sing of warfare and a man at war," followed by an invocation of the Muse and a ton of badass one-liners. Such as:

"The descent into Hell is easy" and "If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell" and "Let me rage before I die."

War is what happens when we lose our minds collectively, sometimes on a global scale. It is both uniquely human and bleakly inhuman. Brutalism by design, rococco on accident. An animalistic loss of composure that we perfect through elaborate, brilliantly organized maneuvers, only to devolve to our worst selves, overtaken by an ugliness that bursts up from Hell.

Murder is the worst thing a person can do, worse than rape. And war is industrialized murder, assembly-line killing, the violent death of millions of people, scattering our bones into the earth by the pile. Betraying ourselves in every possible way. And often accompanied by all sorts of heinous crimes, including rape. Which makes war, by far, the most odious behavior that humans can commit.

When a war begins, the world gets quieter. Collectively, subconsciously, we are frightened, like a child hiding from a monster. In 2020, this pronouncement — of war — is just as bone-rattling as it has ever been, same as it was in Virgil's Rome, only now, it's infinitely more tangled, complicated by invisible networks that we don't fully understand, like everything else we encounter these days. Because our human era will go down as "The Bluff Age," when everyone was constantly pretending to be relaxed, and competent, but, secretly, no one had the slightest clue what was happening, or why, and especially not how.

Right as I was gliding into the peaceful, dreamy territory of an evening nap, my phone began firing off under a stack of books on the bed. Emails, DMs, phone calls. A text from my father that said, "War."

"Jesus, not again," I said, with the same annoyance you get when the doctor is late and you're stuck in the waiting room.

In 2019 I had to cut five stories because the news moves too fast for all of us. And, here I was, two stories into part two of this election series, a new year, and I'd just spent an entire month preparing stories, had literally just completed the final edits on the six-part installment about Trump rallies in Louisiana, and now our attention as a country shifted to war.

Why We Fight: Prelude to War (Frank Capra) www.youtube.com

Times have changed since Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series used cinema to explain World War II to the American public. In Prelude to War, the first installment, a vaudevillian narrator asks, "Why are we Americans on the march?"

The media change but the questions, at their core, stay the same.

But Trump hadn't tweeted in hours. An ominous sign.

And Twitter, to nobody's surprise, was a shitshow. A portion of the activity was news-related, mention of rockets hitting a U.S. airbase in Iraq, likely as retaliation for Trump's recent killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. An assassination that was itself a retaliation, in a history of retaliations too intermingled for anyone to remember who threw the first punch.

For the most part, however, Twitter was just as pathologically sarcastic and delusional as always, only now #WAR was trending.
Our own Stu Burguiere wrote: "In this moment of potential crisis, please make sure to tweet all of your worst inner thoughts." Spot on, Stu.

Meanwhile, the front page of Reddit was even more frantic than normal. At the top, a "Iran War" megathread, flawlessly assembled, with everything I needed all in the one place.

All of it was so serious. I needed a good laugh. A dose of comedy. So I put Fox News on the TV..

Some cardboard pundit in a spandex blazer kept saying that the Amendments to the Constitution are like people — they were born, they grow perfect, but some turn degenerate and come undone, until we're full of senseless death.

Then, like a robotic wax figure, he lifted his chin and faced the camera and said "War is inevitable."

The FoxNews logo spun like clipart into an ad for adult diapers. Next was a commercial for those Oakleys-style sunglasses that Navy Seal snipers wear. Isn't it great, the way they pop their heads out of the river with their sunglasses on?

Don't get me wrong, the other networks weren't any better. Just smug in a different way. And now add tension, uncertainty, fear. Would we live through another 9/11? Good God, no, no, no.

Outside, the air belted larger and farther and quicker than usual, slanting with cinema shade that hung behind a divided Moon. Half of it was bright, its usual morose, like an acne-faced teenager. And darkness gloved the other side, low and cracked like a parking lot.

The night seemed so painfully quiet, all at once.

"War and peace," I shouted, in the direction of my two dogs. "Darkness and light." They expected treats, given the tone of voice I'd chosen. They got treats.

Humans have had cognitive awareness for about 100,000 years now. War has baffled us since we were able to be baffled. Why do we fight? Poets, philosophers, artists, theologians have all plundered their minds for an answer and the best we can come up with is contradictory, at the very least. It seems that war and peace need one another, like a sexually-charged divorce. Existence itself needs that struggle, life and death working together.

Leo Tolstoy captured the existential absurdity of this dilemma in his novel War and Peace, which chronicles Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. In it, he writes, "If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war."

Fighting for your own convictions turns out to be far trickier than we assume. Because we're not as independent as we'd thought. There is no silence in the world we have created, through language and art and religion and history. No single hero, no lone villain. It's never my world. It's only ever ours, with me in it.

Despite our postmodern concept of selfhood as a unique experience that each of us controls, we matter more to the collective than as an individual. Each of our lives finds meaning as a part of the greater whole. The rest of it is trophies.

Tolstoy writes, "Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals."

War is inevitable. But how it affects each of us is a matter of fate. Maybe you're born into the cozy rung of a country that nobody cares about or one that everybody loses to. War still happens, just elsewhere. It is as fortuitous as life itself. Who knows why we were born now, here, as the person each of us is. If you're lucky, war is something you can discover via Twitter, at your leisure.

New installments run Mondays and Thursdays Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

From food and job shortages to the prices of building materials "skyrocketing," the world is currently moving into what could be the "perfect storm" for politicians to push for a universal basic income, explained Glenn Beck on the radio program.

"We really need to look at the economy and be prepared for what is coming," Glenn said. "I feel like my job is to warn you of the things that are coming and, when I can, give you ways to navigate around. But at least so you can hear the warning and decide yourself what you're going to do with that."

Glenn explained that now, for the first time, there is a shortage of starter homes and building supplies just as increasing numbers of millennials are in the market. Also, analysts are predicting that shortages of food items and products such as pork, polystyrene, and chlorine could send prices soaring. Then there's the matter of unemployment, kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic and likely to worsen because of the technological revolution, there are going to be fewer and fewer jobs for people to do.

"We are creating this perfect storm, right now, where universal basic income is going to be embraced by people," Glenn warned. "It's just this nasty cycle that we're beginning, and we're watching it unfold right in front of us."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

More than 100 business leaders and CEOs from some of the world's largest corporations recently met during a Zoom meeting to discuss how they can band together to fight "election integrity laws," like the voting law recently passed in Georgia.

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck explained how this government-corporation partnership is not only proof of fascism, but it is also demonstrative of how our lives will be under The Great Reset: government and large corporations will work together to set the rules, and the freedoms of the individual American will be squashed.

"I want you to understand ... everything that they have ever said about, 'oh, it's a conspiracy theory' about The Great Reset, you can throw that in the garbage now," Glenn began. "Something happened this weekend that is absolutely unprecedented. I have done this job, for ... I don't even know how many years, almost 50 years, and I've never seen anything like this.

"People that were on the [Zoom] call, they talked about potential ways to show how they opposed the legislation, including ... delaying investments in states. That's blackmail," Glenn continued.

"So these corporations, they're going to act as a — what? A secondary government? ... I don't know. I didn't elect the CEO of Merck. Did you?" he said.

"Corporations [are] openly meeting and coordinating efforts to change laws," Glenn added. "This is fascism, guys! Fascism is when government and corporations work hand in hand. That is fascism."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A virus has escaped the university labs and is super-spreading through our culture. It's called Critical Race THEORY and what used to be a fringe topic in the academic world is now a dangerous Marxist REALITY infecting our public schools where students are taught the U.S. is a "parasitic system" based on the "invasion" of "white male settlers."

On Glenn TV this week, Glenn Beck exposes how some teachers are being instructed to "cash in on kids' inherent empathy" in order to train them to become "activist intellectuals," starting as early as first grade.

CRT is an absolute toxin to America and Glenn warns that in just one generation the Constitution, freedom, and true equality will be totally destroyed. Yet, any opposition to the spread of this disease is shouted down as racism and bigotry. If Critical Race Theory is not already in your local school curriculum, it will be soon.

Joined by Asra Nomani, Vice President for Strategy and Investigations at Parents Defending Education, Glenn arms you with the facts about CRT so you can stand up to this tyranny in your community.

Watch the full episode below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ezra Levant, founder of Rebel News, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to describe the shocking footage he and his team captured of Canadian police harassing and even arresting Rebel News reporters during a protest in Montreal.

Video clips show officers making remarks about the "Jew" reporters and calling Rebel News "Jew media." Reporters are pulled out of crowds, handcuffed, slammed against vehicles and arrested. Some have been fined "thousands and thousands" of dollars "because they had cameras pointed at the police," said Levant.

Another video clip shows Canadian police demanding entrance to a rented Airbnb houseboat without a warrant.

"They the claimed it was an illegal gathering. It was just a B and B," Levant explained. "I told them to get a warrant. I went out there ... and they wouldn't let me back in.... It turned into a ten-hour standoff. They couldn't find a judge willing to give them a search warrant, so to punish us, they called the whole thing a crime scene. They actually wouldn't let any of my team off the boat unless they submitted to a personal search, which is illegal. And the craziest part, is that they arrested one of my guys, took him to jail, and they said this to us: We will hold him in jail until you let us search the Airbnb without a warrant."

Levant said nearly all Canadian media have ignored the insane attacks, warrantless searches and seizures, and the jailing of journalists, and warned Americans to take note and protect our First Amendment rights.

"If you do not protect your First Amendment, if you do not hold those hard-won freedoms, you will be like what we are," he said. "This is your future if you don't protect your First Amendment."

Watch the video below for more details:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.