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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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America as Religion
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Hong Kong, 2017

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      I just got off Skype with Kevin Barrett. Interviewed, I sat in the dusty office of our dustier plastic recycling plant. Truck horns and roosters crowing provided background noises. Though we covered many topics, I want to expand on just one, that of America as a religion.

      Unless you’re a reactionary, assbackward asshole, you believe in progress, as in history definitely has an aim, and that’s to reach the Messianic Age, where there will be no more war, all races will be harmonious and equal (except one will be a tad more equal than the rest, because more circumcised and chosen) and Yahweh will beam his benevolence on your sorry ass, even if you’re goy as fuck. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” so just keep on tearing down as you forge forward, comrades, and if you want a passing grade, don’t even try to argue against Moses, Marx and George Soros. All progressive visions are derived from Jewish messianism.

      All of history, then, is a mere prologue and foreskin to the Messianic Age, just beyond the blood red horizon, and since America is the chest-thumping most advanced country on earth, not just with gadgets but ideas, America is the vanguard of this religion of progress. Though more threadbare by the second, this is a fitting mantle, since America has become Israel’s humongous schwanz.

      America has even landed men on the moon six times, 225,623 miles away, without a glitch! Yes, it couldn’t rescue hostages from Iran or pretend to assassinate Bin Laden in Pakistan without crashing its helicopters and leaving a mess of charred corpses behind, but moon landings were much easier, you moron, because there were no Muslims there to spook the astronauts! As with the Holocaust and 9/11, we have photographic proofs! How can you argue with such impeccable photos, with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO just right? America hasn’t returned simply because the technology fell through the crack, and can’t be found again, even with a broom with an extra-long handle.

      Just now, Ron Unz published “The Moon Landing: A Giant Hoax for Mankind?” by one MOON LANDING SKEPTIC, but on April Fools’ Day, and with a long disclaimer as the first comment. Though most commenters joined Ron in howling at the piece, Kevin Barrett, Godfree Roberts and Jonathan Revusky supported it, and I’d like to add my name to this list, for there are way too many obvious lies in the official story, and the photographs are clearly fake. Even with today’s cameras, with their compact sizes, large view finders and automatic focus, it’d be impossible to take so many perfectly framed and exposed photos in a row, without flops. Not one betrays even the slightest camera shake. Armstrong wasn’t so much the first man on the moon, as the first tripod.

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      In One Small Step? The Great Moon Hoax and the Race to Dominate Earth from Space, Gerhard Wisnewski explains, “Of course one might understandably assume that what NASA has published and put on the Internet are only the best photos, with any amount of duds being omitted. But this is not the case. NASA has supplied the Internet with the complete first film supposedly shot by Neil Armstrong. The pictures are numbered consecutively with no gaps, and are shown under the heading: ‘Apollo 11 Hasselblad Film Magazine 40/S Unabridged – First Lunar EVA (digitally scanned by JSC in 2004 from original film roll).’ There are exactly 120 pictures – numbered from 5850 to 5970. Although a handful are ‘unintentional’ releases of the shutter, the ‘intentional’ ones are all perfect. In that sense none of the pictures on that film are failures.”

      That’s impossible, even if Armstrong wasn’t shooting with a camera attached to his chest, with only the vaguest idea of what he was aiming at. If only I could photograph as well as Armstrong’s tits!

      On top of this, you have Aldrin’s iconic footprint snapped from an impossible, downward angle; moon photos with clearly more than one light source, although no floodlights were lugged up from the earth; no crater on the lunar surface from the landing engine; no noise from the blasting rocket as Buzz Aldrin, seated just 16 inches away, communicated with Houston; no required minimal gaps of 2.6 seconds on several radio exchanges; and my favorite, Charles Duke leaving a plastic wrapped snapshot of his family on the moon surface, so he could photograph it. What a heartwarming moment or, should I say, a heartmelting farce, since it’s 212 degrees Fahrenheit up that way! The inconsistencies, lies and absurdities multiply, and Wisnewski does a very good job of elucidating them, in clear, measured prose, so do check out his book if you’re interested in examining this controversy in good faith.

      Calling the Apollo spacecraft “a bucket of bolts,” Gus Grissom openly expressed his doubts about its imminent landing on the moon, and for this frankness, Gus and two other astronauts were roasted in Apollo 1, in an act of sabotage, many believe, caused by a short circuit, with lots of Velcro stuffed in there to stoke the flames, a genuine holocaust. As fire broke out, the hatch wasn’t opened immediately, and doctors arrived late, only to be falsely told that the men were already dead. Their suspicious deaths were not investigated by the police or the FBI but NASA itself, and the agency predictably concluded that it was just an accident.

      Inspecting the wreck, Gus Grissom’ son, Scott, found “a plate that fitted exactly underneath the switch exactly where all the cables from that switch were located. It was obvious that the plate should not have been there, for its effect was to short-circuit all the cables regardless of whether the switch was set at ‘On’ or at ‘Off.’” Having located the smoking gun, Scott Grissom did not suspect NASA but the Soviets!

      In a decade that saw the oddly explained deaths of JFK, RFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, etc., Grissom’s is just another, minor example. Moreover, American history is filled with thousands of bizarre and murky incidents, as in 9/11, but if most of its population, including all its leading intellectuals, are willing to go along with any preposterous story, why should the deep state worry? The few who do pipe up are invisible and impotent.

      Though the Apollo spacecraft had 20,000 malfunctions in December, 1966, it had no problems landing on the moon on July 16, 1969, beating Kennedy’s absurdly confident deadline by five months, but how dare you doubt the universe’s greatest country ever?

      MOON LANDING SKEPTIC, “Indeed, travelling to the moon and coming back alive is a feat of mythical proportions. It is tantamount to travelling to the Other World and coming back to the world of the living with your physical body. That makes the NASA astronauts the equals of ancient supernatural heroes, immortal demi-gods, and that semi-divine quality reflects on the USA as a whole. Such was the significance of the Apollo moon landings: it was about a new world religion that elevated the United States above all other earthly nations.”

      Landing on the moon, the US redeemed itself and pushed into the shadow a decade of riots, assassinations, war crimes and moral degeneracy. As the country sinks to new depths, many Americans are now mesmerized by Elon Musk’s promise of life on Mars, “Once you can get there the opportunities are immense. So we’re going to do our best to get you there and then make sure there is an environment in which entrepreneurs can flourish; and then I think it’ll be amazing.” Meanwhile, Musk’s cars on earth explode, his stocks sink and the conman may even go to jail. Yes, it is very human to dream of flying ever higher, but to wish to live on a distant, inhospitable planet where nothing is meant for your kind betrays not hope, but a profound despair and a near total lack of imagination.

      America’s most enduring export has been its image. Self-infatuated, it seduces everyone into worshipping its self-portrait. In 1855, Walt Whitman wrote, “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem,” then set out to define this “greatest poem” to the rest of the world, a monumental achievement. In 2005, Harold Pinter said, “I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self-love. It’s a winner.”

      The farther you are from the US, the more mythical it becomes. Here in Ea Kly, most people have never been to Saigon, much less California, New York or Las Vegas, so their faith in the US can become childishly fanatical. This week, I met three brothers who still regret not jumping on a boat to escape, forty years ago. Every Vietnamese they know who ended up in the US had become fabulously rich, they insisted, and they cited a man who returned to build a road for his village as a typical example.

      These aborted boat people looked at me with scorn when I told them there are plenty of poor Americans, with many in such despair they drug themselves to death, and life in the US is often a very lonely experience, even for the native-born, with roots going back generations. I was besmirching these naïfs’ religion.

      A man in his 40’s asked me if wife swapping is common in the US. As evidenced by every movie and music video, America is this insanely sexed up place where everybody is always jumping into everybody else’s bed, not the land of widespread porn addiction, compulsive masturbators, bitter divorcees, smart phone exhibitionism, paid cuddlers and the never married growing old alone.

      A woman told me that she had a friend in the US who was making “only” $2,400 a month, “How can you live on so little?”

      “Many Americans make less than that,” I answered. “I sure did most of my time there.”

      She looked amused. She had no idea most Americans have to pay around 20% of their incomes on taxes, and that housing and transportation costs eat up half of their paychecks.

      Most people in Ea Kly have never even seen an American. In the next town, Krong Buk, there’s a white resident, the only one in a 30 mile radius. Most of his neighbors know him as simply ông Tây, Mr. Westerner, though some do call by his first name, Peter.

      A man said to Peter, “Merci, madame,” the only Western phrase he knew.

      Most have no idea that Peter is actually Swiss, and not American, but he’s rich enough, by local standards, so he’s more or less an American.

      White people are rich, live in fabulous countries, travel all over and can suddenly show up even in Krong Buk to buy a nice piece of land by the lake, build an elegant house, with a guest bungalow next to it. Whereas the locals only fish in this lake, the white man swims daily, for he knows how to enjoy life.

      The apex of whiteness, though, is the United States of America, a country that didn’t just drop seven million tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, as well as 20 million gallons of herbicides, mostly Agent Orange, but sent twelve tall, clean cut and good intentioned white men to the moon, a transcendental feat that’s still unequaled after half a century, and it’s a safe bet that neither the Russians, Chinese nor anyone else will be able to accomplish this for a while, maybe ever. Of course, Americans can return to the moon tomorrow if they want to, but they’re already looking way beyond it.

      As New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles become covered with feces from homeless Americans, American colonies will be set up not just on Mars, but Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, in whatever order, for they’re all as near as Hollywood, or your computer, assuming you’ll still have one.

      A gender fluid American astronaut will place a laminated printout of his virtual spouse on the surface of the sun. “USA! USA!” many of us will chant.

      If progress is good, then accelerated progress is even better, for it will get us to the Messianic Age faster. Tradition is an albatross, so unmoor yourself and worship speed. Since history is linear, with a clear aim, your heritage gets darker and more embarrassing the further back you go, so tear it down and don’t look back.

      In old Europe, the religion of progress is challenged and counterbalanced by many reminders of its magnificent past, and I’m not even talking about, say, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Tower in Florence, but the gravitas of your centuries-old village church, if it’s still standing and not destroyed in a World War, or converted into a cafe or bookshop. Your average English lychgate is more handsome than the nearest skyscraper.

      When I taught at the University of Leipzig in 2015, I would daily pass the Paulinum, a brand new, grand and rather ugly edifice built in roughly the shape of the Paulinerkirche, a 13th century church dynamited by the Communists in 1968, and it pains me just to type that. Well, maybe it was just some run-of-the-mill 700-year-old church, and probably not in that great a shape, so who gives a shit, you may be thinking, but Martin Luther rechristened it in 1545 and Johann Sebastian Bach was its music director for festal services in 1723−25. Mendelssohn conducted there in 1837, and it hosted his funeral in 1847. Now, why would Communists blow up such a monumental repository of Leipzig’s history? Because they’re progressives, of course!

      Luckily, there are no 700-year-old churches in the USA to block our views of the new Walmart, Costco, Home Depot or Hooters! The settler, pioneer, immigrant and refugee spirit propels Americans and demands fresh beginnings ad infinitum. America, then, is the perfect embodiment of the religion of progress, and its greatest rocket, until it explodes, as most rockets do.

      Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

       
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