The War on our Memory
A drug addict on the tail end of a binge will promise himself that he will never again indulge. The horrors of the comedown convince him at that moment that he will forever abstain from the poison. A day or two passes and in his sober forgetfulness he will once again take the plunge, the terror of the comedown having been completely erased from his prefrontal cortex. And so on and so on… This perpetual amnesia, this selective loss of memory, cripples the soul of the user and ensnares him in a state of bondage.
Our memories inform our decisions and shape our souls. This applies to the individual subject as well as to societal units. Folklore and superstitions can be considered forms of cultural memory. Group identities are composed of this shared recollection. To rob a group of their memory, to incite a state of perpetual amnesia, dissolves the grouping into the ether.
Modern man has been subjected to an environment that is explicitly engineered to whittle away at one’s ability to remember. The algorithms that shape the media fairy castle overload us with such a sea of information that it drowns our reason. Log onto Twitter one day and be enraged by a recent event that is being publicized and discussed, only to go to sleep and drink the lethe, as you forget what it is that bothered you the day before.
I have always had a notoriously poor memory. This is unfortunate, as I am becoming quite convinced that possessing a robust memory is the only true distinction between higher and lesser forms of life. Sometimes I sit down and try to recall periods of my life. A kind of mental exercise. I become frustrated. I find there are years of my existence that seem to be completely gone.
If an unmasked thief held you at gunpoint you would not forget their face. You would constantly scan your peripheries, you would take precautions, you would hunger for revenge or maybe even justice. I will pose you with a hypothetical. What if every day the same man took your wallet? Positioned at the same spot, on the same route of your daily commute. Every day you vowed to never let it happen again. But every morning you forgot what he looked like, you forgot where he stood. Every day the same fate awaited you, an easily avoidable fate, if only you could remember.
In 2020 the men of this earth were robbed of two years of their lives. Two years we will never get back. Two years of solitude. Two years of economic hardship. Two years of increased rates of suicide, alcoholism, and domestic abuse. Two years of mockery, of societal gaslighting. Men were subjected to authoritarian mandates never before implemented on a global scale. In Italy, one could not enter a bus without a government ID declaring that one had received an experimental vaccine. For a while, to go out in public without having received the vaccine could have hypothetically had one charged with attempted murder under the legal code. Scores of people lost their jobs over refusal to get the vax.
When I try and remember that period of my life, the lockdowns, I find a kind of neural padlock preventing me from accessing those memories.
But there are some things I do remember.