DEAR INTERNET: You Win. I Quit.
Big Tech Has This Muslim Waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus
[Editor’s Note: This essay is re-published here on Medium.com with permission from FoxNews247.com, where it first appeared as an Op-Ed at Fox News’ Ersatz Edition.]
EVERY AGE in human history has had its ‘chicken littles,’ people who sincerely believed that The End of the World was imminent. Obviously, they were all proven wrong, as the world is still here. However, it is also true that at some point the world — or at least the human species — will go extinct. What if that time is now? Are we modern human beings dancing on the Titanic? And what if the device on which you are reading this — along with the underlying technological wizardry that makes it possible — is part of the problem? What if all this technology has hijacked our minds, and we don’t even realize it?
I became extremely interested in the Internet while I was in college (1993–1996) and co-founded an Internet startup during the Web1.0 era, circa 1998. I was what venture capitalists, angel investors, marketers, advertisers, and technology entrepreneurs call an ‘early adopter.’ But I sensed the downside risks of Big Tech even back then, and they have been weighing on my spirit, soul, heart, and mind for two decades. They recently sent me to the edge of my sanity. Therefore, I have decided to quit the Internet and disappear for a while. To attempt to get healthy––physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually healthy. To be able to be a better, more balanced person: a better son, father, partner, friend, servant, artist, human being. Worldly pursuits and unhealthy addictions nearly destroyed my soul. They have caused irreversible damage to key personal relationships in my life.
So for now, I have decided to delete the thousands of tweets, photos, posts, and comments from my social media accounts, effectively quitting the Internet and going away. I will honor my pre-existing commitments for upcoming standup gigs and acting jobs, but besides that, my intention is to step away from all of the madness and focus on healing and recovery. Below I will explain why, though I am aware many people will likely dismiss these as the ramblings of a madman; and so I fully acknowledge that maybe I’m crazy…or maybe I’m right…
The Liar-In-Chief calls CNN ‘Fake News,’ and all anti-Trumpists immediately reply with anger and disgust. But doesn’t he have a point? I am pretty sure I saw Wolf Blitzer reporting on the President Francis Underwood administration. That’s right, on ‘House of Cards.’ [SIDENOTE: The producers of the show fired Kevin Spacey after the disturbing allegations against him surfaced, which makes sense, since it is impossible to imagine a world in which the President of the United States of America is an accused sexual predator, right?]
So I did the homework. Turns out Wolf Blitzer has an IMDb page; that’s right, with acting credits. Because he is always reporting the ‘Fake News’ in TV shows and movies: The Brink, Skyfall, The Campaign, Edge of Tomorrow, even Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Looks like Wolf is the real King of Fake News. Check out the FAKE NEWS BLITZ with WOLF BLITZER:
But Wolf Blitzer isn’t the only problem. Neither is CNN. The Modern World is now in the ‘Age of Fake News, Alt Facts, and Post-Truth’ — an era of widespread epistemic crisis and the death of independent, trustworthy journalism. As global journalism expert Professor Palagummi Sainath puts it, both the Media and Democracy are now “Imprisoned by Profit.” And why is that? A very, very small number of mega-corporations collaborate with one another to create, control, and manipulate information, messaging, and visual imagery, including the media conglomerates, the ‘Big 5’ advertising agencies, and the top talent agencies in show business. They do this because they are all slaves to advertising, beholden to the global mega-corporations that drive global advertising revenues. And why do these advertisers spend so much money? To convince us that eating McDonalds is not suicide; that Coca-Cola isn’t poison; that Nike isn’t built on child labor; that everyone needs to buy a new car, or new insurance, or a new phone, every year.
Logos and celebrities are now ‘brands,’ which are the new idols of the Modern World. All of this has resulted in the Privatization of Consciousness, the Commodification of Human Attention, and ultimately, the outright productization of the human being. Former Facebook executives themselves have essentially admitted that social media operates like a drug, based on constant mini-dopamine-feedback loops. Steve Jobs wouldn’t even let his own children play with the iPad.
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.”
I’ll tell you what I did: I stopped paying attention to the News; I stopped watching the News; I stopped reading the News. Instead, I STARTED READING THE OLDS. That’s right––the Olds. The Vedas. The Upanishads. The Bhagavad Gita. The Puranas. I study The Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha. The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tse. The Torah & The Old Testament. The Talmud. The New Testament. The Quran. The Hadith. Forget the News! Study the Olds. If you want to know what is happening in the world––or you want commentary––watch the News. If you want to know why it’s happening, read the Olds!
It seems we are now living in the Kali Yuga, the Dark Period of Vice and Evil at the End of History. Welcome to the Book of Revelation––the Age of the Antichrist: al-Masih al-Dajjal aka ‘The Imposter Messiah’.
Like I said, maybe I’m crazy…or maybe I’m right.
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, called the four tech giants — Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple — ‘The Four Horsemen.’ Of what? THE APOCALYPSE?? (‘GAFA’ sounds kinda like ‘kafir’ — doesn’t it?!) Even if one does not believe in God or religion — let alone the phenomenon of ‘The Antichrist’ — note that: (a) The Liar-in-Chief basically admits that he has never asked God for forgiveness; (b) Steven Bannon idolizes Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, and Satan; and (c) Jared Kushner’s Kushner Properties is located at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Can we at least admit that all of that is a little weird, if not disconcerting?
All this made me realize I need a break from it all: The madness of the socio-politico-religio-culture wars; the unbridled capitalistic forces behind ecological destruction; the dizzying velocity of technological change threatening the human species itself; the truly anti-social effects of so-called ‘social media’; and perhaps most importantly, the incessant, nagging philosophical problem of this age: The Modern Deviation.
It’s not just journalism that has died. Money has fundamentally been reinvented as an abstraction of an abstraction of an abstraction. Democracy has given way to Oligarchy and Plutocracy. Privacy is over, and the very notion of a distinction between public and private space has been effectively eviscerated.
HERE ARE some alarming facts and contentions about the present, and predictions about the future, that any intelligent person ought to consider — the observations that literally took me to the brink of insanity:
1. The world’s weather is increasing in severity, intensity, and dangerousness every year, the people of Flint, Michigan are not the only people on earth suffering from water scarcity, and things are only going to get much, much worse.
3. The level of wealth inequality in America, and across the planet, is growing exponentially. Three individual Americans (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett) have more wealth than half of America. Eight individual billionaires have more wealth than half of the world’s population. (And that doesn’t even include sovereign wealth funds, or the fact that Bill Browder estimates that Vladimir Putin is secretly worth about $200B.)
5. By they way, money is not real anyway. All the world’s stock markets combined are worth about USD$60-75 TRILLION — which sounds like a big number — until you find out that ‘total funds invested in derivative security instruments’ is USD$1.2 QUADRILLION. This is what that number looks like: $1,200,000,000,000,000. It might as well be USD$1.2 GAZILLION. #Ridiculous!
6. Privacy is dead. Note the string of hacks/incidents that have irreversibly changed the world: Wikileaks/Assange; Edward Snowden; Chelsea Manning; The Panama Papers; The Paradise Papers; The Sony Pictures Hack; The DNC Hack; The Equifax Breach; The Yahoo Email Hack; Emergence of Stuxnet; The NSA/CIA Hack by The Shadow Brokers; etc.
7. The Internet may be ‘a manifestation of the Antichrist,’ according to an aggrieved family interviewed in Werner Herzog’s mind-blowing documentary about the history of the Internet: ‘Lo And Behold: The Reveries of the Connected World.’ It’s all connected, isn’t it?
8. Society has become ‘Pornified,’ and Internet pornography addiction should rightly be regarded as a global public health crisis. Is the entire #MeToo movement really going to pretend like porn’s abject objectification of women is not at least part of the problem?
9. Futurists have long predicted ‘The Singularity,’ the so-called ‘merger of man and machine,’ and Hollywood method programming has been foreshadowing it for decades. Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning, along with the imminent mass adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology platforms are undoubtedly pointing us to the End of the World as we know it.
10. Retired University of Arizona Professor and Evolutionary Biologist, Dr. Guy McPherson, believes that the human race may be extinct in about a decade.
11. After realizing that corporate-owned-and-controlled-profit-driven media is pretty much all propaganda, one starts paying more attention to non-profit news organizations like Mother Jones, The Intercept, ProPublica, and others. MoJo’s reporting on Trump-Putin is criminally under-appreciated, and basically explains everything happening in the world right now: Putin must have a tape on Trump––a tape which, if ever released, is sure to become the-most-heavily-watched-yet-least-masturbated-to celebrity sex tape of all time.
And as if all of that is not scary enough…
Dear Mr. Stenn: Maybe I’m crazy…or maybe I’m right… but you know that Ted Nelson may be the only sane man alive. Please do the right thing and just let this whole World Wide Web collapse. Please help save humanity from itself.
About the Author
Azhar is a standup comedian from Chicago. He guest stars in Amazon Studios’ dark comedy ‘Patriot,’ served as a writer for Hasan Minhaj’s historic speech at the 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner, and is a paid regular at the world famous Comedy Cellar in New York City. Dave Chappelle once remarked: ‘Azhar’s untouchable. He’s like a comedian from the future.’