The Tunnel of Babel, by Holly O

What do they do at CERN? From Holly O at

Two physicists walk into a bar—actually, they stroll into a government office in a crumbling-concrete, linoleum-floored brutalist building styled on-the-cheap after Le Corbusier during the boomtown rush of the post-WWII nuclear frontier. They are prepared to pitch an idea that goes roughly like this:

There is something we cannot precisely describe, nor are we able to quantify its dimensions, nor how it behaves, or whether it has any commercial application. We don’t even know if it actually exists but we think the people of the world owe it to themselves to find it, name it and pin it to the mat. We’ve got ten nations signed up and expect the rest to fall into line. Want a piece of the action?

Bien sûr! the bureaucrat replies. Here’s a blank cheque—no—wait— just take the chequebook and let us know if you find anything worth selling. Bonjour! Bonne chance!

For the past sixty-four years the people of earth not involved in CERN have been urged to accept the apocryphal tale above as gospel. We’re also recommended to overlook the compulsory purchase at rock bottom prices of enough villages and farmland on the border of Switzerland and France to enclose a one hundred and twenty-seven kilometre circle bored out of solid rock to a depth of one hundred metres and lined with the most expensive custom-purpose equipment ever invented. Like many of the most important things on earth you rarely hear about it on the nightly news.

hough it’s a bit like discovering Zuul in your refrigerator, we are told that a statue of Shiva The Destroyer & Transformer of The Universe is the harmless centrepiece of the CERN campus in the same way we are ordered to get over the fact that the following videos of a shindig at the Gotthard Base Tunnel portray frolicking mountain mouflon native to the region.

The dual ceremony—one above ground, one (initially) leaked from below—was attended by select members of elite-approved press topside and heads of state down under. Neither event appears to be produced at a discount. Both feature pyramids, all-seeing eyes, what appears to be the ascension of a fallen angel and a Very Hairy Horned One performing The Dance of the Fancy Pants.

Above-ground ceremony

Underground ceremony part 1

Underground ceremony part 2

It’s neither fluidly choreographed or perceivably scientific but like all things CERN it is fairly unsettling and smacks of unsavoury ritual. Just break a bottle of Aldi Prosecco over the thing and be done with it is my advice but CERN has never rated my skills as an event planner and I suspect they never shall.

When I consider that my local allotment scheme could not manage to survive more than a year due to infighting amongst the board, CERN appears a miracle of international cooperation. It is the largest and most complex building project in history, yet hardly anyone seems to talk much about it in terms beyond, “Magnets, Mr White.”

Mention CERN at your next dinner party. Observe. The resultant grasp of and focus upon the topic will appear strongly reminiscent of Douglas Adam’s Somebody Else’s Problem field:

An SEP is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot.

It relies on people’s natural predisposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain. If Effrafax had painted the mountain pink and erected a cheap and simple Somebody Else’s Problem field on it, then people would have walked past the mountain, round it, even over it, and simply never have noticed that the thing was there.

The Enemy long ago learned to exploit the fact that humans are programmable and that the best-written programs yield the greatest control over hearts, minds and attention spans. Write the proper code, compile it into a software format easily accessible by young hardware and it will endure, whether in the form of cultural affiliation, spiritual practice or Mum’s Table Manners. If well-written, originative programming is powerful enough even despite subsequent iterations and updates to resurface as a ghost in the machine, enhancing, conflicting with, detracting from or shadowing all future experience. Ergo: We are raised to be good citizens. We trust in our governments. Scientists are smarter than we are and work for the betterment of mankind. Do not be alarmed at the large hole in the ground. What’s on TV tonight?

From time to time a perfect virus is written and implemented, Islam being the primary example of our epoch. No another belief system is more efficiently designed to enable, encourage and utilise to devastating effect all the lowest aspects of human nature. Nor one that discourages to the point of murder any attempted change or innovation to its command line.

Islam’s highest tenet is a total avoidance of personal responsibility in the form of inshallah/if god wills it. This is taken to mean that if I try and kill you and you die then it is because god willed it, and if I try and kill you and you do not die then god did not will it but evidently wants me to try harder to kill you next time. Put another way, if I want to rape the goat and I do rape the goat it is because god willed that I rape that goat. And so on.

Can you imagine how relaxing it must be to give up all responsibility for anything you will ever do? No wonder Islam attracts adherents like a tumble dryer filter attracts lint.

The root word islam means submission and never on earth has there existed a more literal-minded doctrinal manual for conquest. For the ummah, this world is merely a stepping stone to paradise, hence the tendency to dismiss beneficial husbandry practice, ultimately transforming every land they inhabit into desert wasteland. Why plough and plant when you can take what you need by force from the productive civilisation next door? Inshallah, baby.

Islam can only ever thrive with vast amounts of funding at its back; this makes it a tool—the pointy end of some great stick—but wielded by whom? And towards what ultimate goal?

It is daily more apparent that we can change very little by voting. We are also beginning to realise that nearly everything we have been raised to believe—programmed to believe—has been expedient to the purposes of Our Enemy to allow us to believe at the time.

One example springs immediately to mind: it was once policy to strongly recommend submitting to a list of injections as long as your arm when travelling to Africa; now a wave of vibrant vectors of disease are allowed to flood our streets with impunity and nobody gets a jab unless you count a machete to the neck. I can only conclude that it’s no longer necessary to recommend we maintain and preserve our health because it’s no longer necessary to keep so many of us around.

In Airstrip One we are sent to prison and denounced as racist for defending the Good Citizenship Program that was factory-installed when we were little, for insisting upon the right to choose those with whom we wish to associate, to whom we rent a room, to whom we sell a house, for whom we bake a cake and who drives the taxi we climb into. We are penalised for defending our children from predators and paedophiles of the protected classes and for naming the teeming hordes by the accurate term invaders. We are served halal meat by default in schools, prisons, universities, hospitals and government canteens. We find ourselves nearing the end of a life spent toiling rather than taking, paying into pensions and saving what we can only to be told we are on a waiting list to retire after seven million bazillion non-Britons—and more on the way—are housed and cared for first.

When all these changes are made manifest in just a matter of a few years one either goes mad, commits suicide or murder, dodges and weaves, shouts loudly, grumbles privately, succumbs to decline and disease and yet… and yet… I suspect everything we pore over and debate on the Internet—Banking, Brexit, bureaucracy, the voting system, EU, FBI, CIA, MI5, terrorism, child trafficking, slavery in Libyan open air markets and people having their private parts rearranged or chopped off entirely—all these things are piddly shit and shadows compared to CERN.

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. -Revelation 20:1-3

In the Mr Pot, There’s a Mr Kettle For You On Line Two department, I should admit that perhaps I seek refuge in matters I can never affect as an excuse to declare everything insolvable—Abandon All Responsibility Ye Who Enter Here. CERN is unfeasibly large, unwieldy to parse or explain, easy to dismiss, disturbing to contemplate. There is a compelling temptation to submit to despair when I ponder it, but I cannot shake the feeling that this enormous ring under the earth—the eighth of nine circles, perhaps, for I do believe we are victims of the greatest fraud on earth—just might be the front line of a spiritual war between The Avatars of Good and Evil Themselves.

If it is true that on some level before birth we chose to come here and live this human experience, the looming battle just may be the reason we showed up—some to claim front row seats, others to take a stand on the front line. Simply stated, I may be unable to describe how it looks, how it behaves, whether or not it has commercial applications—even if it actually exists—I just know at a molecular level CERN is not a good thing at all—no thing this massive, complex, expensive, arcane, mysteriously-funded and palpably hinky ever could be.

It was not built on a whim.

Returning to what we can handle in the here and now; I will never have the muscle mass, forward momentum or endurance of a man and so I must strive to defend myself from a distance. When I walk the lonely places I carry a small skeggøx, a Sami puukko, eight well-worn, well-maintained throwing knives inside my gilet and a baseball bat upon which I have pyrographed the words, OFF SWITCH. There are still plenty of ways to protect oneself here if you have an outlaw heart. The worrying part is that Vibrants—like wolves and jackals and hyenas—attack in packs and I am but one F-Type hominid, programmed for personal responsibility and alone in Welsh old-growth forest because I grew up there, and I forage there, and I choose to retain my freedom to walk the wildwood.

The defining difference between your culture and mine is The Second Amendment. Fight to defend your right to keep and bear arms and if that right is ever signed away, fight to take it back. It is the thin, gunmetal-grey line between you and an unfettered government entirely free to do what my government is doing to me and my people.

If I speak to everything I suspect I know about CERN, best case I would be mocked, worst case I might actually tickle the truth by accident and be suicided. I have enough on my plate for now—I suspect that is what The Enemy aims for all along, for everyone to have enough on all our plates to never notice they are a threat.

When times are good it’s natural to think, Where will I explore next, what adventure awaits me? To spin the globe, stop it with a finger and see the place you might touch with your presence one day. When times are otherwise it becomes a question of, Where will I choose to live and die? It’s brought me a measure of—if not peace, then resignation.

I reclaim and rebuild peace of mind every day. Give us this day our daily equilibrium. When it becomes too onerous I go for the nuclear option:

This place has never failed to fill me with a peace so present and profound that it seems to coalesce into form and shape, with a scent like honey and a weight like love. This dolmen has endured for the better part of six thousand years, perennially patient, utterly indifferent, a witness from a time before recorded history. Here the wind chases a chilly psalm through the negative spaces, the capstone appears to soar. I lean against a portal stone, close my eyes and know the place I choose to live and die is in this island realm, this precious stone set in a silver sea.

This cold, clammy, violent, stubborn, treacherous and tempestuous isle is built upon the bones of my fathers, the land watered with the blood of the nameless, the faceless—some of them builders of Pentre Ifan. Someday soon, my own bones will join theirs.

But not before the coming holiday is done, at any rate.

Merry Christmas to us all, for as long as Christmas endures.

This essay is dedicated to Doug Uncola Lynn


One response to “The Tunnel of Babel, by Holly O

  1. “Where will I choose to live and die?”
    Its brought me a greater sense of actual freedom than I’ve ever experienced.


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