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Here Beside the Rising Tide


  • Eric Francis Coppolino

We're now days ahead of the 2016 presidential election. It's been a long and agonizing slog, which has now degraded into an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a shred of decency.

At the same time, there are many interesting features to this election cycle, one of which is people seeing through the whole "lesser of two evils" thing. The choice between two candidates who don't represent your views is no choice at all.

Though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seem to be two vastly different people, they have one thing in common: Many Democrats don't like Clinton, and many Republicans don't like Trump. In this and other ways, the two-party system is fragmenting.

This is the first contested presidential election happening under what I am calling "full digital" conditions—that is, after the portable computer (smartphone) has taken over reality. It's also happening under the influence of an aspect that I associate with digital conditions, called the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries.

The last time the Uranus-Eris conjunction happened (also in Aries, because Eris moves so slowly) was in 1927-28, at the dawn of the mass media age. Now it's back, as the effects of the digital age are being seen for what they are: chaos in culture, confusion of self-concept, and a totally distorted relationship to body. The chaos you're witnessing in the world, and may be feeling in your own life, has a source.

Recently there was a Full Moon directly aligned with this conjunction, which came with a flood of accusations of sexual assault leveled at Donald Trump, and others that Trump pointed back at Hillary and her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

The Sun and Moon personalized the effects of the distant, difficult-to-perceive conjunction, making it real to anyone who can see, hear, or feel. Normal people like us don't live our lives this way; we have humbler goals and more modest problems. Yet we're all taking this crazy trip, surfing along on the gushing innards of some people who have some serious issues. And in a few days, one of these families will be selected to occupy the White House.

One thing the digital realm has done, among other things, is induced a society wide out-of-body experience. The Internet is a synthetic astral plane. We were promised an "ascension" back in 2012 at the Mayan calendar turnover, and those predicting it were right. We ascended out of our bodies and into the datasphere. Human lives are now inseparable from the internet, or at least that's how we live.

Robotics are taking over; the cyborgs being trained to be human and the humans trained to think like machines are racing to meet in the middle. The real question is not "When will robots be indistinguishable from humans?" The question is "When will humans be indistinguishable from robots?" In some ways it seems like we're very close.

So far, my theory of what's happening in the 2016 election has been based on media analysis. My core concept is that digital technology has so gutted the human sense of self that total chaos has taken over. Today, I have another theory, one that I learned from Wilhelm Reich. The two approaches are compatible because they both involve our relationship to our body—and how that relationship can be exploited.

Sexual Assault and the Trump Campaign 

Now that sexual assault has become the dominant theme of the Trump campaign, it's a good time to introduce another explanation of what's happening. In recent weeks, we learned that Donald Trump really does shove his tongue into the mouths of unwilling recipients, reached under the skirt of his fellow passenger in first class, and walked in on the Miss Universe contestants' dressing room. 

His first wife accused him of raping her (then recanted), and there's a federal lawsuit in New York City by a woman who is alleging that as a child she was repeatedly raped while being held prisoner by Trump and an associate.

Many women are now coming forward with horror stories, some of them prompted by Trump's outright denial of such conduct during one of his debates. One of those women was a reporter for People magazine, sent to interview Trump about his happy marriage; she got a tongue shoved into her mouth, and told many people about it at the time (including her former journalism professor).

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