John Waters on how his country was culturally raped by propaganda during the debate on gay marriage
When I started out in journalism, 35 years ago, democracy was understood to be about having conversations. One of the main purposes of media was to accommodate dialogue between people with opposing views. The understanding then was rather unlike what it is now, that the point is something like facilitating agreement, as though the goal of all discussion was to have everybody believe the same things. Back then, the point of argument was argument: to tease out the strengths and weakness of viewpoints and proposals and policies, to see if the perspective of the other might have any influence on one’s thought processes. There was a sense that all this was vital to democracy, and that people needed it as much as they needed books and poems.
And it was also entertaining: people liked to hear people with different opinions having a go at one another. It was fun. Conversation was the lifeblood of human community, not an obstacle to progress but the very essence of it.
All this is changing, certainly in my country, Ireland, and visibly also in the United States, the United Kingdom and other territories I’m familiar with. Uninhibited conversation is now deeply suspect: many of those with the strongest views as to the direction society ought to take now frequently express radical objection to the idea that they might have to engage with those who disagree with them. To express an unorthodox view on any such issue is to risk your livelihood, serenity and reputation. Media, once the conduit of democratic disagreement, have become as a Supreme Court of political correctness, in which offenders are put on public trial for breaches of the unwritten code of Cultural Marxism that increasingly governs us all.
I had my own drama in this connection three years ago, when, in advance of the Irish referendum relating to gay marriage, a drag queen called ‘Panti Bliss’ called me a homophobe on TV, adding that I had been trying to destroy his happiness, without offering any evidence in support of his thesis. ‘Homophobia’, of course, is a makey-up word. It has no clear objective meaning, other than the one that has accrued to it in culture. It was invented by LGBT activists as an instrument of war, designed to demonize enemies, critics and opponents in a way that would marginalize them and render them silent.
A ‘phobia’ is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing’. The same dictionary defines ‘homophobia’ as ‘an intense aversion to homosexuality and homosexuals’. The word also has strong connotations of a quasi-phobia concerning homosexuals due to the person exhibiting the prejudice possibly detecting and seeking to suppress a same-sex attraction within himself. Variations on the word ‘homophobia’ are used by gay activists as instruments of censorship, to daub opponents of their arguments or demands with a stain that cannot be eradicated by any form of reasoned response, a stain that scares others into silence. To call someone a ‘homophobe’ is not merely to demonize and therefore silence them, it is also to dismiss their arguments as being rooted solely in hatred or fear, and therefore to obviate the necessity of responding reasonably to what they say.
Recognizing this as a calculated smear, I responded with a legal letter requesting the broadcaster to withdraw the allegation and apologize. The darker parts of Hell broke loose. For several weeks, I was laid siege to by a lynch-mob of LGBT activists, in the pay of an American ‘philanthropic’ organization with a mysterious but profound interest in the affairs of my country.
The most immediate and arresting aspect of the cascade was the deluge of emails that started to arrive, growing in intensity over the course of a fortnight or so, then tailing off. Every morning I awoke to an Inbox full of filth. The following is a random selection. It captures the general level of venom, illiteracy and imagination-deficit.
‘You're a fucking homophobe’; ‘You are a HOMOPHOBIC ASSHOLE’; ‘Have the decency to apologize to Panti, and then drop off the face of the earth’; ‘Fuck you, you worthless piece of shit. And, fuck, you are damn ugly too. Cut that dirty long hair, you HOMOPHOBIC ASSHOLE’; ‘John Waters is a HOMOPHOBIC ASSHOLE’. ‘Take your stringy, greasy hair and shove it up your hateful ass, douchebag’; ‘You sir are a Bigot. and i would ask you to kindly KILL YOURSELF’; ‘Fuck off and die you horrible Bible bashing twat, the youth of this country will forever remember your ideological hatred and your prancing around a bigoted institute’; ‘As a straight young man you turn my stomach with your pompous superiority complex. Don't forget that you have to down your underwear and take a shite like the rest of us greasy head’; ‘Hi John Just wanted to tell you everyone in Ireland thinks youre a bastard’; ‘You are a piss stain’; ‘Can you justify for me in a reply why you think you deserve more rights under our laws than a gay couple, can you?’; ‘I've met bigoted taxi drivers who had at least the courage to admit they were racist, You sir are a not just a bully but a coward’; ‘Bye bye career, homophobe!’; ‘Dear John, I am a great fan of your works. You write exactly like a bigot. I would like to invite you over to sniff my panti(es). Love, Ms Delightful’; ‘Please do progressive Ireland a favour and quit journalism, you are an embarrassment to my country’; ‘I am confident that you and your homophobic ilk will not hold Ireland back against the wishes of the majority of its population for much longer’.
And so on and on.
After a few days of this I noticed certain patterns. The emails rarely contained any specific accusations, merely co-opted and traded off the one that had already been made. There was no attempt in any of them to open a discussion. I get critical, sometimes offensive emails all the time – but generally they tend to make some point about something I’ve actually written or said, even when, as frequently occurs, the authors have misunderstood me or heard something secondhand. These emails, however, consisted entirely of abuse. They tended to come in waves after dark, and right into the early hours, sometimes 20 or 30 per day. Rarely did any arrive before midday, and sometimes the weight of the day’s consignment would come after 10pm. Then something even more peculiar emerged: some days there were no emails at all, and I would think it had stopped. Late next afternoon, however, another lone email diatribe would arrive and I would think, Wouldn’t it be interesting of there were 20 more of these before midnight? And invariably so it would occur. This happened several times: on a Wednesday there would be 20, on Thursday none at all, on Friday 20 more – even though the level of related activity, commentary and invective in the public arena had remained constant over the full three-day period. I then formed this image of a room somewhere in the depths of the city, full of heated gay activists, all churning out poison emails to the alleged enemies of their happiness, perhaps pausing occasionally to exchange ideas for new phrases and insults, a veritable cottage industry of toxicity working feverishly in the cause of justice and peace.
The social media tsunami was mirrored in the mainstream media, with many of my ‘colleagues’ seeking to settle old scores. In the finish up, I resigned from the Irish Times, for which I had written a column for 24 years, after discovering that a supposed friend and colleague had been joining in with the hatefest, tweeting under a pseudonym, Thomas59. When I alerted the editor of my newspaper to this breach of the company’s founding principles and social media policy, he ignored me.
The truly weird thing was that I had up to that point said almost nothing in public about gay marriage, except to wonder a couple of times why politicians were so exercised about this non-issue when they steadfastly refused to address issues I had been raising for years, such as the chaos in the family law system, the rancid discrimination against fathers in the family court system, and the absence of any acknowledgement of the natural rights of unmarried fathers in Irish law. Far from attacking Panti Bliss’s happiness, I hadn’t even opposed gay marriage in public. I was skeptical about the issue, to an extent, and on certain grounds, with certain reservations and caveats, though not absolutely opposed. I was prepared to wait to consider whatever proposal would be tabled.
I was targeted, I believe, for four reasons:
I was known to be a Catholic, and therefore assumed to have a traditional Catholic view of marriage, and possibly also of homosexuality;
2. I had in recent years been vocal in a couple of cases in which I pointed out the hypocrisy of ‘liberal’ journalists and others where high-profile homosexuals were concerned. In one case, a well-know poet was revealed to have had sexual relationships with underage boys in a foreign country; in another, a gay politician gave an interview in which he suggested that Ireland was hung-up about child abuse and ought to look more favorably on the idea of man-boy relationships such as were all the rage in ancient Greece.
3. As a longtime campaigner for the parenting rights of fathers, I had contested a previous referendum, in 2012, which in the name of extending rights to children transferred rights from parents to the State. There were about half a dozen of us on the No side, against the entire Irish parliamentary and media establishments. Having started out with single figure support, we ended up on 42%, and would most probably have won given another week or so.
4. I had in particular spoken up for the right of citizens to argue in favour of retaining any particular element of the Constitution as it stood, since it remained, until altered by referendum, the settled will of the people. It had already become clear to me that those agitating for gay marriage did not want to have to make their case to the people, but wished to have their proposal adopted by acclaim.
For two years up to the referendum on May 2015, my country was subjected to cultural rape by propaganda, with the aid of foreign monies, with the objective of conducting a smash and grab raid on our Constitutional definitions of marriage, family and parenting. We were subjected to mugging by emotive bullying, scapegoating and moral blackmail – part cajoling, part coercing us to introduce a form of gay marriage which is now the most extreme in the world. Because it used to be a strongly Catholic country, Ireland was targeted by the international gay lobby as a ‘trophy country’ whose acquiescence could be trumpeted around the world as ‘moral’ leverage against larger, less ostensibly pious nations. Those within Ireland who threatened to present any obstacle to the agenda were targeted to ensure that the trophy could be carried off with a minimum of complication. The Irish model of gay marriage is now the Gold Standard by which every other country in the world will be measured in terms of its ‘tolerance’ and ‘progressiveness’. As a result of the passage of the amendment, we introduced into our Constitution a provision which not merely provides for gay people to marry, but actually implicitly asserts that there is no legal or constitutional difference between a couple comprising two men or two women and a couple comprising one man and one woman.
The Panti Bliss affair certainly had the effect of bringing me off the fence. Having observed the modus operandi of the LGBT mob, I became increasingly certain that I ought to oppose any attempt by them to bully the Irish electorate into their way of thinking. When I saw the amendment, my mind was made up for me.
On the face of it, the amendment wording appeared relatively innocuous. It read: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’. This low-key formulation was in harmony with the tactic of the gay lobby to present the matter as a simple ‘human rights’ issue – identical, it was claimed, to the historical campaign for equal citizenships of black and colored people in the United States. It is perhaps unnecessary to state that this comparison is completely bogus. The extension of full citizenship to blacks in the United States was a matter of genuine ‘equality’, because it was in harmony with fundamental principles concerning the dignity of each human person and could be effected without any diminution of the rights of other people. There was therefore no good or just reason why equality should not be so defined and extended, which in turn confirmed that there had indeed been a gratuitous and egregious denial of human rights.
The same circumstances did not obtain in respect of the LGBT demand for gay marriage. Not satisfied with a simple provision whereby gay people could be joined in civil unions or even a dedicated category of marriage, they demanded that Ireland rewrite the handbook of human nature to meet their demand for ‘equality’. The amendment really amounted to a sleight-of-hand – the usurpation of an institution which had belonged exclusively to couples with, at a minimum, the theoretical possibility of intrinsic procreation. Moreover, it was not the case that gay marriage, when accompanied by adoption rights and the authentication of potential claims over other people’s children, could be regarded as having no consequences for other categories of citizen. By extending full constitutional parenting rights to gay couples, Irish society would be acquiescing in a radical dilution of the parenting rights available to normative couples. This became unavoidable because the amendment was placed in the article of our Constitution which provides not merely for marriage but for family and parenting rights. The net outcome – a constitutional timebomb – was that there could no longer be any constitutional protection for the complementary procreative functions of men and women, or any particular legal regard for their biological connections with their own children.
The amendment was sold through the misuse of words, especially the word ‘equality’, as in ‘marriage Equality referendum’. The Irish Constitution already provided that all citizens should be deemed equal before the law, but also allowed for the possibility of difference of capacity and function. Is a bus equal to a train? Are two men capable of being defined as ‘equal’ to a man and woman with children under the same provisions for ‘Family’? ‘Equality’, like ‘homophobia’, is a blackmail word, and was employed with extreme prejudice to force changes on people that would inevitably siphon off the rights which generations of Irish people had been able to take for granted.
We need to be clear about something: gay marriage was not a spontaneous eruption of interest in an overlooked ‘human right’ or ‘civil right’. If it were either of these, one could expect to find a long history of campaigning and reasoned argument going back several decades as those in favour of the proposition sought to make their case. If you take the time to go through the archives of any of the ‘progressive’ newspapers which in recent times have been most vociferous in favour of this ‘right’ – and equally so in condemnation of those who do not concur – you will find hardly any articles on the subject up until about five years ago. You will find a similar absence in the speeches of politicians who have recently been vocal on the topic and likewise condemnatory of anyone who does not accept their definition of ‘enlightenment’.
Gay marriage is merely the latest among a menu of ‘progressive rights issues’ which have sought to turn reality upside down. It follows affirmative action, the ‘right to choose’ and gender theory in the line of carefully marshaled issues which are being pushed on to the political agendas of Western societies with any apparent public demand or discussion. There is a long history – going back to the development of ‘cultural Marxism’ in Germany and America eight decades ago – to these contemporary trends. The shortened version needs mainly to emphasize that these ideas entered into the mainstream of Western culture in the 1960s, when they became the implicit ideology of the ‘peace ‘n’ love’ movement and the revolutionaries of 1968.
The Sixties, our cultures have now come to believe, was the Final Revolution, the opening sequence of the End of History. From here on, nothing of human thinking or imagining would ever again be required to change drastically. All that is required is that we fine-tune our civilization in accordance with Sixties’ ideas and ideals and pour scorn on everything that happened before. This is the perfect encapsulation of a totalitarian idea: something already written into the future and not amenable to human modification, as though the future is a city that has already been built and all we need do is move ourselves and our belongings into it.
Far from counter-cultural, however, the Sixties ideologies amount to just another code for the control and suppression of the human spirit. The listed objectives of the 1960s 'idealists' are the dark matter of the modern consumer society, fuelling notions of 'rights' and 'equality' which in turn propel the economic system onward to wherever it thinks it’s going. Gay marriage, surrogacy, the shuffling of the mores of family life, fractured identities – all these syndromes generate activities which stand to be monetized, while also rendering those affected more amenable to distraction and anaesthetization. It is by no means a disqualification issue that the list of its demands is intrinsically self-contradictory: requiring, for example, at the same time, gender quotas and an end to the oppressive imposition of gender-based identities. Indeed, the gurus of Cultural Marxism preached that sowing confusion and contradiction was a necessary and good thing.
We have become accustomed, by dint of persistent repetition, to the idea that all these concepts qualify as symptoms of ‘freedom’. Really, the list of these ‘liberal’ demands is unified not by any commitment to the human rights or interests of any group, nor by the much-vaunted qualities of compassion or tolerance, nor by a concern for any true human impulse, but by a desire to align a radical social agenda with issues which are ‘cool’, and which therefore have the benefit of portraying those who espouse them in a virtuous way, and those who disagree as backward and reactionary. The Sixties revolution has been allowed to drift into almost total senselessness, and yet remain largely unchallenged, in a culture that is being persuaded that it is possible to defy the very nature of man.
This throws light on some of the many surreal dimensions of the pseudo-debate that preceded the vote in Ireland. On the surface, people treated the referendum as a deeply serious and important matter, but deeper down were asking themselves: Where did this come from? What is it about? Why is it happening? How did a tiny minority of Irish society manage to impose its will on the entire political establishment, when most causes have difficulty getting as much as a parliamentary question? Why, suddenly, were we required to consider as controversial things that always seemed obvious – things that in a million years we would never have wasted a moment of thinking energy on – like, ‘Does a child really need his father and his mother?’ ‘Might not the schoolmistress and the milkman have been just as good?’ ‘Or the fireman and the milkman?’ In Ireland in the first half of 2015, grown up people were conducting such conversations on radio and television for weeks on end.
Throughout the campaign, the Irish government claimed that the amendment was simply an add-on to the existing form of marriage, that it had no ramifications for children or the constitutional definition of Family. This was dishonest and nonsensical. The inclusion of the wording into Article 41 of the Constitution, headed ‘The Family’, was bound to affect the provisions of that section and impact on the meanings of existing clauses within it, so that the potential impact on both explicit and unenumerated rights was likely to be unpredictable even for experienced lawyers.
Article 41 of the Irish Constitution, headed The Family, begins: ‘The State recognizes the Family as the primary natural and fundamental unit group of society and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.’ Did anyone seriously imagine that a Yes vote would not change the constitutional meanings of the words 'natural', 'primary', 'fundamental', 'moral', 'antecedent' and 'superior'? The Yes lobby and the government dismissed such claims out of hand, and yet refused to answer any specific question concerning this obvious danger. The word ‘natural' in context obviously referred to the fact that a family up to that point had in the main been defined as a mother, father and child/children, the children having been born as a result of the complementary biological functions of the mother and father. It was obvious that if you diluted this concept with the idea that a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, must be treated the same under the Constitution, you could not avoid abolishing the legal status of the biological connection between parent and child as a criterion of parenthood. Parents who were the natural parents of their children would have no special rights over other adults claiming parenthood of the same children on other grounds – for example, the gay partner of one of the parents. In the event of disputes, a mother or father would not be able to plead any natural or special right on the basis of biology, and indeed the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ would in all probability need to be abolished. There was, in other words, an unquantifiable invisible constituency whose rights were greatly threatened by the amendment, but this constituency was being denied by dishonest politicians and ideologically corrupted journalists the right to a proper discussion on these crucial questions. Voters were simply told that they had a duty to extend ‘equality’ to gay couples, ‘reminded’ of past intolerance towards homosexuals and asked to consider how they might feel if one of their own children turned out to be gay. They were not being invited to consider the amendment in the context of its overall constitutional ecology, or hear discussion of how it might play out in practice.
The net effects of the amendment, in actual cultural terms, will in time include the shifting of legal protections from natural parents to a newly-defined concept of parenthood defined not by biology but by a legal instrument – guardianship – which will be entirely in the gift of the State and its agencies, and will be withheld from a parent for no clear, objective reasons, all this occurring in a process conducted behind closed doors in a secret court. Thus, parenthood will move inexorably towards becoming a matter for dispensation by the State, which will in due course arrogate to itself the function of ‘ratifying’ each parent/child relationship as entitled to legal status before the parties may be deemed parent and child. Among the collateral effects of this change will be to place what is called ‘psychological parenting’ – i.e. the role of nurturing, caring for, daily contact and interaction, companionship, on a par with biological parenting, and indeed render a biological nonentity capable of trumping the claims of a natural parent simply by virtue of having gained proximity to a child due to circumstances such as, for example, developing a relationship with one of the child’s natural parents.
And there is a more fundamental consequence: that the ‘marriage act’ – the coming together of a man and a woman in sexual unity – can no longer have any legal significance whatsoever. The idea that there is a core category of marriage, defined as an exclusive commitment between one man and one woman, built around the idea of their conjugal union, open to new life and committed to the nurture and protection of its own children, has been banished to a legal graveyard – for ever.
It is important to stress that this is actually the ultimate objective of the LGBT lobby. Although they may appear, in certain circumstances and contexts to settle for less than this outright transformation of family law, this is always simply an interim tactic, the use of the ‘salami method’ (one slice at a time) to make whatever incremental gains can be made in the first swipe, and these capitalized upon and extended by recourse to strident demands as to why gays have been restricted to, for example, civil unions, or even a limited version of marriage, without, for example, adoption rights. The LGBT lobby will always come back for more, until it has achieved total victory.
In the dying days of our campaign, an eagle-eyed citizen drew my attention to a quite astonishing document hidden away on the website of ‘Yes, Equality’, the umbrella group established to coordinate the campaign in favour of the amendment. Not only did this document confirm all our worst fears as to the true intentions of the same-sex marriage lobby – it went much further than we ourselves had dared to go in spelling out the implications of what was being sought, and what was soon to be achieved. The document was a paper written in 2009 by an academic feminist and lesbian, entitled Feminism and the Same-sex Marriage Debate. Essentially the document amounted to an argument directed at extreme feminists who remained opposed to the very existence of the institution of marriage, telling them that the time has come to embrace gay marriage for the sake of ‘equality’.
The document proclaimed: 'Same-sex marriage turns on its head the biologistic and “natural” cultural assumptions surrounding reproduction and the family; it carries the potential to subvert and overthrow the historical conception and implications of marriage. By so doing, the ideology and romantic myth of marriage that has long been critiqued by feminists is uprooted from its traditions.'
Here, finally, we had confirmation of the hidden intentions of at least the most militant and vocal elements within the LGBT lobby and their caravan – those actors who had taken the gay marriage issue from nowhere to the centre of the public square. Gay marriage, far from being part of some revolutionary programme of freedom, was really the Trojan Horse by which an entirely new concept of family life would be transported into the heart of modern civilization. It involved not so much a valorization of homosexuality for the sake of homosexuals, but a pretence of concern for ‘equality’ for the sake of repudiating and dismantling the concepts and structures which had allowed human societies to cohere and hold together since humans first began to move upon the face of the earth. The objective of achieving same-sex marriage was not merely 'equality' but subversion of the normative model of reproduction and family life, the overturning of the natural order (Notice the way the word 'natural' is given quotation marks in the quotation above) and the destruction of the 'romantic myth' of marriage.
Had anyone on the anti-amendment side made a claim along these lines as to the intentions of the gay lobby, it is likely that the media would have placed their statement as the main headline on front pages and at the top of news bulletins, together with trenchant denials from the Yes side and the usual accusations of 'homophobia'. Instead, although I personally read the passage out in the course of several debates with opponents on TV, not one word was uttered or written about it otherwise in the mainstream Irish media. Journalists simply looked the other way, and in doing so announced, finally, that they were no longer journalists, but ideological stooges in the service of a radical agenda to alter the very meaning of the most central and sacred human institution and to redefine the meaning of man’s place in his relationship with nature.
What we witnessed in Ireland in 2015, and what other countries across Western civilization are being confronted with one by one, is no less than an attack on the meaning and structure of the human edifice. It is also a symptom of a civilization in decay, not so much for the reasons usually cited in this connection (cultural degeneracy) but because the contemporary preoccupation with such esoterica as gay marriage is indicative of a level of complacency and hubris that of itself spells trouble for human civilization. One of the keys is what the writer Ron Inglehart calls 'post-materialism', by which I should quickly add that he does not mean a post-consumer society. The post-materialist society is really the culmination of the drifts began in the 1960s, with roots in the Enlightenment and in the development of the technological society, which freed mankind from manual labour and allowed him to live without muscles or loss of sweat.
Post-materialism works like this: when people don't have to worry about having their basic needs met, they have more time to consider peripheral issues, including how their opinions and tastes serve to add value to their constructed identities. In Modernisation and Postmodernization, Inglehart says that it is possible to predict, based on economic indicators, which issues are most likely to be germane to the politics of various societies at particular stages of development. Post-materialists, he says, care a great deal less than their parents about authority, tradition and traditional institutions, are more 'tolerant' of difference, and put personal identity at the top of their indicators for satisfaction and success. Of course, 'tolerance' here, as with the word 'equality', means something different than it used to. In the not so distant past, tolerance meant not interfering with beliefs that contradicted one’s own, but, under the contemporary dispensations of political correctness and Cultural Marxism, this has given way to a profound intolerance masquerading as liberalism, which holds that everything should be tolerated except the views of those who disagree with what is proposed.
In this new climate, political leadership and the public's responses to hot button political issues have to do less with the nature or needs of society, and more and more with aspiration in the personal zone: how you would like to be seen by your peers, how your opinions make you seem to others. Opinions about public matters in our 'liberal' cultures have somehow become unmoored from conviction or analysis, becoming badges of identity, like T-shirts or hairstyles. People affect philosophies or positions in order to look good, to complement their clothes and cars. (‘Look at me! – I’m a NYT-reading pro-Palestinian vegetarian!’;’Does my bum look big in this pro-choice secular-atheism?’) The complacency bestowed by six decades of prosperity and relative peace has rendered most of our populations incapable of imagining anything terrible happening in the world they inhabit; therefore, there is no need to be aware of the factual content of issues, which simply provide the threadbare fabric of ideological raiment. In this schema, hating so-called ‘homophobes’ is at least as important as supporting gay marriage.
This analysis in large part explains the success of the push for gay marriage, which is really the culmination of 1960s senselessness in a single issue. It in large part explains why, over the past four or five years, questions which were never before regarded as having any urgency have been pushed to the top of the political agenda, mainly through the persistence of the media in placing and keeping them at the top of their own list of priorities. What is being foisted upon our societies is a recreated anthropology, directed at transferring the custodianship of human reality from God to men – though not so much to men as to certain men. In effect we are faced with a form of culturally pursued suicide of the species, a dismantling of everything on which the survival of humanity depends.
It is time the world awoke to the radical nature of what is proposed, the suddenness with which these issues descended on the public realms of virtually all Western societies, the venom and ruthlessness exhibited by the advocates of these changes and their insistence that societies are not entitled to conduct comprehensive debates before making the kinds of changes that are demanded. What we numbly observe is not just a power grab by an unrepresentative movement, but in fact the very suspension of democracy and the standing down of its main pillars, including parliament, media and in some cases courts of law. In the end, these phenomena are of such gravity as to render the actual issue of gay marriage a secondary aspect – a grave corruption of family law and protections, but ultimately just the precursor to a dispensation with many far more ominous elements for the human race.