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Having nothing better to do last night, I sat down with a friend to watch a DVD performance by the brash, Hicksian comedian Jim Jefferies. The show was called ‘Contraband’.
About half way through, as seems to be obligatory in modern comedy, the Australian performed a routine critiquing the religious, beginning (naturally) with Christianity, moving onto Judaism and then, to my great surprise, Islam.
And he didn’t ‘tackle’ Islam in the playful, tip-toeing style of Dara O’ Briain, Frankie Boyle or Ricky Gervais, but with a dirty-mouthed fearlessness usually only employed against Biblical ideas.
Commenting on a recent scandal involving blasphemy against Mohammad (there have been so many, I honestly don’t know which one this was), Jefferies informed any Muslims in the crowd that his microphone stand was the literal incarnation of Mohammad and that it was ‘fucking gay!’.
I was taken aback, not because I have never encountered this sort of thing before (the internet is filled with anti-Islam comedy), but because Jim Jefferies is not a ‘right-wing’ race-baiter, and nor is he a reviled ‘working man’s comedian’ of the Jim Davidson or Bernard Manning variety. He is a respected liberal who campaigns against race-discrimination and in favour of gun control (born in Australia, Jefferies now lives in Los Angeles), and yet here he was, giving an equal allotment of hatred to a variety of anti-liberal targets. I surely don’t need to remark as to how rare that is.
Jefferies is said to have form on this. I am told that his Islamophobic gestures from ‘Contraband’ are repeated in his other performances (most of them are available on YouTube). We must hope that this bravery has sufficiently cleared the way for others to follow in his footsteps. As an American observer commented in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks – “blasphemy (against Islam) must become so commonplace that it bores people” rather than shocks them.
Of course, it is inevitable that popular culture and Islam will collide at certain points and in regard to certain subjects. While no-one is going to risk being murdered in the defence of bacon, a celebrity or two might be tempted out of PC-world by issues like Muslim homophobia, sexism, and the prohibition of music.
Indeed, that last element is potentially the richest Islamophobic vein of all. Surely nothing is so fundamentally beloved by and interwoven with the spirit of the Western world as music. It is an art the West (and the West alone) has perfected and through which the highest forms of Western expression have been communicated. It consoles our deepest miseries, undergirds our joys and sustains us through all the voids in-between. Naturally then, music artists are revered with an intensity superior to that aroused by the practitioners of any other art-form.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if Taylor Swift – a woman currently worshipped like a Nordic Goddess – fell victim to a Muslim bullet for being ‘Haram’ (which, like all musicians, she undoubtedly is). I’m pretty sure the backlash (among the public, if not the government) would be palpably more severe than followed 9/11, 7/7 or Charlie Hebdo. At a stroke, the youngest billion of the world population would be transformed into dead-eyed, anti-Muslim zombies, horny for violent relief. Such is the terrifying power of sex, groupthink and idolatry.
Popular culture has, by definition, immeasurably greater political influence than the exotic fancies of the intelligentsia. Very few people pay any attention to books or newspapers. The majority of people live in a state of cheerful stupidity, a kind of apolitical daze. What would happen if they were shocked out of it? The mind boggles.
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In July 2013, while the Trayvon Martin scandal was at its peak, I wrote the following words on this blog:
“I seem to be pretty much alone in the foggy coolness of the centre ground. I honestly don’t know whether Mr Zimmerman qualifies as a cold-blooded murderer, or whether the alternative is true, that he is merely a very trigger-happy, quite unmanly paranoiac. I don’t actually know George Zimmerman. Nor do you. Nor does any media personality, priest, or racial demagogue… Either way, let’s not pretend Zimmerman has gotten off scot free. The humiliating question of his ethical status – monster or paranoiac? – has been internationally broadcast for weeks on end. Neither are pleasant evaluations of a man’s character and neither offer him any kind of moral exoneration. Only one however is punishable by law, and on this matter the court has spoken. The case is closed.”
A couple of readers took issue with me then and I greeted their views by reiterating my plea of ignorance.
Well, the other day I read a very long article (admittedly on a conservative-leaning website) describing the events of that fateful night, and I feel compelled to report that my conclusions have now been modified.
I now support entirely the verdict of the jury as regards Mr Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin clearly posed a threat to Mr Zimmerman’s safety and the media coverage alleging otherwise (and which led to my original ambiguity) was irresponsible and deceptive.
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So, Donald Trump, the brash celebrity billionaire and star of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’ has dramatically announced a bid for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Cue hysteria. Cue mob humour. Cue intellectual laziness.
I understand how conventional it is to laugh at Trump; at his braggadocio, his squirrelly hair and material emphasis. He is clearly someone who enjoys the media spotlight and who often speaks with the media in mind. But away from the quirks in his character, it cannot be denied that Trump, via his achievements and lived philosophy, also personifies America at its most unapologetic, creative, tough-minded and independent.
He is a throw-back in that regard; the living relic of an era – fast being lost – in which the United States was the country to imitate if you wanted your own to succeed. It was an era of unipolar domination, whether on the economic, cultural or military plain. It was the era in which most of the skyscrapers you see on the dazzling Manhattan skyline were constructed, when the bridges were built (on budget and on time), and when the US army considered concepts like ‘retreat’ and ‘failure’ to be eccentricities unique to Europe.
I believe this American spirit still survives, in pockets and enclaves, but the condition of America in general is increasingly tenuous. Toxic issues are beginning to develop in the marrow of American life; issues that if left without treatment, could prove lethal to its long-term prospects.
Trump announced his bid for presidency this week with a resounding rally held in his Manhattan skyscraper ‘Trump Tower’. The fallout would last for days. Here are some of the more ‘provocative’ statements emphasised by the press:
On immigration – “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
On jobs – “Our real unemployment is anywhere from 18 to 20 percent. Don’t believe the 5.6. Don’t believe it… That’s right. A lot of people… can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs, because there are no jobs, because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have jobs.”
On health-care reform – “We have a disaster called the big lie: Obamacare… Yesterday, it came out that costs are going for people up 29, 39, 49, and even 55 percent, and deductibles are through the roof. You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high, it’s virtually useless. It’s virtually useless. It is a disaster.”
Shortly after these comments were made, left-leaning cable channels set about presenting them as stand-alone bigotries, considerably more extreme and stupid seeming than in their original context. The television network NBC responded quickly by severing all ties with Trump, accompanied by the retail giant Macy’s, hair-product brand Farouk Systems, and the Latino TV networks Univsion, Televisa and Ora TV.
I won’t deny that the comment about Mexican rapists was lazy and ill-advised. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with sexual violence in Mexican communities more serious than in others. But outside of these unfortunate snippets (incidentally, I don’t share the Republican anxiety over subsidised health-care either), I found the speech rather inspiring.
Trump offered his audience an honest, easy to understand diagnosis of real and important maladies. His remarks about the pathetic failings of the Iraqi ‘military’ were dead on the nail. His comments about China’s cynical devaluation of its currency were timely and brave. His stated willingness to protect Israel should comfort the hearts of besieged democrats around the world.
But more than anything, it was Trump’s call for a ‘cheer-leading’ President who can resurrect the attitude of exceptionalism that truly impressed me. As I have written perhaps too many times before, positivity and the “Let’s Win!” spirit is not only useful on the football field or basketball court. It is the same attitude that destroyed the Empire of Japan and liquidised Iraqi divisions in Kuwait. It is the attitude that built the Hoover Dam, and which drives the world economy.
Trump understands this. He understands the psychological basis of American strength, that this strength is not derived from virtue alone, but from arrogance, determination and unilateralism too.
Despite my enthusiasm, I am soberly aware that a Trump administration is as unlikely Caitlyn Jenner birthing triplets. Impossible, of course, but perhaps not wholly undesirable.
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I have collected a number of articles into a downloadable kindle book now on Amazon – it’s called ‘Notes on the Deterioration of Europe’. I would be immensely grateful if some of you would purchase a copy and leave a kind review. Though most of the content is already featured on this site, a purchase in lieu of a donation would be a nice gesture.
According to wordpress, I have now written over 350 articles, enough content for many different books. To write a book is my ambition, but since I have written articles addressing too many different topics for them to be adapted into a single, flowing work, a compendium is the best I can do as of this point.
Perhaps whenever I write something that impresses you, you might buy a download as a reward. I will make about the price of a cup of coffee from each sale, and for a writer there is no more perfect currency than caffeinated beverages.
There is obviously no obligation (how could there be?), and I will continue blogging on here every week for my initial motivations. I appreciate your attention to an extent that would surprise you.
Thank you for your support.
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I’ve always rather enjoyed the phrase (used by gun rights activists in the US) – “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” It’s very accurate by itself, but can also be refitted with a broader meaning – “The only thing that can stop the aggression of the bad, is the aggression of the good.”
I used to find the word ‘machismo’ very irritating. Accused of being possessed by it would have seen me (rather ironically) get quite aggressive. To my undeveloped understanding, machismo was synonymous with stupidity, tactlessness, ignorance and barbarism. I would reflexively connect it in my mind to memories of schoolyard bullies and angrily illiterate rap fans, to visions of ugliness, and to smells of cheap aftershave and special brew.
But it’s not like that, is it? It is a precious energy devoted entirely to our well-being and success; an instinct, so to speak, with our best (highest) interests at heart. It is a terrible shame I didn’t discover this when I was younger and better placed to take advantage of it. Now 31, I am lumbered with a thousand regrets.
So many confrontations backed out of, now impossible to barge back into. The shit I took, that we all took, from Muslim thugs stomping around campus. The bullying, the sexual intimidation of girls…
In moments of inner weakness, machismo blocks all the exits, forcing you to carry on until the source of unease is vanquished. It is the conscience of self-esteem, the mind’s natural defence against victimisation. It is different from pride, being a unique and carefully designed symptom of masculinity alone. It is the more accurate and satisfying name for ‘chivalry’, ‘self-sacrifice’, ‘heroism’ and all the other romantic and vague terms of old.
And today, informed by the screeds of feminism and social democracy, one would think it was the worst thing that could afflict a man. On the micro as on the macro, this delusion has feminised us.
One might say – as I’m sure many will as the day of compulsory surrender draws near – that the West and its limp-jointed people deserve to be overtaken and conquered by Islam; that we have gone too far astray from the rule of natural law, that the reanimated zombies of Islamic history are acting more in accord with what matters, and so have earned the right to replace us.
And they may be right, I have to say. But I still feel sad about it.
I see the rejection of manliness ravaging everything I care about. I see a cerebral and virtuous civilisation running low on the hormones of lust and indignation necessary to preserve itself, to defend itself against those who have machismo and nothing else.
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Gay marriage has been legalised in all 50 states of America. Jubilation is conquering the social networks. Celebrities are popping open extra bottles of champagne. The religious and conservative are bemoaning the imminent destruction of the country, if not the world.
My view? None of this matters… and that was always the point.
Gay marriage is part of the politics of irrelevance (POI), a very deliberate side-show performed in democratic countries to distract voters from a lack of real choice.
In America, the POI usually concerns things like flag-burning laws, school meals, the death penalty debate, prayer in schools and cannabis law reform.
Airy and light topics like these are easy to speak passionately about. It is easy and respectable to take a different side on any of these matters to your core electorate, even to your best friend or partner.
By contrast, real politics, real life and death issues – China, immigration, foreign policy, Islam etc… – are more difficult for the actors in a phoney democracy to speak freely about.
Since politicians in the West want to get elected more than anything else, they won’t lay out a concrete position on substantial issues for fear of diminishing their vote. Instead, they will practice a very developed (almost artisan) kind of hypnosis – dancing a merry dance around the subject and climaxing with a very vague (but complete sounding) answer.
America would change dramatically if the politics of irrelevance was no longer an option. Politicians would then be forced to take a stand on real, flesh and blood topics. Career politicians would be weeded out almost immediately. The mind-numbing centrism of the modern US would give way to a sharp divide, providing the people with genuine choice.
There is a reason Fox news and MSNBC exist. In Britain, we call it ‘Punch and Judy politics’ (Punch and Judy are the titular characters of a traditional puppet show – popular in English seaside towns – in which each character beats the other with a stick). The kind of politics so loudly combative and dumbed down that everyone can understand it – everyone except the genuinely informed. Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity are not real journalists. They are cartoon characters – Mrs Liberal and Mr Conservative, and they fight exclusively about the irrelevant.
But what happens when the irrelevant can no longer be made to seem relevant? We may soon find out.
Gay marriage has now gone. Flag burning legislation was worn out years ago. Cannabis is being steadily legalised… The authentic is primed for a comeback, and that could be explosive.
The long sleep of the real has provided protective cover to profound failures of government. It has deadened the limbs of the libertarian majority, who when woken may throw off the establishment, both right and left. Phoney politics has postponed argument over the relationship between Islam and Islamist terrorism, the increasing use of the Spanish language in a traditionally English-speaking nation, government surveillance of law-abiding citizens, suicide rates among army veterans, the Mexicanisation of the pacific South-West, the national debt, trade imbalances with China and India, and a whole variety of real, consequential topics.
American politics is due for a makeover.
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The mass-shooting at a Black church in South Carolina will have been deeply saddening for anyone who admires the culture of the United States. The perpetrator, Dylann Storm Roof – as ugly and pathetic in appearance as his deeds are in the imagination – deserves (and will surely receive) the death penalty.
But even before this specific event, one could hardly fail to notice the loudening drumbeat of animosity between Whites and Blacks in America. Beginning with the disputed circumstances of Trayvon Martin’s death in Florida and provided with boosters in New York, Ferguson and Baltimore, the deterioration of race relations has now reached a crisis point.
There is no reason why this had to happen. Black crime rates (contrary to popular belief) are no worse than normal. Police officers (contrary to popular belief) are not being charged with brutality more often than they were. Racism, though more difficult to measure, hasn’t become noticeably more respectable or more widespread. The crisis must then be due to a wildcard factor. And in my opinion this factor is the rise in black political confidence.
When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the response in Black communities was hysterical. At long last, sympathetic commentators exclaimed, African-Americans were able to feel like an ‘equal’ and ‘legitimate’ part of American society. No longer could they be dismissed (as they so often had been) as a merely ‘tolerated’ minority group, dependant for their survival on the goodwill of the white establishment. Obama’s election meant Black Americans could finally speak out and demand an equal allotment of respect and dignity – something they were previously shy of doing, fearing the approbation of conservative loudmouths.
With that moment of empowerment, a flood was loosed. All the pent-up stories of indignity and humiliation flowed out on innumerable blogs, twitter accounts, rap lyric sheets and facebook pages. Black people, in euphoric concert, stabbed their flagpole into the soil and demanded the rest of the country adjust and update their behaviours towards them.
In this environment, events that would have previously gone unreported or passed without protest, fell like sparks on tinder. George Zimmerman, now maligned and generally despised, might have remained a little known name if not for the age of Obama. Likewise the Texas cop Eric Casebolt, now in hiding and fearful for his life, might still be at work in any other historical context.
Faced with this rise in Black entitlement, White Americans have been thrown quickly and violently onto the back foot. After riots, hashtag campaigns and endless bouts of admonition from an increasingly authoritarian liberal media, the otherwise polite Middle Classes are beginning to crack. While nothing could possibly justify the hideous murder of praying Christians, the greater context must always be examined.
The historic backdrop to our era is explosive. The White American population, for so long the comfortable masters of their native land, is declining, and declining fast. While Whites are officially due to become a minority in 2042, the real balance of power will switch long before that date. In most major American cities, Whites have been a minority for some time and this is certainly the case in the beautiful (but troubled) ‘Deep South’, the scene of Wednesday’s massacre.
As demographics continue to shift and consequent changes become visible in everyday life, White terrorism (alike Sunday’s massacre) may well become a common feature of American life. And if so, it is likely that this phenomenon will concentrate itself in ex-confederate states, beneath which racist attitudes simmer very close to the surface.
As seems to be the fashion among lone wolf terrorists, the killer at Charleston, Dylann Roof, published a manifesto before embarking on his trail of destruction. He rationalises (or attempts to rationalise) his actions as follows:
“Niggers are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick. Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race… It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action.”
“….To take a saying from my favorite film, “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.””
I find that last quote rather apt. Roof’s life, as it has since been described in the media, would certainly seem to demand a low valuation. The man has prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine, is unemployed and boasts a haircut from the darkest corners of the paedophile underworld. Few people will mourn him when the final plunger is pushed.
What else is there for a European citizen to say about all this?
Well, personally I think it should be remembered (in spite of Wednesday’s events) that the issue of Black on White violence is far more urgent than the reverse. The Charleston massacre is a tragedy, a great tragedy, but thankfully it is of a very rare kind. Unprovoked Black violence on White Americans is an epidemic and must be tackled at the national level.
Nevertheless, unlike between Muslims and Europeans, I see no divide separating Blacks and Whites in America that cannot be bridged, nor any breakage that cannot be repaired. Black people have been an integral part of American culture from its violent colonial beginnings, and cannot be excised from it now. With that in mind, efforts at reconciliation would appear realistic and worthwhile. America is far too mighty to unravel.
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The Western World (Europe, Oceania, Japan, Israel and North America) is so often compared against the dusty wastelands of the Islamic world that a casual observer might think this disparity was an isolated one. It isn’t.
It is a vital truth that the Western world is not only a preferable environment to Planet Sharia, but to all other environments on Planet Earth.
I am writing this post as a self-conscious chauvinist. To me, there is simply no comparison between the relaxed, liberal manners of European culture and the chaotic, antiquated or eccentric alternatives offered by the third and second worlds.
Even those civilisations we can count upon as friends, like China, Africa, Indochina, India and Latin America are dizzyingly inferior to our own. We enjoy very special advantages confined to our range of habitation – advantages hewn violently over centuries, the glistening produce of bravery, rebellion and innovation.
Outside of this luxurious reserve, primitivism and bigotry can be found almost everywhere. In non-Muslim African countries, for example, girls from certain tribes have their breasts ironed flat to delay puberty and sexual development. The process is said to be mind-scarringly painful and is usually performed by the girls mother or grandmother. In democratic India, one particular ‘caste’, the Dalit, are considered ‘untouchable’ due to a perceived (wholly imagined) ancestral wretchedness. Members of this caste are condemned to the most menial professions and forbidden from inter-marrying with members of ‘superior’ categories. Likewise in Brazil – the land of toted post-racialism – the darker you are, the less likely you are to get on in life. With race an impossible concept (due to centuries of mixing) simple colorism – every bit as nasty as race prejudice – wears its clothes.
A majority of non-Western countries, including non-Muslim countries, approve of arranged (forced) marriages. This hideous idea means that young people never get to enjoy the romance of dating, seduction and sexual discovery, but are simply tacked on to a family friendly to their own. Those who rebel against the tradition and date outside their tribe or caste are subject to acid attacks and honour killings.
Speaking of violence, in Mexico (sunny, happy, vacation-friendly Mexico), neighbour of the great United States of America, there are more beheadings per year than in the entire Middle East. I’ll repeat that – in Mexico, there are more beheadings per year than in the entire Middle East. This unbelievable slaughter occurs only a slim river away from the peace and affluence of suburban Texas. By itself, this speaks volumes about the sharpness of contrast under discussion.
Despite the position of the far-right, the West isn’t actually a biological mass. Multiracial, Japanese and Jewish experiments have achieved (or even surpassed) the European standard. In the same spirit, Immigrants to the West can become naturally Western if they so desire, including people from the most Neanderthal backgrounds. Ayaan Hirsi Ali can no longer sensibly be compared to the inhabitants of pre-wheel Somalia, for example. She has become a Westerner, understands this and displays joy and gratitude for it. We all should, however native we consider ourselves.
As to the secret ingredient of the West (the cause of its distinction), I would nominate the legacy of Anti-Traditionalism; the breaking by axe of the formaldehyde jars preserving ancient mistakes. Westerners realise that the solemnities of royalty are a pantomime. We also can’t be impressed by ten-limbed, Elephant-headed deities, Chinese tea-making ceremonies that last 10 hours, competitively obedient wives, Buddhists staring at walls, insect-worshipping Jains or anything else that is completely out-of-place in a century of awesome material potential. The secret of Western success is a devotion to the real.
And only the real is of any worth; only it can be truly inspiring- the shimmer of the sun on skyscraper glass; the colourful stacks of wares at supermarkets the size of football fields. How luxurious and sane our countries have become. We should be prepared to kill millions to protect this.
For me at least, as far as modernity is concerned, the choice is ultimately not the West or Pakistan, but the West or nothing at all.
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One of the joys of being politically incorrect, of being a free-thinker, someone who yields always to the best available evidence is that every day one gets to watch those who think otherwise make exotic mysteries out of obvious truths.
The quote below was shared on my facebook news feed by a liberal contact who is otherwise quite rational. The last time I looked, it had received over 12,000 ‘likes’ and many thousands of adoring endorsements.
“Wow, I wonder why so many cops in so many different cities treat Black People the same way. Almost like there’s some kind of systemic issue.”
To a stodgy, heavy-footed mind, I suppose the logic rings out as perfectly tuneful. Why are police officers so committed to arresting, tackling and disarming black people at a greater rate than other ethnicities? And on a repeated, nationwide scale? Just what do police have against black people?
This reminds me of the pleading of Leftists in defence of our Muslim friends . “Why are we disproportionately taking military action against Muslim countries, as opposed to others?”
“What does the civilised world have against Islam?”
To rent the curtain sustaining both mysteries, let’s deal with these in order – firstly, Black people (on average) commit more crime than any other racial group. This is why there is more police action against Black people than members of other races. This is also why there is more police brutality against Black people than against other races. Since there will always be bad apples in a national police force, and given the greater priority that force is compelled to give to one race, it is statistically more likely the bad apples will fall on them.
Secondly, the Muslim world is the most corrupt, idiotic and barbarous division of the Earth’s landmass. Over 90% of major terror attacks worldwide are committed by Muslims, and Muslim countries accommodate a similarly large percentage of the world’s paramilitaries, dictatorships, civil wars and genocides. That is why the civilised world is compelled to intervene in Muslim countries more than in others.
To concede these things is not to deny that Black Lives Matter, because they do. I love Black people, and I hope that by understanding the root cause of their present misfortune they can take an axe to it. Muslim lives matter too. A child brought up in a Muslim family deserves my sympathy rather than my hatred. But he/she also deserves an honest explanation as to why the Tomahawks and JDAMS seem more naturally attracted to her/his patch of living space than to others.
To avoid any charge of Eurocentric bigotry, I will add that American Caucasians are more likely to be paedophiles than other divisions of the US population (and this is calculated after groups are levelled in size). White people are also fatter on average than other races. They commit more crimes in the area of fraud and finance than any other group, and so on.
As a general principle, reality is a relaxed and pleasure-filled domain. The muscle-tensing stress of having to avoid obvious facts is absent here. One can simply bathe in the unspoilt sun of what is actually taking place. To know why things happen the way they do is at once uplifting and consoling.
The red pill is a euphoriant.