This was my gateway into the horror-tracts of Ebola-Chan. It was immediately obvious that something of great significance was happening.
Upsetting (for those still nursing shreds of humane moral intuition): certainly, and deliberately.
Meaningful: beyond question, and massively.
The ebola trendline is currently exponential. Richard Fernandez places the phenomenon in its proper intellectual context. Whatever else the outbreak may be — a human (and economic) catastrophe for West Africa, a threat to the West — it is also a revelation (or ‘apocalypse’ in the strict sense). It’s a Khan Academy demonstration for slow and reluctant learners. Such things lend themselves to spontaneous religious interpretation.
It wasn’t supposed to look like this:
The (rough) coincidence with the death of 4chan is — in itself — a topic of abysmal fascination. I’m kicking that can for the moment. There’s much on this precursor discussion thread of relevance.
For now, some preliminary indications as to why this might be thought to matter (immensely), in revisable order of gravity:
(1) Readers of John Michael Greer are prepared for socio-economic decline to be accompanied by an eruption of religious abnormality. For anybody with a taste for irony (a crucial epistemological disposition, in the opinion of this blog), there is much nourishment to be found in the Ebola-Chan phenomenon. Most prominently, despite — and more probably because of — the shocking racism propelling it, Ebola-Chan opens a cross-cultural plane of communication completely absent from the ‘responsible’ Western responses to the plague. It makes sense of ebola in a way that is far closer to the sensibility of its target populations than the lofty medico-globalist pronouncements of legitimated authorities. Ebola-Chan packages the outbreak for a folk-religious response — of exactly the kind it is being met with in the villages it (or ‘she’?) ravages.
(2) Ebola-Chan is a demoness of communication, not only across cultures (West Africa, America, Japan …) but also between cultural and biological patterns of virulence. The ‘meme’ — as a more-or-less exact analog of the gene — is unleashed on 4chan in sympathy with the virus. It connects with the biological contagion, in various ways, through relations of copying (transcription), prolongation, and promotion. Ebola-Chan is a crossing.
(3) As memotechnics, Ebola-Chan condenses an accumulated stock of practical heuristics. Its genre is, most immediately, that of the chain-letter — conveying a message pre-adapted to spreading. Copy me, or be punished (stricken). It’s darkly humorous, cruel, ironical, and self-reflective, but at the level of memotechnics none of this undermines anything. If “I love you Ebola-Chan” spreads as a joke — it still spreads. The Nigerian email scam industry attests to the inter-cultural consistency of this memotechnic plane.
(4) Ebola-Chan is already operating as a factor in Fourth-Generation Warfare. It complicates the pacification efforts of the ‘international community’ in unpredictable ways. Once again, certain peculiar cultural formations are waiting to connect with it. At this stage it is difficult to reach even the preliminary stage of a lucid analysis, but clearly the memotechnic militarization of a medical emergency is an obstacle to the smooth evolution of established management procedures. The WHO is not ideologically equipped to publicize its intervention within the context of an occult religious race war.
(6) As 4chan is pushed ever deeper into the shadows, it seems reasonable to assume that its practical alliance with memotechnic chaos will also deepen. In this respect, Ebola-Chan is the Yin to the Cathedral’s Yang — a complement, fed by subterranean conservation laws. Much prophetic density accompanies such an analysis. If it is an end, it is no less the beginning of an end.
ADDED: Ebola-Chan on Facebook.
ADDED: WaPo takes a look. “But even if the mods do remove [Ebola-chan threads], Ebola-Chan may have done her damage. Much like the disease itself, now that she’s out there, there’s no controlling her.”
ADDED: Rituals to Nurgle: Ebola Is Coming (Styxhexenhammer666).