Sensation — media nourishment — is situated on a border. It tells the inside something about the outside, and is shaped from both sides. The outside is what it is, which might not be perceptible, or acceptable. The inside wants relevant information, selected and formatted to its purposes. Sensation is therefore where subject and object meet.
… that’s an attempt to express preliminary sympathy for Matt Sigl’s situation, caught between an uncanny thing and a definite agenda. Concretely; research collides with editing, with Sigl’s brain as ground zero. The encounter of Neoreaction with the media is a peculiarly vicious one, with the sensations to match.
Crudely speaking, Neoreaction is disgust at the media condensed into an ideology. While generally contemptuous of the human fodder making up modern democracies, Neoreaction principally targets the media-academic complex (or ‘Cathedral’) for antagonism, because it is the media that is the real ‘electorate’ — telling voters what to do. This foundational critique, on its own, would be enough to ensure intense reciprocal loathing. Of course, it is not on its own. Neoreaction is in almost every respect the Cathedral anti-message, which is to say that it is consistently, radically, and defiantly ‘off-message’ on every topic of significance, and is thus something unutterably horrible. Yet utterance — it now seems — there has to be …
So what appears on the boundary — or sensationally — is something remarkably creepy. As a deeply resonant public communication of what has just happened, and continues to happen, as well as what has been editorially decided, this word is almost too exquisite to contemplate. We can at least burrow down into it a little way.
What is creepiness exactly? The intractability of this question is the phenomenon (which is not a phenomenon, exactly). Creepiness is not quite what it seems, and this insinuation of the unknown, or intrinsic inexactness, is something horrible that exceeds the initial sensation of revulsion. It suggests a revelation in stages, complicated by successive revisions, but leading inexorably, ever deeper, into an encounter one recoils from, sensing (inexactly) that it will be ultimately found intolerable.
It’s already a little horror story, most probably with a female protagonist (as acutely noted at Amos & Gromar). From the very beginning, it feels sinister. One cannot see exactly why, because one cannot bear to see. The imprecision of perception is already protective, or evasive, serving dramatically as an ominous inkling of the blinding panic, wild flight, and screaming that must surely come. You really don’t want to see it, even though (horribly) you know that you have to, because it could be dangerous. As the lurid movie posters shriek sensationally, it’s a thing You’d Better Take Seriously.
This is journalism eating itself, or being eaten, in a an encounter with something monstrous from Outside. Look at this thing you won’t be able to look at (without moaning in horror). Watch what you can’t bear to see. It tilts over into a kind of madness, which couldn’t be more obvious, or less clearly perceptible. Sigl’s editors have been sucked into a vortex of horrific sensationalism that draws attention to the one thing they are duty-bound to hide from people. It has to be creepy, that is: imperceptible at the very moment it is seen. The approved response to Neoreaction is to be creeped out, but that can’t possibly be enough.
At first we might think that ‘creepy’ is a subjective adjective, describing something too horrible to describe. It’s tempting, since we suspect these people retreated into their feelings long ago. The reality is far creepier.
Things really creep, although not exactly objectively, when they proceed in a way you’re not quite able to perceive. Evidently, Moldbug sees this (“Something is happening here. But you don’t know what it is — do you, Mr. Jones?”).
You have to imagine you’re the media to carry on further into the horror story. Then you can see that it’s creepy in part (always in parts), because you let it in. That shrieking thing you were doing? Perhaps you should have taken that as a sign. Now it’s creeping about inside, in your media, in your brains, in your dimly unscrutinized thoughts, and all those elaborate security systems that you spent so long putting together — they’re now mostly an obstacle course for the cops, or whoever else you think might imaginably come to your rescue, because they’re certainly not standing between you and the Mind Virus.
Really, what were you thinking, when you started screaming about it, and thus let it in? You don’t know, do you? — and that’s seriously creepy. Even though you don’t want to — at all — it makes you think about HBD, heredity, instincts, impulses, and incomprehensible chemical machines, stealthily at work behind your thoughts, obdurate in their reality, and intolerable beyond acknowledgement. Shrieking “Nazi science!” (or whatever) doesn’t help, because it’s inside now, and you know it’s true, even as you play the hunted heroine mumbling “no, no, no, no, no …” backing ever deeper into the shadows. This is reality, and it’s already inside, that’s what you were saying when you called it ‘creepy’.
It’s happening, and there’s no point at all saying “get over it” — because you won’t.