A statistically significant number of US citizens have completely lost their fucking minds. It’s perfectly reasonable to think of them as victims of Cordyseps MAGA. For the few remaining people who haven’t either played the game or watched the HBO series The Last of Us, cordyseps is the mutated endoparasitoid fungus that turns humans into hideous zombies (which, now I think of it, is redundant; there are no attractive zombies, are there).
Although it’s just a plot device in The Last of Us, cordyceps is real. In fact, there are several hundred different cordyseps species. A small number of them are parasitoids actually capable of affecting the host insect’s (yeah, it’s limited to insects) decision-making and behavior control mechanisms. Making them zombies, in other words. One of the behavioral changes caused by that form of cordyceps they become increasingly careless, which makes the host insect vulnerable to predators. When the parasite-ridden victim is consumed by a predator, the cordyceps fungus starts feeding on the new host, allowing the fungus to spread even wider.
Cordyceps is a useful analogy for explaining the club-headed MAGA fuckwits who…wait. Damn it. Tangent Alert! Cordyseps comes from the Greek term kordýlē, meaning ‘club’ and the Latin suffix -ceps, meaning ‘–headed’. So basically, cordyceps means ‘club-headed.’
Right, back to the analogy. This is similar to what happened with the sort of club-headed MAGA fuckwits who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. Hell, it’s what is STILL happening. The ‘entertainment’ hosts on FOX News are effectively feeding viewers Cordyceps MAGA spores, which remodels their decision-making and behavior control mechanisms, making them easier prey for predatory fascist and authoritarian ideologies, which in turn allows the fungus to spread even more widely. The only meaningful difference is that the fungal parasitic FOX News hosts themselves are apparently NOT under the influence of Cordyseps MAGA. They’re deliberately and willfully spreading the fungus because it gives them power and a big paycheck.
Here’s an example. Tucker Carlson recently made these claims about the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, assaulted police officers, defaced and desecrated the building itself, and attempted to disrupt the historically peaceful transfer of presidential power.
“They were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers. Footage from inside the Capitol overturns the story you’ve heard about January 6. Protesters queue up in neat little lines. They give each other tours outside the speaker’s office. They take cheerful selfies and they smile. They’re not destroying the Capitol, they obviously revere the Capitol. They’re there because they believe the election was stolen from them. They believe in the system.” — Tucker Carlson.
Nine sentences, eight of which are direct, intentional lies. The ONLY true statement is that the insurrectionists believe the election was stolen. But club-headed MAGA assholes only believe that bullshit because predatory pricks like Tucker Carlson have been feeding them spore-lies for a couple of decades. That’s how parasitic fungi work.
The larger problem is that parasitic fungi benefit and thrive to the detriment (and sometimes death) of their host. When FOX News deliberately spreads lies and misinformation, they pose a serious, no-shit risk to the host, which is representative democracy in the US. Even though it sounds far-fetched, they could end up destroying democracy in the United States.
As it is, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives shows very clear symptoms of being zombiefied. Just yesterday, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy appointed Marjorie Taylor Greene as Speaker Pro-tempore. The GOP decision-making and behavior control mechanisms have been severely diminished. This is zombie behavior. This makes them easier prey for predatory fascists. This makes the entire US vulnerable.
Far-fetched? Yes. But not far enough. This could be the last of us.