Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 30 May 2024

Happy International Vaccine Scepticism Day

According to Wikipedia, May 29th is National Paperclip Day. Which nation? I don’t know. But perhaps it should also be International Vaccine Scepticism Day.

Let us start with paperclips and then move onto vaccines. The 20th Century was the century of paper. G.K. Chesterton said that in the Middle Ages if a peasant had found a sheet of paper in the middle of a country lane he would have considered it a sacred object and taken it 30 miles to the nearest church or monastery; whereas in the 20th Century printed paper was so common it was used for wrapping fish and chips, drying boots or keeping tramps warm.

Paper has a long history: from papyrus (vegetable) and parchment (animal) to wood pulp (vegetable again), from scrolls to codices – that’s books, to you and me – and of course from manuscripts that took a month to copy to Gutenberg and his rapid printing press: and then the massed profusion of texts: publishers running around begging figures like Thomas Hobbes and Samuel Johnson let them print whatever they could write, and the newspaper. Meanwhile, official life had already benefitted from double-entry book-keeping: though it was in the late 19th Century that we saw the spread of two of the greatest inventions: the typewriter, which meant that one could produce ‘copy’ in one’s own house or shop, and the paperclip, which meant that one could assemble and store papers without requiring string or binding. What would the 20th Century have been without a sheaf of typed papers held together with a paperclip?

Then we had the personal computer, the word document, and the ‘cloud’, all of which has brought the great century of paper to an end. But I’ll write about the Antichrist another time.

The Wikipedia page on the paperclip engages with the complicated question of who invented it. There are some American candidates, and a Norwegian candidate. The first manufacturer of the paperclip we know now was apparently a British firm called Gem Manufacturing Company in the 1870s. I say ‘apparently’ as no one seems to know for sure. All we know is that the standard paperclip was well established by the 1890s, and that it acquired the name ‘Gem’. But I leave all this to one side. Except that one of the more interesting parts of the story is the claim of Herbert Spencer to have invented the paperclip.

Have you heard of Herbert Spencer? He is one of the Grand Old Men of the 19th Century that no one reads any more: along with Mark Pattison, Thomas Carlyle, Walter Scott, G.H. Lewes, etc. I once went on a pilgrimage to Highgate Cemetery to see Marx’s grave (excuse me, but we are all ‘cultural Marxists’ now; especially if Richard Dawkins is a ‘cultural Christian’): and got a surprise when I found Spencer’s much more humble grave opposite it.

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