Djokovic vs. Australia / the Vaccinated.

Here’s my unsolicited two cents…

Fans of Novak Djokovic and anti-vaxxers combined were outraged at how the Australian government treated the unvaccinated tennis champion. The authorities’ refusal to let him in was a blatant example of authoritarianism, right? How dare they enforce their rules on him, demanding that all who enter the country fall within the margin of the law? If that’s not a sign of authority gone mad, we’ve lost our wits, no better than sheep who deserve to be penned in, sheared, fattened, and munched on by the powers that be.

Ask anyone who knows anything about the world, and they’ll tell you who’s behind all this. Bill Gates, of course. It’s part of the tech-nerd’s nefarious plan. Pay attention to the words and the truth rises up to meet you. The Broken Windows Theory explains how neighborhoods go down the real-estate drain – it’s real, look it up – and the Microsoft Windows Coronavirus Conspiracy describes how They, serpents in human skin, are hell-bent on taking over our genetic code with biological hardware.

Look around. From the moment They declared a pandemic, the world was thrust into tyranny. Everyone’s freedoms were canceled, including the freedom to disagree with scientific findings and other facts. Dissent, i.e. refuse to inject yourself with unknown chemical substances loaded with Trojan Horses (wake up, the Greeks have breached the gates – Gates, get it?), and They’ll take care of you. One way or the other, you’ll be assimilated – that’s their plan.

Trekkies can spot the Borg connection (let’s mix our metaphors) between Star Trek and the brave new world we live in. George Orwell fans sense Big Brother at work. Take your pick of wicked power analogues. The Supervillains are here to prey on humanity from behind the veil of a pandemic they either fabricated or abetted. Their sights are on revolutionaries like Djokovic, i.e. anyone who dares challenge their advance.

Djokovic, the hero – how courageously he awaited the result of his appeal in the “hotel” they designated. As all free-minded people know, it was a trap. Gates’ teams of gene manipulators lurked inside the walls, spraying Djokovic and his team with undetectable nerve agents, subliminal narratives and DNA-hungry aerosolized microchips designed to turn him into one of Them.

But Djokovic went prepared, taking all the antidotes that were provided to him by the non-sheeple movements of the free world (buy yours for 10.99 at any .inf website), remaining his sovereign self.

Also note how They tried to smash the Djokovic brand’s windows and wipe out his entire value in an attempt to send a message to the world: either fall in line or face the hammer of annihilation.


Exaggerations? Sure, and they don’t stop there.

Here’s the other side, the counter-fundamentalist approach so prevalent in parts of vaccinated society, about which we don’t talk enough.

So, let’s talk…

For starters, if you’re not a Djokovic fan and/or if you happen to support the vaccination programs for COVID-19, the signs are on the wall, and the answers crystal clear. No-vac Djokovic is a monstrous millionaire – duh! – who sustains himself with freshly killed baby seals and the tears of virgin unicorns. Rich people like him are all the same – bloodthirsty brats with swamps for a conscience, abusing their power to subvert the system and get away with murder. He doesn’t care how many people he kills with COVID. He’s a murderer, like all unvaccinated people.

A medical exemption? Please, No-vac didn’t merit one. If he did, why not make his medical records public immediately? What was he afraid of? Privacy, our left foot! This was a public matter. No, the two independent medical panels that granted No-vac a medical exemption suffered a lapse in judgment. Yes, they’re part of the system in whose name Australians rose up in arms to prevent Djokovic to ride shotgun, but that’s beside the point. The panels’ unanimous decision was misguided. The unvaccinated fat cat, lean as he may appear, had to be cut down no matter what.

Sure, Djokovic contracted COVID a few weeks prior to flying to Australia, meaning he had antibodies when he entered the country, but screw that. He was unvaccinated, and that’s reason enough to pillory him, his situation be damned. The vaccinated world’s duty to science and critical thinking obliges us to stop people like No-vac in their tracks and send a clear message: Get vaxxed, or go f–– yourselves!

By the way, how insensitive of No-vac to apply for a medical exemption at a time when Australians suffer the fatigue of endless restrictions, cumulative lockdowns, etc. Has he no empathy at all?

As for the medical exemptions that were granted to other tennis players, whatever. The panels approved those requests in line with government requirements, and the exhaustive testing around the venue means that the Australian Open 2022 will be as safe as can be. Plus, the little guys and gals deserved a break. Let them play; no need to raise a fuss about their exemptions. The point was to cut down any and all unicorn-harvesting millionaires and their cadres. There’s no place for them in our open, fair, critical-thinking society.


Of course, dare to point out that both approaches, the anti- and pro-vaxxers alike, make a great argument when they point out how insane the other side is when it goes to extremes, and we’re way off base. Don’t we know anything? It’s an all-or-nothing world. Anti-vaxxers are completely and utterly wrong in everything they say and do. The same with pro-vaxxers. The other side will tell you how it is. Argue that both approaches take things too far, to each their own, and their supporters will have us strung up by the thumbs for the public enemies that we are.

In other words, there’s no room for disagreement. One is expected to embrace a point of view in full. Failure to do so and we’re branded an obstacle that must be removed.

And when one points out that the above two approaches are two sides of the same toxic currency, mentalities that thrive on ignorance, hysteria, intimidation, and closed-mindedness, you become a universal target. Nothing unites those who thrive on fear and loathing like the sound of reason and a call for balance. In a world of polar opposites, the zealots hate their opposites as much as they despise those who cry for middle ground. They abhor sanity and want nothing to do with those who don’t fully agree with them, so expect them to come after anyone who calls them out.

Having reviewed the situation, let’s take a moment to state the obvious about Novak Djokovic. He is, in all likelihood, playing everyone for a fool, at least that’s what his behavior implies. He either forged a positive COVID test to get an Australian visa exemption as a “recovering patient” (hence his public appearances in Europe immediately after his diagnosis – he didn’t really have COVID, did he?), or he contracted COVID for real and then skipped quarantine because he couldn’t give a toss about other people’s health or the rule of law.

Either way, the man (his management?) failed to handle the situation. Djokovic comes across as a childish amateur in that respect, and one wonders how a multi-million-dollar brand is capable of so many basic mistakes on so many fronts.

Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that some of the reactions in the vaccinated parts of society were, and are, as hysterical and fundamentalist as those of anti-vaxxers. The vaccinated world, for one, demanded empathy for all Australians, but what a politically expedient oversimplification that was. Medical exemptions are neither illegitimate nor immoral. Asking for one isn’t a condemnable act. Failing to back up the request is the real problem, which can only be recognized once the process runs its course.

Also, how about respecting the panels that were appointed to judge all matters of exemption? Let the experts lend their expertise.

Let’s recognize the immunity of recovering COVID patients. Failure to acknowledge said immunity makes the pro-vaccine world sound like hypocritical maniacs driven by ideology rather than science.

Like it or not, being on the side of science – and on the right side of history – comes with the responsibility of being reasonable. Just because anti-vaxxers and deniers have lost the plot doesn’t mean that we must do the same.



Sadly, the world is as polarized as ever, locked in an absurd dance of attrition.

It’s important to recognize the problem, if we’re to move forward.

But neither side will let us. When we point out that the real victims of the world’s COVID-19 division are open society, critical thinking, and functionality at large, both sides call us weak, confused, indecisive and naive, or sold out, or closeted something-or-others with hidden agendas because only closeted-something-or-others would dare consider the opposite point of view. Engage with the other side in any way, they say, and we deserve the axe.

Meanwhile, children all over the world wonder what on earth has gotten into adults lately, and why everyone is at each other’s throats instead of sorting things out in a mature and civilized manner – in other words, practice what we preach – so we can enjoy life rather than mess it up even more.



Point Omega centers on Richard Elster, a retired scholar and war-studies / covert-warfare expert who retires to the desert to explore space and time.

Professor Elster’s principal focus before retiring was the dark practice of rendition. In war games, rendition is a covert-operations tactic that circumvents the laws of the land to extract information from captives. If torture is against the law, you employ allies with looser legislation to do the dirty deed for you on their turf. You may even do it yourself, making sure everything is up to standard


Elster’s profession was a murky one indeed, and we’re given a glimpse of how deeply he thought about it and how profoundly it had affected him in a passage where he explores the term rendition in broad terms. He starts with the straightforward – to apply a coat of plaster on a wall – and then shifts to an image of walled enclosures in unspecified locations where people are questioned using enhanced interrogation techniques. The text is sharp:

Within those walls, somewhere, in seclusion, a drama is being enacted, old as human memory, he wrote, actors naked, chained, blindfolded, other actors with props of intimidation, the renderers, nameless and masked, dressed in black, and what ensues, he wrote, is a revenge play that reflects the mass will and interprets the shadowy need of an entire nation, ours.

It’s a dark world indeed, and the professor has left it all behind, putting as much distance as humanly possible between him and the shadow of civilization.

But the shadows return when a filmmaker called Jim Finley enters the story.

Finley has tracked down Elster in the desert because he wants to make a documentary about him using Elster and only Elster. No interviews with family members or colleagues. No shots of relevant locations and landscapes, just the protagonist himself, a man rendered alone on a blank background to become the story he embodies. The self as the one and only representative.

In other words, a form of rendition.

Elster isn’t buying it. He doesn’t believe in the power of film and confession. “The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever. The true life takes place when we’re alone, thinking, feeling, lost in memory, dreamily self-aware, the submicroscopic moments. He said this more than once, Elster did, in more than one way. His life happened, he said, when he sat staring at a blank wall, thinking about dinner.”

The two men end up debating the matter over the coming weeks, focusing among other things on Omega Point, a metaphysical and eschatological notion by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which describes the universe’s move toward a point of unification. The idea is that consciousness passes through levels of complexity, becoming more specialized and specific, until it reaches a high point, and from there on, well, who knows, maybe back to the beginning.

“We expand, we fly outward, that’s the nature of life ever since the cell. The cell was a revolution […] The slither, crawl, biped crouch, the conscious being, the self-conscious being. Brute matter becomes analytical human thought. Our beautiful complexity of mind […] Do we have to be human forever? Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field.”

Elster and Finley discuss these abstract topics at will, getting to know each other, and before long Elster’s daughter joins them, injecting a fresh dynamic to the mix. The three of them explore the shady underpinnings of the progressive, technological, political world from a point of extreme detachment, as if they have surrendered to its impact. Everything is reduced to minimal simplicity, bare like the desert, brutal, almost divine. 

Point Omega is a story that examines the complexity of life and the intricacies of consciousness through acts of rendition. The idea is that life, the mind, and the human experience at large may be reduced to an array of components. Strip away the facade to get to the bottom of things, so to speak.

At the same time, the underlying components can’t be separated from the surface image. Everything is interlinked, interdependent, dynamic.


The novel sets the tone at the onset with a seemingly out-of-place introduction that involves an art exhibition where Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film Psycho is screening in extreme slow motion – yet another form of rendition.

In this exhibition, Psycho’s imagery is slowed down to such an unbearable extent (the film takes 24 hours to play out), it loses all context and meaning.

The end product is unsettling. With animation almost suspended, but not quite, the motion is caught in limbo and a horror is borne out of the aspic mantle, the viewer stranded in its arcane landscape, looking for meaning in a setup of quasi-arrested animation. 

Cause and effect are no longer relevant. Archetypes emerge, purpose is sublimated, leading to a convergence (divergence? reconfiguration?) of consciousness on a number of levels. Reality is redefined in terms of its composites – in this case the stills that make up the motion picture – which is what the rest of the story alludes to: the composite nature of reality and the analysis of the consciousness that perceives it.

There’s a lot to unpack. The book is short but full of insight. Like in much of DeLillo’s fiction, the concept drives the story, the plot taking the back seat.



Point Omega is a constellation of insight, a glacial meditation on the makeup of reality, examining the ways we deconstruct and make sense of our surroundings, or fail to. The text works like poetry, its impact elusive but unmistakable.

It’s also structured like a haiku. The novel is divided into three sections called “Lines,” and one might deem this a gimmick, but there’s something to it. Haikus are a Japanese tradition of self-contained minimalist poetry and the novel does justice to the form by using minimalist prose and pared-down settings. In that respect, the text reflects its poetic blueprint in loose terms.

But the story’s content is hard to encapsulate. It reveals a world engaged in deconstruction, which could be seen as a function of either less or more complexity. It’s up for interpretation. Life, it seems, is deconstructed across the board – in the Psycho art installation, during the state’s war games, in the desert, in everyday conversation and between the lines – revealing a trend, a human tendency to capture and break down what lies beyond reach. To what avail, one hardly knows. It depends on one’s perspective. Psycho loses its meaning when slowed down but something arcane emerges from the animation’s debris, between the images, casting light on the human condition, showcasing the importance of cause and effect, how our entire world is subject to a very specific time flow. Slow it down or speed it up and everything goes out of whack.

(Fun fact: When played out as it was intended, Psycho is at its sanest, at least by Point Omega’s standards.)


And yet we fiddle with our construct, tinkering with the world’s makeup in our effort to reach further and go deeper, testing our limits.

In the case of belligerents, we strip them of their humanity to garner information and gain an advantage in our war games. We lose our own humanity, too, turning into monsters, but the loss of humanity may be inevitable. Fail to step up to the dark task and we may end up as the victims of those who do step up, dehumanized by their hand.

If we’re going to be stripped of our essence, let us do so on our terms, so to speak.

Rendition, it seems, at least the war-games kind, may or may not be a sine qua non to survival.

One more example of complexity boiled down to cynical simplicity.

The story flirts with these issues, and many more.

As for those who seek answers to questions that haunt the human mind, Point Omega suggests they may be found in the solitude and simplicity of a bare landscape, in the cracks of which life flourishes against all odds, subject to the alternating dry heat/cold yet spared the corrosion of damp, noise, and overcrowding.

The complex rendered simple yet again.

A pattern emerges.

It seems that DeLillo’s point is counterintuitive. He suggests that the more sophisticated we are the plainer things become. Maybe the end product of complexity is simplicity. Maybe, as Elster muses, the point of evolution is to turn humans into stones so that we may rest in peace for eternity.

The prospect suits him just fine. All he wants is to live out the rest of his years in the desert, keeping at bay the shadow of civilization, letting the wide starry sky embrace him.