Sunday, May 10, 2020

Climb To Humanity's Summit By Remaining Human

Free-Falling Elevator Edition Sunday

Let Me Tell You How It Will Be

Test-Trace-Quarantine. Countries that follow TTQ have lower death counts from Covid-19 – and their societies and economies have stayed open. For a number of reasons – none of them good, and some of them malevolent – neither the United States nor Great Britain have followed this proven method of tackling the pandemic. 
As a result, thousands upon thousands of their people are needlessly dying while their economies have cratered, leaving millions of people in dire straits even as their respective governments, especially the US, disgorge vast mountains of public money to protect the private fortunes of elites and corporations.  Lockdown without mass testing will not quell the virus; “re-opening” without mass testing will lead swiftly to further disaster, to second and third waves that, absent a vaccine, could be equal to or worse than this initial tsunami...
Every American should realize: the heavily armed groups – funded and organized by rightwing oligarchs – whom the president is now praising for protesting the lockdowns – WILL be out on the streets, threatening and very possibly killing people if Trump, despite all the GOP vote rigging, loses in November... that is absolutely where we are now. That's WHY these groups have been funded by the rich, that's why they're being mobilized ...

Trump is now giving up all pretense of fighting the virus or even trying to slow it; he actually seems to take a perverse delight in presiding over a world-historical disaster in which his own herd-culling policies have led to tens of thousands of needless deaths across the shattered land. 

The entire GOP faction of the power structure has lined up with goose-stepping servitude behind this murderous assault on the American people, while the Democratic faction dithers, cowers and chills on vacation, bestirring itself only to vote for “relief” bills that give literally trillions of dollars to the super-rich and corporations while leaving ordinary people with almost nothing — not even protection for their voting rights in a pandemic, not even that one small, pathetic say in determining their fate.

The pandemic has stripped away all facades. We can see the system and its leaders clearly now. After killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people in foreign lands during the last two decades of aggressive war and ceaseless “interventions” (most of which are not even noticed or reported on anymore), they have now turned on their own people. They sit and watch thousands of them die unnecessary deaths, happy to “cull the herd” of the “useless eaters”: the sick, the old, the vulnerable, the poor and the non-white minorities who are dying in vastly disproportionate numbers. 

And Then Something Else Will Happen

I’m starting to look at the current situation as ... not entirely unlike that of Western Europe and the Soviet Union during the Nazi occupation.  After the initial shock of conquest and the imposition of New Rulers and Rules, things settled into a routine struggle, primarily to get by as best one could under the circumstances. 

Oh sure, there were the daily round ups, deportations and executions, restrictions on movement, the lack of essential foods and supplies, lack of money to buy supplies with if they existed, the constant sense of dread of what was to come. The not-knowing what was next was perhaps the worst part for many, but for many others, life went on, not much changed — until it did. And when it did, things got worse, and they just kept getting worse until the bitter end.

So far, we’ve seen no vision of a better future when we come out of this. No vision of a future at all for most of us. We will struggle through as best we can — until we can’t.

The existential threats are piling one atop the other — for most people, it means that nothing is likely to return to “normal” in their lifetimes. They may or may not survive the pandemic and subsequent economic collapse and whatever consequences come from them, they may even live to see the transition into a much warmer climate, but the pre-2020 reality is never coming back for them or anyone. We’re in uncharted waters without a captain and without a vision of where we are or should be headed.

We should be past the point of blaming anyone; we never got to the point of actually doing anything about the existential crises we knew we would face. And so we drift along.

And Too, Also

the pandemic has compounded the legitimacy crisis in which the U.S. (but not only the U.S. — the Eurozone is not looking too good) is enveloped already with its clueless political class.

the politically-aware populi are still preoccupied with their “tribal” narcissistic narratives...  (will any historian be able to fathom “the war on Christmas” or “Russia,Russia,Russia” let alone Stormy Daniels or Tara Reade?)

the eruption of this volcano is building below the noise of the twitterverse and CNN and the foppish readers and writers of the New York Times or the Jeff Bezos blog.

We are descending Seneca’s cliff now. There will be plateaus where the remnants of disintegrating civilization may pause for as much as a decade’s respite, but descent is the future, every shock preparing the way for the next step down. It might take a hundred years or two to play out fully.

In the short-term, it is hard to see how the U.S. does not experience political upheaval. I do not know if we are likely to begin blaming anyone at actual fault. With the Dems pretending that 27 year old claims of sexual something matter, but dementia and corruption do not, it would require travelling a great distance in a short time to blame anyone in or near power for the consequences of policy choice.

the epidemic hit densely populated urban areas hard first — so blue states. But it is spreading out and there is nothing to stop it and no effective treatment to limit fatality rates or long-term damage to survivors of severe cases. everyone who is susceptible is likely to become infected at some point in the next two to three years. the economic damage so far has been more acute in red states. the effect on meat processing might mean early signals of collapse in supermarkets. A lot of the newly hungry and homeless are going to be young in a country near the peak of one of its historic cycles of increasing violence.

Everyone Sees The Spreading Stain On His Pants But Say Nothing

I have a daughter in her late twenties, I work with hundreds of college students between 18 and 25, I have friends with children between 15 and 40, and a significant percentage of that generation with fucks still to spend on damns they still have, ripe for faith and action, are SIDEWAYS NOW: they laugh at but fear crackers, despise GOP cracker-whispererism, and thoroughly loathe, loathe, loathe motherfucking Democrats, know that Democrats will not save them, know that Democrats see no profit in saving them, know Democrats (that is, our shitlords who own Democrats) offer only weaponized crackers as incentive to vote Democrat

Who Cares About That Art Crap Anyway

There is nothing inevitable to the way societies choose to respond to a crisis such as this pandemic. What we do however learn in our response is precisely what is valued in a society and what is less so. While there has been a managed politics at work between the dominant forces of power and the fading liberal left, behind the scenes there is a notable decimation of the arts and culture taking place outside of the corporate cultural institutions. 

If radical and independent presses are fighting for their lives, so it is also the case that critical cultural producers, who already occupied the margins, are being pushed into the abyss...

Speaking truth to power through their own grammatical interventions, they encourage more compassion, empathy and dignity in human affairs. We know the history of modern societies has resulted in the triumph of technical forms of thinking over the more poetic understanding of life. But do we really want to live in a world where art and culture are reduced to a virtual gallery visit...  our aesthetic preferences ...  stripped of any political claim and given over to the power of technocratic reason?

The Pyre Next Time

The implied terms of the racial contract are visible everywhere for those willing to see them. A 12-year-old with a toy gun is a dangerous threat who must be met with lethal force; armed militias drawing beads on federal agents are heroes of liberty. Struggling white farmers in Iowa taking billions in federal assistance are hardworking Americans down on their luck; struggling single parents in cities using food stamps are welfare queens. 

Black Americans struggling in the cocaine epidemic are a “bio-underclass” created by a pathological culture; white Americans struggling with opioid addiction are a national tragedy. Poor European immigrants who flocked to an America with virtually no immigration restrictions came “the right way”; poor Central American immigrants evading a baroque and unforgiving system are gang members and terrorists.

Look Over There As You Struggle For Air

Conservative media figures who spent months insisting on Michael Flynn’s innocence, after he twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, are taking a gleeful victory lap in response to the Justice Department moving to drop its criminal case against the retired lieutenant general and former Trump national security adviser. 

But the reversal is not enough to placate the right-wing media rabble, as they are now calling for Attorney General William Barr to prosecute members of the Barack Obama administration and its judicial allies for their roles in the case.

...right-wing radio host Mark Levin appeared on Fox News to boast, and to accuse Obama of conducting a vast shadow operation against the Trump administration. “You know what this is? This is Barack Obama’s blue dress. That’s what that is without the DNA on it,” he told Sean Hannity, referencing Monica Lewinsky’s infamous garment. “[The Flynn case documents] tells us that Obama knew…. Obama was working with the FBI and the intelligence agencies.” 

Levin also tweeted that “the perps responsible for trying to destroy” Flynn should be prosecuted, a talking point Hannity is now pushing too. “All this does is exonerate General Flynn,” the Fox News host declared on his Thursday radio program. “Now, it’s time to investigate Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Department of Justice…and what they did here is they targeted an innocent man, and they—this is prosecutorial abuse.”


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