You know that when the fascist state’s many nodes of power start telling you that they are concerned about your and the general public’s health something’s up. Synchrony Bank sent me an email about their precautions and three emails later, I found out they increased my credit limit. Hah!
Everything indeed is very surreal. There have been countless iterations of bad-ass-ed-ly facing the “zombie apocalypse” and creatively scavenging in a dystopian hellscape at some vague future date in the media. Each of these contains some amount of truth that requires, to my mind, some creative reading to understand this current heist. But then you hit the grocery after your shift, and you find that the only sort of milk sold out is organic and while the general aisle of canned goods is gutted, many of the same products are well-stocked in the “international” and Kosher aisle. There are some very interesting patterns to parse here in my humble opinion.
When I made my stop after work at the chain nearest to me this evening — mostly out of curiosity, just wanted some mushrooms — I first noticed the nice displays with “half cakes” in that annoying plastic packaging that if opened sounds like you’re trying to install drywall. There were also some Easter-y things, but then I turn toward my right and all but about 10% of the produce section remained. Interestingly, this had just been vastly expanded in recent months. As I left, a semi pulled in to restock. A fear symptom induced by our virtual feed-scanning habits, perhaps?
One root vegetable remained, the humble parsnip. Well I had to buy two fat ones you know. Around this time a decade ago, I visited a friend in Cork, Ireland, that was still reeling from the 2008 crisis. Flights were amazingly cheap, and no one was too worried about social distancing to avoid the crisis there. The atmosphere in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, is very similar to that which I experience in Cork in 2011. Except the Irish didn’t need to be sold on a virus to know that things were shit — that is, they weren’t infantilized with idiotic distractions to the degree americans are presently to realize things are very wrong. Mind you, my friend and I still got into the middle of a racing rally while we drove around taking in the beauty of the island. But her depression cooking utilized the parsnip in a delicious way, with eggs added to the concoction the following morning along with a generous slab of Irish butter. My, what the Disney-addled are missing with the parsnip.
In any case, I purchased two cans of “baby” portobellos, and even those were in short supply. Many of the so-called “exotic” dried variety were plentiful, still. To see the dried morels untouched made me shudder a bit inside. Even without hydration, I imagine any of those taste better than toilet paper. Luckily, the UNC School of Government mailing list I’m subscribed to reported that a truck with tissues sourced from the renewable resource known as trees has been summoned accordingly.
My god, I really cannot stay in tune with the immediate updates via social media. I glanced, and now diarrhea is reported as being an indicator of “the virus”. Soon, any typical bodily function whether or not it is a normal indicator of being human and the body doing what it does naturally to correct itself will be viewed as not adhering to the recently ramped up standards of proper hygiene and they will be increasingly inculcated as “embarrassing”. This will be enough evidence that this is “a body” you should “social distance” yourself from to avoid infection.
Who doesn’t know how or when to wash their hands? To wipe down an icky surface? To not cough or sneeze on another? If a virus spread by touch or “droplets” is communicable within six feet of another of the same species, why is it not within half that distance? Inches away without contact? If it doesn’t make sense, it’s likely not true. Or do we need to be told that we should not touch others without their consent? It is interesting this comes in the month that allegedly celebrates women. Or was it for our brave fight against the rapidly developing soft-tissue cancers simply known as a fad like Aquanet sprayed bangs? From COVID 19 point zero, history does not factor.
How quickly the artistically depicted “children in cages” have disappeared from the liberal consciousness since the Super Bowl. Gauging by my experiences with those who bawled when Trump was elected, they seem grateful that he has bolstered efforts to close the borders in the age of this specific coronavirus whose characteristics are constantly in flux in order to define the undesirables. I will not belabor the point: the ideologically uber-liberal are the first in shifting the blame from the state’s inability/refusal to mass test — if the capitalist state is to be taken as a legitimate institution in any kind of theorizing — to the individual. I have already experienced this myself for continuing to work because I am perfectly capable of doing so, and compromising for those who are compromised, and not for those who are simply used to their entitlement in using people they deem as “less than”.
And the thing is, I will continue to work. I will lay it out exactly as it is to these weak-kneed passive aggressives who only express their aggression in that way because they know the score but are too cowardly to accept it until it’s laid out for them by someone else. I will continue to know the patterns of the increased police presence that has begun to dominate on the roads that become sparser by the day from people who have the option to “telework” as it’s called now, as if this is 1996 and this concept needs anachronistic reinvention in a society that is built for this type of commerce. One that is built to receive all goods in a smily-faced box delivered by servants for the richest man on earth. One that has been built to churn masses of bloodied bodies for profit long before COVID 19 simply appeared.
The people I encounter every day, and certainly they are fewer by the day, do not believe the reports. But the ways to disbelieve are manifest, as are the ways for the powers that be to manipulate. This beauty of this massive psy-op is the multiplicity of the layers that surely signal a very long planning period with many people in the industry in the know. Listen to your tunes. Really listen. Everything released in the last 30 years hints at simulation of the present hunger game. And if you have paid attention to the more material history, you know this was coming.
But what is “this”? From my estimations, the urban centers will be cleared for the “desirables” who are — from at least this stage — hygienically cleared to make mundane technocratic decisions to manage populations into more easily manageable sectors of any given metro — mundane meaning, they are simply following orders. I mean, how many starve, freeze, or otherwise die of sickness on California streets on the daily but now that 19 COVID has claimed 23 deaths (as of this writing) they declare martial law? Don’t be too cowed by the psyop, this slow boil has only come to a head in the public consciousness. In my state, court cases have all but been suspended indefinitely and I’m receiving emails by the minute on establishments closing “voluntarily”, including those that one is required to purchase firearms from by state and federal law. This is de facto martial law and that covert special operations “exercises” have been taking place since August of last year should give the observant a lay of the land.
No, this is not the end. It is probably an end to independent statehood in the US, which should come as no surprise given the mandate of institutions like the DHS or ICE since 9/11, and the coming deadline for “Real ID” by October 1 this year. The goal is for the US to be comprised of much more easily manageable entities, eg, midatlantic, southern, midwestern, western, southwestern — however they end up deciding on that after certain sectors are cleared. Make no mistake: the Affordable Care Act and its hollowing out of accessible medical care cleared the way for this. The public needs the present shock treatment because really, nothing will be the same just as different tech rags are publishing right now (just not as specific with regard to “contact tracing” comparable to the reading the dystopian AMC dramas and the like I mentioned before), and post-shock, the remaining inhabitants will be thankful they can either receive welfare from their expanded region/statelet because the end didn’t come, at least for them, from the “novel coronavirus”.
In the meantime, maybe some version of Gates’ recently proposed “vaccine verification certificates” will become a thing to dump the dissidents and disbelievers of the various strains into camps based on what exactly they oppose. But because we live in such a neoliberal wonderland, I’m sure the ways to obtain a forgery will be present since class is still, you know, a thing. And the ruling class’s reprisal knows no bounds if you do not bow to their punishment, which the surviving american masses will view as love and persecute you for if you disbelieve.
I love you, reader, and I want the best for you. It’s funny, I came across an obvious “hopper” from shop to shop tonight at my local grocery after encountering one local talking to another as usual, as I have done, who told me to step back for his safety as we were both looking at all the beer on the shelves. I sensed he was “foreign” from the conversation he was having in the background with his female companion because he clearly did not know the lay of the land, and he asked me to back off in a sideways kind of way. Whatever. I have been pared down to a trinity of those to be trusted at work; three is the magic number, and I am endlessly thankful for my other two trusted souls there. Hang on to who you can.
My title is, in part, meant to imply that I was not supposed to have been here from other genocidal pogroms. My paternal grandmother escaped Nazi Germany; my maternal grandmother’s family arrived where they ended up because they were forced out on the infamous “trail of tears”; my paternal grandfather died on Chicago streets drunk and mourning my grandmother’s loss from breast cancer, before it was a “thing”. I have no idea why I’m alive, but I am, and my material comfort is both a tribute to those who were lost and executed in generations before and in spite of those who rule. I don’t care if I die fighting for the rights of prisoners; as far as I’m concerned, I was born to do just that. And I refuse to do it on my knees. Take me now or put me into a box like those who I have spoken with in the worst kind of isolation that exists presently — solitary confinement. These barriers have already been built on a mass, public scale, and we are getting a Flintstones animated version of the consequences of this with every new reinforcement of “social distancing” rolled across our social media feeds.
My heart is with those who require regular medical treatments that are being more restricted right now with this virus specter and the mass layoffs. I feel sorry for those who did everything right in planning their families to see this outcome. We should not be movement restricted, but this is where we are. And we can’t let the shock outweigh the history we know to be true. We must look to the future that is shaping up rapidly to what we don’t want to become but will be, and learn how to be leaders to those who know the truth but are afraid to speak it.