There are many of us hearing about the communications/collaboration platform Zoom these days and realizing that, for people of a certain age, that word has a rather different meaning. The New Yorker has recently recognized this.
Now that we’ve clearly solved all the problems related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, everything can go back to normal now. All we need to do is to open stuff back up and all the money will come rushing back in and our economy will come booming back. In fact, GDP will swell so spectacularly that everyone in America who wants a pony can have one.
Of course if you’ve ever utilized the gray matter that resides just behind your eyeballs, you know for a fact that’s nonsense. In three weeks, the numbers we’ve managed to slow by cooling our jets will change direction. So we’ll have more people ingesting this little bug, more people showing up to hospitals, more people stacking up in those refrigerated trucks. Meanwhile, what have you rebuilt? What have you reopened? Is it a decent restaurant experience when a person has to stand outside and count how many are allowed in? Barstools at eight feet apart? Are even half the people who used to go out and spend money going to go out and spend money? And where is all this money that people are going to spend coming from? Oh, right, I forgot, it’s from that generous $1200 check Uncle Sam sent to some of us. You, I mean, you. I still haven’t received mine.
Look. If this economy rebuilds and forgets, it is doomed. Because hard lessons have been presented to us via the events of the last month and a half or so. For instance. We know or are beginning to know what happens when 30 million Americans apply for unemployment in a month. We also know that many of those people had previously become accustomed to living paycheck to paycheck. We know that many of these folks will be unable to pay the rent. We are seeing lines for miles of people lining up for food handouts. We are beginning to experience the true cost of being a society that has forcibly fist-fucked its own middle class for 40 years. What that gets you is a middle class that just can’t. A middle class that cannot sustain an emergency worth $400 or more (and this emergency is worth more). And with such a whipped middle class, you have economic troubles that cannot be rescued with a $1200 shot. Had this country been investing in its middle class instead of fucking them with their pants on, we would have been in a much better space. Rents would not be skipped. Food handouts would not be necessary. People would still buy gasoline. The American economy would not have to orbit a black hole as it now must.
Any rebuilding must remember that or it is useless.
And it must remember too the truth this little virus belied, that is, who the true essential workers are.
And it ain’t me. I get to work from home.
I see the essential workers when I dare to venture out to my local Piggly Wiggly. And I hope not to see anytime soon the other essential workers, the nurses, the doctors, the respiratory therapist. And let’s make sure the rebuilding doesn’t forget them. Doesn’t forget that they are underpaid and constantly fucked. That nice person who hands you your McDonald’s bag is in danger just standing in that little kiosk. They should earn $25 an hour, and not in 2026. Today. And med school should not cost anyone a single thin dime, not for now and not from before. Forgive those loans today without argument. These people are giving more and risking more than they ever anticipated. Let’s at least make sure they can stop writing one check a month.
This economy can’t just re-open. It needs to rebuild. It needs to change. It can no longer leave most of its people living without means. We need our people strong, not counting can rebates as income. We need people building that emergency fund. More people. A strong economy isn’t Wall Street, and I’m saying this as an investor. A strong economy is that most Americans can last a year if everything goes to shit. And we’re not even close.
Rebuilding without remembering is not rebuilding. It’s shite. This outbreak points directly to a need for radical and immediate change. I am not sure our leaders are up for it. So we need to be.
Sirius/XM has decided that the coronavirus lockdown is a good time to produce a number of artist tribute channels, which is probably a good idea. The one I’ve been tuned to incessantly of course is Channel 30, the Prince channel. They also got one for David Bowie, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, George Strait, Guns n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and The Rolling Stones. I mean, why not, since we’re all home.
It should be noted that Sirius/XM radio has been made available to everyone for free in the month of May, so if you’ve got an old Delphi MyFi in a Best Buy shopping bag in the back of your closet or if you have a radio in your car, it’s time to tune in.
I do wish the Prince channel would dig a little deeper, though, but then again, I’m a downright relentless Prince nerd. I’ve heard a few things previously unfamiliar, though, such as Tina Turner’s rousing version of “Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” an ingenue band I’d never encountered called Tara Ma and The Seen, and some great live clips. Those live clips are what we’re listening for, programmers. And you can take the long-play version of “Kiss” off the rotation. That song is good due to its simplicity. I’ll never know what the man was thinking by adding tom-toms and all the rest of the performance in the “woman overboard” version. And I think I’ve heard “Scandalous” seven times now.
I have yet to hear “She’s Always In My Hair” (just heard it), “La, La, La, Tee, Hee, Hee,” “17 Days…” You get the idea. I think I’ve heard one track from the Hit & Run CDs. I would program this channel a bit more broadly. But I’m digging it nonetheless.
There is not much else to the weekend. Phone calls with Mom and then with Dad. A trip to the wine store yesterday and a grocery pickup at WalMart. I now have more bread products than I can eat and am glad I can again make a decent margarita. I took a nice walk. Saturday’s movie of the day was the masterpiece teenage romp Superbad. This is a good time to have options on the TV.
Now to go find some lunch and I may have something to write about “reopening.”
For a while, I couldn’t go to the grocery because did not have anything close to a decent mask. Face masks are difficult to snap up these days, even on Amazon, but one lovely Friday morning, Gov. Cuomo told us all we had to wear them. A reporter even asked him how he intended this to be enforced. He said people will probably comply for the most part, and he said non-compliers would be encouraged by their neighborhood busybodies. Great, I thought to myself, now I will have to get my hands on something to put on my face.
I was able to purchase a “Seamless Face Mask Mouth Cover Bandanas for Dust, Outdoors, Festivals, Sports,” but this was one of those things that covers your entire head and neck and is tight–it is exactly like wearing a “panty on your head.” I do not like things over my head and neck and once in fact nearly cold-cocked a barber for making the tissue that goes around one’s neck entirely too tight. I did rig up a way to tie it around my head with a necktie, but this would not do.
Fortunately, my Dad had a source and was able to mail me some decent masks before I became an emaciated wreck, and I have now been to Wegpersons twice since. Neither time was I able to put my hands on a carton of grapefruit juice. These are dark times.
I noticed today that Vice-President Meek Pence, who is allegedly in charge of Dear Leader Preznit Carnage’s coronavirus task force, was nice enough to visit some patients today at the Mayo Clinic but opted not to wear a facial mask just like everybody else in the room including the patients. His explanation:
As vice president of the United States I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus. Since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it’d be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers these incredible health care personnel and look them in the eye and say thank you.
Let us recall that on April 2, Georgia Governator Brian Kemp explained something to us all, something that none of us had never, ever known before about the coronavirus: “Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours. This is a game-changer.”
This means that Kemp, who was either lying or incompetent when he told you that, nonetheless, this means that Brian Kemp knows more about SARS-Cov-2 than does the Veece Preesident of these Untied States of America, Meek Pence, who is allegedly in charge of Dear Leader Preznit Carnage’s coronavirus task force.
So, today during the President’s Rally to Cover Up and Rationalize Sheer Incompetence in the Face of a Global Pandemic, Dear Leader President Carnage actually said this, and no, I am not paraphrasing:
A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going test it. Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.
And I think you said you’re going test that too. Sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number in the lungs. It would be interesting to check you’re going have to use medical doctors with that, but it sounds interesting to me. And so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.
So now Dear Leader President Carnage of Eternal Oblivion and Death Death Death is now just, you know, spitballin’ it. Let’s shove a Phonesoap up somebody’s ass and see if it does anything. Or how about if they, hear me out here, do an infusion of Formula 409?
Would that work, Dr. Birx?
Here’s the thing. This thing with Trump now suggesting beams of light as a cure and before bizarrely touting hydroxychloroquine, along with the stalwart support of his own Fox “News” channel, this thing can cause many genuine reactions in the average person. I mean, you can feel anything about this, from outrage to absurdity to disbelief to well, disbelief. But for me, it made me think about something else.
There was another time in history under a different regime, when another man high in the government liked to try lots of unproven techniques on unwilling or unsuspecting people. I mean to be fair to this fellow, he did at least count the honorific “doctor” in his name.
Think it’s a stretch? Is it? Do you think the führer sometimes didn’t just say, hey, Josef, how about 1000 mL of Meister Proper, and by noon some formerly successful shop-owner and father of three had a needle in his arm?
THIS PRESIDENT NEEDS TO SHUT UP.
What he is doing is HORRIBLY DANGEROUS. It’s not funny. It’s not merely outrageous. It is HORRIBLY DANGEROUS. It is dangerous enough in my mind to summon the spectre of Josef Mengele, and trust me, TRUMP’S EVIL HERE AND MENGELE’S THERE are INCHES apart rather than blocks. These efforts of his are hideous.
Please stop watching his “updates.” They are no longer mere curiosity. They are evil. Stop watching.
In the previous post, my new favorite Internet comedian Amber “Smiles” Jones did a great job unpacking an astonishing keystone component of a speech President Barack Hussein Obama gave to the National Institutes of Health gave on December 4, 2014.
Here is the entire speech. You should watch it. May it remind you what a great president is actually like.
If you’d like to read it instead, the text is here.
I may revisit this speech from time to time in the next month or so. I may. I think it’s worth some more unpacking. Because there is a lot here that is relevant now, that speaks generally to the Obama presidency versus the current regime of Dear Leader President Carnage of the Infinite Oblivion.
For starters: The right wang always liked to razz Obama about needing a teleprompter.
Things are not looking good for Dear Leader President Carnage of Oblivion these days.
Today for example, NPR reports on the progress made by the federal government under Trump since he marched out his corporate minions in the Rose Garden and declared a national emergency. Promises made. But not kept.
This can partially be explained by an abysmal failure on this administration’s part to fill and maintain experts in thousands of key policy positions. As the Daily Kos reported last week, President Carnage may have shedded 10,000 years of experience in the year before we started sniffing around and discovering deadly-virus.
And, because the decision of whether or not to go to the grocery store is more weighty than it used to be, I’ve been in a quandary about it much of the morning. The items I needed seemed insignificant considering the risk. Honestly, I needed Coca-Cola and salty snacks. These are not healthy things to eat, but they do help keep me invigorated through an eight-hour shift of sitting in my bedroom office (working at home since 3/19, woohoo!) processing trouble tickets. So, due to the impending storms, it’s either go today or don’t go until Wednesday morning.
So I was geared up to roll out to BJs, which I did, only to discover that BJs did a nice thing and closed for Easter Sunday.
Wegpersons, then. I went in and did my best to keep my distance. I still have not procured a mask and frankly think the whole mask hysteria is silly, and I am in and out anyways. I do notice people in the store, some of them wearing masks but fucking around on their phones. If you’re fucking around with your phone instead of focusing on filling your cart and leaving ASAP, are you really helping anyone by wearing a mask? Why are people focused on such stupid shit? OMG THERE’S A PANDEMIC. HOW WILL I EVER WIPE MY ASS. I MUST GET ALL THE TEEPEE AUGH
Due to that stupidity, Wegpersons now only carries their own store brand of toilet paper, and it sells them by the roll (individually wrapped) ($.99). One per customer. So you bet I threw one in my cart even though I’m good on TP for now. For me, I just want to fill my cart, check out, and get home so I can wash my hands.
So. That was my Sunday. All this to get to a shameless plug for my Dear Old Dad, who has started a blog of his own. My Pop is a voracious reader and as well an incisive writer. He and I share a trait that our careers started in print journalism, and once you’ve been a newspaper reporter, it never really leaves you no matter where you end up. Dude is still covering his beat and doing it well. I congratulate him on his new space on the Internet at Plague Journal 2020.
*Of which President Carnage said on Feb. 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero” and which has now killed more than 21,000 Americans
Monroe County COVID-19 today:
6,833 Test Results Received
6,065 Negative Results
768 confirmed cases
36 Patients in ICU
520 in mandatory quarantine
223 in isolation