We have a little problem in this country, nay, world, with racism. Somehow, after Rome burned to the ground or Pompeii was destroyed by a volcano, white people rose from the ashes as the superior Phoenix of skin color. Or something to that effect. Throughout history, whites slaughtered the reds, enslaved the blacks, made fun of the yellows, gassed the olives, and ousted browns. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So much hate and violence has been perpetrated by white people over something as mundane as a skin color outside of their own. Ironically, white is the combination of all colors and a mix of races. Which means, yes, the colors they spat on over the centuries are ones that are woven into their DNA and epidermis. They must hate themselves. At the very least, they are jealous that other races, for the most part, are decisive about their visage. They must be green with envy, which is a skin color similar to a certain olive-toned Messiah they worship. How can someone be that noble and pure? It is like he was designed in a lab by intelligent persons.
Be that as it may, color is a relative thing. It exists on a spectrum, and the intensity depends on what it is placed against. As complimentary opposites, red and green tones together make both look more intense. Does that mean positioning a Native American against a Semite makes one appear more threatening and the other dirtier? More to the point, are they more hateful?
As we evolve as a society and become more integrated, Jewish can be lumped in as white dudes, and Elizabeth Warren is Native American . . . ish. It leaves us with the conundrum of judging the person by character when our ancestors have told us otherwise. Yet, we still do let a person’s skin color drive our perceptions. Which begs the question. That’s it. One does not follow that with an actual question. Whether we mean to or not, we draw conclusions about swaths of people based on specious assumptions.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a science prodigy with advanced degrees in multiple disciplines, and Jessica Simpson thought tuna was aquatic chicken. Pair the two, and the contrast is even more stark. One is as dark as a singularity, while the other is a snowflake in freshly fallen snow. The contrast in intelligence goes without saying.
That is enough exposition building up to a larger point, which I will get to momentarily. Racial prejudice is a tricky concept with no empirical evidence to support justifying its existence. Dr. Tyson agrees with the Big Bang Theory to explain how the universe started. Is there a Big Bang equivalent for racial prejudice? How did any other skin color, except for the aforementioned technicolor dreamskin, become abnormal? Was it always? If there is science that supports the idea that we are at fault for what we are born as, I haven’t seen it.
Oh wait, there are psychopaths and pedophiles. They came out that way, and we hate them regardless if they keep their impulses in check. Because, the real threat is there that they can hurt innocent people just because their brains aren’t wire properly. I guess skin color can be offensive and hurtful, as well. The blackness is such an eyesore, eh?
Here is a thought experiment. If a woman is told by both a light-skinned black man and a white man who just emerged from his daily tanning bed session, that she needs to leash her dog, who would she feel more offended by? If she calls 911 to report that she is being threatened by an African American man, who do you think she is referring to?
More to the point, which man is more responsible for the way he looks, and which for her behavior? There is more justification in judging a man who risks his health in order to look black, than a black man whose father was Neil deGrasse Tyson and mother was Jessica Simpson. Not to mention, the woman who judges both of them.
Which leads me to my (hopefully) obvious point. Judging by race is stupid. Judging by skin color is blind. Judging by individual character is smart. It is that simple.
The only skin color we should be racist against is orange. Orange should be the color we rail against. Orange is narcissistic, malignant, opportunistic, deceitful, manipulative, ignorant . . a rainbow of negative traits in one, unnaturally colored blob. Orange is not born that way, so there is no guilt in blaming the innocent. Orange is made in a lab, and enabled. Move over White Privilege. Orange is in the White House.
Orange is already identified by plenty of richly deserved pejoratives, so we are set there. I am partial to the one I created, Orange Orc. He emerges from his lair wielding a golf club and a bible, pounding on his chest while he blabbers nonsense as orcs are want to do. Even though orcs of lore avoid light, this one will stare straight into the sun. Let’s face it, like Tolkien’s creatures, the Orange Orc looks slimy and smelly. Those lips, like they were fashioned by the livers of his gullible prey. Sad!
Get out of our country, ya’ freak! You aren’t wanted here.
If there really were any justice, the skin color truly warranting discrimination would be artificial orange.
I am not enjoying my life right now.
I’ll just start off with that. Cut to the chase, because, I don’t know how much time I have.
None of us do.
Why waste it with words that, at best, are distracting? Communication is the key; do not mince words, nor leave openings for interpretation, inference, or misinformation. And especially in our fine MAGA country.
That said, this might get wordy.
I started writing this to Radiohead’s best album (in my opinion), A Moon Shaped Pool. The first song, the great “Burn the Witch” has an especially apt line:
“ . . . it’s a low-flying panic attack.”
Yep, that is where I am right now, where millions of people are. Our collective nervous system is working overtime firing off the hormones that stoke the fight, flight, or freeze response. If we stay put, we don’t know the magnitude of the beast we aim to fight. If we choose flight, well, where to go? So, do we do nothing at all?
Ships are not docking. Planes are grounding. Trains might not leave the depot. Public events are being cancelled. Schools, and even the borders, are closing.
And so it goes.
I’m talking about the Coronavirus—specifically, its latest strain, COVID-19. I don’t know about you, but I just call it “The Virus” for brevity.
It’s not like we are being kept completely in the dark. The media is trying their darndest to keep us informed. They are burning the midnight oil to report what this perplexing bug is up to. They turn the mantle over to the scientists to give us the facts while the reported cases increase exponentially, and the mortality rate rises. The statistics are getting more alarming, and all we can be definitively told at this point is to take simple mitigating measures.
Don’t touch your face, disinfect surfaces, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow. And the pièce de résistance? Wash your hands frequently for at least twenty seconds. Lather up while singing “Happy Birthday” two times should do the trick. Why not put a cheerful spin on killing the killer before it kills anyone else?
And Twenty Seconds Later . . . I am still freaking the fuck out.
It would be poetic for me to add that I am typing on my keyboard with dried, bloodied hands. That is an exaggeration, as I’ve been wearing nitrile surgical gloves during the day. It is much safer for me to wash gloved hands than furiously scrub my own sensitive skin raw, which would make me more vulnerable to infection. At this point, I don’t care if I look ridiculous.
So, why the panic? The amount of cases as of this writing is only, ONLY in the low six-figures, with several thousand fatalities. That is only, ONLY a bit over 3%. Not too shabby, eh? We’ve encountered worse. More people died from AIDS-related illnesses than will be expected with this virus. Why is COVID-19 getting so much attention, enough to give millions around the globe incentive to modify their daily lives? I can’t speak for other countries, but I certainly can assess the reasons for panic in the U.S. of A.
Stupidity. Incompetence. Avarice. They work together, synergistically. Like Snap, Crackle, and Pop, they are the essential ingredients of the fortified cereal that is a global pandemic.
Stupidity is ignorance with the ability to know better, but ignoring it. A culture should know better than to throw wild animals in cages, stack them on top of each other, and let them fester in their own feces and filth. People should know better than to prepare and consume food around said filth.
Incompetence is just stupidity in practice. And there are many incompetent people. Stupid people who ignore the facts. Stupid people who defend other stupid people. Stupid people who can’t control themselves. Stupid people who can’t be bothered with modifying their behavior, even just temporarily. Stupid people who buy disposable masks en masse hoping it will protect them, despite all the evidence presented to the contrary. Stupid people who build forts with packages of toilet paper.
A government should know better than to punitively silence its experts from voicing the consequences of ignorant acts. A government should know better than to place importance of their party over its people. A government should know better than to feed its citizens falsehoods in the hope that panic will be assuaged and the money will continue to flow into coffers, pockets, and PACs. Avarice “Trumps” ethics.
People should have known better than to vote that government into power in the first place. Yes, I am talking about you, Trump voters.
In fairness, it was either him or the other shitty candidate. Many of the ones who chose death by fried chicken grease are experiencing some serious buyer’s remorse. Good. We all make mistakes, and it is important to acknowledge them. If Mr. POTUS got that memo, he discarded it as he does anything that contains words strung into coherent sentences. It wouldn’t matter since the pathological narcissist is incapable of admitting to anything except how wonderful he is. Who knew our supreme leader is literally Supreme? >>insert sarcastic, long-suffering sigh here<<
In case some of you are still clinging to your party and its specious ideas above all else, allow me to point out a few essential aspects of his leadership style. They might be covered in Art of the Deal, but I would have to read it to confirm. That is a hard pass for me.
Blame everyone but yourself, especially if they don’t worship you. Admittedly, Trump didn’t cause the spread of this virus, but he certainly isn’t contributing to stemming its flow. That would require effort that he just cannot expend. Despite never sleeping, as the force of nature that he is, he just doesn’t have the energy or bandwidth. It would severely cut into his Twitter time and YUUUGE rallies where he can blame Obama, et al, for the policies that make his job so much more difficult.
Throw your minions under the bus, but most importantly, keep your hands clean while you do it. Poor Mike Pence. This is probably not what he signed on for when he agreed to be his Vice President. Why would Trump put a guy in charge who is well known for bungling a major public health crisis as governor? Simple, Trump is smart enough to see we are on the brink of a shit storm, and he needs to put a patsy front and center when it all hits the fan.
The man—VP Pence—leading this charge, does not believe in evolution, the precise theory that explains why this virus is propagating. He is probably silently cursing himself during his nightly self-flagellation, begging his lord and savior for forgiveness because he is helping save his country when it deserves to burn in Hell for allowing vile homosexuals to marry. Prove me wrong. Have you ever seen him without a shirt on? I strongly suspect we’d be greeted to a fleshy canvas of scars and fresh welts. Bet me. Until he disrobes for our country, the state of his torso is the Schrödinger’s Cat of religious mortification.
Remarkably, he is taking his new role under the bus very seriously. It is too soon to say he is doing a heck of a job, Pency, but he actually seems to be putting forth a valiant effort, complete with admitting his own mistakes along the way. Whatever else his motivation, he is pretty intelligent and knows that this is not the hill he wants his political career to die on. We’ll take it. Still, his efforts could be for naught if his boss keeps flapping his gums. Which leads me to the main play in Trump’s rulebook.
Pander to your glassy-eyed base, and by default, lie. The quantity of Trump’s lies during his three years as president are into the five figures. Yes, there are people out there whose job it is to keep a running total. What would motivate him to stop lying now, since it seems to be working for him? The man certainly seems impervious to consequence. Like an orange Energizer bunny, he keeps lying. No matter how many times he’s contradicted and how defiantly he crosses his arms in response, the pattern will continue. And whom do you think his followers believe in the face of all evidence to the contrary?
The virus is a Democrat hoax? Of course! Fake News? Nailed it! It’s just another flu and will die off in the spring? Whew! The virus is contained? Yay! Wishful thinking? Nah! The Emperor has what now? Uhh. . .? We’re blind? Fuck you!
You can’t cure stupid, ignorance is bliss until the truth bites you in the ass, and greed is anything but good.
And so it goes.
If anyone is wondering why there is a panic, it might be because we don’t trust our government. Nor do we trust those who would re-elect that government. Just a thought. Our hope is that there will be light come November. And Trump will go mad, see the error of his ways, and love his other daughter Tiffany. Oh, the audacity.
Until then, I’ll make like Lady MacBeth, and continue to wash my hands of the whole, bloody mess.