Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Quid Pro Quarantine

I had a not so good moment yesterday. I unleashed a profanity-laced tirade on Facebook after watching Monday's White House press briefing. I know better--not only to keep my cool because you never know who is reading your posts, but also not to watch masturbatory propaganda in the midst of a global crisis. In a normal disaster, one would expect that the President would offer comfort and reassurance...

But this ain't normal. Especially when the My Pillow guy takes to the podium to thank God for the 2016 election results during a PUBLIC HEALTH briefing. Hours after the Governors of Maryland and Virginia, and the Mayor of DC all announce coordinated mandatory shelter in place orders that effectively put our entire region on lock-down through May. And life still has to go on in the shadow of an unseen enemy that could take any one of us down and/or out with barely a moment to catch our breath.

So, no. I am NOT okay. But I do feel better about getting all of that off my chest.

I am not angry or offended or even remotely interested in the political affiliations of those who stand up to volunteer the man-power of their now-shuttered factories and plants for the effort against this virus. I know that they will be handsomely rewarded for their sacrifice...and I hope that at the very least, their employees will receive adequate compensation for putting their lives at risk. I hope that, unlike the Instagram and Amazon CEOs who were not invited to participate in that public fellatio, the My Pillow guy doesn't lobby for exemptions that deem his workers are essential, and as such, exempt from applicable labor laws. That in these uncertain times, when many people depend on the at-will gig-economy to make ends meet, that his factory won't be so callous as to rev up production without basic provisions for employee health and safety.

I would love to believe in the altruism of these corporate efforts. That for example, the auto industry is stepping up because they care, and not to avoid the public relations nightmare of being called out by this President on Twitter. However, in this moment of crisis I will save my skepticism.

For what it's worth, I find it grating that we're not supposed to be offended that the My Pillow guy was invited to the White House, whereas fashion designer Christian Siriano was not. Last week when the Governor of New York was issuing a desperate plea for medical equipment, Siriano volunteered his services, as did several other fashion designers. I haven't seen any official acknowledgement of those fulfilled promises from this President; instead, we've seen him question the integrity of the medical personnel who needed the face masks. We've seen him attack journalists who ask him legitimate questions about his decision-making and his contradictory public statements. We've seen him denigrate duly elected public officials who are on the front lines of this disaster. We've seen him abuse the public trust conferred by that podium and that presidential seal to shamelessly prevaricate. We've seen him do everything to heighten our fears and angst because it brings him ratings.

So when the My Pillow guy got on national television during a daily public health briefing on the day that the U.S. death toll from this virus topped 3,000 to proselytize the bullshit gospel of a capitalist messiah, yeah, I lost it. And I don't regret a single fucking word.

For the last two to three weeks since the Democratic Primary all but ended, I have been watching the chatter on Twitter, and now that my profanity filter has malfunctioned, I'm going to cuss about that shit too. Because somehow we're engaged in an existential crisis that threatens to doom all humanity if the trumpet gets re-elected. It really isn't that hard--one guy has more delegates and the other guy doesn't. At one point there were 25 candidates, and it was all fair until now. Really? And we're going to implode because the guy who succeeded in pushing the party to become more progressive has deluded himself into thinking that he's Joshua and not Moses.

And, because I want to be on record, yeah I know about the Tara Reade allegations and that shit pisses me off. If you know me, then you also know that I am inclined to believe her allegations, and so it sucks that Uncle Joe is a creep. It sucks that at this critical moment, we are once again learning that men we admire and laud can be terrible people. That power deludes these old assholes into believing they can and should get their way with any woman in their wingspan.

None of that changes my mind about voting this orange pestilence from office though. I would rather vote for a flawed man than continue to abide under the regime of a truly horrible man. I support that investigations are necessary and accept that there will be consequences as a result...and all of that can take place after the election.

As the My Pillow guy and those self-righteous Hobby Lobby folks have been fond of invoking God's return since November 2016, it has been rather biblical since that golden escalator ride--the moment the golden calf was forged. It has been an unrelenting, perilous journey through Hell in an asbestos suit...

So this isn't Sophie's choice or a crisis of conscience for me. It is a moral imperative:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land. -- 2 Chronicles 7:14

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