by GENE MYERS
COVID-19, certainly not to be taken lightly, has interrupted life as we know it including the international economy and other things interesting like visiting relatives, eating out, and other forms of socializing. Typical of people in crisis we’ve developed a herd mentality. The media and politicians, who as long as I can remember, have had 20-percent integrity, believability and credibility ratings exaggerate and spread panic; and suddenly we believe everything they bloviate. Go figure.
To be more precise, the scribes insist on being called journalists, which they are NOT—in any sense of the word. They are accurately opinion-editorial (OP-ED) gossip-mongers more concerned about publishing a “gotcha” piece than reporting actual raw news. Woodward and Bernstein changed the reporter’s world when they became famous for their Watergate exposé. Now every hack out there wants to be famous too. If I were a journalist I’d look at Tokyo and New York City. The cities are about the same size, but Tokyo has a greater population density; so bigger problems, right? Tokyo did not quarantine, but New York did; so bigger problem, right? Nope. COVID-19 deaths in Tokyo 234; New York 11,000. To a “real” journalist that would suggest investigation, right? Not to the head-in-sand US media.
Remember CBS anchor Dan Rather breathlessly exhibiting an “aha, gotcha” memo during Dubya’s administration? Danny boy got fired when it was discovered the font of the document didn’t exist at the date it was published. It was a phony. See, a real journalist would have researched and known that. The final slap was that the discovery wasn’t made by any reporter. Somebody on social media caught the error. From that debacle, and the Judge Kavanaugh witch-hunt, I’ve reached the inevitable realization that 90-percent of “journalism” is repulsive, venal, mendacious, and cheap—a killer of souls and graveyard of talent. However, since the arrival of Coronavirus, the public hangs on their every word as gospel. Notice they never, ever mention the 98.5-percent survival rate.
We have people wearing masks while alone in their cars apparently not knowing masks are good for blocking sawdust and large particulates, but worthless against a virus. A mask is intended to protect people from the wearer. That’s why the medical staff wears them in the OR—to protect the patient. More silliness: I saw where a standup paddleboarder was arrested in California because the beaches are off-limits. Dude was in the ocean not the beach. I mean, c’mon! The Nazi’s (National Socialist Party) had a phrase to cover their abuses: Für ihre Sicherheit. (It’s for your safety.) For those who do not understand the concept of law without justice, I recommend you read BILLY BUDD.
Someday someone will explain to me why this system of ours is supposed to glorify diversity and the individual choice becomes instead the vehicle where everybody ends up choosing the same thing. Moooo. For example, check out any home flipping or house-hunting show, and you hear this mantra in a reedy male or female voice (even more irritating in a Fran Drescher New York honk): I want hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and open concept. This since about 2010. Another favorite du jour is barn doors. Not for me. Remember orange/avocado appliances, and shag rugs of the 1970s-80s? In 10 years I predict the same fate for barn doors.
In the midst of the COVID-19 panic, I saw several teenagers in front of a local supermarket most maintaining so-called proper distance. It was obvious none had been out in a while. Exceptions were a boy and girl both unkempt, flabby, and overtly amorous, obviously overcome by that first thrill of love, the amazing realization that in the flight of life (solo thus far) that there might be a copilot. She may have been pointing out the features of her inner sanctum while he, a neophyte, had heretofore been at home conducting a perverse and private romance with Mary Fivefingers.
However, there have been positive benefits from the global quarantine that one can only hope are “lessons learned”, and continue post-epidemic. Turns out the planet only needed about a month for skies to become clear, and for cleaner water—hell, they’re seeing the canal bottom in Venice for the first time in a century. Also, employees can work effectively and efficiently from home, and video conferencing has proved an effective and efficient substitute for flying. I suppose the airline, hotel, and car rental businesses will take a hit, but—hey—that’s progress. Whenever a paradigm shifts, your successful past guarantees you nothing for the future. You get put back to zero when the rules change.
I come from the generation that defined the Flying Class, a group whose real workday was spent in the sky, whose true office is an aisle seat on a 737, people who have so many million award miles they could fly to Neptune free. I was an orphan of “the job”, a guy who gave up his life for the corporate version of manifest destiny. Truth to tell, from the vacant look in our eyes it was obvious we were sad sacks with notebook computers and mobile telephones. My compadres and I were misfits convinced that it was a badge of status to be away from home four nights a week—or in my case, gone for seven months a year. Let me ask this: Is there anything more depressing than an empty hotel room at 10pm, and the thought that work, privilege, and economic need not only claim the daylight hours, but cursed you with endless lonesome moments in which you’re remote from people loved and familiar that sustain life?
The southern California beaches opened recently, and so far, it looks like the folks are being cautious in spite of some smarmy TV reports that claim beaches are jammed like spring break. Time-stamped pictures prove once again that the media is full of brown stuff. What do you supposed they gain by endlessly trying to pit us against each other? My opinion is they are trying to champion the leftist whacko (not liberal) agenda of: The US is terrible, racist, and greedy! Ever notice that these poor souls have no sense of humor? They go around with permanent scowls, never satisfied—mad at the world; or at least their own country.
When I was part of the work-a-day world there were always union leaders with the same mindset. We solved the problem by promoting them to supervisors. Result? Within a year they were on the outs with the workers because they became vociferously anti-union. Life was not happy for these folks unless they were pissed-off about something. That my friends, in a nutshell, is the same behavior of socialist leaders when they get power.
In more positive news, I noticed that Kim Jong-Un and Hillary Clinton may have the same tailor. At least their pantsuits look very similar.
Finally, in this land of cheap wine and people that whine, I confess that I am no medical expert—but I am a thinker.
By Gene Myers, full of unasked for opinions, physically fit, and ready for love. (Oh, yeah.)