September 11, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

19 Years Later covid-19: day 185 | US: GA | info

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Nineteen years ago, the 9/11 attacks killed 2977 people, and around 1,400 more died as a result of being exposed to the fallout. As of right now, the CDC reports that 190,262 have died of COVID-19 in this country since January 21, 2020.[1] I guess 9/11 was a spectacle—it felt personal, as if every one of us individually was attacked. Even though the attacks happened in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania, they seemed local, like we all got a bloody nose. COVID-19 is not like that: unless it actually affects us personally, we seem unconcerned, though forty times more people have died than are attributed to the 9/11 attacks. And we still have people who won’t wear a mask.

I think we’re generally a country of assholes.[2] Pompous, entitled, asshole bullies. Selfish, arrogant, greedy scaredy-cats who think that life is hard, that you have to fight for what you have, and fuck-you if you want some. You gotta earn it yourself, even if “America” despises you because you have some arbitrary quality that is seen as a defect. Like your genitals are on the inside of your body. Or your skin is darker. Or you—Vishnu forbid—are poor. Or you have sex for pleasure. Or you worship a different made-up deity (or, worse, no made-up deity at all).

Screen shot of the CDC map, 9/11/20.

We just seem to have this selfish quality that obfuscates all other qualities. Combined with a solipsism (narcissism?) that allows us to only see what we want to see, and we have the recipe for supreme assholiness. This is some Ayn-Rand-level shit. Selfishness is a good quality?[3] This is dog-eat-dog, baby. I’m not sharing anything with you; I venerate the CEO; the corporation is king. Climate change is not real because it’s a beautiful day where I live. People are takers: give them a little bit, and they’ll want it all. Therefore, they get none. No welfare. No childcare. No medical insurance. No. You gotta earn that shit. What do you think this is, a welfare state? This is ’Merica, baby.

The perfect illustration of the supreme assholiness of ’Merica could be seen last night at a football game. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans took the field before the game for a “moment of silent solidarity in support of racial equality.”[4] Audible jeers could be heard from the 17,000 fans that seemed to also not be taking social-distancing seriously. So it’s not about disrespecting the troops or the flag that offends. It’s racial equality? These troglodytes booed racial equality. This just goes back to my thesis: I got mine and I ain’t sharin’. Are we so afraid that if we see people as equals, what? All of our narrow-minded and prejudiced values will mean less? That somehow we lose a part of what? An unearned superiority and entitlement based on arbitrary characteristics? These people can watch black men play football, but if the players even suggest they are equal, then bbbbboooooooooooooo!

Last night I watched a YouTube video about universal guaranteed income: about a post-scarcity society where competition for the basics of life is no longer necessary.[5] Here, jobs are optional, and people can pursue their passions, not be forced to spend most of their lives pursuing bullshit jobs. The narrator makes a case that until we value decouple human value from work, we will continue to be ruled by a false sense of competition that capitalism necessitates. The argument against UBI stems from this ’Merican notion of selfishness embodied by the Right that we saw an example of recently.

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When COVID-19 shut the country down in March, the economy took a nose-dive. The service industry was hardest hit, prompting Congress to pass a stimulus bill and include extra benefits ($600 a week) for those on unemployment. Most Republicans just hate the idea of helping people who actually need it—yes, they love helping those who don’t.[6] As Reich says: it’s only welfare when it helps ordinary Americans, which the Republicans despise. Their argument: if you allow the peasants to make more not working, then they have no incentive to get a job.[7] Notice the premise here: you are only as good as the job you have, and everyone must have a job. Seriously, unless you a working hard to make your corporate overlords more money, what good are you? Someone has to pay taxes, because it sure won’t be the Fortune 500 corporations or the wealthy.[8] But you could hear this echo through the Republican ranks when it came time for more COVID-19 relief: hell, no, we won’t pay people not to work.[9] We need to open the economy again. So what if some people die: the wealthy need to stay wealthy. Yeah, they’ve made a killing during this pandemic, but they deserve it.[10] So get back to your shit jobs, peasants.

. . .



Notes

  1. "CDC COVID Data Tracker". Canters for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. September 9, 2020.
  2. Yes, I’m speaking generally, so, no, this will not be directly attributable to everyone. But I look at it in the same way as saying not all cops are bad because a few have murdered black men. Again, individually, no, not all cops are bad, but perhaps the institution is. Here, I’m looking at the American Institution, if you will.
  3. “Greed is good.” Do we all think we’re Gordon Gekko? Yeah, this disparity started around then. Thanks Ronny.
  4. "Kansas City Fans Boo During Moment Of Silence For Racial Equality Before NFL Opener". Hot Air. September 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  5. Second Thought (September 4, 2020). Is Universal Basic Income The Future? (Video). YouTube. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  6. Read about corporate welfare: Reich, Robert (July 23, 2019). "How Corporate Welfare Hurts You". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  7. Notice, nothing is ever mentioned about the bullshit jobs people are forced to work that do not even pay a living wage. What’s worse than one bullshit job? That’s right: two or three. They would rather give Walmart owners a tax break so they can keep their billions rather than suggesting that the retail kings actually treats their employees like human beings. Read more about Walmart.
  8. Pound, Jesse (December 16, 2019). "These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  9. Iacurci, Greg (July 17, 2020). "The $600 unemployment payments are likely ending. Here's why". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  10. Helenowski, Mark (August 10, 2020). "Billionaires Have Made an Absolute Killing During the Pandemic. The Number Is Staggering". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2020-09-11.