Garbage seems to follow me everywhere. When you wash your shirt with some weird-colored cocktail napkin in the pocket, and for the next week you find little magenta dreadlocks in different pants pockets and socks. It’s the sneaky rightwing libertarian agenda disguised as neutrality and objectivity. And it is an infestation of crawling, nibbling, chittering vermin.
I started writing SuperTruth® items for this show as a way to comment on the mishmash of half-truths, misleading distortions, and flat out lies that have become the cultural currency of the steroidally pro-capitalist, regressive “sovereign citizen” movement. This movement, by my mapping, has given us such malignancies as anti-union Right to Work laws, the Clinton deregulation of media trusts, and the Tea Party lunatics, which have bled into diverse policy failures like Obama’s refusal to put a public option to health insurance on the table, usurious credit card interest rates, and the Golem of securities-dicing and debt-bundling which, joined with lax rules on bank capitalization, led directly to the cratering of the global economy in 2008. It’s the neoliberal discourse I’ve been fighting against since Chuck first asked me onto This Is Hell!
But I have to admit failure. I have failed in the sense that a drowning man fails to swim. In the sense that a prophet being burned as a heretic has failed to smoke a pipe or grill a hot dog. I am overwhelmed. The liars are too numerous and duplicitous for me to keep up with anymore.
Beware libertarian think tanks. They skew to the right. And many such larvae have hatched out of the nationalist anti-progressive movement that got Q-pilled and Trump-pilled in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic response.
Beware of new think tanks swarming from stagnant breeding ponds such as The Brownstone Institute, founded and populated by the framers of the Great Barrington Declaration, that screwball screed against the institutions struggling to manage a public health crisis after Donald Trump discarded the Obama Administration’s methodically developed pandemic response playbook. Trump is such an infantile character that he made it his mission to destroy anything with Obama cooties on it. The results of the orange windbag’s scorched earth policy toward Obama’s fingerprints were catastrophic for the public. The worst Covid case and fatality numbers in the world going into the summer of 2020 were the two countries with the most ignorant, clownish, fascistic chief executives: Brazil under Bolsonaro’s misrule and the US under Trump’s. And by a long, long way.
The CDC, the WHO, and other established and formerly trusted institutions followed the best guidelines they could, given how little was understood about the virus. The logic behind the lockdowns was “better safe than sorry when a virus spreads so far so fast and causes unpredictable symptoms.” And they did take seriously the idea that it had been engineered or accidentally released from a lab – and finally rejected the idea for lack of evidence, as did most of the medical community who are nevertheless still under attack from overconfident crackpots. And the crackpot faction keeps pushing the Created By Fu Manchu in a Lab accusation, along with the myriad other inanities they spin like drunken Fates in an inanity-spinning frenzy.
The Barrington brotherhood or cult or whatever pejorative you like decided after no consideration to take the apeshit approach. They went along with the reactionary segment of the public that went mitty over every damn thing that prevented them from carrying on business as usual. Their response was similar to Trump’s, and echoed his crackpot public statements in their delusional ignorance and know-it-all Dunning-Krugerism.
So, thanks to these triggered xenophobic sovereignty lunatics we are left without a public option; with a UK whose economy is mangled from Brexit; with a public sector being drained of funding by the neo-liberal thirst of privatization vampires; neo-Nazis and quasi-neo-Nazi Confederacy throwbacks banning books, shooting black people, Jews, LGBTQ-plussers and other scapegoats; and a planet in the process of being laid waste by corporate and war priorities. Oh, and on top of that, I was forced to write the following sarcastic letter, due the incident described therein:
Dear Southwest Airlines,
I was very pleased to hear my captain aboard flight #805 from Las Vegas to LAX on August 30, 2023 come out in favor of a judgment striking down mask mandates. “Thanks to the judge who struck down mask mandates,” he announced over the intercom, and added, “it’s nice to see all your faces.” He didn’t show us his face, but it is irrelevant whether or not he would look better in a mask than without! Free speech and body sovereignty! Or something equally heroic!
I had no idea what ruling he was talking about or if even he himself did, but it’s the thought that counts: neither the government, nor any authority, has the right make me wear a mask to prevent the spread of disease among the public! I can be as selfish as I want! They’re MY germs, to spread as I please!
It's unfortunate that this brave aeronaut works for a company that doesn’t support his admirable point of view. Not long after his noble announcement, the flight crew demonstrated – on orders from the Deep State, I’m sure – the procedures for donning the oxygen masks that would drop out of the ceiling in the event of a loss of cabin pressure. Look, you can’t make me wear a mask, Southwest! Nice try!
Not only that, but we were told to look at the safety literature in our seatback literature compartment. Literature! Look at these cartoons! Not only is the female sheeple shown obediently putting on her mask, but in the final panel she’s even forcing a child to wear one! “Literature?” Since when is child abuse “literature?”
I’m sure a company like yours, Southwest, which peddles this kind of child pornography, will not hesitate to censure or even fire an outspoken pilot for simply exercising his First Amendment right to cast public doubt on the seriousness of a pandemic and the efficacy of masks in slowing or preventing its spread. Sure, the data shows that COVID hospitalizations are spiking again, but that’s no reason to shirk one’s duty to be a selfish, plague-spreading dick! Leave our brave, selfish, patriotic plague-spreading dicks alone!!
Yeah, I had to write that letter. And it took me away from doing other things. I could’ve been watching such in-flight entertainments as, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret or Superpets. I’ll tell you, this is just another way civilization is collapsing. They nickel and dime you till you can’t pay attention to the bigger picture, you’re too busy plugging up the stab wounds in your own body. And you certainly don’t have time to cut off the replenishing heads of the personal sovereignty hydra.
It's like being pinched to death by baby crawdads. Like being Gish galloped by guppies, trampled by a cacophonous chorus of argumentative sea monkeys. Like death by never-ending paper cuts. A million little pin pricks. Like being bled out a drop a day.