NOTE: I don’t typically use vulgarity in public conversation, either verbally or in the written word. So I ask for forgiveness of my use of the phrase “Kiss My Ass.” Unfortunately, it’s the best way I can describe my feelings at this moment in history.
As 2020 comes to a close, I find myself unusually thoughtful about what the year has wrought. We all know how unusual it was. This is the first time I can recall being angry about a year in my life. It doesn’t escape me how weird that sentiment sounds, but alas, it is so. My anger is not for the reasons most of you might think and it is slightly misdirected because my anger and disappointment would better be directed toward the masses, not an abstract notion like a year. I’ve fought off pessimism most of my life, but I could never have predicted how disappointed I would be at my countrymen as well as the entire world’s population.
What has turned out to be the equivalent of a really bad flu pandemic, resulted in a self-imposed economic crisis as the world has ever experienced.
I’m not angry that a deadly virus came upon the world population. This is nature, and there’s no reason to be angry at nature. Humans have endured this and much worse before. Plagues have haunted us for our entire existence, coming about with no notice. They just appear naturally. Thankfully, they also disappear, at least in their most deadly form. I’m angry at the cynical and opportunistic reaction by our world leaders. Even if I give them credit for their initial reaction (after all, no one knew how bad it would be), they lost all that credibility the moment we realized the disease wasn’t nearly as bad as it had initially been predicted. What has turned out to be the equivalent of a really bad flu pandemic, resulted in a self-imposed economic crisis as the world has ever experienced. The vast number of lives and livelihoods that have been lost due to the political reaction will far exceed that brought on by the virus itself.
While my anger begins with the narcissistic sociopaths who are our leaders, the bulk of the blame lies in the public’s acceptance of their evil foolishness. I’m still baffled how easily the public, particularly the American public, not only accepted but embraced totalitarian rule. This is not hyperbole. When we must ask a governor for permission to go to work, run a business, visit our relatives and friends, and attend public worship, that is indeed totalitarianism.
Rationalizing our acceptance in the name of safety is one thing, which I would personally never do, but to do so when the actual measures enacted for that safety are not supported by real science, then it enters the realm of the absurd. Not only are they not supported by science, but they are in some cases more harmful than that we hoped to prevent. They are at best gestures of irrational hope. At worst, they are going to kill millions more than would have otherwise happened with no action at all. This doesn’t even count those who will survive but have lost their entire livelihoods, savings, and businesses forever.
Like most everyone, I was initially deeply concerned because I was fooled by an idiot’s mathematical model that was soon soundly debunked, not only by data scientists but by actual events.
Like most everyone, I was initially deeply concerned because I was fooled by an idiot’s mathematical model that was soon soundly debunked, not only by data scientists but by actual events. That idiot had many such models in the past which proved to be outrageously wrong. How our “leaders” didn’t find this is beyond my comprehension. When our strategy did not change after recognizing this, I knew we were going down a very ugly and sinister path. I suspect others like me did as well. Unfortunately, there are precious few like us.
For me, watching people openly support our loss of human and civil rights, is like watching a dog eat its own vomit.
What happened next was very revealing. Despite the constant moving of goalposts, changing and contradictory advice from so-called respectable medical organizations, and the obnoxious hypocritical behavior by those imposing these restrictions on our freedom, the general public is still willing to accept it. Some of it is apathy, some of it is fear of being called science-deniers (oh, the irony), some of it is being willfully ignorant, and some of it is just plain stupidity. The worst though is those who continue to embrace the lockdowns and mandates simply because they can’t bear to admit they were wrong. For me, watching people openly support our loss of human and civil rights, is like watching a dog eat its own vomit. In addition to an insult to my intellect, it causes a visceral reaction in me that makes me want to throw up. The difference between me and them is that I won’t eat the result and then say thank you to the government Gods for allowing me to do it.
Enough said about my thoughts on the cult-like reaction to COVID-19. I can’t end my middle finger salute at 2020 without mentioning Facebook. A couple of months ago, I pledged to leave that platform, at least in the way I have used it for the 11 years. It saddens me because Facebook has been an amazing, helpful tool. I’ve reconnected with long-lost friends and family I thought I’d never hear from again. I also used it to keep up easily with all those people on a routine basis. Seeing their families and experiences has been a true joy. I’ve also used it as a curated source of news. Until recently, I was able to carefully select which sources of news I trust and follow them. And because I could interact with others on the articles and stories, I was mostly enriched by the experience (I was able to easily ignore the vile, child-like trolling when I felt the need to do so).
All that came to an end a few months ago when I watched Facebook began editorially marking up the stories and articles I was sharing. At that point, it was no longer a curated product. It became state propaganda. It did this on anything controversial, but when it did it to support the lies and misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, followed closely by directly interfering with a presidential election, I seriously considered leaving the platform. Free speech is one of our most cherished natural rights. When Facebook decided to intervene with that, it was the final straw. Oh, and if you’re tempted to lecture me about free speech only being protected from government abuse, you don’t know me well. Yes, we have a first amendment, which is routinely ignored anyway, but free speech lies outside any government declaration. Private companies and individuals can engage in denying free speech at any time. Yes, they have a right to do it. But I can also vote with my feet by refusing to support a platform that does it.
I like blaming the year instead of the people, just so I can outwardly express my disgust. For those of my friends who disagree with my assessment, just know I am capable of forgiving nearly any individual, so if you want, you can still be my friend. I’ll do my best to redirect my anger at an abstract notion rather than individuals, just so I can continue to exist on this earth and act and behave like a human.
So, farewell to 2020 and Facebook. Please know you can kiss my ass. It would be a lot better than the other kind of ass-kissing going on this past year.