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Year of the Plague – 25 – from the Series “The Good Place”

July 24, 2020

Portland Wall of Solidarity. 60 years ago they marched for their future, now they join arms for the future of their children, all children, everywhere. Mother Earths, wearing mask and helmuts, arm in arm with a rpse in one hand…

A daughter recommended it. Watching an episode of “The Good Place,” Kristen Bell provides a fine example of the thinking that goes to explain “the mask rebellion” as she elaborates her “rules for life.” And I quote:

Rule #1 I get what I want; I get to do what I want and you all will just have to deal with it.

Rule #2 No more Spider-man movies. There’s way too many Spider man movies, too many dorky, little, twerpy Spider men.

Rule#3 Leave me alone.

You take care of yourself. You don’t owe anything to anyone else! If people live that way then society would break down.

Yeah, in America, everyone does whatever they want! Society did breakdown. It’s terrible and it’s great! You can only look out for “Number One” and scream at whoever disagrees with you.

There are no bees because they are all dead and if you need surgery you just beg for money on the internet.

It’s a perfect system! Now give me another drink, tomorrow is my birthday

So much for social solidarity, class struggle, etc…

How the country got to such a selfish state is another story – I will only remark here that it was no accident and will try to develop that theme elsewhere.

The Good Place – an unending, at times for Nancy and me, unendurable NBC tv series that ran for four years and can now be watched via Netflix. Yet at some moments, actually approaching something profound about the country in which we live. Its core cast included Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’arcy Carden, Ted Danson and Manny Jacinto. We watched about half of the full series – which was often very funny in a modern sort of way, ultimately a morality tale for young people – how and why to live an ethical life in an often empty world.

Somewhere in the middle, Kristen Bell offers a description of what I would call libertarian/anarchist thinking, so prevalent among many – especially young people these days – the kind of individualism gone wild that so permeates American society these days – the 180 degree opposite of the kind of solidarity promoted during the 1930s, during World War II and then in the 1960s-1970s Civil Rights, anti-Vietnam War Solidarity movements.

In the midst of – or more probably at the outset – of the Coronavirus pandemic the whole world has witnessed what works and what doesn’t and although there are still many gaps – particularly in terms of the science of COVID-19 to unpack in terms of defeating the pandemic – still, four, five months now into the pandemic – there are important relative success and failure stories. Damage control is achieved best where a combination of strong national (or as we call it in the USA) federal intervention combined with strict health measures: extensive mask use, social distancing, where required force quarantine measures are in place. Where they are not in place, or poorly applied – here in the United States, India – come to mind, the pandemic has run rampant

It is somewhere between astounding-to-pathetic the degree to which so many Americans have risen in anger against wearing masks. The level of selfishness and plain stupidity of those who “rebel” against such a simple procedure is startling. But then there is the Portland Wall of Solidarity!

One Comment leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    July 24, 2020 6:11 pm

    These ladies are geniuses, protesting with masks. If I understand history correctly, although I don’t mind being corrected, masks have, until this year, been prohibited in protests. The protesters could be arrested. Marching while wearing masks is a real slam to the Ruling Class. How can they take pictures of masked marchers? However, the dangerous Covid Bug sitting on the sidelines, is 5,000 times smaller than the holes in that mask. To put it in perspective think about a human trying to slip through a circular hole with a diameter the size of Mount Everest. I think he just might be able to do it.

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