I’m fully aware that lots of people have bigger problems due to the current political lockdown. If you’re one of the suffering, you have my outraged sympathies. I’m not in a league with the impoverished, the busted, the ones in dire need of “elective” health care they’ve been forbidden to get, or the about-to-go-bankrupt entrepreneurs.
But I reserve the right to be ticked off at the small stuff that keeps getting shoveled daily into all our faces and I’m presently irked because I can’t get away from the crazy.
This is a small town. Other than the occasional village idiot (our best died several years ago during one of his stints in the state mental hospital and the current crop barely makes the grade), a meth rage now and then, or the rare robbery-murder that the police invariably mistake for natural causes it’s generally more sane than cities or anything that oozes out of cities.
But from political panic-demic, no corner of the world is safe.
Our beloved fish & chip wagon opened for the season last week, a mere five weeks later than normal. It’s take-out only and therefore legal, but the owner was taking a wait-and-see attitude before committing her money and her skills to opening.
But open she did, during a brief spate of glorious weather. And loyal customers flocked to enjoy.
Next to the wagon is a football-sized field with six picnic tables scattered — widely, widely scattered — over it. You could sit at any of those tables and devour your your battered cod, shrimp, oysters, and fresh-cut fries without ever breathing the same air as another human being. Heck, the tables are so far apart you couldn’t even hear other people (unless said people are screaming children, who can be heard on the far side of the moon).
And people did sit, did enjoy. So happily.
The other day I drove by and every one of those “socially distanced” tables was festooned with forbidding yellow tape. The chip shop owner and her diktat-defying customers had been put on notice. Authoritah had spoken. Sitting down in the sunshine within 50 yards of a food truck is Bad For Your Health.
Between that and the other near-daily decrees our power-mad governator is dreaming up, I came home in yet another grouchy mood.
Rather than using any convenient politician for target practice (nerf guns only, of course), I decided to rub out a household stain that’s been refusing for years to go away. I fetched some Bar Keepers Friend and threw myself into domestic attack mode.
An hour later, the stain was gone. Two days later I’d deep-cleaned 10 feet of countertop, removed five feet of old caulk, applied new caulk, re-textured a bad wall, applied three coats of paint, scrubbed everything that lives on the counter, threw out everything that no longer deserves to live on the counter, disinfected the microwave, and applied four different cleansers to the stovetop.
Spring cleaning is good therapy.
Besides, as soon as the weather’s pleasant again, customers will cheerfully be sitting on the grass between the picnic tables. And if that’s merely a tiny, insignificant act of resistance, at least it’s something.
I stress again that I’m not personally hurting from the lockdown (yet; misery will come to us all in the form of hyperinflation and depression). I also know I can’t claim any great, righteous acts of resistance — just the petty, everyday acts that increasingly rise among the populace after two freakin’ ridiculous, irrecoverable, catastrophic, unjust months of punishment with no end in sight directed at the working and small-business classes, including my friends, my town, and our local shops.
Over that, I remain perpetually pissed and filled with mourning for the future.
BUT. Yes the resistance is growing. And is it any surprise?
Peggy Noonan has a strong column in the WSJ about those who are pushing back again the crazy idea of locking everything down until the world is “safe.”
Here’s a generalization based on a lifetime of experience and observation. The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. They often come from considerable family dysfunction. This has left them tougher or harder, you choose the word.
They’re more fatalistic about life because life has taught them to be fatalistic. And they look at these scientists and reporters making their warnings about how tough it’s going to be if we lift shutdowns and they don’t think, “Oh what informed, caring observers.” They think, “You have no idea what tough is. You don’t know what painful is.” And if you don’t know, why should you have so much say?
The overclass says, “Wait three months before we’re safe.” They reply, “There’s no such thing as safe.”
Something else is true about those pushing back. They live life closer to the ground and pick up other damage. Everyone knows the societal costs in the abstract—“domestic violence,” “child abuse.” . . . .
Meanwhile some governors are playing into every stereotype of “the overclass.” On Tuesday Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf said in a press briefing that those pushing against the shutdown are cowards. … Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called anti-lockdown demonstrations “racist and misogynistic.”
You can read it all here without the sad nuisance of the WSJ’s paywall. (Sorry, WSJ; you deserve your income, but that article is courage and inspiration for the kind of people who’ll never subscribe to a Wall Street publication as long as they live, and couldn’t right now even if they still had jobs that enabled them to.)
Noonan is talking more about the polite public protestors and the politicians mercifully getting out of We the People’s way. But her words apply to the less polite defiant ones, as well.
Here’s the latest new authority granted to Whitmer, BTW. 🙂
And now we’re also observing the long-known, but previously theoretical perils of having a state-licensed business. Obey or we’ll kill your business, and perhaps kill you, too if you object too forcefully.
The coming years may be dark, indeed. Big Brother surely considers this the opportunity of his lifetime.
Still, there’s good news. And it grows. Several of these links are H/T ComradeX.
- TPOL Nathan lists a double baker’s dozen reasons the shutdown isn’t about public health. Keep undermining the credibility of Our Glorious Leaders. Insert thought into minds.
- He also notes that the resistance is spreading as the despotism grows.
- Case in point: Cops come to bust your party for failure to distance? Water guns are the latest response..
- The inimitable Maggie McNeill wonders how “essential” and “non-essential” are arrived at, then concludes that there’s really only one category of worker that’s demonstrated itself to be non-essential.
- Aesop has an economic reality check and some advice. “The 2020 you woke up to on New Year’s Day this year is gone forever, and that world will not be seen again, probably not in your lifetime. Wrap your heads around that, and start behaving appropriately to that information.”
- And laughter is always an option and Remy’s song parodies are brilliant.
- Heaven knows there’s plenty to laugh at when a dead — literally — drunk is found defunct in a park, and he’s declared a Covid-19 death statistic.
- And more laughter — albeit bitter, black laughter — comes from the fact that the “expert” computer model that triggered this global insanity wasn’t just buggy code: It was pure mathematical guesswork. (Silver may, or may not, have more on that in a future blog.)
- In the days to come, “small” may not only become not only beautiful, but critical.
- Finally, this one’s already gotten around a bit, but it’s wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully worth a read. Nothing to do with politicians and their lockdowns, but a true tale about a real Lord of the Flies. What happened (and more importantly, what didn’t) when adventurous teenage boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island for over a year.
And on that cheery note, I’ll leave you.
I hope you (and I) can go through the rest of the weekend without any heavy-handed reminders that we live in a world gone mad under the “leadership” of frauds, cowards, economic ignorami, Social Justice Pecksniffs, safe-space dwellers, and the despots who love them all. Welcome to the Weimar Republic people!
But also welcome to the resistance of the small and weak, but not so meek.