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Total Jokerfication (Monday, March 16, 2020)

Okay, so I missed Friday, the very second day of what was supposed to be a week-daily newsletter. So it goes.

A bit more on the primary so far

One thing I don't think I got across in my first installment is the absolute soul-besmirching sense of despair that Bernie having the nomination stolen from him brings with it. What does it is knowing that everything you're seeing is something you've seen before, only this time, a bit worse. The voter suppression – polling places closed or moved at the last minute, only one polling place available in each of the two major cities of North Dakota, 5 to 7 hour lines at some polling places in California – almost all of this was part of the playbook in 2016. And then in several states, results came back that were very far off from the exit polls; as much as 11% in some cases, where the normal margin of error between exit polls and official results is about 4%, and always in Biden's favor.*

* Grayzone and CODEPINK call for OAS election monitors

We saw many of these things in the 2016 primary. And I wasn't really politically aware in 1984 or 1988, but after hearing interviews with Jesse Jackson and people talking about his presidential runs, I wouldn't be surprised if the same things didn't happen then, too. And for someone with a basic sense of fairness, an idea that the social world ought to at least do a good job of pretending to play by its own goddamned rules, hell, even for someone with a basic commitment to the idea that there's a reality outside of the media narrative, it starts to drive you a little crazy, wondering how the goddamned ratfucking bastards get away with it year after year. And the only conclusion is that *Most People Don't Give A Flying Fuck At A Rolling Doughnut About The Truth*. If you self-identify as a Democrat, then reality is whatever CNN and MSNBC say it is, even if that changes from week to week. (Obviously, if you identify as a Republican, it's whatever FOX News says.)

Unreality in the time of COVID-19

This unreality is especially unbearable during the pandemic, because a contagious illness is so basically physical-level real. I'll let someone else do the ranting about how the Trump administration downplayed the threat, defunded the response team, and basically treated the pandemic as something they could talk their way out of; that would go away if people didn't believe in it, like the impeachment. But the Republicans have been adrift from reality for decades, and are blatantly and openly evil, and I just don't care about them anymore. The people actually killing us in this crisis are the Democrats. The ones who insisted that our healthcare system needed to remain based on employer-provided, for-profit, private health insurance. That fought against reasonable paid leave policies. The person, Joe Biden, who is absolutely wallowing in all of this and is still somehow coming out ahead of Bernie Sanders, who has all the solutions!

Bernie: It's like... I was made for this.

Americans, especially Boomers, the people at the greatest risk from this pandemic, seem to be absolutely willing to die rather than question the hegemony of capital over their lives. And it's been going on for long enough, just this primary, not just this pandemic, that it's so easy to stop caring. To not care who gets hurt when it all burns down. To take the Joker pill. 🤡

My status

I'm okay. No symptoms as of yet, though it is a little hard to tell because the whole of South Carolina is covered in foot-deep yellow drifts of highly allergenic tree-jism, and I'd be having respiratory symptoms even if there weren't pandemic pneumonia. Schools are closed, along with all the extracurriculars. Wife's work (university) is closed this week, remote starting next week. My work is only allowing people in high risk categories to work from home so far, so I'm still commuting to a Petri dish of a cube farm, ironically working for a public health agency.

Music to go with this episode

Here's one to listen to while your civilization collapses.

Cities In Dust – Siouxie and the Banshees

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