There are just too many things on my mind, and my chest is heavy with concerns about not just my own future, but the future I’m leaving my children. Scanning the headlines yesterday and today has not been a particularly healthy psychological endeavor.
Some random thoughts:
150 healthcare “experts” are now calling for a renewed, near 100% lockdown of the nation’s economy. In an open letter Start Over Do It Right to our nation’s decision makers, they demand:
-All non-essential businesses should be closed. (I’m still “non-essential,” by their definition.)
-Restaurant service should be limited to take-out, only.
-People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air.
-Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors.
-They want over 200,000 more “contact tracers.” (Employed by whom? Paid for with . . . what?)
-They want governments to bar all non-essential interstate travel.
Our nation cannot survive this . . . and never mind the collateral consequences of even more millions of destroyed livelihoods, bankruptcies, suicides, domestic abuses, the growing mental healthcare epidemic, and widening political polarization between our citizenry.
Even though the U.K.’s Boris Johnson himself ended up in intensive care, fighting for his life after contracting Covid-19, he finds the idea of another lockdown of his nation so abhorrent that he compared it to a Nuclear Deterrent, saying, “I certainly don’t want to use it.”
French Prime Minister Jean Castex was more to the point with regards another shutdown: “We won’t survive, economically and socially.”
While I’m not allowed to earn a living in my chosen field, thousands can still gather together in protest — singing, chanting, listening to anti-American, pro-Marxist revolutionary speeches — all condoned by progressive mayors and governors. Black lives absolutely matter . . . but these gatherings are NOT about black lives, and there seems no political or scientific pushback against these protest rallies becoming “super-spreading” events for COVID-19. (Why not?)
I can’t even find respite from the headlines by turning to sports. (From what little there is to currently choose.) As major league baseball cautiously begins its abbreviated season, those headlines themselves are dominated by who’s kneeling before the national anthem, who’s not, and half the country defends photos of Dr. Fauci not wearing a mask in a city’s stadium whose own mayor’s mask order requires they be worn at all times while of of doors. Fauci claims those criticisms are “mischievous,” and that he only removed his mask while sipping water.
Just another of his lies.
Photos clearly show he and his wife, (also sans mask), were not sipping water. One such photo showed the lid was on his water bottle as he watched the game with his fingers pressed together in the manner of The Simpson’s infamous Mr. Burns. (“Let the fools have their tartar sauce.”) Fauci’s wife, with one leg propped on the seat in front of her, had her mask dangling from her fingers, with her face leaning against her hand. (Hand, touching face? Didn’t the good doctor tell us not to do that?) The current DC Mask Order allows for no such exception — even to elitist government bureaucrats attending a ball game that the rest of the city’s citizenry is denied the right to attend.
In a recent Washington Post interview, Dr. Fauci was asked:
WP: “When and where do you wear a mask?”
Anthony S. Fauci: “It dominates everything I do. The only time I don’t wear one is when I am alone, when I am home with my wife, or when I am speaking in public.”
Pure, unapologetic hypocrisy.
I know of a bar here in a Raleigh, NC suburb that is operating in defiance of closure and mask orders. I sat there last night, occasionally glancing at the Nationals’ baseball game on one of the televisions behind the bar. The unavoidable scenes of totally empty seats served only to remind me of why the stadium was empty. The game therefore meant nothing to me.
Even as I began writing this screed yesterday afternoon, an armed black militia called the “Not F—ing Around Coalition,” was marching in Louisville, KY, demanding justice for the no-knock raid killing of Breonna Taylor. Good for them. A worthy cause. The leader of NFAC, Grand Master Jay, even referred to the U.S. Constitution:
“Once it gets to that point where it looks like the government is non-responsive to the will of the people, the Constitution says to [form a] militia to address the grievances of the people. I didn’t write it,” he says about the Bill of Rights. “They wrote it. We just abide by it. So that’s our destination, because when it looks like the government is being indifferent to the people, the people have the right to form themselves – and arm themselves — to ask those questions.”
Unfortunately, members of the III Percenters militia gathered in counter-protest against NFAC — ostensibly to “provide back-up” to the local police force. This shouldn’t have happened. They should have joined with NFAC in their stated cause. A show of solidarity in a common cause — against an immoral, unconstitutional policing practice — that could have provided even a faint glimmer of future healing.
Nevertheless, thousands can gather and march in the streets of yet another American city, but I can’t do my job and earn a living in front of even a few hundred people. On another Saturday afternoon I instead sat on my porch with my laptop, rather than doing a soundcheck in advance of my previously scheduled performance. Because of recently announced lockdown extensions, my bands just this week suffered even more cancellations of upcoming shows. So-called “Phase 4” reopenings — the phase in which my industry might again be allowed to resume operations — are still indefinitely on hold. Some governors and mayors have already declared I can’t go back to work in their jurisdictions until there’s either a vaccine or cure.
Pondering this, I was reminded of something Jordan B. Peterson said in one of his lectures. It took me a while to track down the exact quote:
“We need to understand the role of art and literature, and stop thinking about it as an option. It’s not an option. It is said, ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’ That’s exactly right. We live by beauty. We live by literature. We live by art — literally, not metaphorically. We cannot live without it, because life is too dismal and tragic in the absence of the sublime.”
I began my life on stage over 50 years ago. Exactly 44 years ago, this summer, I played my first professional gig — sitting in on trumpet with a group of adult big band musicians — as a sub for my own band director, at his recommendation. That life — my life — has been taken from me for an indeterminate period of time. My very livelihood now at the mercy of bureaucrats, “experts,” and their demonstrably failed predictive models.
No . . . art has not been entirely taken from us. We can Google up the image of every painting by every great historical master, as well as that of every pretender. We can call up every song ever recorded via Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Spotify, or YouTube, but the digital experience is no substitute for the human experience. There is a gaping, ever-widening hole in our souls as this pandemic experience eats away at our evolutionary and spiritual requirement for human touch and interaction.
At the end David Bowie’s classic Rock ’n Roll Suicide he literally screams to the audience, over and over: “Gimme your hands . . . Gimme your hands . . . Gimme your hands.” Both audience and artist are now forbidden that touch, and my heart aches at the longing for its return.
The photo I posted yesterday of Fauci’s unmasked appearance at the Nationals game was shared 5,500 times, had 56,000 engagements, and reached over 440,000 people. Still, with only 33,000 Facebook followers, I feel somewhat helpless in this endeavor — my hobby as The Pragmatic Constitutionalist — as my voice isn’t large enough to mount a counter-insurgency against these draconian, unconstitutional, economically destructive lockdowns. My desire to work, earn a living, pay my bills, and otherwise engage in free association and commerce with likeminded individuals — who can equitably and maturely assess their own risks — is portrayed in the media and by elected officials as “selfish” and “murderous” to the remainder of our emotionally dependent population who instead cries for a King — or a Big Brother — to keep them safe from themselves.
So, here I sit in random thought and rant, doing the best I can do to purge my mind of the psychological effects of this weekend’s headlines . . . and my concerns about tomorrow.
#CommieVirus2020 #BLM #NFAC #FauxFauci