The New World

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

As I was walking the other day, the sky was a deep azure. I could almost picture the curve of the earth against the sky. It reminded me of a terrarium and I was looking out at the universe. All at once I had a vision of the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. All the sins of America visited upon us. We don’t argue much about healthcare these days. Now with hospitals facing bankruptcy their administrators agree that accepting government payments will be fine.

This storm offers no high ground be you doctor, dentist, or waitress. We are all swimming through the muck and hoping for the sky to clear. But what does the future hold for us? What sort of future can we hope for? When do we get to the good stuff? When do we get to the world, we have all hoped for? It’s hard to dream living in a nightmare. It’s hard to hope when hope is just wishing it were so.

Lindsey Graham is nearly apoplectic over enhanced unemployment benefits. Angry because Americans are being taken care of. Angry because if you pay them a decent wage, they won’t want to risk their lives for peon wages. Think about what he is saying, Patriotism? Prosperity? National unity? He is saying a peasant you are and a peasant you shall always be go die now and no more of your backtalk. No value to human life, no value to aspirations, my stock portfolio is suffering.

This pandemic life is a bitter pill no restaurants or bars. No concerts or sporting events. NBA great Charles Barkley said, “Sports isn’t the most important thing by a long shot, but it helps you take your mind off of all this other shit.”

Mmm, I can almost taste that steak sealed in my plastic white room cocoon served by someone dressed as a surgeon. The price will be double or triple what I used to pay, and the days of the salad bar are over. Ahh, the ambience! Priests shooting holy water from squirt guns. Drive by birthday parties and virtual graduations. Schools shut down with online classes. I don’t want to fly with a pilot who went to virtual flight school.

I think what hits me hardest is the inversion of society pulled inside out. Grocery stores buying billboard space to thank their essential workers. I bet they’d like more money better than a pat on the back and some are getting it but once the emergency is over… Fifteen dollars an hour to stock shelves? The proof is in the pudding… they don’t get it. We gave you twelve hundred dollars eight weeks ago, what did you do with it?

Wall Street has turned into Wish Street. Stocks prices rise and fall on rumors and illusions that aren’t real. The other day the market rose over seven hundred points because a new drug had passed it’s first trial. Like saying my kid just graduated the first grade they’re on their way to law school. The only thing missing is Glenda, the good witch of the west. “Now click your heals together three times and repeat after me, the market will rise, the market will rise.” After a generation of an investment steal yourself rich economy Wall Street is unable to accept the new reality. But I buy a new Mercedes every year.

At thirty dollars a barrel, the American oil industry is dead. Forecasts predict a twenty percent decline in new car sales but only a sixteen percent decline in electric auto sales. The airlines are shrinking their fleets air travel is for weddings and funerals. Many airlines are dropping smaller market airports in a shrinking circle spinning around the drain. If I have to drive an hour to the big city to catch a flight, why don’t I just drive to the destination? Photos of crowed jets filled with unmasked passengers sends the message to the public, “Stay the hell out of here!” Because that is who is in charge here. Not the President or the Governor or the mayor. If Americans have no money, they won’t go out to eat and they won’t buy cars and they won’t take airline trips.

I almost have to laugh at these rosy predictions, in the third quarter the economy will come roaring back. I caught the flu today but predict I’ll be better by two o’clock. Do they really believe this shit? Do they really believe it? It wasn’t too long ago; an article was published that said most workers in the US could not handle a four hundred dollar emergency. How about a four-thousand-dollar emergency unemployed in a field which has ceased to exist?

Twenty-seven million US workers have lost their health Insurance during a global pandemic. Tell me again how the US has the best health care system in the world. It is a parting of the ways, its much harder to vote Republican when in poverty. Sean Hannity is still ringing the bell but the damn dog’s not salivating anymore. It’s harder to vote pro-life when there is an eviction notice on your door. It’s harder to vote Republican when they ignore your plight and tell you’ve got it too good already.

Come November Republicans face an extinction level event. If the Democrats aren’t careful, they will follow two years from now. This is a new world and if Joe Biden and the Democrats think they can play Hillary’s greatest hits they are in serious trouble. Joe Biden has offered condolences and consolations but no plans. It’s the old Richard Nixon approach, I’ve got a plan to end the Vietnam War, but you have to elect me before I’ll tell you about it.

“More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.” – Franklin Roosevelt

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