By David Glenn Cox
I get tired of reading about the antics of Donald J. Trump. I also get tired of writing about the antics of Donald J. Trump. It’s like a streaker or a car accident it’s hard to look away. A petulant five-year-old playing among Grand ma’s glass figurine collection. You can anticipate the results without waiting for the event paying in tension rather than surprise. Tension, that’s our word of the day. Start with your basic stock pandemic, season to taste with an economic emergency. Sprinkle in Faux News and general Internet paranoia. Preheat the oven with floods, volcanoes, and murder hornets. Take the largest orange moron you can find and set the power level to insane. Use as a mixer and beat until society begins to crumble.
The general tension of what he might due next combined with the practical knowledge of what he’s already done. With nodding recognition that no matter how dire your own personal forecast might be he always exceeds expectations. Like cliff hangers at the end of Breaking Bad, “What’s Mr. White going to do next week?” You can’t make this stuff up, during the worst health crisis in a century the President of the United States is trying to take health care from its people. There is no upside, no financial benefit it is as crazy as shouting, “Let’s burn down the school!”
The tension of a willful murder of George Floyd on a public street by an officer of the state. Executed for the crime of being Black in America just like hundreds before him. For just a brief moment, White Americans saw themselves as they appear to minority groups and recoiled in horror. All the right-wing clap trap about law and order and keeping the streets safe went out the window with a cop smirking murdering a citizen. “Oh, racism. Oh, that’s what you mean.”
Hard times they say brings out the best and the worst in people, but I never would have believed the full-throated vibrato of American racist populations. The embarrassment of a drunken Uncle spoiling your bridal shower. You would like to claim you don’t know them but they’re holding a key to the front door. Immigrant caravans border walls Tucker Carlson and leave to boil. From e pluribus Unum to all men are created equal they bow to statues of the noble past. Saluting platitudes of lofty high ideals but complaining bitterly about their practical application. They are Americas scaredest of the scared. Living in constant fear that someone different from them is going to take something from them. That freedom is in limited quantities that if we give some to you there is less for me.
Living in a fear-based society of layoffs, low-wages, car repairs, divorce, and drug abuse. Olga Levin wrote about Auschwitz, “It was a place where it was very easy to give up on life and many did.” Levin dragged out corpses each morning and took their clothes to sell for extra food. God bless Capitalism. The opioid crisis was fostered by greed but nurtured by the knowledge that Americans just want to feel better. They are willing to risk addiction and death because they really do not give a fuck anymore and want to get off the merry go round. They are shaken but not stirred moved but unmotivated a hard reality beating down the shields of optimism.
A ginned-up energy drink society where everything is a conspiracy. No one falls downstairs they are all pushed. No one facing life in prison commits suicide they are all murdered. And before the bodies cold they can tell you who did it and why. Now you suddenly find yourself a prosecutor and you are given evidence of wrongdoing by some of the most powerful people in the world. There are no assets to be recovered and nothing which can be made whole. If you prosecute the case against some of the worlds most influential, you will win worldwide fame and guarantee your career won’t be worth a plug nickel. There is no need to kill witnesses in a case which would drag on for years. The perpetrators will die a peaceful old age in their beds while you would look like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.
But that only adds to the tension, there’s secret stuff going on all around me. Dangerous cabals and devil worshippers the minister on TV told me so! He might look like the water meter reader, but he might be Antifa! He might be a Muslim terrorist or a guy delivering gravel. Get the guns we can’t be too certain.
My father listened to the original radio broadcast of H.G. Wells, “War of the Worlds” on Orson Wells Mercury Theater of the Air. He said, he couldn’t believe that anyone could get excited and believe it. At every commercial break they would announce “This is Mercury Theater of the Air. Would they even have had commercial breaks if it were an actual alien invasion?” We will return to our live coverage of the end of the world, but first this word from Lucky Strike cigarettes.
I understand the panic, “Oh my God! The Martians have landed, and the Blacks and Communists are making their move.” Put down your Hot Pockets and grab your guns boys! This is a fear-based plantation society. The social safety net is illusionary and synonymous with poverty. You either own a plantation or you work on one. There is no need of dogs or watch towers you can’t physically escape from it. It churns in your ears and pounds on your brain. A society which fears uprisings, revolutions, and social discontent because deep down in our heart of hearts we know that we deserve one. But like self-induced vomiting it is hard to stick your fingers down our own throat.