Let Them Eat Cake

Image: Sir John Tenniel

By David Glenn Cox

And then one day the old world ended and a new one began. A world few will understand as everything we knew to be true is no longer true. The new world needs fewer airplanes, so the aircraft industry is expected to shrink by a third. The auto industry by 15%. In an economy 70% driven by consumer spending, consumer spending has dropped by half. Economic output dropped by four times Great Depression levels. Despite millions of Americans being in desperate need the Republican Senate clocked out and went home without reaching a solution to stimulus payments set to end on Friday.

The pandemic is the greatest thing to happen to Amazon since the Internet leaving hobbled quarantined mom and pop stores high and dry. Because of the failure of President Carrot Cake and his administration to reign in Covid -19 The economic disaster will be deeper and more prolonged. You can order people to wear masks and you can order people to stay home but you can’t order them to go out. When my kids were small, I called it the decade I stayed home we will be staying home for a while and having our groceries delivered.

This stunted ass backwards approach of just trying to push through the pandemic with Pollyanna happy talk about economic recovery. The push to reopen the economy undermines public health and public trust. They are literally saying, “Oh go ahead and go swimming don’t let a few piranhas stop you and bring the kids!” Obviously, they are lying, reopening schools will be a disaster of the highest order remembered as the generation of the sacrificial lambs. If you got out a clean sheet of paper with a sharp number two pencil and studied on it all day long you could not find a better way to spread the virus. Better than a fleet of fueled crop dusters.

Restaurants, theaters, night clubs, sports leagues, bowling lanes, fitness clubs. Music venues, concert tours, roller rinks, abbreviated truncated sports leagues playing in front of cardboard cut out fans. Major League Baseball began and just that fast teams began testing positive. No one knows what will happen, if the season will continue or be cancelled like bad idea. The NFL watches warily, twenty-two men on a field grunting and straining and getting in each other’s faces…what could possibly go wrong? It was expected that the return of sports would bring back some sense of normalcy but watching a baseball game in front of forty-five thousand empty seats with canned crowd noise has a ghostly opposite effect.

Curtailed socialization in hand sanitizer land secret parties of the young simply trying to be young. Deprived of high school football games and kissing under the bleachers. P.E. class, class trips and graduation and every cliché from every John Hughes movie ever made. But their world experience is fundamentally different from ours. You can’t take your girlfriend to the movies, can she come your house can you go to hers? American Graffiti replaced by a dystopic Planet of the Apes.

Due to the pandemic making hamburger out of local budgets construction projects will be delayed or dropped altogether. Leaving construction companies with fewer opportunities and fewer employees. Fewer equipment sales, fewer material sales in a vicious cycle. All because of a failure to accept reality. This belief we can bluff our way through this. The right-wing media politicize wearing a mask on the Trumpy see Trumpy do principle encouraging their followers to kill themselves for the cause in an Orwellian soap opera.

If we had done the right things in March, we wouldn’t be here now, but we didn’t so we are. Rather than learn the Administration doubles down with a real live witch doctor talking about alien DNA and sex with demons. I am sure this fills you with as much confidence as it fills me. Knowing in a crisis, the President will hire anyone who agrees with him no matter what their level of sanity or sophistication.

And this new world this methadone madness this swirling shit storm of just trying to hold on we hold on. The Federales are coming to town looking for trouble.  What they will do to them today they will do to you tomorrow. The people who are supposed to protect me are threatening me. The people who are supposed to keep us safe don’t want us to be safe. They want us to go back to work and send our kids to school. It’ll be like the good old days! And we can make profits and the stock market will rise and all our dreams can come true! If, if, if we wish hard enough it will all go away. Unable to grasp the new reality they dive further into fantasy.

Unable to accept the new reality they strive to make it worse. We have struck our iceberg quit pretending we will be in New York tomorrow. We can’t reach normal until we leave crazy behind. This is the only spot on the blue earth swirling through the dark universe where we argue about the efficacy wearing a mask during a pandemic. That’s so crazy it gives Rod Serling a headache and leaves Stephen King speechless. Compounding their culpability with their incompetence, they try to hide the evidence.

The Republican Senate by clocking out took a baseball bat to the knees of our economy. Their attempt to be miserly trying to save that old world they refuse to accept no longer exists. We can’t give you water to put out the fire because there might be another fire someday but we’re perfectly willing to negotiate redecorating the White House and adding to the defense budget. Alice Through the Looking Glass madness, abandoning reality. “Let them eat cake!”

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