Dictatorship?

I have to include some of my retrograde ostrich-ass relatives in this rant. You probably do, too.

Let me begin by pointing out that I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world. I’ve never been to Paris or Hong Kong, but I’ve been to Port-au-Prince, the slums of Lima, the ruins of Mogadishu, and quite a few other places, the memory of which is always in the background when I hear the collective whine of white American suburbanites and small-towners calling social distancing a form of state repression and claiming that a mask to prevent one becoming a vector for a pandemic virus is a form of “dictatorship.” Here’s what I need to say to these folks . . . because I love some of you, and you need to hear it.

You have not one whiff of a clue about what deprivation and despotic state violence means. You’re pampered overindulgent dumb asses couldn’t survive for a week in the same conditions that several billion people around the world live with day in and day out for their whole lives.

And a mask is dictatorship?

In El Salvador, where I worked in 1985, our state allies once went into a village and slaughtered a whole family — mom, dad, and the kids — then cut off their heads, placed the heads on plates around the family table, then positioned the headless bodies in chairs around the table as if they were sitting down to dinner. They even laid out the flatware. This was a joke . . . and an example to the surrounding villagers not to speak out against the venal, criminal pieces of shit who ran the government with massive injections of support from the US of A. Compare that to being told to wear a mask when you go into public spaces.

Yesterday, a towering young man saw my sixty-something wife in a store where she’d gone to pick up some groceries . . . a total stranger . . . and he went right up to her, towering over her, mask-less, getting well within her personal space (and the guidelines for social distancing), and he called her . . . a sheep. Out of the blue, he felt compelled to call her a “sheep” for wearing a mask . . . compelled to intimidate a woman three times his age and half his size.

This is what happens when things begin falling apart. People lose their damn minds.

It doesn’t help, of course, when you tract house denizens who absorb reality online are being pumped full of shit by the head of state and a phalanx of right wing conspiracy nuts. But the dissonance! While ICE agents are literally rounding peaceful people up off the street and keeping children in cages, and while cops are concealing their identities to attack peaceful protestors, you self-pampering knuckleheads are crying “Dictatorship!” over a goddam mask.

We are living in the age of perpetual toddlerhood here in the dying hegemon. We are a decade away from a biospheric tipping point which is accelerating the biggest mass extinction in 65 million years. We are living in a world where we have enough nuclear warheads to destroy ourselves and all life on earth several times over. We are entering the first stage of the nation’s worst economic disaster. We have a pandemic that is still on its first deadly wave, with another one in the wings for Fall. We are watching, again, a massive transfer of wealth from the most vulnerable to the very richest people in the country, even as mass evictions are on deck, and we are seeing historic unemployment. Most of you will feel the effects of all this, and sooner than you think. And you jackasses are calling a mask “tyranny.”

This is the hill you want to die on?

You’re being played like a bass on a hook.

Oh yeah, you’re also endangering yourselves and others. I hope that still matters to you.

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Stan Goff

Author of the books “Hideous Dream,” “Full Spectrum Disorder,” “Borderline,” “Mammon’s Ecology,” and “Tough Gynes.”