The Miasmic Fog of Contagion: Anger Management and Cell Videos

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Given the intransigence of a large number of citizens of the Palmetto State,[1] it seems that it might be quite a while before the miasmic fog of contagion lifts and we can return to a state approaching normalcy, e.g., being able to shake hands during an introduction, whisper an off-color comment into the ear of a barstool companion, or share a hookah with a couple of just-off-the-boat mariners at your friendly neighborhood opium den.

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It’s predictable that so many refuse to wear masks given the irrationality of a substantial number of our citizenry who see freedom as merely a license to do whatever they damn well please, as if American soldiers sacrificed their lives so these troglodytes can rev their unmuffled engines outside your condo at 2 AM, amass an arsenal’s worth of munitions in their basements, keep Bengal tigers as pets, burn barnfuls of autumn leaves during the windiest day of a four-month drought, or scream threatening insults at some senior citizen for suggesting that they follow protocol and cover their faces.

It seems that the Covid-19 contagion has also engendered a pandemic of anger.  Although I only follow a mere 304 folks on Twitter,[2] my feed for the last month has been inundated with videos of white people blowing fuses, or to use a less dated locution – losing their shit – over various perceived slights: most recently, ever-looping reiterations of a short-fused red-faced Allstate agent whose simian presentation makes it look like he’s  being attacked by a pack of rabid coyotes rather than some old biddy not minding her own business.[3]

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I guess the good news is that Little Brother and Sister, armed with their cell phones, are not only watching, but also recording. They seem to be doing a much better job than Big Brother himself, who somehow was nodding when Jeffrey Epstein expired in his prison cell. Perhaps the ubiquity of videos documenting people urinating outside or kicking their neighbor’s dog or using the incorrect fork while eating salads will force people to behave better.

And so, as Kurt Vonnegut famously put it, it goes.

Wouldn’t it be nice, however, if we, like South Korea or Germany, could exercise some self-restraint so we could get back to our old lives. The way it’s going, by the time the second wave hits, collegiate sports might be as passé as college students cramming into phone booths or desperados donning bandanas to hide their faces.

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Excuse me, I have to go. The Major League Baseball Network is rebroadcasting Game 7 of the 1963 World Series.


[1] That’s South Carolina, if you happen to be reading this from Mongolia. (Don’t laugh; in the six years I’ve been publishing this blog, I’ve had three bits from Mongolia, one this year in fact).

[2] BTW, feel free to follow me @rusleymo

[3] If I chided everyone I saw not wearing a mask, I would have lost my voices weeks ago.