A lot of folks suffered from the Coronavirus and I watched and listened. I was even interested. Very interested, in fact. Pandemics are fascinating.
Kinda distracting, too, when you think about it.
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really care all that much about the actual people. I cared. Of course I cared. But not THAT much. I cared more about Coronavirus victims than I do about Harry and Megan and their Windsor-family troubles, for instance. But less than I care about people with cancer. Way less than I care about kids with cancer.
Recently, I found that I cared a lot more about seniors having knee replacements….staying focused is NOT my strong suit. Like most people, distraction works on me. And, like most people, distraction is working FOR someone else, too. Slight of hand – the ultimate con.
And I was distracted. I was being fed more ‘fear’. Pandemics! YIKES!
But, you know…flu kills…some flus kill more, some less…blah, blah, blah….I know that is NOT a very nice thing to say. But, you know how it is….a guy feels what he feels and he doesn’t feel what he doesn’t feel. I really didn’t FEEL the fear. I watched it but I was not all that empathetic. Shoulda. Coulda. Wasn’t.
Perspective, maybe. News cycle, probably. Thick skin, perhaps? Thirty to 40,000 people die every year in car accidents in North America alone. Worldwide, 50,000 die from normal flu! I’ll bet the number of gang shootings and deaths is close to that. Some tragedies are written into the annals of human existence no matter what. Flu? A natural event, force majeure.
The news cycle? News is entertainment. It sells. It’s a business. It can be true. It can be false. It is always ‘packaged’ for consumption. And it is built on ‘making up a story’ whether there really is one or not.
Thick skin? Like scar tissue, thick skin helps you NOT to feel every story intimately. It’s a defense mechanism and it biases your thinking.
Perspective: it is a callous-but-learned view but it is kinda how I feel after 72 years of media exposure.
But could it be more than that? Was I feeling something more? Was that my intuition whispering…something?
The three influences together? …..the makings of a mark.
The horrors of the war in Syria are being revisited in the region. THAT is purely man’s inhumanity to man. Syria is just plain ugly, stupid politics. But I was distracted from it for a bit… The ‘West’ checked out of Syria (Trump) and now the evil (Turkey/Russia) rises there again…(funny how that topic just slipped off the radar just as the invasion was underway)
Coronavirus doesn’t FEEL evil, it just feels like ‘a natural disaster’ like a volcano or an earthquake. The natural world. But Syria feels evil. Especially since it was the direct result of a Putin/Trump collusion.
I dunno….I’m just tellin’ it like it is for me. And wondering if I am a cold-hearted bastard or maybe I have just been fooled by yet another political slight of hand? And here is the part that makes me wonder about my own soul: I still feel more about the evil that is Trump than I do about Coronavirus. How sick is that?
Stay with me, here…no more about Trump…..(well, there is a bonus at the end)…
Yet another example of a distraction (CBC style): some poor old 96 year old was ‘screwed over’ by Air Canada and the Canadian government when he tried to return ‘home’ from a funeral he attended in Jamaica. Now THAT really ticked me off. I was actually feeling more outrage over that! I was ready to get off on yet another tangent. “I do not care what safety-crap-babble they say to justify that, a 96 year old man is no threat. Rant, rant, rant!”
Hell, that story made me madder than Syria*.
AAAaaaaannnnnddddddd I was distracted again……!!!!!
Crazy mental exercise undertook: what mentally/emotionally/physically disturbs you the most? In Sal’s case the answer would be ‘anytime a person is cruel to an animal’, she is made crazy by that. I think she could shoot people who hurt puppies and kittens. Me? Just about everything drives me crazy. My feelings almost always runneth over. I am way too easy to fool. Mind you, I am NOT alone.
And that’s why I noticed a diminished ‘feeling’ on Coronavirus.
So: we cannot ‘care’ about all the wrongs in the world. We might want to. We might think we should. But we don’t – because we do not have the capacity, personally. We can’t HANDLE IT ALL. We need to focus. But – and here’s the point (finally): Crooks rely on that. Bad guys rely on that! Lying, deception, subterfuge, dissembling and even smoke and mirrors are all part of their criminal tool kit. And THAT is our politics today.
Please do NOT misunderstand me. Trump did not create Coronavirus. A bat did. I know that. But, OMG, did Coronavirus help his causes or what? Every ‘distracting story’ helps his cause. Coronavirus is a REAL story. I know that. But I can only grasp so much, handle so much, care about so much and the flu is NOT my biggest issue. It may come to that. But it ain’t there yet.
Trump and Putin are here now. We have to FOCUS on that!!
I should just care about the environment. Then Sal. Then my kids. Then Tyranny. But I guess I just relate more easily to an old man in an airport simply trying to go home than I do all the other nonsense. Not fair. Not smart! I am too easily distracted. But the politicians rely on that.
Or: I could just be a cold-hearted bastard – or I could be just another citizen-dupe?
*this asterisk is a warning: the next few sentences are Trump related. Trump becomes president. He makes nice with Russia and Turkey. Russia had just annexed hugely valued parts of Ukraine and then moved to get involved in Syria. Turkey moved against the resident Kurds (who were, in the past, American allies living in the region). Trump pulled out. Turkey moved in. Russia moved in, too. Kurds died. Russia and Turkey now have more territory. Fewer Kurds. Trump holds rallies. Trump golfs. We in the west were not really paying attention…(the US intelligence community was but well, Trump is dismantling that)….this may not be the most sophisticated plan for tyranny but Trump has our attention elsewhere while Putin rolls on in the background.