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.
Most people don”t really care about others dying, not even their own kind, let alone other race. Ukraine villagers stone their own people returning from the Princess, blocking them to quarantine near their village. Hong Kongers protest and not allowing Mainlanders to eat in their restuarants. I watch the news, I hope COVID19 get contained, but I don’t really have any feelings about the dying numbers. I watch Trump, I watch Putin, but I really don’t give a damn about middle east. (well, I admit I don’t understand any of it and I don’t intent to) Does that make me callous and apathetic, I don’t know. What do make my blood boil are those so called Chinese traditions: killing animals in the name of medicine, eating animals because they are exotic. I feel so ashamed and angry because I belong to the same race but at the same time I get angry when I see blatant racism. World is not perfect, I live the best I could.
you must know you are looking at a berg, when even Jean Vanier makes the “ metoo” bad guy list.
Next we’ll hear mother Theresa left billions of brothel returns in a Swiss acct
religion is the source of all evil.
Scott Peck opined that unconsciousness is the root of all evil. And, of course, religion is predicated on faith and belief rather than consciousness. So…there is a link, I suppose. But it is also true that you can be religious and conscious but then you are most likely a lapsed Catholic, a reformed Jew or a ‘spiritualist’ (me). It is hard to be religious and think for yourself. I believe in God. Know that God exists in some kind of form but, whatever form it truly is, is nothing like what religion says it is. I have always said, “Religion is to God what Safeway is to food.” Just a marketing arm that has been corrupted. But that does not mean we do not need food or that food is not good for us. The two are very separate.
I appreciate your honesty. Mine, too, but I worked up to it to write, “I didn’t care all that much”.
And please do not be ashamed of your race. Or your culture. That culture evolved over eons many times. Huge challenges. There is no single Xi to point a finger at. The Chinese culture is very likely the longest civilized culture in history. If you must be critical, be critical of the culture, not the race. The race is nothing. It is just skin colour, nose shape and a few eccentric diseases like Sickle Cell anemia or near-sightedness. Of course it SHOWS up as race (physical traits) but whatever is showing up is way more likely culture rather than race. Mind you, I am biased. I admire the Chinese/Confucian way. It works very well – especially right in front of my eyes while living in Hong Kong. But I can’t live like that. Harmony is NOT what I aspire to. Freedom is way higher on my list. And I literally balk at order and hierarchy.
As for the stupid animal thing…? That can be taught. That should be taught. We can point to Xi on that. Just as Xi and the previous ‘wised up’ to their environment, they can learn to leave the animals alone. I am pretty sure bats will be given a bit of a reprieve for a while.
Actually nobody eats bat in China, its a south Asian thing. they do eat Pangolins, Paguma,use bear bile for who knows what. My point is some of these traditions suck, even though others are ok.
Agreed. But I thought they traced the virus back to infected bats having been sold at the ‘wet market’ in Wuhan?
‘’And THAT is our politics today.” To be clear yesterday, today and tomorrow! ‘Same shite different day.’ SSDD is a meme. Bobble, bobble who has got the bobble. It not about distraction, it is about attention span. It is often said that money is the root of evil but more correctly put it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Why did Vandals sack Rome 2000 years ago? They did it for the money. Who loves money more than Trump…Is it Putin or those who value an oil sands mine larger than Vancouver City in area and have signed on to its construction for the money.
Well, I share your rage on that and will offer a subtle observation. It is NOT ONLY the love of money, it is also the nature of money that is at the root of evil. Money is, in fact, a tool of evil. Let me explain that: if I do something nice or considerate or even better-than-you-can-do-for-yourself, you say thanks. We have a relationship. We may even become friends but, at the every least, I am now listed in your books as ‘NOT SO BAD’.
But, if I do something for you and you pay me for that, we then have no relationship. The money cut us off. “That deal is over.”
I may be thought of as a reliable service provider but you are not likely to even remember my name. So, in that sense, the mere transaction killed any relationship.
When I was in Vancouver, I charged $300 an hour to weave my dispute resolution magic. And people paid. But I never charged for the ‘humanity’ part of my work. Extra hours on the phone, going for a walk around the block, helping out the best I could was never part of my billing – no matter how long it took. Basically I would charge for the 8 hours ‘in the office’ but not the ‘other’ eight to twenty hours that came with it. How can you? Some of those clients (once the pro bono stuff kept coming) became friends.
Make a note: Kearney Funeral Homes in Vancouver operates that way. My friend, who owns it says, “When I am called to a family to arrange a funeral I never say a word about money, time or business issues at all. I just talk with them about their loss and wait til they ask. “How long have you had to do that? Worst case?” “Well, I remember this one widow who had me come by three times. I remember another that sat and talked for eight hours. You simply cannot rush that kind of thing. They need the time, so I give it.”
Fountain Tire in Comox did something similar for me. See past blog.
I am not a NUT. I know that money has a place. It works. But it is NOT all good. Nor is it a ‘neutral medium’. Money has a character all it’s own and a lot of it is counter to being a decent human being living with other human beings. Money is ugly.
“But, we NEED MONEY to live!”
Yes and no. Not really. Admittedly, we need money to live in this MODERN, GLOBAL world but many, many tribes and third worlders live on pennies with the bulk of their economy being subsistence farming and ‘gathering’. No Mercedes Benz but plenty of life. And much of that ‘life’ is very rewarding with closer families and closer to nature and all that. Is THAT what I want? No. I’d die relying on subsistence farming. I NEED a good pizza now and then. And scotch. But that is not the point. The point is that money is NOT the reason to live. Nor is it in the top 10. Go OTG and you’ll find that out at a very personal level.
Perhaps my post should have included the caveat regarding avarice. I might have mentioned its place in the constellation of deadly sins. The soul sucking ones. The aphorism might be more
clearly stated as the ‘love of avarice is the root of all evil. Money has a purpose as you state but avarice, and greed are Trumpian. Did I mention lust; ‘they let you do what you want you know grab them by the…!
I guess it is only natural to not feel much concern about a natural occurrence, such as a pandemic. After all, there are so many natural disasters all the time in the world. The victims are usually people we don’t know, from far away places, and not likely to come anywhere close to us or involve anyone that we know. And really, what can we do about it? Especially being involved in things closer to home such as caring for convalescing loved ones. I understand that.
It is easy to look at the novel coronavirus as the controlled press or media portrays it and just say
“ho-hum, sorry for those people, let’s turn the page, see what else is news here”?
If, on the other hand we look closer at it? Deeper down the rabbit hole, so to speak, and find there
is a lot more to this? Well, hmmm. I guess I have to always be the nut case conspiracy theorist
(It doesn’t faze me to be called that here. I’m thick skinned..). So I’m going to just share (2) links here (to web page articles) for anyone willing to look down that rabbit hole. Or you can just throw rotten fruit and hiss and call me “conspiracy theorist”. Either way, I’m fine with that.