The article should have been titled “The Horror of Having Doctors who Are Total Neurotics.” A romanticization of showy, aggressive neuroticism is what this COVID response is all about. People will forgive you anything if you let them feel like very special cookies who have power over life and death (“stay home, save lives” is one obvious example).
I feel great pity for people who are in the process of being made unnecessary by the neoliberal transformation of the economy yet are so clueless that they believe they are in a position to make outlandish demands:
Ladies. You are about to be made permanently redundant. You should be in a mad dash to the workplace before everybody figures out how to do without you.
I’m having a bastard of a day. Had terrible insomnia tonight and tried working from home to save energy on dressing and makeup. But my home internet decided it’s fucking 1994 and started working with the speed of that era.
I dragged myself into office and discovered I need to undergo 3 more training webinars in addition to the other 2 I’ve been postponing for weeks.
The publisher of my book is giving me hell.
And I’ve gained weight. Eating chocolate covered bananas at midnight would do that to you. In case anyone wondered, I conducted an experiment and the results are in.
On top of everything, a very old friend sent me a novel he’s written. There are few words that terrify a literary critic more than “here’s a novel I wrote.” The only thing worse is “here’s some poetry I wrote.”
In a mood darker than the chocolate covered bananas of my perdition, I opened the friend’s novel and… it’s good. It’s actually very good. Like in, “fuck those webinars, I’m going home to read” good.
Life is worth living again.
On the positive side, I now regularly get text messages from people who are college professors in the Humanities saying things like, “great Tucker today! Did you watch? It was so cool when he…”
When Tucker was on vacation last week, I even got a couple of texts from said college professors angrily enquiring what happened to Tucker, like I’m the producer or something.
Even a year ago, these same people would have rather eaten crushed glass than be caught consuming any news to the right of Roxane Gay. And now they are developing a secret curiosity as to what the world outside the White Fragility bookclub looks like.
I read about Spain’s corona-madness for three hours yesterday. Gosh, we are super normal in comparison. The Spanish government went completely nuts.
There were stories about people renting out their dogs at €5 an hour to the neighbors who wanted a legal pretext to leave the apartment for 10 minutes a day. Of course, the police caught on soon and started demanding that dog walkers produce pet ownership paperwork.
There were stories about people required to sanitize their hands and then wear medical gloves on top of that before entering a supermarket.
There were also stories about police stopping people in the streets to ask for proof of residence to see if the supermarket they were going to was really the closest one to their home.
There were stories of people being fined for making too small a purchase at a supermarket to qualify them for an emergency shopping trip permission.
Of course, there was a reason why the Spanish government was putting on this dog and pony show. The goal was, as usual, to get a large payout from the EU. Ukraine played this game, too, although a lot less convincingly, and also got a sizeable handout.
We are very lucky in the US that our ‘rona-circus is only about our sincere nuttiness and doesn’t involve us performing for the benefit of some large outside bureaucracy that can give us money. We are honest nutjobs, not sleazy beggars and nutjobs all at once.
I was certain that QAnon was a dumb, if harmless, conspiracy theory. But Twitter is banning it. Which can only mean there’s some truth to it.
This wonderful feeling when you avoid reading your FB feed for months because everybody you know has gone corona-nuts and then suddenly discover that your favorite FB personality is corona-normal and has a whole backlog of smart coronanalysis going back months.
P.S. And she’s also normal on the “mostly peaceful protesters”! I’m in paradise.
P.P.S. And she moved to Spain, so there are tons of photos of Spain.
P.P.P.S. Please don’t ask who this is. She’s obviously not an English speaker.
Continue reading “Corona-normal”