It’s highly unusual for a new president to address Congress within his first year, much less his first hundred days. With a near-deserted hall (thanks to COVID) in a fortified building surrounded by heavily armed riot police and not a few National Guardsmen, tonight’s address made history in several ways.
What wasn’t unusual was the content. Although it was delivered in an almost informal, folksy style, we heard exactly what we expected to. The tone was optimistic, and the message was clear: Biden laid out his agenda for the coming months, and he expects to make it happen. How, exactly, is another question entirely.
The entire point of calling this “The Not Fake News” is to address commonly held misconceptions wherever they exist — “commonly held” because there’s no benefit to disproving something nobody believes in anyway, and “misconceptions” because there’s already a huge chorus of media outlets all voicing the same truths, so who needs one more?
In the past, people were obliging enough to present memes that could easily be demonstrated as false. However, now that our social media corporations are taking those down almost as quickly as they go up, it’s difficult to capture one long enough to dissect it, much less to spread the actual truth behind the meme. The danger of this is that rumors are started by that first glimpse, but without permanence there’s no space for discussion or disproof. Even the original poster won’t be sure what it was they started off trying to say.
“Okay, fine. But why is that my fault?” I can hear you thinking this, perhaps a bit angrily, suspecting some sort of bait-and-switch. Don’t worry, it’s still your fault.
Oh, not the virus. That’s nature; that’s what nature does. There’s a reason we invented doors and windows and walls and things; it’s because otherwise nature will kill us. Plagues are just one of the more colorful weapons in its arsenal.
No, what’s your fault is that society has been continuing blithely along (more…)
The natural next step to this reasoning has dawned on some of you — the ones who are still reading, who haven’t moved on in horror and self-loathing, or alternately who aren’t so pissed off at me they’ve dropped their subscription (or would have done if only they’d not been too cheap to pay for one in the first place).
What I’m talking about isn’t a matter of fighting COVID-19 so much as it is sweeping cultural change of a sort that’s not merely necessary but long overdue. The fact that we’re in a crisis right now only makes it more obvious that our society is seriously broken; it’s not like it wasn’t broken before the virus came along.
In China, they halted the spread by shooting people who broke curfew. Doors were locked for months, and if you went hungry, too damn bad. It still got out because there’s a privileged upper class that habitually ignores the laws, and now there’s new outbreaks because it’s a sneaky bastard of a virus, but for a while it worked.
In New Zealand, they beat the epidemic by sealing the borders. Anyone that came in was put up in a hotel room for three weeks and tested repeatedly, and health care workers lived in quarantine. But they did well primarily through stopping it at a few dozen cases at a time.
(Editor’s Note: This is closing on 3000 words and growing, and even the best rants start losing people around the 1500 mark, so I’m chopping it into its component parts. Expect further installments.)
I have evidently been guilty of failing to express myself plainly. To be clear, then: When I say “This is all your fault”, I’m not implying that it might be someone else instead. I blame you.
I’m saying that all this is your fault. You personally. Yes, you, the one reading this right now. I know you don’t believe me, and if you’re starting to… no, it’s too farfetched, and you just think I’m nuts. Too damn bad, because it’s all your fault. You’re the one (more…)
First, the Post reveals that Russia is helping both Sanders and Trump this time around (conveniently just in time for the Nevada Caucuses). Then CNN tells us the threat is greatly exaggerated. Now we’re being told by Fox News that DoD says there’s actually no Russian activity at all, and it’s all a big hoax.
A reasonably intelligent person might well (more…)