Life during the time of covid the Great

April 4, 2020 by Lucian Mogosanu

No, seriously... and jokingly too, why not; The Tar Pit is a place of humour of all kinds, types and sorts: dark, light, aqueous, vitreous, spurious, piteous and... wait, how come piteous, you wonder? Well, tell me then, what would your life be without piteousness? Do you also intend to take happiness out of it while you're there, or what?

But seriously now, let's go through this little thought experiment: how do you think history books will look a decade or two from now? How will they write of covid? Will they describe him, yes, him, as a great warrior? one more ruthless than Genghis, Attila, Vlad, Adolf and Mao put together? "He ripped our assholes so badly that we couldn't even get out of our homes for a good while", is that how the story goes? What words will your kids read looking at the mother-state-issued pieces of paper labeled "history book"? I for one am convinced that "the time of covid the Great" makes as good a title as any, for a bad history book at least. Yes, small C, capital G, what the fuck, you'd better quote this exactly as written in the good tarpitian rulebook, or else fuck your mother's dry cunt with a rod, the wooden kind with an abrasive surface, no smooth varnish or anything. Anyway...

I woke up this morning, recalling that it had occured to me yesterday that I have a blog, that is, a web-log, that is, a sort of journal for my thoughts and whatnot. So I thought, why not just take a blank sheet of paper and fill it with whatever comes to mind? I used to do this kind of thing back in ye days of yore, and while I can agree that most of the time no great literature comes out of this, at the very least it was and still is fun. So tell me, who, or rather what took the fun out of blogging all of a sudden? Did the Department of Blogging issue a special decree stating that blogging should involve at most 31.72% amount of fun? No it didn't, so let's #putthefunbackinblogging already! I don't know, man, I was already too old for this hash-tagging thing when the kids started doing it.

It so happens that these past few weeks I followed the news more (attentively) than usual. I won't bother you with the details, I just tend to do this from time to time, about once a couple of years by the looks of it, or otherwise every time some shit hits the fan.

So let's take a cursory look at what's "in the news". Say, on the 27th of March we have:

Europe Tracks Residents' Phones for Coronavirus Research

Many European telecommunications companies are sharing mobile location data with governments to follow people's movements after coronavirus lockdowns, focusing on compliance with privacy rules by anonymizing the data.

Such agreements have cropped up in Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries.

Long story short, we're being informed that mobile phone companies are now doing what they've been doing all along, i.e. spying on the masses, as if that ever achieved anything. The rest of the article provides extra lulz through a lot of derping around on the subjects of anonymity, "GDPR" and so on. In other words, the end of the world is here and some idiots are hell-bent on clinging to their bureaucratic nonsense that doesn't matter and never mattered, as a matter of fact.

Moving on:

Why America has the world's most confirmed Covid-19 cases

(CNN) -- On Thursday, we hit a grim watershed. The US overtook Italy and China as the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. This is a dire crisis and an extraordinary failure of President Donald Trump. Americans are suffering and dying because the Trump administration failed to act quickly and decisively to prevent the virus' spread. The US has now seen about 1,195 deaths and the number is rising rapidly.

On Thursday, the US saw an increase of more than 15,000 cases in one day -- a shocking surge that can be explained by both the spread of the virus and increased testing after weeks of shortages -- pushing the total number of confirmed cases over 82,000. China, in comparison, has reported 81,285 cases.

This was also published on March 27, by the way. Meanwhile, about a week later, I hear that the total number of covid-related deaths in the US has gone well past seven thousand. In the lulz department, the "news article" informs us that America's in this shitty situation because of Trump's that or the other. It couldn't possibly that they're filthy and stupid, no, I'm sure Trump's to take all the blame. Rușine domnu' Iohanis, HUOOOOOO!

Meanwhile, just one day later:

As the rest of Europe lives under lockdown, Sweden keeps calm and carries on

Universities and upper secondary schools have been closed, and on Friday, the government tightened the ban on events to limit them to no more than 50 people. But if you develop symptoms, you can still go back to work or school just two days after you are 'symptom-free' . If a parent starts showing symptoms, they're allowed to continue to send their children to school.

It has only been in the past couple of days that the death toll has started to increase significantly, rising by a third in a single day on Thursday and Friday, with 92 people now dead and 209 in intensive care. As he announced the tighter restrictions on Friday, the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, warned that the coming weeks and months would be tough.

But he defended the decision not to implement the tighter restrictions seen in Denmark, France and the UK. "We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can't legislate and ban everything," he said. "It is also a question of commonsense behaviour."

It is, isn't it? To be honest, I'm quite surprised to see this argument coming from one of the most socialist countries in the world. Then again, I'm not up to date with Swedish politics, nor have my contacts there given any signs of life, I don't know what the fuck. Plus, I'm not sure this state of affairs will last all that long, I hear some idiots are petitioning for harsher measures.

Harsher measures like what? The great Romanian lockdown? Lemme tell you, no one gives a shit about that, they'll just fill in the required papers and go attend to their queues and "îmbulzeală" as usual. Yes, they're now more paranoidized by the aggressive propaganda, and in all the wrong ways too; for example, I hear paying in cash is now "wrong, mmkay kids?", except I've just seen on TV that postmen in the country still deliver pensions in cash, because really... have you ever seen baba Leana use "contactless"? Otherwise yes, I've heard -- and this time not on fucking television -- sane people getting publicly humiliated while attempting to use cash. Fucking nuts, what else can I say, Romanians and their "țară ca afară" nonsense.

Speaking of which: meanwhile, in that other Sweden:

Could coronavirus end the Swiss love affair with cash?

While Switzerland has a strong and enduring love for cash, as reported in the Swiss news outlet Le Temps, hygiene concerns relating to the coronavirus could permanently change this.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressly said card payments -- particularly contactless card payments -- should be encouraged as a means of halting the spread of the virus.

Swiss smartphone payment system Twint has seen a 50 percent increase in use since mid-March.

Twint, which is used to make payments as well as to transfer money electronically between members of the public, is now being accepted by more and more businesses.

Swiss daily 20 Minutes reported that several shops in the capital of Bern have asked customers to "pay in cash for health reasons", while the Zurich association for small-to-medium enterprises has said its members have seen significant increases in popularity of cash payments.

Sure, let's omit why the Swiss prefer cash to all that other "I can't believe it's not money" stuff, and instead focus on how some anonymous start-up is enjoying a moment in the spotlight. No matter; by early 2016, the younger ones among the Swiss were already deeply fucked in the head, all wrapped up in their "apps", entirely out of sync with reality and all that jazz; so by 2020 I'm guessing there's nothing left there. I swear, I would have stayed in "enchanted Lausanne, Switzerland", if only their old ones had beaten their stupid kids back when they needed it.

Anyway, on the 31st of March we also get to read:

Coronavirus and the Dawn of Post-Democratic Europe

The dismantling of Hungary's democracy by the country's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his Fidesz party has occurred piece by piece over the past 10 years. Orban began by sidelining opposition media and undermining the independence of Hungary's judiciary, before pressing further by circumscribing the work of watchdog organizations and waging a nasty propaganda and legal war against Central European University, founded by the philanthropist George Soros. The European Union reprimanded Orban along the way, but his party proceeded to design election laws ensuring that in the country's most recent general election in 2018, Fidesz's 49 percent of the vote translated into nearly 70 percent of the seats in parliament—a supermajority that completely disempowers the paltry, divided opposition.

I believe this to be the right move, by the way, for multiple reasons into which I won't go here for the lack of time and space. Suffice it to say that it should be clear to anyone thinking with their own head -- as opposed to Pravda's, or whatever -- that this democracy thing dun really work, in fact it hasn't really worked for decades now.

Look at the US for example: do you really think that Trump's victory over Clinton did anything? No, really, do me a favour and sit for a bit, look back at the electoral debates in 2016 and compare what you thought then with what's now; these things are very easy to brush aside, aren't they? especially when the "media" you're following is so set on de- and recontextualizing everything to fit some narrative they've just come up with. Now tell me: do you think the US and A would have been in a better place in the year 2020, had Clinton been elected? perhaps it would have been worse off? I may be very naïve, but I think it would have been in the same spot, plus-minus some political and social aspects, plus-minus some time. The way I see it, everything from the "electoral debates" to other various Trumpian public actions are pure circus, of the "altă mărie cu aceeași pălărie" ilk. Again, maybe I'm naïve, or maybe I'm trying (too) hard to see things for what they are, rather than what this-or-that publications says they are.

Either way, I don't think this aspect is specific to the US, in fact I see this style of politics applied everywhere in so-called democratic countries. For example I see the reds and the blues taking turns "leading" the Romanian government, much like the "cadre rotation" back in the communist days. However, nothing essential changes when the reds take over from the blues, nor the other way around. The last dude they brought in to be a prime minister refused because he was scared shitless of this whole covid thing, so they had to bring back the dude before him; yeah, I'm sure they all "had strategies", really, can't you see the lulz pouring out in waves?

So really, let's cut the whole pretense already. There's nothing left to democracy, it's run its course and now it's beyond ready to be buried.

And in other sad news of swift plunges into nothingness:

The Dow and S&P 500 just logged the worst start to a quarter in history as investors brace for 'very, very painful' weeks of coronavirus

The stock market on Wednesday started the second quarter nearly the same way it ended March, with bruising losses.

A resumption of declines to commence the first trading day in April, or the second quarter, for already-battered equity gauges, resulted in the worst start to a quarter for stock-market bulls ever.

For the broad-market S&P 500 index, its decline of 4.44% represents the index's worst first day of any quarter on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The index was created in 1957, to put things into perspective.

Rank/Worst S&P 500 % change Date
1 -4.32 July 1, 1896
2 -4.21 Jan. 2, 1932
3 -3.52 Jan. 2, 1904
4 -2.82 April 1, 1898
5 -2.74 April 1, 1929
Source: Dow Jones Market Data

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, logged its worst start to the first three months in a calendar year in its 124-year history, managing to exceed a 4.32% decline put in to start the third quarter of 1896.

Rank/Worst DJIA % change Date
1 -4.32 July 1, 1896
2 -4.21 Jan. 2, 1932
3 -3.52 Jan. 2, 1904
4 -2.82 April 1, 1898
5 -2.74 April 1, 1929
Source: Dow Jones Market Data

The Dow on Wednesday closed 974 points, or 4.44%, lower to 20,944, the S&P 500 tumbled 114 points, or 4.41%, to 2,470.50, while The Nasdaq Composite closed 340 points, or 4.41%, lower to 7,360.

Looks quite sad, doesn't it? By the way, does TV report this data, or is it too much for the feeble-minded orcs? Either way, I'm curious, how are you reading this? Is it that the market indexes went down because markets went down because of covid the Great? Or is it rather the case that covid the Great revealed a pile of filth hidden under the rug for the last few decades or so? Y'know, I also read some "news" about how the EU is going down, except I'm not going to link it because I already called it back in 2017. So tell me then, how the fuck is all this news to you?

In any case, welcome back to the beginning of last century, we hope you like it here.

We conclude our journalistic escapade with the following piece, from April the 3rd:

Coronavirus live updates: New York City morgues are almost full amid mounting death toll

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than a million people across the globe, a quarter of whom are in the United States.

The new respiratory virus, which causes an illness known officially as COVID-19, has spread to dozens of countries on every continent except Antarctica since it was first detected in China last December. More than 219,000 people diagnosed with the disease worldwide have recovered, while over 55,000 have died, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

With more than 245,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, the U.S. has by far the highest national tally in the world. At least 6,068 people in the U.S. have died from the disease.

Oh, well... Haha, well!

I'll have you know that I also wrote a counterpart to this article, that approaches this whole thing, that is, the thing that you're reading about here, presupposing it's a thing at all, from a more philosophical point of view. It's still in a draft form, perhaps it would have been better to publish it as early as March 25, except I didn't for some not-examined reason. Well, I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to see the light of interwebs; I wrote it because the ideas rushed from my subconscious into the conscious mind, not because they make any sense. We'll see, I guess.

By the way, do you remember that time, starting roughly in 2001, when "terrorism" was a big deal? I do, and please correct me if I'm wrong: the narrative said something along the lines of a threat from outside, a threat to the country, we're not exactly sure which one, but sure; and to democracy, to "our" values and way of life. Nowhere in this narrative was mentioned the fact that this reveals a weakness in "our democracy" and its values and so on; but "we" were assured that there'd be a battle against this enemy and the boys, the heroes would selflessly wage it to defend democracy, its values, etcaetera. Well, at some point the narrative changed from "defending democracy" to "spreading democracy all across the universe", but we'll leave this particular fascist bit aside.

Now, it looks like the narrative goes very similarly: there's still a threat, only now its location isn't so clearly delineated and the target isn't necessarily a country, except the details are at least as vague as before. Nowhere in this narrative are mentioned the weaknesses which led us to this sad situation; but we're assured that the heroes with masks are fighting the threat, who knows, maybe they'll win until summer comes? Or wait, was that the winter? I don't know.

Putting these two side by side, I keep wondering: when did the word "terrorism" go away? Fucking hell, man, you're sitting there, forcefully isolated in your home, listening to a bunch of assorted dudes and dudettes yammering all day long about the threat; are you not terrorized yet, or what? Then I also wonder, whatever happened to the "old" terrorists? Are they not in fashion anymore? Let me guess, did ISIL take a break from destroying Western civilization, seeing how covid is so effective? Or is it rather that your beloved "media", providing totally non-toxic facts, is letting you see just the parts it wants you to? I don't know, I'm asking you, honestly, do you think I'm sitting here, dick in my hand, doing rhetorics for the sake of bullshit?

I don't know, that's the whole point. I might have mentioned Orwell a few times here, but only because he's the more popular among the prophets, so maybe we'll have a common item to relate to. Remember when I told you that Freedom is Slavery? And that language is nowadays employed as a political tool by the new soviets? What about the time when I nagged you about Gilliam's crisp clear view of the broken future to come? Or how Vonnegut predicted exactly how engineers will fuck the world up. Or... do you get the idea, did something click inside that skull of yours yet?

I hope we understand each other.

I'm told by the more pedantic among my readers that I'm abusing language on many levels. For one, my phrasing is, how do you say "întortocheat"? there, I just did it again, it seems that I have plenty of work on my plate towards fixing that. As for the other, I'm told that I have too many footnotes lieing about and the non-linearity makes it a bitch to peruse my articles. I am therefore taking note of this and, as you may have noticed, this piece is structured (by and large) linearly, so I hope it makes reading much more enjoyable for you.

On the other hand fuck it, how is language of any use if it can't take a good abuse?

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2 Responses to “Life during the time of covid the Great”

  1. [...] said somewhere in a previous article that I have somewhere a draft where I philosophize on... well, the world, at least as much as my feeble mind can [...]

  2. [...] supposing, very limited. I can't say I have a very deep insight into present-day politics, nor does the press help any in deciphering the truth, yet for some reason it came to me this morning, yet [...]

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