Comments

1

The covid-19 pandemic is not a plague, plagues are carried by rats and mosquitos.

2

Cities are where humanity goes to die.

3

A fine thought piece--with much appreciated historical mentions--CM.

5

Democracy is a sham. Voting makes you feel like you’ve made a difference or you’ve been consulted, but in reality, you only picked that person because someone else told you to hold your nose and fill in the oval next to someone you can’t stand in an effort onto defeat the Bad Man.

It’s utter bullshit. Even progressive outlets like The Stranger exist only to bird-dog young people into supporting the establishment, with the hope that over time as they become preoccupied with work and saving up for retirement they will become increasingly technocratic, since the economic system is such that the older you get the more a radical disruption of the economy appears to harm your chances of a secure income in your old age. It’s one thing if you’re 20 and your bills are paid for by either student loans you won’t have to worry about until graduation or your parents. By the time you hit 50, your capacity to keep a roof over your head increasingly depends on the stock market. Social Security doesn’t pay enough to allow anyone to survive, even in the cheapest housing markets, and pensions don’t exist anymore, so it’s your 401K or nothing, which makes anything that could cause a downturn (such as electing a socialist) seem threatening.

People throw that old Churchill quote out a lot as evidence that conservatism is a sign of maturity. It isn’t, it’s a sign that you’re old enough to be utterly screwed if anyone changes anything significant. This is why the periods in our economic history when we’ve been most in favor of the free market have corresponded with times when we had a top heavy population pyramid.

The real economic disruptor is now COVID, because if that succeeds in killing off the over 60 population, the majority will in fact be quite young, and will have less to lose from a major economic reform than the very old do.

We ant rely on electoral campaigns or socialist +abdicates to change things. The system is such that Bernie and Warren only serve to draw younger voters in, only to have their candidates drop out before the finish line and endorse more conservative candidates in an Fort to funnel those yo)never voters into the establishment. Hold your nose and vote for the guy who made it impossible to discharge your student loans via bankruptcy. It’s even more reasonable because a socialist told you to do it. And if you don’t, the Bad Man will win, and it’ll be all your fault. Dan Savage will spend years bitching about the Green Party just to make you feel bad for not voting for Biden.

It’s all bullshit. You’re being conned, we were all conned. Sanders never intended to win. We got used.

Vote for COVID-19, the only real hope you’ve got of any real change.

6

@1 I see plenty of anthropomorphic bloodsucking vermin.

8

I Have Covid-19 and I Told the Rich Second Home Owners, by a Sign

(they don't care)

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/13/1936869/-I-Have-Covid-19-and-I-Told-the-Rich-Second-Home-Owners-by-a-Sign

9

@5. Bernie dropped out because he knew that continued voting in the primaries this time would endanger voters. He had to put his faith in passing the baton forward to the movement he made and we need to make the necessary changes from the bottom up by filling municipalities and state seats with socialists. The boomers will never put in anyone with that title because they have been conditioned against it since the Red Scare, even as they ironically allow an ex-KGB agent to puppet our administration by allying itself with the fringe white nationalist nutjobs and multinational wall street criminal corporate crony sellouts who will take profits over their own people. Our elections are only going to move if we stand up for the principles and put action behind our words. If I have to run I will, but I need more expertise. Then again, maybe I don't; we have the lowest common denominator of chumps holding the highest offices in the land because they were born with a sense of superiority. I'm sick of taking my orders from these pieces of shit. They can go fuck themselves sideways.

10

7,

I’m not as much into fandom as you are. I’m not saying fandom is a bad thing, it’s just not my thing. Merely quoting someone else’s creative work rather than originating your own is kind of like spending your whole life in cover bands and never writing your own material.

What I’d rather offer you is this: this system is a scam, the electoral process isn’t going to bring about change ever. The anarchism on the right would have you believe that capitalism (a genuinely anarchic economic model) produces the best distribution of wealth, while the anarchism of the left would have you believe that throwing a brick through a Starbucks window in Westlake will end global capitalism. Neither proposition makes any sense whatever. Both anarchism would have you believe that you alone as an individual are better represented than you could be in any group, and this puts each of us as lone individuals against the state, and we will be crushed if we ever try to do anything that could actually harm the state. Examples on the right include Ruby Ridge and Waco, and examples on the Left are the Black Bloc kids who get arrested every year and thrown into the prison system to have their lives ruined. Individualism leaves you so weak and disempowered that the state will crush anyone who poses a real threat to it. Yet, to perpetuate that individualism, we are sold this ideology of one person one vote, the idea that casting that single ballot is the most consequential act you can perform, when in fact, it changes nothing and never has.

Now, I’ll grant this is a bit more depressing than memorizing Star Trek quotes, and you probably aren’t going to find a lot of people responding as positively as if you did, but it does have the merit of requiring the use of your brain as something other than a mere recording and playback device.

11

@10. If voting was inconsequential, why would the GOP be trying so hard to suppress it? Why would they constantly be gerrymandering and redistricting? Democracy is being suppressed because we refuse to field our best and get organized against the fucking shitheads who should be removed by force for their betrayal of the flag and the ultimate sacrifice of countless dead and living dead vets. We have to quit bitching and trusting ourselves to lead our own lives and quit escaping in screens and incessant techbro bullshit.

13

11,

Remember when the New England Patriots got embroiled in a scandal over inflating footballs during the Super Bowl?

It doesn’t actually change anything at all if one team or the other wins the NFL top prize, does it? But people act as if it was the most consequential thing in the world.

How many times have you seen a marketing campaign for a product, service or experience described as ‘life-changing’? Remember when you were young and thought the most important thing was attending a particular concert? People bribe the Olympic Committee every four years to get them to host the games in their city. My own brother, whom I love dearly, uses considerable amounts of brain space memorizing the outcomes of college football tournaments from years past. People fight most ferociously over which gang colours are being worn in what neighborhood.

Does any of that make any of those things the most consequential thing ever?

Not really. It’s all bullshit. Whatever team wins the SuperBowl won’t affect your material reality one bit. If you prefer a red shirt over a blue shirt, it’s just a fucking shirt. And as you’ve aged, can you even remember what the name of the band was at that concert you thought was so epic?

12,

That’s ideologically very nice, however, in terms of how it plays out in real life, anarchists always get crushed by the state. How did those anarchistic fare in that very same war you described? Who won? The state, that’s who.

So long as you are atomized, individualized, unorganized and singular, you are powerless and weak compared to the Behemoth.

15

14,

The corporate tax rate has risen and fallen through the years independent of the party in power. Eisenhower had a much higher tax rate than Reagan, FDR had a higher tax rate than Clinton. If you’re looking only at the very short term, you might see some minor changes, but over the long term, what we see is that the real determining factor isn’t the occupant of the White House so much as it is the possibility of open revolt in the streets. If that likelihood is low, the corporate tax rate is also. When it appears high, the corporate tax rate rises.

It isn’t the ballot box that changes this or any other number; it’s the predicted likelihood of a riot. Wall Street will willingly take a hit if it thinks a temporary concession will appease the masses long enough to re-establish social control, just as it did under FDR and Eisenhower. Wall Street will always pressure the state to lower regulation and taxes the moment it appears that there is no possibility of open revolt, as it did under Clinton.

Wall Street doesn’t give a shit what party wins what election. What they’re afraid of is when a bunch of Jacobins show up with the guillotines.

Don’t lose your head.

17

What's worse/better: rich people abandoning Manhattan and reducing the density of the area, thereby (presumably) slowing the rate of disease and transmission in a place where hospitals are completely overwhelmed with infectious patients? Or those same rich people disbursing to a variety of less dense places and possibly acting as vectors in a new community? I'm not sure the answer is so straightforward.

18

16,

The 1960’s riots did not feature violence directed at Wall Street. Those people were not Jacobins, and they had no guillotines. A better comparison would be to the 1880’s, when Chicago went riot, or the 1910’s, when Wall Street got bombed and the Reds took power in Russia, or the 1930’s, when Hoovervilles were recruiting grounds for Reds and the most popular car model sold in America was the Studebaker Dictator.

The 1960’s was a bunch of middle class kids who didn’t want to go to Vietnam. They didn’t give a shit about capitalism, they just didn’t want to risk their own necks. Of course the tax rate didn’t change then. It changed when there was a very real chance of seeing stockbrokers feet dangling from the light posts of New York.

19

I think what confuses Ken is he assumes the Left is the same as the liberals. It isn’t, and it never was. They key issues fought for through history by Leftists such as Eunus and Cleon, Spartacus, Wat Tyler, the Paris Communards, Marx and Che Guevara are not at all the same as the kids who just wanted to smoke dope and listen to the Grateful Dead. It’s so bizarre that so many people think the Left was the Abbie Hoffman crowd.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Communist Party members wore suits and didn’t get into pot. Have you seen any pictures of Trotsky? Long hair wasn’t something he sported. Lenin didn’t run around in a tie dye and sandals. I’m pretty sure Che Guevara would have been appalled to see t-shirts bearing his likeness being sold for profit by corporate clothiers, too. Nobody on the Left thought buying concert tickets to Woodstock was a blow against The Man.

Baby Boomers are so fucking bizarre. To them, everything is about an aesthetic, not a principle.

20

Good Afternoon Charles,
Indeed, if any city dwellers had a second home in a remote place it would not be surprising at all for them to go to it in time of pandemic. Yes, I get that is largely reserved for the wealthy. But less people in a concentrated area means less possible exposure. @17 has a very good point. Cities are densely populated. Merely, look at NYC. New York state has over 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Most ghastly.

On other hand, the 14th century had some "social distancing" too:

https://quillette.com/2020/03/28/social-distancing-during-the-black-death/

Evidently, we get the "summer vacation" from that period. I shall read the Decameron by Boccaccio.

Stay healthy everyone.

22

21,

What is it with you and the 1960’s? I’ve already established that the 1960’s was not a period of Leftist violence directed against Wall Street. Let it go man. I know you lost your shit when you saw potheads in need of a shave and a haircut, but trust me on this, if your capitalist enough to sell pot or concert tickets or expensive paisley designer outfits for a profit, you’re not a Communist. That’s an aesthetic, a style. It’s not a political principle. They ran around waving the North Vietnamese flag all day, but I don’t think any of them had a fucking idea what that country stood for. Sure, they all owned a copy of the Little Red Book, but did any of them read it?

As for the 1940’s, taxes rose in an attempt to placate the Left. The 1950’s rise was also an attempt to bird dog trade unionists into the Democratic Party and away from the Socialist and Communist left.

23

22,

Timothy Leary tried to sell everyone enlightenment for five dollars a hit while Ram Dass hocked books and Jefferson Airplane sold albums to finance their Fulton Street mansion next door to the Grateful Dead. That’s not communism. Nor was Jim Morrison cashing in on the existential angst of concert goers.

I know you’re probably not going to do it, but I’ll recommend to you reading Marx’s two most famous books, The Capital and the Communist Manifesto, to get an idea of what the Left really is. It’s a lot different than what you had in mind, and it’s definitely not what the Boomers were about. If it was, you wouldn’t have sold out en masse to buy stocks and snort cocaine in the 1980’s.

24

Hey look...Franz Kafka has risen from the dead to remind us we're all doomed and it just doesn't even matter anymore. Woe is us.

26

25,

Patty Hearst? There were less that ten members of the “Symbionese Liberation Army”. That’s not mass violence. That’s a tiny group of mentally ill people. How does that compare to the Haymarket Riot?

27

Dow Uber allies!
Tod macht frei!

29

28,

If you think the SLA was a revolution that scared Wall Street, you’re entirely unaware of America’s long labor history. Hearst and her gang were not a movement.

One problem your generation has is that you’re all so solipsistic. You cannot conceive of anything not viewed through the lens of your experience. This is why you attach the suffix -gate to every political scandal. You’re so completely, magically self-absorbed, a generation of mentally stunted children who never grew up. That’s why I think none of you are taking COVID seriously. You don’t realize that you’re mortal. All of American pop culture has revolved around you for fifty years, so you really do think you’re the protagonists of history.

So self absorbed, so full of shit. I’m amazed at how much navel gazing you people engage in.

30

@29 "self absorbed" is a hell of an accusation from somebody who was just complaining that there aren't enough choices on the menu. You can't apply consumer logic to politics that way - there is no a la carte, we have to order family style.

31

And by the way, you mention Marx with approval and then discus political history entirely in terms of personalities. With no regard for economics at all. Maybe you should read him again.

32

30,

Oh, poor sensitive Boomer Alden, you just can’t handle even the mildest criticism can you? Poor, demented baby. You’ve spent the last decade ripping into Millenials and Gen Z over fucking avocados, and spent the nineties ripping into Generation X, but now that people are calling you out, you los your goddamn minds,

Go lick a doorknob, and hurry the fuck up on your way to the exits.

33

Geez, a 2nd vacation home has been popular for a couple of hundred years or more. If your not sick, why not go to some place special to wait this out? I know several middle income families that have them. It's not just the rich. A vacation home puts a squeeze on the pay check but some people think it's worth it.

34

@33: Yep, even Calalina Vel Du-Ray has one.

35

I have a second home. It is on an island with many others who have modest second homes. I generally use it during weekends and vacation times. And typically come back after a few days. Guess what - the shut down has creates an extended weekend and vacation. So I went there for a few days over the past couple weeks and then came back to Seattle to do my thing. I was isolated with my partner, and used my own boat to get there. I did not flee folks. I am writing this from my Seattle desk. Privileged - yes. Scared - no.

36

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uaaF83eVig

Home Movies Franz Kafka Rock Opera


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