We did this. This is our fault. We bred a society based off the simple idea that instead of taking action to better the world we take no action or only the actions that are perceived to run us up a corporate ladder that promises at the top you don’t have to worry about the people at the bottom forgetting your troubles and leaving them behind. The American Dream.
Problem is the Hamster wheel turns and turns and turns. But still doesn’t actually go anywhere until you realize; you have to get off it to go forward. But by that point you’re tired and have no energy to walk out of your cage. So you get back on and slowly turn the wheel as much as you can not because you want to, not because it’s right, but because it’s all you know how to do anymore.
The COVID19 pandemic didn’t create issues, it exposed every single crack and flaw in our system that we have been ignoring and sweeping under the rug for years, unintentionally or intentionally, for personal gain, or for denial. And not just in our system but in our humanity and societal built routines. On a normal day we convinced ourselves the rush to nowhere meant something. On normal days we ate the toll prices of exorbitant amounts of our salary because “one day we will make enough not to care”. On normal days we are too busy to care. On normal days we are too tired to invest a moment in considering our life choices and paths forward.
Guess what… normal life stopped. And our brains got some time to breath. And we didn’t like what we saw in the mirrors. We are gluttonous stockpiling toilet paper for no reason other than fear. We are in dire need of that toll money we ignored and said nothing about as it kept going up and up, just to make rent now.
We have a system that will allow companies with millions and billions to apply for the same benefits as those small bodegas with one cat and one human running it.
We don’t care if that makes it so the small business dies because money runs out and the big company got it. I have been one of those people who applied for a business SBA loan as well as unemployment as a freelancer. I am also one of those people who has not received a stimulus, cannot lookup his stimulus due to the system not wanting to show me. I never do direct deposit because I always pay. I don’t get paid.
Then after the deal was written about the amount small businesses would get as stimulus, they changed it based on employees. So the guy with 9 employees gets the full 10k, 1k per employee, which destroys the impact of that check being helpful for a SMALL business in the first place. And on top of that the guy running a bodega who needs the whole 10k to even begin to cover the losses (if it is even enough) now only gets 1k because he owns it by himself. The logic is broken in so many way.
I did not receive business loan money due to it running out and when calling being told “we can’t lookup your claim number, we don’t have anyone’s” and being told to apply for pandemic unemployment by filling out normal unemployment which then denies you(rightfully so as a freelancer) and tells you to “click here” to fill out pandemic unemployment(which covers freelance) but re-routes you to regular unemployment. So for me, someone who was careful to have a saving, I can sit here and witness all the problems in the system and not lose my entire lively hood. I can take a huge hit but not go under. For those paycheck to paycheck, this is it. It is over for them. The government is happy to accept our checks for payments during tax season quickly, but when it comes to paying us…
Our own democracy is fucking us hard. Our representatives are fucking us harder. Our states are doubling down on how hard they can fuck us. When did the states get the right to overrule the federal governments? Because that is what they are doing here, taken federal bail outs for small businesses and changing the rules per state to fill their own coffers.
You should be as mad as Vic:
On top of all of this, instead of coming up with a plan to help those in need we continue to be lead by a leader who cares about his ratings and spreading misinformation and encouraging forms of disruption and action against what is considered “logic”, even if it is in the most fucked of circumstances.
I don’t understand how this of all things doesn’t strip him of his presidency.
It’s like having someone breaking your leg, then telling you to apply to be a surgeon so you can fix the broken leg when you graduate in 8 years, in debt. The broken leg is already here though, the pandemic is just making it clearer, we already ignored the cracks and problems in our system, so for now we are stuck with them to a point. But by god if we don’t learn from this and speak up now when people are trying to make sweeping changes to our countries that are in their own interests not those of the people. The wealth gap and poverty line is about to get 1950s NYC burning barrels, mugged on 5th ave bad. We are on the precipice of ending up in a dystopian future film where the streets are filled with adverts about credits and debt,
while above the smog and rats being skewed on sticks the flying cars park nicely next to the Hunger Games-esque rollers penthouse.
We can’t go back to the way it was. It is irresponsible to even do so. But our leader is telling people to break each other’s legs to distract from the already huge issue of not having enough doctors for all the other broken legs we’ve been hobbling on for the past multitude of years.
This insights protests from people who on a normal day are angry and bitching about going to work, but now are holding up their guns and yelling to get back to it. All while endangering the lives of themselves and others. All while yelling racial slurs.
This man summed it up better than I ever could have:
Meanwhile, other countries are fighting for change in their democracy properly, and with true purpose. Not the lack of hair salons open or their Starbucks name on the cup misspelled. All while maintaining social distancing. Trusting science but also believing in being heard and stopping the pandemic from creating an opportunity for corruption.
Photos show Israelis protesting against Netanyahu, two meters apart
Spaced out evenly across an open space in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israelis protested on Sunday against Prime Minister…
When a news anchor goes off on a rant like this, you know we have reached a new tipping point for what America even stands for, and I could give to shits if it is CNN or FOX, this is a HUMAN saying HUMAN emotional reactions to the current situation and that is real, that is what we the people feel. More people need to get this mad:
We see parents trying to get their kids through new online schooling only to realize how the education system we have was already the brainchild of a 1st graders science project, excess amount of glue and popsicle sticks poking out from every angle. Failing to actually stay together and in one piece. So of course a piecemeal adhoc system wasn’t going to work when the education system already didn’t know how it was working. So parents and teachers are breaking down, trying to follow the system, and having the system fail them in the time of need.
The children who will never experience prom or graduation. The COVID generation. High school is but a blip on a radar we were all forced to attend. So feel some solace in the fact that you are not alone and you are not missing too much. But yes you are missing it and that sucks. And I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to. And I wish our world prepared better for you. But know this: you have the power to change this world. You have the power to take these experiences and let them define your future. Don’t let the mistakes of those before you define what is before you.
We keep saying this pandemic is going to cause PTSD, we already HAVE PTSD. the entire country not having that hamster wheel to run on anymore is causing people to have to feel the effects of that PTSD. It’s like the entire country just came back from a war they didn’t know they were fighting, finding the skin of those they clawed and climbed over to get to where they are now under their nails, unsure how to deal with that horrible reality. All they know is how to feel safe in their routine, cubicle, Starbucks, and instant delivery service on Amazon, that they can’t focus their energy toward what can truly help this country move forward.
Just look at this article that reads more like propaganda for someone who would subconsciously do anything to go back to the way it was than to accept what he just saw as what the world truly was. He is channeling the bad guy from the first matrix that just wanted a Steak dinner, no matter the fact that he now knows it wasn’t real. That sense of normalcy is something we will need to fight to find a better way forward.
See even in his summary of how to become better people he references pop culture and the buzz words you would find in a “10 things about X” buzzfeed click-bait article. Because we don’t seem to understand how to “Marie Kondo” our lives unless there is a Marie Kondo to hold our hand. So while I find his optimism helpful and his words very poignant, I think we need a combination of his approach and mine. A good cop bad cop to reach the masses. A “get off my lawn boomer” and a “Gen whatever”. The “that’s toxic” vs “politically correct”.
The truth is; we need to take a good damn long hard look at the cracks exposed and plug them. And we can’t look to our current pop culture references to achieve it. That was and is part of the problem. That not only includes our societal influences on our daily lives, it includes our environment, our government, and our president.
It’s like basing our next steps off the metrics of this “new today”; a world stuck in their homes, impulse buying off amazon for the dopamine, watching more Netflix, engaging with more live streams for interaction at any level. Eventually people will run out of money and or leave their houses when they can. These “metrics” are tainted toward a, in the grand scheme of things, short term pandemic situation. Our “metrics” have been tainted toward our entire basis of societal consume and conquer “priorities” for centuries. But there is some magic in this “new today”, the people trying different avenues of expression and skill sets due to having the time to explore it. Being given a reprieve from their everyday drain. The glimpse that perhaps you can make that scary ass pivot in life to fulfillment. But it’s only a glimpse right now in a world that is going to change drastically a million more times before we even understand a baseline again. A lot of work and effort and determination from everyone is going to be required to have any sort of change stick.
He did say one thing that I can agree with, which sum-mates to even the smallest actions by the majority of us can make an impact:
“We can do that on a personal scale in our homes, in how we choose to spend our family time on nights and weekends, what we watch, what we listen to, what we eat, and what we choose to spend our dollars on and where. We can do it locally in our communities, in what organizations we support, what truths we tell, and what events we attend. And we can do it nationally in our government, in which leaders we vote in and to whom we give power. If we want cleaner air, we can make it happen. If we want to protect our doctors and nurses from the next virus — and protect all Americans — we can make it happen. If we want our neighbors and friends to earn a dignified income, we can make that happen. If we want millions of kids to be able to eat if suddenly their school is closed, we can make that happen. And, yes, if we just want to live a simpler life, we can make that happen, too.”
So don’t think you have to over throw the government to get them to put your stimulus check and SBA loan above that of the billion dollar company. You don’t even need a gun. You can dictate their actions with your the simplest gesture: closing your wallet. Hitting them in the coffers is the most devastating weapon in your arsenal. And you were just given a limited but potent case of bullets thanks to what has just happened. Use them wisely.
But unlike the writer of that article, I don’t share his “humanity is inherently good” sentiment. The hypocrisy of what we see in this country in particular is appalling.
“My Body, My Choice” ONLY when it applies to them, is the common string here. Advocates of many other things that limit women’s rights and peoples rights in general. We won’t get off on that tangent, but the history is here.
This pandemic showed us one thing people can’t seem to comprehend, but need to start, and quickly: no matter what religion, creed, nationality, sexual preference, country you come from, at the end of the day you are a meat sack susceptible to a virus like everyone else. No matter how many guns you carry or racial slurs you scream, you will be brought to your knees if infected like the rest of us. Can’t shoot the virus if you can’t pull the trigger.
So stop looking toward “party lines” and start looking toward human survival and decency. But alas this is a pipe dream I and the creator of Startrek made up. The reality is, at the end of this, even with the sweeping changes to the world, most people will run back to spent their 10$ on a shitty coffee from Starbucks even if they can’t even afford their mortgage anymore due to not getting your business loans, or unemployment check. Historically we as a people forget the past.
I can write, yell, and advocate for days in hopes for a better tomorrow. Until it is actions and not words, we are destined to repeat history until we’ve destroyed the very ground we stand on just for the almighty dollar and the ideal of power.
And I will say this, as an American, I am embarrassed to be an American. Not just because of irresponsible protests, price gouging, and “party wars” versus “people helping”, but because we have made very little progress on mobilizing our ability to deal with this crisis due to our own hang ups with financial red tape and someone not getting their next bonus.
Hopefully with enough glass half empty and half full coming together, eventually we will realize that pooling the water together spreads the disease faster and we need a new damn expression to move forward.
Originally published at https://alttab.me on April 22, 2020.