We need to re-evaluate the need for Castles. Post Covid19 — Tristan Pope
When you’ve been contemplating a pandemic or world crisis your entire life(I watched terminator 2 17 times in a row in a 3 day period as a kid) and one finally happens…
1 of two things happens first: you don’t believe it and go into mental paralysis. You can physically survive and do it well but your mind jumbles for a bit.
The Second wave you question every life choice you have ever made and you begin to take actions to re-invest your skillset that allows you to thrive in horrible times like these to take actions to change the world. I don’t know if that will be the role of an activist, expression through art, etc. but I do know I am hyper aware during these situations allowing me to quickly think of my feet without falter. All the things that make life feel overwhelming in normal times slow down and become skills in times like these for me.
It can be metaphorically explained as why most of my first dates fail: I can share 1000 things about my most intimate self within seconds of meeting someone, not because I am over sharing or obsessing but because I don’t find it to be that intimate and it’s just a small conversation of a very layered onion. Social standards have deemed it to be bad form that way however. And people freak. I don’t love you. I don’t even care about you yet. I just like to skip the bullshit small talk and openly talk about who we are now, today, in relation to our past and hopeful future. But I am understanding that the only mitigating factor in truly knowing someone is time. As much to my dismay.
My entire life has felt like a pandemic with how I treat my short time on this planet. I think quick. Share heavily. Take on strong opinions. Speak up for others (often getting me in trouble) And take action quickly.
True anxiety(not oh my day was stressful), which I suffer, hasn’t even been a thought in my mind these last few weeks. The world is moving at the speed of my anxiety. And I am sitting here watching others like our president completely fuck it up and all I want to do is step up with my fight or flight response and slow the world down for majority of people so they can actually see it how it needs to be and is: calculated. My mind has slowed down like slow motion in a film. Or when you get into an accident and the world appears to slow time itself. This allows me to navigate the over abundance of everything around me.
I’ve pre predicted the rushes on stores, supplies, and quarantine times. Thanks to my mind being in a state of overdrive since a young age. Always looking at micro inflection of the people around me for clues on the next reactions, but this time looking at the movement of the world. Which is also why I feel as though I have the most trouble going back to “normal” or “productive” forms of “getting ahead” like others seem to be able to do in this new day with their Zoom classes, etc. I’m seeing a larger problem. Taking on the feelings of a larger group. Seeing the failures of a larger scale of society. I don’t care about how many views my next YouTube video gets. Or if social media is updated. We are living a rare moment in history where we got to see the world STOP. And it revealed/continues to reveal all the cracks and problems with our systems, structures, and societal disparities. What we do now is so goddamn important. I don’t want to go back to what we were before COVID-19. I want to be better.
I see so clearly now, a different view, but I can’t do it alone. Now is when I will judge humanity the hardest. Will your compassion and sympathy turn off the minute it ends, like 9/11 where we united until we didn’t have to? Now is when I look to my fellow human not as someone I will pass by on a regular day and cordially nod my head at; but as someone who I can trust with my life or someone who will put my life in danger. I have zero patience for the inability to adapt or see reality for what it is. I no longer give the benefit of the doubt to stupidity. I no longer sugar coat the foibles of the world. The shine is gone. The cracks are clear. If you don’t see them now and have an inner fire to want to change the world for the better of humanity not a party line or piece of paper with “value”, I don’t much care for you anymore.
I’ve dreamt of disasters. I’ve imagined the worst case scenarios. And we are not in that worst case yet. But as humans we are failing each other and things have to change. I for one plan to be part of that change. And if this isn’t a wake up call, you’re deaf.
America is no longer “the new kid at school” giving off that fresh look and appeal. It is a shit stain on the national stage. I’m not even sure if America is American anymore. Or was it ever? Has the base of America been hiding quietly waiting to follow their “cult leader” and finally the true colors are free to be bright? Or have we just fallen and need others to remind us why we are who we are in the first place. Why democracy is our strength not the weakness it is proving to be in this pandemic.
We can’t fight what we have done to this point. But we can sure as hell fight when we come out of it to prepare for it in the future. We can stop coddling those who are sinking the ship. We can stop “blocking” those who hurt our feelings and rather figure out how to coexist. We need to stop hiding behind the constitution as a way to be worse, not better. For example: You cannot be a Nazi and an American.
We need to come out fighting everything that is endangering our lives as a species.
And that is what we need: fighters. Not sheep. Not complacency. Not “comfort” of the consumer treadmill. Not a new iPhone. But actual change to the foundation of our society based off humanity and those who wish to contribute to the betterment of it. And it will be hard, and be met with resistance, and break you over and over. But perhaps this time, we can make a difference before the problem instead of having to “live with the consequences of our actions or inaction”.
We need to learn from our mistakes. Acknowledging the hamster wheel of “fortune” causing great disparity in income and poverty. “Keeping up with the Jones” becoming toxic. The country should not have 3 people, or less than 10 entities that count for the entirety of the wealth of 150 million. Not that they didn’t work for it. But they shouldn’t have had to work for that much disparity in the first place. The importance of human relations not income. And the fact that we strive for LOVE and happiness as children, but end up like Bill Gates, chasing money and power, and who recently acknowledged money means nothing(although considering how much he has this is a very hypocritical statement, but there is truth in it). Running the human engine dry to become wealthy so we have time to love at all is counter productive to living life in the short time given on earth. We shouldn’t have to “afford” to love. We should just love.
So what will you do when this is “done”? Go back to Clawing your fellow human’s flesh and bones to get to the top of the figurative consumer ladder or figure out a way to vote for humanity and not party lines and cash?
I see very clearly. And I need others around me who see the same. And no, not the conspiracies and fears, but the truths inside and outside of them. Not oblivious to the propaganda, but aware of the media and how it is shaping views. The ability to see within the castle walls but leave the comforts of them to understand the people outside who make the castle possible in the first place.
We need to re-evaluate the need for a castle at all.
We call those inside the walls them and then there is us. They call us them and their-selves us. There needs to just be us.
“And go the Fools among” has been tattooed on my arm for many years. And finally the Fool who has been quietly watching and joking the truth for so long wishes to stop joking and turn his knowledge and worldly views into actions to better society.
Originally published at https://alttab.me on April 15, 2020.