Hello fear of nuclear war, my old friend, good to fear you again. Those fond old days of air-raid drills and hiding under your desk – as good a place as any to be immolated – are back, along with the familiar queasiness Pepto Bismol or mother’s little helpers don’t help.
And, again, or perhaps still, who can you believe about anything? It’s all about Putin. Or Xi. Or Biden. Or Trump. Maybe Zelensky. Remember Vietnam and Iraq? Even Uncle Walter Cronkite went along for the ride on the former and the media convinced us WMDs in Iraq were going to destroy the world. Remember Gwynne Dyer in his rugged-man, multi-pocketed shirt on the CBC news every night warning about the fierce Republican Guard and the resistance the allies would encounter? Well, resistance was minimal. It was near genocide as the elite Guard fled with everyone else. There were no WMDs, just a lot of oil.
But nuclear mutual destruction is a Monday worry.
Tomorrow, shift gears and focus on Covid, hanging in, looking for another round. And maybe you’ll need another booster. Maybe one a year. Pharma will soon be trying to sell us on monthly booster patches. Covid numbers, unlike the stock markets, are climbing. So, we’re pretending it’s disappearing like winter and removing most restrictions so we can hit bars, clubs, arenas and take a rapid test every time we sneeze.
But wait, there’s Wednesday and oil and supply chain shit to worry about if you use a form of crude to heat your homes, run a car, take a plane or suffer Amazon addiction. Life is more expensive – too expensive for more every day. Curiously, grocery stores are full of imported fruits and vegetables and you can buy all the gas or anything else you want. It’s just twice the price it was last year and profits are booming.
Thursday means checking CNN or the Times or TorStar, get a little ultra violence. People are shooting and stabbing people every day, everywhere. It’s a new pastime. You can close your eyes to it but walking down a dark street I now look over my shoulder, listen for footsteps.
But, I’m a man over six feet. It’s open season on women, especially BIPOC, but any shade will do. Not only is a woman’s womb not her own – men know better – but the rest of her is target for assault, rape, bludgeoning and getting pushed in front of subways, a new sport outta New York City. It’s right up there with renewed rancour about who’s in your bed – yes, Pierre, it seems some states do have an interest in the bedrooms of their nations.
Weekends are a good time to catch up with the 1st iPhone war in history in Ukraine. Fresh death and destruction 24 hours a day.
There are tanks and missiles blowing holes in Ukraine and Russian soldiers getting cooked in tanks. And we can watch on screens big and small, just like a YouTube vid or a computer game.
As for more weekend delight, you can avert your eyes from overseas entirely and cast a glance at Trumpland. DeSantis, Abbott, Taylor Greene, well, we could go on, but there are armies of serious wingnuts down there. They sing harmony with Mr. Putin on many tunes, especially purification in a myriad of forms and the evils of Nazis, though they sound remarkably similar to the Swastika crowd.
This outside world of disaster, devised by and for fear, pride and profit, is sliding under our doors and coming in through the walls..
It was easier when there was only Trump et al., to fret and laugh about. Now, you can read a story a day on how the news is making people anxious, a polite way to say many of us are going nuts.
News is on the phone at the end of your arm. I try to read only about the Montréal Canadiens but I’m like a problem drinker. I can’t have a bar shot. Give me the bottle.
I get drunk on the barrels and barrels of news, true, false, fake and a combination of all three but ignorance is no longer bliss.
I don’t fit under the desk anymore, but I don’t have a desk. And I was used to thinking about mushrooms as shiitake or buttons, not clouds. Mushroom clouds can’t be sliced and tossed over a pizza.
But we’re in the era of Jewish space lasers, George Soros a code word, Stand Your Ground legal murder of people of colour. But then, when was it illegal?
Laughing might be the best medicine but laughing is not so easy, which is why people are killing themselves with medicine – fentanyl-laced anything being top of the charts.
And, know what? We have our own shit to worry about. Family, friends, money, personal tragedy and finding a damn mask when you need one. Life’s tough enough for most without the insanity of the world knocking at your door or screaming from your TV and phones. Alerts? Notifications? Bulletins? Read me, read me, read me!
Without a desk to hide under, maybe we’ll shelter in the basement. Put in some ready-to-eat meals, a few hundred gallons of water, the works of Charles Dickens, something to play CDs on and a few hundred batteries to keep it going.
And, disconnect the wifi and hope the radio stops working.