A reader who owns a business sent in the picture accompanying this story. It says “Masks Not Required” – and recommends that patrons Practice Social Liberty and Do Their Part by Think(ing) for Themselves.
This is a refreshing sign that dissent – which is the essential attribute of freedom – still has some defenders and that not everyone has been driven over the cliff of mass hysteria into mindless conformity by the constant ululation of every imagined worst case scenario that never actually came to pass but which the ululators seem to wish would come to pass.
When the bodies didn’t stack up in the millions, as we were assured they would, you didn’t hear a mea culpa. You didn’t hear – thank god, we were wrong! This isn’t as bad as we initially thought!
Instead, we began to hear – endlessly – about the cases! the cases! – and still do. Without a peep about context – i.e., what is the ratio of positive “cases” to seriously sick patients – and to dead ones.
Because that would be good news.
Nothing about the fact that very few – almost no – people who aren’t very elderly and chronically sick, as with COPD or advanced cardiovascular disease – have much to fear from the WuFlu, which is 0.00-something likely to kill them.
Which is extremely good news for 99.6-something percent of the healthy population.
Instead, marination in the bad news for the very elderly and chronically sick. With the implication that the rest of us are vicious bastards for not pretending – and acting – as though we are also very elderly and very sick.
In addition to being hypochondriacs, these purveyors of delicious (to them) bad news are also masochists, who seem to revel in it, as evidenced by their fixation on it to the exclusion of anything that would moderate it. They are like people who flip out because their checking account got Hoovered out by a crook – but don’t calm down when the bank calls to let them know the money’s been refunded and all is well.
They are also sadists.
It is not enough that they marinate in despair and fear. They require that everyone else share their despair and fear.
This is the key to understanding the insistence upon Diapering. Not the individual Diaperer – who may just be ill-informed (understandable, given the relentless “shock and awe” campaign of no-good-news and all-bad-news by the consolidated corporate media) and wears the thing because he’s been pressured to wear the thing – but rather the militant Diaperer, who does the pressuring.
It’s also deeper than merely enforcing general misery.
Enforcing Diapering is about eliminating dissent. If everyone is Diapered, everyone appears to support Diapering. A kind of coerced unanimity is created, Party Overalls-style. I’ve commented on this ought-to-obvious phenomenon in previous columns. It is not for fashion that people who live in authoritarian states look alike. It is to convey the impression that they all think alike – and to put a finer point on it, to make it hard for anyone to give visual evidence that they think differently . . .i.e., that they dissent.
The “mask” is quite literally a muzzle.
Its purpose is to shut your mouth – visually as well as actually. This is an expression of the master-slave relationship. It is a degradation.
And it is something more.
One is reluctant to express any contra Diaper thoughts when everyone is Diapered. Just as it was a hairy thing in Germany once upon a time to say anything unflattering about the funny little man with the funny little moustache when everyone wore his symbol on their arm.
It is also literally hard to speak – or hear what is being said – when everyone is mumble-mouthed by a “mask.” The thing further discourages the attempt by making both the speaker and listener vaguely unsettling to one another.
It is awkward to attempt to communicate with someone whose face you can’t see. Whose expressions are hidden. There is a reason why bandits – and the menacing storm troopers of totalitarian fiction and totalitarian actuality are masked.
It makes them appear alien and forbidding.
So seeing a sign to the contrary is heartening. More such signs are wanted, the sooner the better.
The only way to break the hold this disease – which isn’t a virus – that the country is suffering from is to apply sunlight, which kills darkness.
Show your face. If you own a business, let your customers know it’s ok to show theirs. After awhile, people will begin to see that people aren’t dying on account of it – and the ululations about the cases! the cases! will begin to lose their power to terrify.
At which point, the terrorism may finally be staunched.
. . .
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