It is easy enough to see that face-effacing is still a thing. One still regularly sees people wearing that disgusting thing – even for the walk from their car to the store they’re headed toward.
Some are still wearing it inside their car, headed down the road.
What we’re seeing here is a clinging to meaning. Rather, to ersatz meaning conjured to sooth people whose lives have no meaning. They cannot return to normal because normal was unendurable for them. Alienated and anxious, they felt adrift and alone in a meaningless society, doing meaningless work alongside people they didn’t really know – and who didn’t know them – though they each exchanged the usual superficial workplaces pleasantries with each other.
The “pandemic” and its accoutrements provided the desperately needed meaning they’d been missing. They found themselves “all in this together,” if you remember. They said this with a weird enthusiasm, as if they were happy to be all in. And they were. A group of their own, at last. People who looked just like them, because that “mask” made them all look the same.
And they were – and are – in a sense much deeper than their appearance.
The same beliefs, comforted and reinforced by the sight of other believers. The same sense of mission – a new purpose – uniting them all together. The natural, normal desire for community that most human beings have – the wanting to have real friends and real family and to be a part of a real community – used and leveraged by very sick people to manipulate very unhealthy people into a collective of sickness.
This has been done similarly, in the past, by using workers’ legitimate fears and grievances to herd them into a collective; the same as regards other alienated individuals such as females, gays, people of different racial-ethnic backgrounds. The dangle of community – of recognition, of common purpose – glints before their eyes, like a spinner lure in front of a largemouth bass. He rises to the bait – and is hooked.
This perversion of community cannot, however, be maintained without an enemy. For the race-hustlers, it is whitey (all “whiteys”). For the “feminist” – as women who are alienated from men are styled – it is all men. And for the face-effacers, it is everyone who is showing their face. This latter being – as they see it – an insolent repudiation of their most dearly held beliefs, the one that has given them the meaning they now so desperately, literally, cling to.
It is also something else. An affront to their most deeply held beliefs. It is very important to really understand this. What it means.
A way to get inside their headspace is to try to imagine the way an Islamic fundamentalist views a woman out in public without a hijab – and perhaps wearing tight jeans. There is murderous violence within that mind, which perceives that sight as not merely unbelief but an attack upon belief.
This is not trivial.
It is also interesting, given the Biden Thing’s serial whipping up of hate toward anyone who doesn’t believe in him and the tenets of the Left as a “white supremacist” who must be dealt with in ways not clearly stated but clearly implied.
The broader point being that people lacking meaning who find it in collectives tend to be vociferous about defending that collective meaning, because without it they revert to individual lives sans meaning. The face-effaced aren’t ululating – right now – but that cry lies within. It will erupt, with veins-popping-out-in-their-necks fury – as soon as those who gave them their newfound meaning give them license to defend it. If you had the ability to look into their minds, you would see they are itching to defend it. For it is galling – to them – see the spread of apostasy and indifference to their beliefs. The danger that represents, as they see it.
They – like the Islamic jihadi – convince themselves that it is necessary to do whatever is necessary to defend their beliefs and that they are on the side of righteousness.
Few people do horrible things to innocent people. Horrible things must be visited upon guilty people. Not people guilty of what might be styled “technical foul” violations of statutes, such as not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign before proceeding. Rather, people guilty of what the believers perceive to be moral crimes. Such as putting them at “risk” of catching the “virus.” (They never process the illogic of insisting that the un-“masked” cannot present a threat to them, if their “mask” protects them.)
Is there any way to reach them? To redirect their natural, desperate need for meaning and belonging into real meaning and belonging? Yes, but it’s going to be tough. Possibly impossible, because those of us who have found meaning probably don’t associate with those who haven’t – because if we did, they would have meaning, too. But it is worth the effort to try. It can perhaps be worked toward by working to end the meaningless – macro – of this nihilistic, vicious and alienating culture as by not encouraging it. More, by not tolerating it.
This can begin by defending objective reality, as a start. Which requires words to have meaning. And for people to mean what they say, precisely. Not meanly. But accurately. Insist on that – and on facts, rather than fear. No more acceptance of the fake, the unreal – the meaningless.
So that meaning can return, ascendant.
. . .
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