By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
As the smoke slowly settles on the bucolic hills of my farmland community and many others, the Coronavirus nightmare may be far from over but the worst of it appears to be in the rearview mirror of the pickup. The worst also appears to be far less horrific than the self-appointed television experts had predicted, at least in the parts of the country already skeptical of such institutions, further dredging the chasm of trust between us simpleton country folk and the metropolitan slumlords who always seem to know better. Maybe if we had taken a page from Sweden and displayed a little more trust in our citizenry… Nah, never mind such strategically fruitless distractions. Never mind the swelling police state behind the curtain. The important thing now is who do we blame? What monster of the week do we scapegoat to keep people from asking the annoying questions about transparent democracy and honest journalism?
After a good zeitgeist rattling catastrophe, America, like all propaganda-weaned state-subsistent sheople, loves a good boogeyman to blame for a complicated mess. The right in this country, now represented by not one, but two rapists headlining both major parties thanks in part to Coronavirus, has stuck to the tried and true strategy of blaming the filthy foreigner. Clearly, bark Jurassic candidates Trump and Biden on opposing commercials, this plague was brought to us by that fearsome red dragon clothed in the sun called China. Aha! Communism, an oldie but a goodie. And these syphilitic oligarchs aren’t without a grain of truth, however blunt they may have rendered it with their nursing home grade racism. This thing did creep out of a city with a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. The kind built curiously with US funding to keep up with Uncle Sam’s post-anthrax lust for black death. But ‘the brown guy did it!’ still feels more than a little played out in this day and age, like some white suburban bluebeard in Salt Lake City wailing that the Dominican drifter is responsible for the blood on his Brigham Young sweater.
What’s left of the Quixotic left after Bernie’s latest screw-job has taken an admirably more thoughtful approach by laying the blame on a boogey with some actual fucking teeth; capitalism. But even their wails, that if only we had single-payer like, say China, none of this shit would have happened, falls a little bit flat. I know, I’ve been hanging out with too many libertarians again, drown me later, but I think the creature most responsible for this latest late-capitalist disaster is something far more ancient and complex. The errant decadence of soulless state-sanctioned crony-capitalism is but one symptom of it’s malevolent presence, as is the bureaucratic industrial nightmare that has become of my old friend communism. I speak of a beast far more insidious than any one political ideology. What great poets have referred to as Moloch, Ozymandias, that rough beast which slouches towards Washington and Beijing to be born.