Friday, May 01, 2020

Sometimes we need to call bullshit by its name ...

A little over 15 years ago, I received a gift that changed my life in the most amazing ways when my dear friend Robbie gave me this blog for my birthday. My first post was on February 10, 2005 … and I’ve been practicing the fine art of bitchitude on one platform or another since!

Like many folk, I gradually migrated my opinion sharing to Twitter several years ago. And it’s been cool … I still enjoy it, especially now that I’ve curated the fuck out of it to achieve a lovely balance of sea otters, sharks, dogs, hockey, and reproductive justice. But I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t missed starting my day off with a strong cup of coffee, a dog at my feet, and my thoughts on the page.

Facebook is trash, but I keep my account so I can keep up with all the happenings going on. I use Instagram to post pictures of my dogs Zelda Bj√∂rn (the white Kuvasz floof) and Vincent Adult Dog (cocker/pittie).

Anyhoo, I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. I’m apologizing to myself too, because the last five years have been amazing but left little time for reflection, posting, bathroom breaks or writing blog posts while lounging on the couch with a dog.

Sigh.

*pause … sip coffee … give Vincent Adult Dog a scratch … and begin again*

Now that we are settling into our pandemic-based quarantine, I’ve been struggling to sleep. I’ve suffered from insomnia most of my life, but had recently made some progress in getting five hours a day on a semi-regular basis.

That shit ended in March.

So.

Last night, I was awake thinking about the play Doubt, A Parable. I saw it many years ago, and I think of it often.

I lay beneath my warm blanket, pondering how certainty can provide false comfort when perception becomes reality without the sure footing of evidence and facts. And I have personally experienced the anxiety of weighing the consequences of acting on what you think is going on … what you are even pretty damn sure happened … versus the potential harm of waiting to confirm what may not be confirmable.

A bitch was thinking deep ass thoughts, y’all!

I was all prepared for a multi-hour session debating all that shit in my head, but then I took one last scroll through Twitter.

Blink.

Most of the information I’ve seen about the source of the novel coronavirus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) points to a transfer from bat to human or some other unintentional happening. Yesterday, I saw tweets expressing outrage that the fiend currently stinking up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue claimed both that the novel coronavirus was cooked up in a lab in China and that this is all President Obama fault because he allegedly failed to develop a test for a virus that was identified three years after he left office.

Now, I can see why the fiend is doing this. The U.S. response to COVID-19 is FUBAR, and it’s hard to convince people that dead or seriously ill friends and family members are an invention of [insert Trumpian description for news outlets other than FOX].

But it’s clear that he’s trying to plant some seeds of doubt that he hopes will establish some sunlight between a catastrophe that will define his presidency and the fact that he spent the critical first 70 days of this shit golfing, tweeting, or creating hurdles to slowdown the distribution federal funds.

I was thoroughly distracted by the responses I saw to this shit. Folk were stating facts and dropping links to sources like this fool had really set some powerful misinformation in motion.

He didn’t.

Nope.

Did not.

His base will love it, but Trump could pull an Ozzy Osbourne with a live bat and then spend 14 days coughing on them and his base would thank him.

The reality is that all roads lead to Trump pulling a Trump and fucking the pandemic response up.

If China created a novel coronavirus in a lab, the Trump administration shat the bed on intelligence detecting a bio-terrorism threat and then wasted critical time responding to a threat they should have seen coming.

If COVID-19 is a naturally occurring virus that hit China hard, then the Trump administration shat the bed on intelligence detecting and the administration acknowledging a likely pandemic and then wasted critical time responding to a threat they should have seen coming.

And if reports are accurate that the administration was briefed multiple times as far back as January about COVID-19, then Trump & Co. owns the fuck out of failing to lead on this regardless of the source.

Sometimes a claim is worthy of doubt and a pause to explore all the angles framing how certainty can provide false comfort when perception becomes reality without the sure footing of evidence and facts.

And sometimes we need to call bullshit by its name, and pivot back to the fuck up in progress.

Toodles.

5 comments:

Yankee, Transferred said...

Yeah, what you said. So glad to see the blog fired up again, any day, any time. Thanks!

dinthebeast said...

I agree. This is a defining example of the dangers of propaganda and its habitual consumption. His fans are so used to swallowing things that don't really seem right if examined rationally, that the bullshit alarm doesn't stop them from taking even larger lies at face value.
I contend that everyone deserves to be represented in their government, and that were the representation proportional to the actual numbers, those consumers of right wing propaganda wouldn't be so influential as to be the national problem that they are right now.
That, of course, raises the necessity of making sure that I am not a similar consumer of my own flavor of propaganda, and most days I'm pretty much confident that I'm not, but I keep just enough of those other days around to be sure.
It's really good to hear from you again. Lots of my favorite bloggers have fled to Twitter, so I spend a while each day reading various feeds even though I don't have an account of my own.
I might get one some day, but as of now I'm still holding off.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Anonymous said...

Been missing you! Have periodically checked, to no avail! So happy to see you again! Hugs!

Roger Fox said...

I completely agree with you that "sometimes a statement deserves doubt and pause to explore all angles." I think we will eventually find out the answers to the questions whether this virus is artificially created or not.

Mark L. said...

I'll echo the Greek chorus here, and say, You are fabulous! I'm so happy to see you back in action and refreshingly calling out the bullshit. Having you back almost makes me think I might get through this bullshit intact! Keep on keepin' on.

A wealthy white Boomer friend of mine told me his pessimistic views of our country's future: he plans to decamp to Vietnam, where he'll be free to chase after his passion for Asian men. Eye roll. He said I should "just leave". I pointed out that I'm disabled, and therefore don't really have the option to "just leave", and we haven't really spoken since.

Did you see Stephen Colbert's recent interview with John Bolton about Bolton's book? Colbert was all like, "Yeah but you could have testified or said something earlier and you chose not to", which is exactly how I felt about that situation. More bullshit... at this point I have to wonder, is Bolton really acting out of his much-vaunted loyalty to the patriotism he claims to profess, or out of a baser instinct for self-preservation from the FUBAR fiesta that is Trump?