Monday, April 27, 2020

Even More Assorted, If Not Utterly Scattered

     First, some thematic quotes:

     “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before.” – Rahm Emanuel
     “Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Though no checks to a new evil appear, the checks exist, and will appear. If the government is cruel, the governor's life is not safe. If you tax too high, the revenue will yield nothing. If you make the criminal code sanguinary, juries will not convict. If the law is too mild, private vengeance comes in.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Compensation”
     “When the system fails, righteous men rise up.” – Bosch, Season 6, Episode 10

     Please keep those in mind as you read what follows.

     Where are America’s righteous men? Do they congregate? Do they exist? We’re only just beginning to see non-trivial resistance to the seizure of anti-Constitutional powers by state and local governments…and the great majority of the resistance is visibly “grass-roots” rather than galvanized and organized by a recognizable leader or cadre of leaders. While any amount of resistance to overweening authority is a heartening thing to see, who will lead? Where are our Samuel and John Adams, our John Hancock, our Thomas Jefferson? I am moved to echo Robert A. Heinlein’s plaint from many years back: Who are the heirs of Patrick Henry?

     The political class, which in a remarkable reversal of fortune has even managed to flummox President Trump, is acting on Rahm Emanuel’s observation with astonishing alacrity. State governors and local mayors and executives are seizing powers never delegated to them. They’ve been using them without even the hint of an explanation for how they could legitimately wield such power – and a terrifying number of “law enforcement officers” are doing their dirty work. All we hear are platitudes: “We just want to keep you safe.” “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” “Extraordinary conditions require extraordinary measures.”

     Thus are Americans stripped of their rights, their livelihoods, and their futures.

     Why sit we here idle?

     Have a few links:

     Yes, they’re relevant. You should know me by now.

     The need to “escape” is a thing of terrible power. For a writer, it can have effects non-writers might not suspect…but just might appreciate.

     As I’m a writer, and therefore a self-employed person who works out of his own home, I’m less affected by the pan[dem]ic than most. Even so, the thing has had an effect on my daily life. I haven’t been able to shop normally, go to church, take my wife out for dinner or to a movie, or do a number of other perfectly normal things. And it’s been getting to me.

     Now, my normal output might be considered escapist. After all, I do write fantasy and science fiction most of the time. But when I’m in either of those modes, I’m dealing – through my characters, of course – with some sort of urgent problem. Sometimes it’s been as serious as the impending extinction of Mankind; at other times it’s smaller in scale, such as the need to reconcile with an estranged relative. But there’s always a problem to be solved.

     My little romance Love in the Time of Cinema isn’t like my other tales. It’s a “feel-good” story, in which all things converge for the good and happiness of the protagonists. Its “feel” has occasionally been compared to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with which it shares its overall tenor. My readers seem to love it. And yes: in my low moments I will sometimes reread it, because it makes me feel better.

     So in response to current conditions, I’ve sidelined my other projects to work on a “sequel” of sorts. No, it won’t continue the adventures, such as they were, of Jana Tyrell and Tim Beaufort. It takes off from a short story I wrote some time ago that was well received. But it’s a sequel in “feel:” it’s aimed at making the reader smile and be happy for the protagonists. Working Title: Love in the Time of Capitalism.

     And before you ask: yes, I expect there will be a third “Love in the Time of” tale, but it will probably take me a while to come up with the backdrop…and the third word in the title. Suggestions will be welcomed.

     A quick thought: Note that we’ve heard about the fatalities from the WuFlu, but nothing whatsoever about those who’ve been diagnosed and have recovered from it. Have their bodies been significantly altered? Have their lives changed in significant ways? (Other than being confined to their homes by the pan[dem]ic, that is.) Do they now eat Lima beans for breakfast, or speak exclusively in dactylic hexameter, or sleep hanging from the ceiling? Why has no one told us? Fear of a new panic?

     It calls to mind something a former colleague once said to me: “Every time there’s a catastrophe, they ask us to ‘observe a moment of silence for those who died.’ What about the other victims, the ones who lived? Why don’t they ever ask us to observe a moment of silence for the wounded but stable, or the treated and released? Don’t they deserve any consideration?”

     He was joshing, of course. I laughed at the time. I’m not so sure I’d laugh today.

     I’m rambling, I know. The combination of cranky old coot, angry freedom weenie, and compulsive writer can do that to you. I make no apologies, as you’re here by your own free choice.

     I might be back later with something coherent, but I wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath. You might hurt yourself.

     Be well.


Anonymous said...

"Note that we’ve heard about the fatalities from the WuFlu, but nothing whatsoever about those who’ve been diagnosed and have recovered from it."

I question any level of accuracy on those numbers; because in a great many instances no differentiation was made between fatality from WuFlu and fatality with WuFlu there is no way to trust any of those data.

And, what about the non-WuFlu fatalities that came from being unable to get treatment because medical facilities were committed to treating WuFlu cases only, or non-WuFlu treatment resources were severely limited?

I want to see those numbers.

Paul Bonneau said...

"the great majority of the resistance is visibly “grass-roots” rather than galvanized and organized by a recognizable leader or cadre of leaders."

That's a good thing. Any cadre is a point that will attract subversion. A leaderless rebellion is immune to that.

Say, I wanted to send you an email (to address with a writing idea, but it was rejected by the server. If I just tried clicking the link in your profile page, my computer started trying to create an account for email (I'm running the Brave browser on Lubuntu). I don't want any email account as I just use webmail to get to my protonmail account. Not sure how to proceed. Email me directly at this address

Linda Fox said...

I'm in a holding pattern this week. We're back to more cleaning and organizing. I'm paying bills, clearing out old paperwork, getting ready to tackle the taxes this week. My goal is to get them done before the end of May - even at that late date, we likely will beat the truly slothith (slothlike?)

My big goal for this interim period is to patch up my fast-aging body, get back to regular exercise, and be ready for whatever comes in the late summer/early fall. (Say, have you heard the joke - the COVID-19 refers to the average number of pounds Americans have gained from lockdown).

In this interim, I plan to read, journal, and - as much as I can - write. I need to get my thoughts out of my head, and down on paper.