When I ran-off that series of posts a few weeks ago (how long ago was that, what day is it, month — is 2020 for real?), the take-away, if you paused to read any of that and/or click on some of those links was probably along the lines of “Mcshow is such a negative asshole; fuck off with your holier-than-thou hypocritical bullshit: write about tennis or STFUP.”
I hear you.
Still, I was and remain pretty somber, even mournful about this game-changing pandemic.
So: Fuck off.
Either on Twitter, where I wander a few times a month, to look in disbelief at some of the “news” and public “discourse” (the underbelly of social media is sinister and viral in its own right), or on this blog: I clarified in response to some glimmer of hope suggesting sport would resume, that we’d have tennis in the fall, for instance . . .
I said: sorry, pal.
Unless we have a vaccine in the next few/several months (forget about testing at this point), there is no way we can even fathom a return to some semblance of normalcy.
Some dumb fuck political, business or religious types have and will return to a kooky version of “freedom” and normalcy, but this kind of Trumper stupidity is on the margins of society, I hope. People directly under that kind of “leadership” will probably get sick and spread the virus to those of us trying to do the right thing.
Most intelligent leadership (aka confident, psychologically secure, with support from science and academia) will continue to fight hard against this contagion.
But we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m quarantined and you should be too.
The safest prediction is probably that things will get worse before they get better. This relates to health (more deaths and other consequences of this virus — organ failure, stroke, etc.), jobs (brutal economic depression, massive changes to entire industries), food insecurity, mental health, etc.
I’m not sure what’s more depressing:
That we have seemingly so far to go to get “through” this, whatever that means.
Or that whenever we do get to the other side, we really/probably won’t have changed much in the ways that really matter. Sure our jobs will change, our relationships with family and friends, many of our routines and the ways we live our lives in all of the interesting and complicated ways will change. Indeed, a lot will have changed and continue to change.
But I’m talking about how the same dirty, morally corrupt systems of power and profit won’t really change. I’m being very pessimistic here, granted. But I don’t believe in humanity much anymore — this is complicated, sure. I believe in people’s abilities to do good, to be selfless and generous, altruistic and humanitarian and kind, etc.
But we’re in a world run for the most part by callous and corrupt people, systems devised and maintained by these people for the purposes of solidifying and reinforcing power and profit for a very select few. This is a global reality.
The cruelty and disgust of wet markets, of the industries of animal agriculture and environmental degradation will continue, unfortunately.
Even as I say to you, “stop revolving your diet around animal products,” you sigh, shake your head and mutter “STFUP: don’t tell me how to eat.”
(At least try to limit the amount of meat you eat, dumbass.)
“Again, STFUP, Mcshow.”
And you’re likely just a tennis fan, have a family, go to work, and try to do the right thing.
The animal industrial complex is going to be even more dismissive. And people like us will vote for and support these diabolical types along with their grotesque and intricate devilry.
One effect of this COVID-19 calamity is the energized increase in the plant-based discourse relating to diet and health, animal cruelty, the sources of these diseases, climate change, etc.
This more prevalent and public conversation really gained legs in 2019. Sure we’ve been talking about this for years (I have been more involved in the last two to three years, to be fair, raised as I was like most Americans on the clueless approach to food). But 2019 clearly saw a more pronounced discourse make its way into more mainstream media.
In the face of this pandemic, we’re hearing and seeing more and more people get involved, feign interest and conviction, show signs of belief and change.
But I’m not buying it.
The powers that be are fucked-up and hopeless. Good luck having any faith in our leaders, or in the broader population.
I will remain even more committed to animal rights, an animal-based diet, a more conscious effort not to be a pathetic douche in this fight for our lives, the lives of so many tortured souls, human and animal alike, for our planet.
I will try to look in the mirror every day, as honestly as I can, try to take care merely of my own side of the street, do whatever I can do, to eat, live, love, exercise, travel, i.e., consume in the most sustainable and responsible (moral) ways that I can. This really is an individual sport, much like tennis.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to step our game up.
The governments, organizations and other epicenters of power and politics and profit don’t give a shit. We need massive change for shit to shift.
Maybe the pandemic is the cause of some of these necessary effects, shifts, etc.
But probably not.
For now, I have to get back to my routine: be a better husband and father, teacher and athlete, and friend and foe.
Thanks for listening.
God bless you, my reader, and God bless America.