Thursday, December 31, 2020

Another Year in Paradise

I like to observe that we are experiencing the worst case scenario feared by the smartest authorities for decades. A century from now, we'll be remembered with pity. And we still are, same as ever, albeit masked. This is the low point? This? Seriously? We've been bowling in an alley with raised gutters!

Inevitably, someone hears this and grows indignant, informing me that it's easy for me to gloat. I don't have covid. I'm not a healthcare worker, etc etc. The curse for those holding unconventional perspectives is that people assume we're failing to "get" the obvious. So I find myself lectured a lot about basic issues of the human experience. COVID's bad, mmkay? My odd-seeming gratitude and satisfaction could - and absolutely should - be constrained if I'm properly educated about how people are having very real problems out there.

To them, I say this:

Has there been a year of human history - a day, an hour, a moment - where multitudes weren't enduring difficulty? Is that what you're waiting for? Would that be the condition where you'd tolerate expression of joy and satisfaction? If so, geez, Louise, the perspective you've framed for yourself dooms you to misery. You've sealed your fate. Enjoy unmitigated suckiness.

The people bitterly complaining about 2020 - who are the same people who whined about 2019, 2018, 2017, etc. (an unbroken chain of unsatisfactory suboptimality) - are not the ones in ICUs with tubes down their throats, nor are they the health care workers bravely attending to them. Those folks are all busy. They have no time for whining on Facebook. People confronting actual problems don't reflect over their disappointment. Whining's the exclusive domain of the comfortable.

The aggrieved express their aggrievement on gleaming super-computers while ensconsed comfortably in comfortable homes, warm and well-fed, enjoying vastly more security, comfort, entertainment, and interconnectivity than their ancestors could have imagined. Those who are anxious to kick awful, awful 2020 in its ass live as aristocrats while framing themselves as oppressed and persecuted. Like princes and princesses for time immemorial, they are increasingly vexed by ever-diminishing mattress peas. And they sneer at those with the temerity to propose they be grateful and happy when it's not all precisely the way they like it.

In 2020 the worst thing (short of war) happened and here we are; with goofy masks, sure, but otherwise still us, still here, still doing our thing. Trump's circling the drain and we enjoy all human knowledge, entertainment, art, and communications on slabs of glass in our pockets. No lions or warlords have poised themselves for imminent attack. No death from infections from papercuts. We're free to lounge back in comfort and complain about our immense disappointment. It's fucking fantastic!

Here's how we expel ourselves from Paradise.

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