There’s a decent chance that while a large chunk of America is clearly wrapped up in their “#StayHome! #MaskUp! #TogetherWeWin!” platitudes, the ads coming out of corporate America that exploit those sentiments will be what awaken us from our media-induced COVID-19 slumber.
I mean at some point even the most preachy and sanctimonious among us are bound to say, “Oh FFS enough already.”
Even the coveted and gainfully employed “frontline” workers, at least the ones who aren’t crying into Facebook videos all day to prove to us just how rough they have it and how tremendously heroic they are, even many of them are already sick of this whole thing.
And corporate America doing what it does — exploiting that which they think is “cool” while packaging it as some value that their company really, truly, honestly believes in — might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Every single commercial out there now is some huge corporation trying to tug at our heart strings or stroke our egos with persistently holier-than-thou messages about what they’re doing for COVID-19, and what you’re doing for COVID-19, and what everyone under the sun is doing for or because of COVID-19. And while I’ll be the first to admit that I’m often the first to be annoyed by things in general, I’ve been annoyed for like 6 weeks now and I gotta think a good chunk of the country is catching up.
You can’t turn anywhere in America be it television, internet, radio or just going about your daily business without running into endless masks of sanctimony and ginned up moral servitude over how tragic it all it is but how wonderful we all are and how mindful we must remain because of how strong we all clearly are.
Just for the love of all that’s holy put a lid on it for like two seconds and give us a chance to breathe!
Why does the wind blow west to east over Cleveland, Ohio?
Because Pittsburgh sucks and Michigan blows.
Yeah. That’s right. I said it. I said something that wasn’t completely encrusted in some cheesy moral platitude that highlights how self-righteous, humorless and devoid of anything but perpetual fear and reverence for the moment we’re all being forced to drown in.
Back on March 14th while predicting how the U.S. political news media will react, I noted the following…
And pretty soon, meaning within 2-3 months at the most, the public will turn its back on the panic and the media will be forced to admit that the death and destruction they promised will not actually come to pass.
It looks like that’s about to age well. And I’m getting a sense that the corporate media’s incessant exploitation of the moment will be a key driver for the public turning its back on the panic we’ve been instructed to dutifully embrace.
When I wrote that I figured it would be general annoyance with the media’s fear-mongering that would awaken us from our social and intellectual COVID-19 blackout. But 7-8 weeks in, listening to, watching and engaging with friends and neighbors and perfect strangers, it’s clear that moment is fast approaching. And the endless onslaught of woe-are-we commercials and news promos that are indistinguishable from Hallmark Movie Channel ads are doing a lot of the heavy lifting to push Americans past the brink, and finally get even the most diligent of virtue signalers among us to pull the plug on this whole contrived panic attack.
Yes. Contrived. I’ve noted for a long time that we responded to this based on bad data, and I won’t be backed into some corner feigning reverence based on yet more bad data. The death toll numbers we’re being given are wildly inflated. They’re counting everyone who died with COVID-19 as having definitely died from COVID-19. What’s more, we know that huge numbers of people already got and recovered from it (with mild or no symptoms at all) and those people are not being counted among the infected. Of course it’s understandable that we’re not counting those people, but it’s also a flat-out lie for the media and “experts” to inflate the number of deaths and deflate the number of infections and thus imply that the percent of people who die from COVID-19 is much, much higher than it actually is.
Any death is tragic. But we’re acting like one COVID-19 death is as tragic as one hundred from any other cause, and I’m just not going to play along simply because today’s hashtag and your friends on Facebook say I’m supposed to.
Moreover, yes, we also know that COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for the elderly and immunocompromised. So when I write things like your mask is making you meaner, dumber, more afraid and less safe — and when I dilute the popularity of COVID-19 to something on par with a terrible pop music act that just had really good marketing — I’m not saying we shouldn’t offer tremendous or even extreme deference to those uniquely vulnerable populations. The elderly and immunocompromised should be quarantined at home to protect themselves while the rest of us work together to develop nature’s vaccine: herd immunity. And they should have their own shopping hours, and N95 masks at no cost with clarity on proper wear and care and the dangers of donning the carbon-heavy masks for long periods, and it should be socially taboo not to respect that deference for those populations.
But — stay with me now, America — the vast majority of us are in virtually no danger at all.
So sitting around for 2 months telling each other how wonderful we are, and passing the time by weeping for those on “the frontlines,” and angrily devouring every piece of bad intelligence that the media and experts who thrive off of our fear and submission feed us, is neither warranted nor healthy.
And as I watch yet another major corporation release its latest television ad done with all the lighting and music and sensation of a feminine hygiene product, I’m growing optimistic that more and more throughout our country have just about had enough of it all.
And maybe just maybe for our next “together” at-bat, we can actually do it the right way.
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