the fact that covid19 is a global pandemic, the fact that it feels hyperbolic to use those words but its the truth, the fact that we were Already Sick, the fact that Mike Davis Tried to Warn Us About a Virus-Induced Apocalypse, the fact that The Coronavirus Crisis Is Political, honestly duh, the fact that many people are disregarding the seriousness of coronavirus, the fact that their behavior and attitudes are misinformed and selfish, the fact that some people are acting pretty normal, Urgent Messages from Italians in Coronavirus Quarantine, the fact that Marc Maron's comedy special “End Times Fun” is truly great timing and definitely recommended viewing (trigger warning: heteronormative and misogynistic under the banner of “comedy”), Marc Maron's End-of-the-World Anxiety, The Apocalypse as an ‘Unveiling’: What Religion Teaches Us About the End Times, the fact that Marc Maron’s Netflix Special Predicted the Pandemic Panic, but He’s Doing Just Fine, the fact that Netflix is slowing down in Europe to keep the internet from breaking, the fact that Marc Maron is a comedian and tone is really difficult to convey through the written word and one should keep those two things in mind when and if reading the following excerpt from his special,
I don't know what's happening, people. I don't know. But it's pretty clear the world is ending. I don't want to shock anybody. Seems to be happening, though. I thought we'd get out. I thought we'd make it under the wire. I thought I would, you know. I'm 56, but I don't know, I think we might see it. I think we might see it. Certainly it's been ending environmentally for a long time. We've all kind of known it, we knew it, but I think on a deeper level, the reason we're not more upset about the world ending environmentally is I think all of us, in our hearts...really know that we did everything we could.You know, we really...Right? I mean, we really did. I mean, think about it, we—you know, we...We brought our own bags...to the supermarket.Yeah, that's about it. Like, we brought— We brought the bags.Right when they told us, we brought 'em,and it just wasn't enough, it turns out. Just not enough...to, you know, get us over the top with this.
the fact that i find apocalyptic language really weird and voyeuristic and often privileged and off-putting, the fact that i probably engage in it too, the fact that i don't mean to disregard the very real suffering that people worldwide are and have been experiencing,
I don't know what it's gonna take to get everybody, you know to ... like, you would think at this point that we'd ... like, haven't we been entertained enough? Weird thing for me to say, but Jesus. Like, isn't there something that could bring everyone together and just realize, like, we've got to put a stop to, like, almost everything. Right? Oh, my God, what would it take? Something terrible. That's what brings people together. Nothing good. Occasionally a concert outdoors. But that never really goes anywhere. It's gotta be something bad and big. Get everyone to fucking snap out of this ... Fuck, whatever it is, trance of like ... It's ... well, I think we do it adaptively. I think it's sort of like, “I'm doing what I can in my life.” Well, that's not enough, you know. I don't know what it'll take. Does the sky have to catch on fire? Would that do it? If we all walked outside and went, “Oh, we fucked it. Fucking sky's on fire. God damn it. I knew were in trouble, but fuck, it made the jump from land to sky. This is bad.” One guy standing there, “It's not on me, man, I brought my bags,”
the fact that service workers are losing work, the fact that i was sent home from my shift abruptly at the restaurant because the bay area was put on lockdown, the fact that i think covid19 is bringing to light how royally fucked our everyday realities are, housing, inequality, food insecurity, healtchare, the fact that this situation is making me think of this book preston shared with me recently titled Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society in which (according to Preston) the author Sulak Sivaraksa urges the reader to contemplate the profound effects (global, societal) that would follow a collective moment of breath, a great pause, the fact that we have created virtual realities that are divorced from the substance of life, the fact that we could solve most of our problems if we just tried, the fact that i keep returning to the phrase “essential services,” the fact that i think many services that are deemed non-essential in the short term are in fact essential in the long term, the fact that i also think this moment is and should be a moment of reflection for everyone on the necessities of life, the fact that we live with so much excess, the fact that we should really eat the rich, Affluenza, How to Do Nothing, the fact that public health measures to covid19 represent state-sponsored non-compliance in the status quo, in business as usual, the fact that what if we collectively as people refused to comply, the fact that this situation also reminds me of the Leftovers which is a show set 3 years after the “Sudden Departure,” a global event that resulted in 2% of the world's population disappearing in a moment, the fact that the show depicts the aftermath of this catastrophic event, the despair and confusion, the spiritual toll, the psychological pulls towards getting back to life as normal, the psychological push against doing so, the fact that to pretend things are normal when they are not is really fucked up, mass incarceration, the fact that humans are not meant to caged, the fact that social disruption seems to be the only way to really change things, the fact that if solutions aren't disruptive then they're not really solutions, the fact that if solutions are disruptive then they're suppressed, Weather Underground, the fact that i have the logo of the Weather Underground tattooed on my right foot,
Mr. Robot, ecotopia, the fact that in ecotopia the citizens of that society have created an 'ideal' society by focusing on essentials like reducing unnecessary pollution through things like travel and personal vehicles, the fact that the book is also text-book white patriarchal environmentalism, the fact that i feel such a push and pull towards the 'real issues,' essential services, the fact that i worked at riker's island and i've never felt the same since, the fact that i feel a pull because they're the real issues, the fact that these are the things that 'matter,' the fact that cities collapse when sanitation workers strike, the fact that life goes on when bankers strike, An Ode to Sanitation Workers, pink collar work, life and death, Diane's memorial, Our Town,
In a loud voice to the stage manager. I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. She breaks down sobbing. The lights dim on the left half of the stage. Mrs. Webb disappears. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back — up the hill — to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye, Good-bye, world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners . . . Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking. . . and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths . . . and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. She looks toward the stage manager and asks abruptly, through her tears: Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?
No. Pause. The saints and poets, maybe they do some.
the fact that i also feel pushed away from the real issues because we live in a world that doesn't care about the real issues and that is supremely fucked up and difficult to deal with while working in those fields, the fact that people burn out as social workers and therapists, the fact that you have to go into debt to be a social worker or therapist, the fact that teachers don't make enough money to pay rent, the fact that i'm inspired and scared to think about what our world could like if we treated all of our problems with this much efficiency and collective willpower, the fact that in this moment we have a collective purpose, Wild Wild Country,
the fact that we could live in society based on necessities and collective flourishing would follow, Palaces for the People, I’m usually self-interested, but this virus has shown: if we do not care for people, what is society for?, the fact that Capitalism Caused the COVID-19 Crisis, the fact that Socialism Is Love, the fact that it's hard to even imagine what we could achieve if we were no longer at war with ourselves, the fact that capitalism is selfishness, the atomized individual, the fact that capitalism represents war not only with each other but also with ourselves, the fact that capitalism is warring against the parts of ourselves that are inclined to cooperate and flourish in a collective and public ways, the fact that an Irish priest named Richard Hendrick wrote this poem titled “Lockdown” about the coronavirus pandemic,
Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love. So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love. Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.