“It’s either you root for a recession, or you lose your democracy.” Bill Maher
Pride always goeth before the fall, and its now likely this asshole – who as you can hear is being cheered on by the unconscionable titheads in his audience — many of whom are no doubt soon to be out of work and increasingly desperate — will get the recession he wanted. And don’t fool yourself, the downstream consequences make it possible to get a recession — or even a depression — AND lose the republic.
We do a notably poor job of choosing our media champions, and Bill Maher is living proof.
In other news, I went down to Sisters Feed yesterday to get more scratch for the chickens, you know, before our friends and neighbors start hoarding sacks of egg layer to make their survival waffles. That’s meant as a joke but in another month or so might not be. So far there isn’t any noticeable desperation in the food supply but that can change overnight, and if hoarding tendencies and shut-in measures stay in place rationing won’t be out of the question. Only three weeks ago we were looking on with astonishment and incredulity as Venezuelans ransacked dumpsters for rotting food.
It’s worth noting the possibility that a novel coronavirus, the result of some communist party jackass French-kissing a bat at a food court in Wuhan, China, will accomplish what Chairman Xi and Bernie never could have: turning America into a socialist paradise. That’s a story for the ages if there ever was one. And it isn’t even far-fetched — because some shady twits in Congress are already, when they aren’t busy insider trading — and in a chilling demonstration of political exploitation — calling to nationalize key American industries.
Confucious say: pay close attention to any politician, or anyone else for that matter, who is using this virus as another excuse to increase dependency.
Still, with the various closures and orders to stay home – which are a good idea but have some dubious constitutional underpinnings – we’ve all been reminded just how quickly normalcy can be replaced by martial law, triage tents, and MREs — and all without irony.
If you haven’t been paying close enough attention, please hear this: there is no long, slow, collapse. The fragility of our complex system guarantees a rapid cascade of disaster as each load-bearing beam in the house weakens – almost simultaneously — and gives out. The structure has been built that way. America doesn’t disappear over centuries of decline: the house comes down all at once.
And, without trying to over stress it, here’s the bottom line: if you aren’t already prepared for an intense and sustained cultural and economic shitshow, and I mean right now, today, you are well-behind the survival 8 ball and worse, should conditions continue to deteriorate, will become something not much better than a sheep, herded this way and that by angry 18 year old National Guardsmen acting on orders from the incurably inept, and the ultimately unaccountable.
How we imagine the collapse:
How it really happens:
The good news is that Fred, who owns the feed store, was still well-stocked with feeds and geedunk for all the various animals humans have enslaved for our amusement. We had a good chat over the counter. No one was feeling particularly plaguey but we agreed these are bizarre times that will crush a significant portion of the small businesses in our town. Their margins are always thin anyway and business owners here rely on the spring wave of tourists for a jumpstart. But those “sticky dollars” won’t be coming over the mountain this year and the Out of Business signs are about to go up like Russian thistle in a pile of Nevada mine tailings– dole checks or no dole checks.
I’m trying to walk that narrow balance beam between optimism and pragmatism, which has the unexpected end result of upping my appreciation for the Olympic feats of Nadia Comenici. She was something, wasn’t she?
Here on the Figure 8 the little bluebirds have returned to their favorite birdhouse in our yard. Every year they come back to this same birdhouse until their eggs hatch and the young ones are old enough to fly. Then they disappear. I don’t know where they go, but about the time they leave the swallows come diving in from wherever they have been — which might be Mexico.
Also, the Snow Crocus are up and blooming in the yard.
There is so much I just don’t know.
I also don’t know where the squirrels have gone. Normally we have dozens of squirrels racing around our property but this year I’ve seen exactly one. There is a message in their absence but I don’t have a key to the codex and so, much like the fallout from Covid-19, I’m not entirely sure what it is I’m looking at. I’ve seen more coyotes this spring which could mean something. The hawks don’t seem to be doing anything unusual and the owl we often hear at night still sounds like just one owl. He has always been a lonely sonofabitch — I imagine him something like an even sadder version of Colter Wall — and it remains one of life’s great pleasures to sit on the porch on summer nights, listening to him sing his brand of blues.
This year I’ll have to do it without bourbon.
I catch myself entertaining the occasional apocalyptic thought: this morning I was strategizing how I would carry water barrels down to the river in my tractor bucket…until the diesel runs out. But then I thought: knock it off Rullman, you are being ridiculous. I was strategizing all this while watering the horses who just looked at me waiting for their turn to get some hair curried off into the breeze.
Maybe we are all being a little ridiculous right now.
I can’t be sure of that either, but I do have a lot of work to do down in the greenhouse. And today the sun is shining, the soil is warming up, the bluebirds are busy furnishing their little duplex apartment, and it’s time to get out of this goddamn house and start some summer vegetables from seed.