In which case, congratulations
Merry Coronadays, readers! Are you dead yet? No? What’s holding you up, and what can I do to encourage you? Because the latest stats show that you should be, with a standard deviation of ±3 percentage points. Get with the program and do your part, so everyone can be right about something.
In the good old days, when the bubonic plague boogied its way through Europe, the usual social niceties, like wearing clothes and not engaging in sex with your close relatives, broke down. Boccaccio recounts, in his introduction to the “Decameron” —which consists of stories told to pass the time by a group of aristocrats who’ve fled from the plague-ridden city to a more salubrious country estate—that formerly chaste women were emboldened by the need to show off their symptoms to “doctors” and their proof of vaccination (large, unsightly pustules) to the hostess at the Keg, and soon got the taste for enforced exhibitionism.
So they just kept showing off like Real Housewives of the Plague: on the High Street, at the Mall, at trendy witch burnings, wherever their fancy dictated. After all, it was the end of the world, why not maximize your sin during the world’s first Black Friday Sale? Just shoehorn a confession into your final moments and it’s all good. (Christianity is very transactional.)
God, in yet another whimsical about-face, had withheld His protection, because, you know, god, and was obviously isolating along with the rich people, out of town, in a gated community, with cucumber slices over His eyes, which get tired from watching 3.5 billion penises 24/7. I only hope He remembers about Visine!
Partying till you drop during a fashionable plague is a strategy not lost on the gay community or our social hubs, like Spa Excess, the gay bathhouse down the road from me. They’ve thought hard about this and have developed some of the strictest protocols in the bit of Carlton Street between Mutual and Jarvis. Not the usual protocols, like their screening device that flashes “NOT HOT ENOUGH!” or “TOO OLD!” or “ASIAN!” when you pass through it, which triggers an air-raid siren and three bouncers who toss you down the stairs. That’s a given.
No, this rigidly enforced protocol demands that you wear a mask while cruising the hallways. You may only remove your mask when it’s safe to do so, like when you blow three strangers through a glory-hole, or if your breathing is otherwise contained by, for example, a twink sitting on your face. Believe you me, when it comes to health safety and social responsibility, gay men mean business and then some.
Regular people are weary and cynical about this virus ever being contained, which is natural given the messaging of “this Omicron variant is different and less serious but more transmissible but actually we’re not sure.” And of course, anti-vaxxers and freedom nerds, who are hugely responsible for the never-ending waves of infections and hospitalizations, are saying “I told you so,” and don’t you just hate it when stupid people think they’ve been proved correct even though it’s just randomness and self-fulfilling prophecy?
(Yes, I know we hate stupid people whatever they’re doing, but when that gets same-y you can always drill down.)
Health experts in Toronto are now suggesting that a fourth shot, or second booster if you want to give the medical community every possible break, will help in the fight against the Covid upgrade. Cases are spiralling out of control and are currently at a level not seen since the last time.
We know we’re in trouble because our relatives are all in hospital after our defiant “no bureaucrat’s gonna tell me what to do!” Christmas family reunion dinner for one hundred in a crowded living room, where Grandma licked the spoon for the cranberry sauce then put it back in the bowl before kissing everyone good night full on the mouth while coughing.
This variant is diabolical ! How could we ever possibly evade its grasp?
The world continues to scratch its head as it tries to figure out why four people own everything and still get tax breaks, while the rest of us exchange mimeographed copies of “Three Hundred Days of Kraft Dinner But You Only Get to Eat After You’ve Done Monsanto’s Recycling For Them.” Wealth inequality is mirrored in vaccination availability, with much of the developed world at 90% vaccinated, but Africa at only 8.9%.
The Pope, looking fab in a hand-embroidered Alexander McQueen gown covered in gold leaf and some amusing shades by Balenciaga addressed the issue in his yearly homily from the balcony of some church we forgot to burn down.
“I just hope that god or Elon Musk or someone will provide enough vaccine doses for the poor Black persons of African origin! In nomine Dei patris!” he prayed, his words only slightly drowned out by the platinum cuffs studded with square-cut emeralds clanking down his forearms.
“We’re working hard behind the scenes here at Vatican City,” he continued, “scouring our budget in a desperate attempt to find a few extra pennies here and there but seriously, do you know how much a good Chianti costs these days?”
The homily closed with a reading of “The Fine Art of Not Giving A F*ck” but without the asterisk in the title.
In Quebec, the goal of a perfectly secular French society that still insists on publicly funded Catholic schools showed its laicité by early-Xmas gifting a young Muslim school teacher with unemployment for wearing a hijab, and its lack of irony by making her temporarily part of the administrative staff of the diversity and inclusion programme. C’est drôle, ça !
Never mind that it’s perfectly legal to wear the headscarf on the street or that probably no one would have thought about it before her law-breaking became an official problem. Once you cross the threshold into a classroom full of kids, that headscarf becomes a symbol of religion so potent it will cause the breakdown of society and poison young minds.
Instead, let’s poison young minds with the concept that men decide what women can do, that that’s only bad when Muslim men do it, and that you punish people for being different instead of accepting them. This, handily, makes your life as a student easier because you don’t learn anything.
Expressing his regret over the unfortunate impasse between tolerance and the pure laine purity of the Quebec bloodlines, Premier François Legault remarked, “She should never have been hired in the first place,” adding, “the law was approved by a majority of Quebeckers.”
You’re all heart, François. And thanks for reminding us that having a majority of people agreeing on something — that Muslims are terrorists, that gay men are perverts, that Black people are subhuman and that Jews drink the blood of gentile babes, to name four historically popular points of majority agreement — is forever proof that you’re morally right.
Justin Trudeau, who I’m starting to believe really is the love child of anyone but Pierre, his distinguished father, “did not rule out” stepping in to resolve the problem this law creates — blatant discrimination clearly in violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, resulting in someone, who just happens to be female and Muslim, losing their job over an item of clothing — but expressed how pleased he was in the meantime to see every leader from the Mayor of Toronto up, plus most of English Canada, petitioning to have this law struck down, in other words, leaving the task of governance up to ordinary citizens who thought we’d elected him to do it.
Justin, Justin. Let’s rehearse:
Canada: “Prime Minister, just how far are you willing to go with standing up to Quebec’s refusal to honor Canadian values of inclusion?”
JT: “Just watch me.”
No. I can’t see it, either.
In the US, more Xmas wars and bald-faced lies, and what, after all, is a lie? Just a disadvantaged actual truth that didn’t get its chance to happen! Give it the opportunity it never had and, unlike poor people, at least it won’t buy smoked salmon with food stamps YOU paid for.
Making sad, bullied lies into happy, well-adjusted could-be truths is just a question of having the right attitude and a bit of get up and go.
As if designed to prove the point, there came the arson upon the Fox News Christmas Tree, obviously perpetrated by a homeless, crack-addicted liberal terrorist, maybe even Hillary Clinton, because why not. Clinton, or her proxy, had clearly mistaken the gorgeously festooned fir tree for Fox host Jeanine Pirro — who crushes the stereotype that “strident” must always be followed by “feminist” — while under the influence.
But that’s Barack Obama for you. Always seeking ways to undermine the great nation that put up with a Muslim president by making sure he did nothing except work on his tan and be That German Guy Who Shouldn’t Be Named.
Ms Pirro, who could strip paint just by shouting a little louder, is one of several Fox hosts being sued by Smartmatic, the voting machine company whose reputation has been tarnished by the lie that their machines were agents of fraud, either through lack of sufficient security, or actively primed to fake votes.
Does she — did she — actually believe the lie? It’s impossible to credit that a lawyer who was also a public prosecutor would be so lax about demanding proof of the claims of widespread voter fraud.
In fact, most of you will know by now that the January 6th Committee uncovered text messages sent by Sean Hannity and other major Fox hosts, as well as Don Junior and other family members, to the President while the Capitol riot was taking place, asking him to intervene lest his “legacy” be tarnished. At the very same time, they were telling viewers that “antifa” and Black Lives Matter were behind the riot.
Could there be a better example of the contempt that Fox has for its audience? Trump, clearly understanding that the Capitol riot and everything leading up to it IS his legacy, declined to intervene for several hours, while his lapdogs propagated more disinformation. Clearly these people expect rewards for their loyalty, or at the least, fear for their careers otherwise. (Fun fact: Smartmatic machines were deployed in exactly one Los Angeles voting district.)
Speaking of inappropriate H-word analogies, how about Herr Doktor Fauci, Public Enemy Number One? People who’ve never even seen a Jew instantly recognized him as the reincarnation of the truly monstrous Joseph Mengele and did not hesitate to call him on it, even while insisting that the Holocaust is a hoax on a grand scale never equalled except for 9/11 and climate change.
This is the great thing about being post-truth: it’s just more in keeping with the spirit of individualism. Everyone can have their own truth, bespoke, instead of that boring old hand-me-down truth that’s all baggy in the ass and feels scratchy on a hot day.
And because your truth is, by definition, well, true, you don’t have to worry about things like actual facts or falling in line with the group, which is clearly what Stalin would have wanted. (Hey, I gave up the German Guy, I didn’t say anything about Soviets.)
Anything with “group” is wrong, for that’s how Communism takes root. I mean, it starts innocently enough with agreeing on a collective truth, and before you know it you’re all driving Polski Fiats and singing Shostakovich a cappella.
Dr Fauci, who should get a ticker-tape parade to and from work every day for his decades of service to the US in public health research, and who accomplishes more in twenty-four hours than most people do in their entire lives, does have a problem. He insists on believing that he’s talking to adults when he gives advice, rather than realizing that his critics are under-educated trolls whose mental development stopped at the point where they’re just dumb enough to survive, thus proving one of the core tenets of natural selection.
Science, you see, doesn’t claim to have all the answers, forever. Science creates the best explanations it can, given the data it has at the moment. Best, because the explanations come from the entire scientific community, with everyone eager to poke holes in your hypothesis. Science, therefore scientists, adjust the explanation as new data is produced.
This is not proof of shiftiness, it’s proof that you can trust science not to fool itself. His critics, on the other hand, want advice based on 100% certainty, which is advice that’s like the stopped clock — correct twice a day; or like religion — correct never.
Incidentally, Ghana, one of those poor African countries, has been ecstatic over the development of a malaria vaccine, which will probably mark the historical moment when malaria is consigned to the dustbin. Oddly, rather than getting all antsy about people taking away their choice to have malaria, should they want malaria, the people of Ghana are actually grateful for and eager to receive this vaccine. Can you imagine anything more backward?
The silver lining of course is that North Americans and Europeans can hang onto their prize for world’s luckiest ingrates.
Since you asked, I spent Xmas day evening with my straight friend, to prove how broad-minded I am. I keep suggesting he take the cure, but, like all white str8 guys, he knows best, right? Sigh! We feasted on chicken breast with stuffing, raised cruelty-free at the President’s Choice chicken breast farm, and my homemade desserts, leaving out, in the manner of little boys, all things yucky and plant-based that might come between chicken with stuffing and dessert.
Then we watched David Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch,” Canada’s traditional holiday movie. Judy Davis is heartbreaking in her role as William Burroughs’ overly-trusting wife, and Peter Weller demonstrates an interesting but ultimately overly specialized acting technique in which you say your lines without actually moving any facial muscles or producing any sound.
Cronenberg’s fascination with physical horror is embodied by gigantic bugs who talk through disgusting sphincters on their backs, which might trigger you if you have any conservative relatives.
My buddy’s tiny apartment is immaculately tidy and clean and decorated to the hilt with seasonal cheer, making it a nicer place to hang out compared to my bigger apartment, a shambolic victim of housecleaning neglect bordering on abuse. My aerial slum could easily have given Cronenberg the concept of a writer who mainlines cockroach powder while deploying a typewriter that secretes clear mucus from a semi-tumescent phallus.
In a further display of one-upmanship, my friend had displayed about three hundred Xmas cards on his special Xmas card display table.
“Look at your cards!” I said, putting maybe a little more emphasis than necessary into my resentful tone. “I only got one!”
My friend always tries to make me feel better, and I do the same back, except for today. “Oh, those!” he said. “Those aren’t from this year.
“Those are all the Xmas cards I’ve ever received.”
Aspirational types, take note.