Existential Crisis: Panic or Perseverance?

Spring is here, although the weather in my part of the world is still cold. I watched a small ‘blizzard’ outside my window on Saturday, which piled up at least an inch of snow on the ground with it blowing horizontally for much of that time. Some of it has not melted yet, but the weather “prophet” predicts warmer temperatures by the end of the week. Winter is over at last, although it may not be evident yet.

Good times, good times!

So it is with The Corona Thing. All of a sudden we’re seeing and hearing about the “light at the end of the tunnel”, with the attendant proclamations from on high that we might, just might, be able to unlock the economy and society a little bit, allowing some to go back to work. Some, meaning those whose life-sustaining jobs were deemed “not really essential at all” by the Powers-that-Be—all of whom have a vested interest in scaring the general public into a hysterical panic.

Suddenly, we’re seeing and hearing reports that this whole episode was blown completely out of proportion, fantastically exaggerated, and deliberately manipulated in order to justify locking down the entire world. Or maybe to act as a cover for what is happening in the financial arena, in which the FED has utterly lost control of the system and is desperately throwing trillions of dollars at the catastrophe in the vain hope that some of it will stick. Or maybe throwing trillions of dollars in order that the Cronies will be able to maximize their gains and wealth before the entire fiasco explodes in their faces. Take your pick.

As far as the corona-induced panic is concerned, I am reminded of the Christmas movie, The Grinch, which stars Jim Carrey. I watch it numerous times every year in December and always enjoy the show. In one scene the Grinch is careening down the mountain in his homemade sleigh with his dog, Max. At one point, he loses control of the sleigh and panics, screaming out something to the tune of, “I’m going to die. I’m going to be sick and then I’m going to die!” Nevertheless, just a few seconds later, he regains control and begins to calm down. After wiping his face, he makes this admission, “Whew, almost lost my cool there for a minute.”

Yes, indeed, you did, Mr. Grinch and so did all the other people who managed to go berserk in the midst of what can only be described as a ‘seemingly’ out-of-control situation in which many of us were certain we were going to die a horrible, untimely death. Now, all at once, we find ourselves still alive and, as a society, are going to have to admit that we just really lost it for a few months.

Crazy! It’s been crazy, but now it’s time for our “leaders” (politicians, experts, talking heads, financial manipulators, and corporate CEO’s) to get out of the way and let us get on with the task of picking up the pieces and starting to rebuild. However, that may not be as easy as it sounds, because this cycle of destruction is probably just beginning and, if so, still has a long way to go before it plays out.

Of all the movies I’ve ever seen, Fiddler on the Roof is my favorite, standing head-and-shoulders above everything else. I watch it over and over, often going to sleep and waking up only to shut it off at the very end. In one scene, Tevye’s daughter, Tzeitel and her new husband Motel are celebrating their wedding, during which the local police force shows up, wrecks the party, and terrorizes the celebrants, causing them all to scatter and flee. At the end of it, Tevye speaks to the only ones left, his immediate family, “Why are you standing around? Clean up!” Yet, at the end of the movie, all the Jews of Anatevka are forced to leave their homes and vacate the region with only three days warning.

The first part of the modern version of this has just played out. Our social celebration of the “greatest economy ever” has been destroyed, not by the corona virus pandemic, but by the heavy-handed manipulation of it and the accompanying collapse of society and self-control. There was continuous fear-mongering and hysteria, resulting in everything which was good and right about social relations being frayed and broken, broken to bits in the futile attempt to save ourselves from what will, in all likelihoof, be proven to be an engineered crisis—engineered by those who stood to gain immensely by destroying the rest of us. Now all we can do is pick up the pieces and go on, suspecting that there is more to come without understanding the form it will take or what we can do to avoid it. We may, like Tevye, his family, and his friends, simply have to abandon everything we have lived and worked for and move on to something else in the hope that somewhere things will be different and better.

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