TRIANGULATION NATION: We Need You to Shut Most of Your Fucking Mouth to Survive Covid-19.

Ever since it became clear that the president was shitting us when he said things were under control, and that he was probably trying to prevent a panic stampede and/or personal and professional embarrassment and that Covid-19 is NOT UNDER FUCKING CONTROL, AT ALL, nO coNTROL HEERE foLKS, I’ve been making sick jokes.

Because that’s what I do, ecologically speaking. I may not have adapted WELL or COMFORTABLY to my niche, but I have adapted, like Silly Putty poured into a paper shredder. You know how squids shoot ink when they’re in danger? I shoot one-liners. I was laughing after I was raped and almost killed, laughed in the ambulance, laughed as I was terror vomiting while they swabbed my face and asshole. Laughed hysterically.

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Cat photo just cause

I laughed while I was dying of typhus. I laughed at the idea that no one would ever be able to read the hallucinatory sci-fi novel I was writing in my head as I lay in a weird half-coma, because I couldn’t see well enough to write it down; I giggled at that and I giggled at my hallucinations as they got worse.

I don’t just laugh in the face of death, I laugh in the teeth of death. I laugh halfway down to its belly. Why? I’m a verbally agile primate, I suppose, and I make little jokes to soothe myself almost instantly when I see the Reaper’s scythe; also I’ve faced Him a few times too many not to hear the circus music and think “Heeeeeeeeeere we go again! Hey dude!”

But most of you don’t laugh; you furrow your brows (unaware of how silly you look) and try to convince everyone that You Know What’s Going On, because you’re a control-freak bumpkin, and even if you’re making it worse, ya just don’t feel right unless your paws are the paws turning the steering wheel toward the twenty-plane clustercrash.

You may not have developed a sense of humor yet, but for me, the Covid-19 crisis has now been going on for long enough — without my facing death personally and directly ; usually I’m right on the front line of the plague, so I’m as bemused as you are — that I’ve also had time and space to have serious thoughts. (Not that I can’t still hear the circus music. Gotta admit, that gets old sometimes.)

Most seriously, this crisis has crystallized my conviction that IF you assholes are going to CONTINUE to invest your pathetic identities in partisan politics — and it doesn’t seem like any level of fear or fuck-up is ever going to alter that flaw, is it/ — then alas, we need all of you.

We need you to not shut each other up, in fact. We need a strong, well-informed, minimally ideological, not-insane political left — and an equally strong, well-informed, minimally ideological, not-insane right, in order to triangulate the best solutions in a crisis.

Yeah, we all have our emotional (and somewhat intellectual, but I’m getting to that) allegiances, and we wish the other guys would die in a fire, the evil fucking morons, because how could you not SEE what I SEE unless you were SATAN?! They clearly want all the babies and decent people to die in terrible, terrible pain.

But we need those evil fucking morons, ya sam, because their evil moron-ness fits into ours like a jigsaw puzzle. We need both sides to be sane and willing to work together even to get optimal results in times of sunny skies. As we’ve learned too late, you have to milk those sunny times for all they’re worth, cause winter’s coming. (How did the entire country binge-watch Game of Thrones without ever internalizing the Stark family words? HOW!?!)

Why? Because those seem to be the lines along which personality types more or less fall. From the optimates and the populares in ancient Rome — these factions existed before the Romans even learned to read, as did the Roman Senate, which kinda makes you wonder why we’re still using senates ; we REALLY haven’t had a better idea in almost 3,000 years? Mmm kay — considering that the root word of senate is senex, meaning fucking Joe Biden’s age, which is fine before you invent the nuclear bomb and the global economy, but maybe right now we ought to end the war on the middle-aged (that’s another piece altogether; having teased it I will get to the current point).

I understand why many “folks” (if you’ve ever made more than $40,000 in a year doing anything but sell meth or crack, it should be illegal for you to use the word “folks” unironically, but I digress) want to be right-leaning, because I fucking hate people and don’t want them making idiotic rules for me to follow just because they like to be in control. And I sure as shit think it’s a bad idea to pay lifelong scammers who won’t lift a finger to so much as serve someone else a hamburger PER CHILD to BREED (yes, I’ve served hamburgers to keep the wolf from the door, so go fuck yourself).

On the other hand, I’ve gotten enough random sneak knocks from behind with a hammer from unscrupulous landlords, employers, and other overlords — most of them more or less blessed by the parental money fairy from birth, or else possessed of an obnoxious and cunning personality — to realize that eh, I’m not really a libertarian, and once in a while almost everybody needs a little help from reluctant strangers (or, in the case of the corona-shitshow, from money we just have to fucking make out of thin air, and for once I don’t hear anyone from the right complaining about that — just like you no longer hear anyone on the left who’s remotely sane trying to argue for open borders) (Although, honestly, what’s to stop us from borrowing the money from China, and then when they ask for it back, just staring at them and going “REALLY?” and then pointing to a map of where our nukes are aimed?).

I have all kinds of intellectual rationalizations for these positions, just like the rest of you do, and I’m sure some of them are even valid. But the more I think the more I realize that either side of a question can usually be argued for fairly rationally — unless you’re a commie, I’m talking about normal left vs. normal right — so how does one’s brain decide which reasonable arguments sound the best?

I’ve become more and more convinced that these leanings are personality based — and therefore they can lead even the brightest and most admirable among us toward the wrong answer. We are all emotional creatures, even if some of us (not me) are also intellectual creatures.

So, in short, if we don’t all want to die, we should try to take everyone’s suggestions seriously in the hopes of picking out the non-emotionally biased bits from everyone, conferring with reasonably unbiased experts, and doing something that works.

Heavy on the experts. Maybe I’m just suggesting everyone will be useful in triangulation so as to humor you. Could be!

But some of you are harder to keep humored than others. If the Democrats in Congress keep trying to sneak all kinds of ideological shit into the solution, let’s put them all in mental quarantine till the grownups get the plague sorted out, eh?. Maybe send them to Cuba till things cool down. Sound nice? They claim they would enjoy that. So let’s hold them to their word. They can take a nifty reading class.

Author of NVSQVAM, DISASTER FITNESS, the upcoming ELEKTRA’S REVENGE sci-fi epic, & the action novella SEINE VENDETTA. Editor of YOU’RE ALL PUSSIES.

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