Death’s Little Helpers

As I watch the people protest
And I read the homemade signs
I decipher what they’re thinking—-
I can read between the lines—-
As they shout their catchy slogans
Till they’re nearly out of breath
What they’re saying (and not saying)
Is quite simply “I choose death”

Though they’ve seen the grim statistics
And the doctors’ best advice
Wearing masks is such a hassle
That they’d rather roll the dice
Thinking odds are in their favor
They prefer to trust their luck
And if others pay the piper
Well, they do not give a fuck

“It’s my choice” to strain the doctors
“It’s my choice” to spread disease
“It’s my choice” to, through my actions,
Bring the country to its knees
It’s my patriotic right to
Freely exercise my will…
“If I die, well then, I die” means
“If I kill, well then, I kill”

I started this one a few days ago and forgot about it. Saw it today and thought I’d have to throw it away, that the moment had passed and I had missed it.

Then there was yet another fresh-from-the-oven video (no, I won’t link it) of a woman from Cleveland refusing to wear a mask and refusing to leave a business. She took the video herself, and this is not her first such video. From her language, it is clear that she has been reading/watching some of the myriad conspiracy theories; I’m sure she thinks she is better informed than all the people begging for her to mask
up, or step outside, or have even the remotest iota of care about the well-being of those around her.

She’s not stupid. She’s not mentally ill. She’s the product of a subculture that fosters such belief and such behavior, and that subculture will be a large part of why school openings will fail, sports at all levels will be forced to cancel, supply chains for food and medical goods will be compromised, and basically the shit will hit the turbine this fall. As if it hasn’t yet.

I wish I was wrong. And that’s saying something; I was wrong once before, and I didn’t like it.


  1. Cuttlefish says

    Like many conspiracy theorists, she is able to think very critically—about other explanations than her favored. She is able to take in and organize a lot of information, and express it even in stressful situations.

    It is very easy to try to blame an individual; here, her ignorance (not stupidity) is the deliberate product of a confederation of groups. It is highly unlikely she would have come up with such a ludicrous position on her own.

    Mind you, I don’t know her, and I may be shown to be mistaken. But calling this stupidity on the part of an individual allows us to pretend we have explained it, when the real problem is the environmental structures that have shaped her and so many others.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Cuttlefish @ # 2: … the real problem is the environmental structures that have shaped her and so many others.

    The net effect is stupidity and/or insanity, though culturally/politically induced rather than innate. We need a new vocabulary for this (not-all-that-new) social phenomenon – “delusional” seems overworked and inadequate for the 21st century.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    The difference, to me, is whether you are trying to “fix” one individual at a time, or fix the contingencies and structures that produce them. Focusing on the individuals (which, in an individualist culture, is seen as the normal and right thing to do), finding someone to blame, assigning moral responsibility to them… this is what we do. Meanwhile, the fertile breeding grounds of such behavior are left untouched (“if you blame the environment, you’re letting the individual off the hook!”), and we all sleep better knowing that we have found the culprit, and more importantly, that we ourselves are blameless.
    The next morning, we wonder why there’s yet another stupid/insane/whatever person doing shit.

  4. zackoz says

    Good to see Cuttlefish rise again!

    I did something similar recently – this foolishness is an irresistible target:

    How Dare They!

    I can’t believe they had the hide
    To tell us what to do.
    ‘It’s the virus’, they all cried,
    ‘It’s dangerous and new’.

    ‘You must do this, you must do that,
    Wear masks, keep your distance’.
    Don’t they know conceit so flat
    Will meet firm resistance?

    They’re quoting so-called experts now
    Who know so much, they say,
    Our freedoms we must disavow,
    Our rights are thrown away.

    Our pastor says the order’s flawed,
    ‘Government has no right
    To behave like it’s the Lord,
    Defying religious might.’

    Sovereign citizens too
    Have rights you can’t deny:
    ‘It’s not our fault, it’s true,
    If a few old people die.’

    ‘We will not defer to ‘science,’
    Or the pseudo-intellectual.
    On this point we all place reliance:
    Our freedom to infect you all.’

    By the way, I don’t log in all that often, but I always find it weird. Trying to log in here, you’re asked for your website name.
    With others, like Mano’s, you press WP and nothing happens.
    I can usually only log in through PZ’s blog. Maybe it’s only me.

    Greetings to all in these weird times.

  5. StevoR says

    Our freedom to infect you all continues past the end of my nose and well into your lungs and is full of free virus particles.

    Our freedom to kill you trumps, yes, Trumps , your freedom to life, liberty the pursiut of happines sand the ability tobreateh on your own.

    Our freedom to infect you witha deadly disease is the freedom w echoose to hurt and, yes, own you.

    But when it happens to us, give us the sympathy and respect we deserve as humans and do not dare tell us you told us so and warned us, do NOT tell us we shoulda coulda woulda listened if we’d seen, the obvious – as blatant as the big throbbing honking Klown nose on our face.


    Thankyou Digital Cuttlefish, good to have you back.

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