To be fair i should have known what was coming. I once asked my mother, an evangelical christian who bolted the Catholic church after they wouldn't annul her marriage, because as they told her rather bluntly, there was no grounds for it, if she thought the dinosaurs lived 6000 years ago? She wouldn't answer. So when the conversation turned to the inept handling of this crisis by the most inept dipshit reality television could dig up i shouldn't have been shocked to hear the complete fucking non-sense bursting forth. First there was the fact China had created this virus to get back at the Orange Shitgibbon for his tariffs. Next came the George Soros conspiracy theories about tanking the stock market and how Orange Shitgibbon has made everything awesome since the black guy's been gone. The fact based evidence to the contrary i presented was roundly ignored and soon i was telling her that she should be careful about getting into the deep end of the pool where critical thinking and facts would reign. When she began a rant on socialism i cut her off and explained to her she didn't even understand the word or the concept and that what she believed was nothing more than the propaganda spewed by a bunch of racist talking heads on Faux News. Our relationship can still be considered tenuous at best and i was about to warn her that soon i'd be unleashing my full assault on her "religion", wondering if she could point out the verse in that book of hers where it explains how to pay hush money to the porn stars you bang. Luckily Nick Disaster called me and saved her.
So let's just say this call had already put me in a sour mood when next day at the pool i had a short conversation with a guy about the current state of things. There are certain words that trigger the antenna, so when he talked about how overblown the current situation was, the hoax, how the US healthcare system was the best in the universe and how these other "shit countries" couldn't deal with things i knew exactly what channel he watched. Add in his creepy mustache, similar to the one my mom's husband sports and i was soon developing my own conspiracy theories. Needless to say i believe he caught my vibe of "i might fucking drown you asshole" before swimming off. While i'm working on my practice of radical humanism i understand the yin-yang will always balance the light with the dark. When standing at the check out a the local Rite-Aid and listening to the guy behind the counter talk about how every case of this virus is like a "plane crash", a term i had heard uttered by a number of right wing mouthpieces claiming "hoax" and "not that serious", i once again realized these fuckers are everywhere. Sometimes sitting around stoned and pondering my wiggling toes i forget that the country i live in is the epicenter of the selfish asshole, the me first mentality. While i attempt to change it one kind act at a time there are other times when i feel like a well placed uppercut might be more effective.
It was after all this happened, a span of less than 24 hours, that i was doing my usual sweeping up around the gaff, an activity that often places me in a zen state of mind, that the New AA popped into my head. The Asshole Alert, as i dubbed it, when the buzz words and catch phrases of certain media outlets and talking heads pop up in the speech of people alert me to the fact i'm dealing with something more sheep than human. Someone who may lack the critical thinking, compassion, empathy, to think about anyone other then themselves. The more i look around the more i see that this may be even more dangerous that the current virus, mainly because you can't develop a vaccine for this, you have to change the way people fundamentally see the planet they live on, the people they live with, people who may not look or think or speak like they do. How do you get people to think? How do you get people to care about someone other than themselves? How do you get people to love instead of hate? How do you instill compassion and empathy into beings that want to build walls and cage kids? Chances are you won't but that doesn't mean you can't try. As Albert Camus once said, "in the midst of winter, i found there was, within me, an invincible summer." Sadly, some will stay and revel in that winter, but if we don't plant the seed then nothing grows, and even when the darkness creeps in we have to remember some flowers bloom at night.