Every citizen of America, every citizen of the world, has one thing in common right now: We’re all watching, eyes wide open, as a major historical moment occurs. Yeah, we’re witnessing at least a paragraph in the future history books. It might even be a chapter.
Not only that, we’re being asked to participate in this historical event.
As it looks right now, the monumental experience we’re going through is akin to the downfall of humanity.
Let’s examine that a little more closely – this historical moment reminds me an awful lot of a famous, historically predicted, future moment. To be specific: we’re going through something right now that is pretty similar to an apocalypse. But we all know the world isn’t really going to end, so let’s think of it as a trial run for the real thing. We’re being given the opportunity to practice that Biblical end-time, that meeting with our maker, that self-reckoning. The question is: will we survive our little practice run?
Our Situation: There are two evil forces running amuck on our planet right now. Meanwhile, most of the world’s citizens are in isolation, and have minimal power to act against the evil forces among us.
Our choice is monumental: it’s a choice of the lesser evil.
On one side, we have the evil pandemic. COVID 19. One evil mutant: COVID’s as mutable as the Joker, as egalitarian as the Pope. Ultimately, we all deserve to die of COVID 19, and this mutant disease is leaving it up to us to choose if we die this way or not.
If we’re wise, and we feel it’s not quite time to die, we’ll work collectively. Otherwise, every trip to the get more popcorn and yeast will be a game of Russian roulette.
Meanwhile the other evil raging in the U.S. of A. is our current administration: this collection of mostly men who are showing us what they are capable of doing. They’re also showing us that they are willing to do it NOW, while we’re all stuck indoors, hiding from this random death squad that marches through our streets.
Essentially, it’s now the responsibility of each U. S. citizen to make a major decision.
As in all apocalyptic ventures, the choices are limited, and neither is totally appealing. The best choice is the one that allows you to be your best self, knowing that your best self is going to be flawed. That’s part of the reckoning. When the whole thing is over, will you be able to face your Maker, or even just yourself in the mirror, and say you did the thing you felt was most right, given the situation?
To do that, one must choose to respect the power of one of these evils, while saying “no” loud and clear to the other.
So, as I approach this practice apocalypse, I see two options:
1.Stay inside now. Recognize that COVID is awesome and destructive, but also malleable. It is the evil we can learn to live with, while the other only seeks to take away our liberty and even our lives. If you believe this, listen to our governors and world leaders. Opting for Option 1 requires civic responsibility. In fact, it embodies civic responsibility. We’re staying inside for the greater community’s physical health. That’s why staying inside also means making sure you are registered to vote, now. (The representatives of Option 2 will do everything they can to block your registration, but anyone staying inside MUST register to vote, soon. Don’t wait.) Then on Election Day, the Option One people will go out, as early as possible. Masked and Socially Distant, Option One folks are asked to vote collectively to save this nation. Though we may not be crazy about him, Biden comes closest to representing the principles this nation was founded on. And his VP will be a woman.
2. Go out now. Choose MAGA; choose Trump. Defy COVID. Picket. Demand all states be opened up for business. Save capitalism and the American way of life. Die for capitalism and the American way of life . . . One might argue, this shows civic responsibility, too, and it probably does, if you choose to privilege fiscal health over physical health. So, Option Two folks, vote for four more years of MAGA. Hell, even though it seems inconsistent with the rest of this option, vote for Bernie. I love Bernie, but do you know what? If you vote for him, there’s a damned good possibility that MAGA will win. Which means you have opted for Option Two.
Of course, there’s the “don’t choose” option, also known as the “don’t give a damn” or DGD option, which means you go spend your days wandering around Home Depot, thinking about the pergola you want to build but you know you’ll never get around to. Sometimes you stay home and watch Netflix. The DGD option also doesn’t require voting. If you think of voting on Election Day, you might do it, if the lines aren’t too long. You also can decide on that day who you’re voting for, it’s a crapshoot after all, isn’t it? And then you just accept whatever happens. It doesn’t impact your complacency one way or the other, after all.
But hey, guess what? To take the DGD option on this dry-run may very well impact your complacency. Seriously. Apocolyptically. What if it’s not just a dry run? Get ready for that.
Keep playing along with me: One feature of being an eyewitness to apocalypse or any potential life-threatening event is that people go into shock. And shock produces fatigue, even an inability to respond as one would like. So, as we face this major decision, we must also maneuver our reaction to shock.
For many of us, we are watching in horror, with eyes wide open and unable to act. Our limbs won’t move. We can barely press the buttons on the remote control. We sit in horror and watch the news unfold.
For some of us, we feel frozen now, but we’re beginning to practice taking action. We’ll ultimately do what we need to do when it’s the right time.
And some of us turn away. We can’t look, even though we recognize this terrible thing for what it is. We watch old Seinfeld reruns. Or the Lucy show, and all is as it should be.
And some of us recognize what this thing is, but lie to ourselves and others about it, because we just can’t believe such an insane thing could happen. I mean really, would the president really take away all our civil liberties? Would he take away our retirement? (It’s hard to believe this, but you’d better, because he would and he will. He’s already told us he will.)
And then there are those of us who don’t give a damn. Who would love to see America burn. Those who defy the authorities requiring us to stay home. Those who still believe the man occupying the White House is “one of them.” And in many ways, they are like the man in the White House. In one way they aren’t: he has a fuck-load of money, and they don’t. And he has the power to take what little they are owed away from them.
Where you fall in these classifications is unclear to me. Even where I fall is unclear. What matters, ultimately, is how we choose, when the final reckoning comes our way.
What matters is that we can say we did the best we could when we finally face our Maker on the final day, or simply face ourselves in the mirror, when this practice run is over. And really, when it comes right down to it, that face that you encounter every day in the mirror is your Maker, and always will be. Right up until the Judgement Day.