Saturday Afternoon at the End of the World
When I was about 11, in the early 1950’s, I’d be given a couple of quarters, to go spend Saturday Afternoon at the movies. One quarter was for admission, the second was good for popcorn, a soft drink, and a candy bar.
For this hard to come by sum, we and my pals etc. would get two full-length movies, a newsreel, a serial, three or more cartoons, previews of coming attractions, and a break in the middle for a live bubblegum contest, for which the winners got more to eat, and free tickets for a later day.
The theater, which had seats for over 500, generally sold out, and still that night ran a more adult movie for those who did not want to watch a film among rude and yelling children letting off steam. Some of my favorite films were Abbot and Costello monster movies.
More than a few modern folk find some wisdom in us viewing our lives as a movie, in which we are writer, director, and principle actor.
In flu season – way back then, with many absent from school, it was not uncommon for not well-supervised kids, who were not in school, to show up for the movies. Nobody cared. Flu was normal, as were all the major childhood illnesses. At the time there were few vaccines.
In the early 1950s, four vaccines were available: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and smallpox. Because three of these vaccines were combined into a single shot (DTP), children received five shots by the time they were 2 years old and not more than one shot at a single visit. Google
My gravest “childhood” illness was at the onset of puberty – I was 14, diagnosed with scarlet fever, and keep home and in bed for two weeks. The doctor did a home visit every couple of days.
Fast forward to Now.
I will be 80 this coming December 23rd. Like a few billion other folk I live in a world seemingly rushing out of control towards some kind of abyss. A kind of Saturday Afternoon at the End of the World.
Still, it is happening one day at a time, and while there are many prognosticators of coming attraction horrors, Abbot and Costello seem to be running governments all over the world, and they are yet to have a workable consensus.
A few years ago I realized that age 11 was a good age, and that I would more or less observe the rite of second childhood at that age, whose main remembered characteristic was: adults lie a lot, are often totally stupid and out of it, and should not to be trusted.
This healthy skepticism/intelligence has been very helpful in seeing through the smoke and mirrors of the pandemic-Pandemonium. At the same time, I do spend a few hours each day wandering the Facebook landscape, which has been a useful source of … not the truth for sure.
What I have learned there – as I discuss with other folk the meaning of this “situation” in which we all find ourselves – is that the narrative is kind of like a set of nested Russian dolls. If I try to unpack the illogic of one doll, the layers next above and below make it hard for people to let go other their present way of “seeing”.
Folk today are writing about the “masks”, and beginning to insist that all must wear them, and if necessary be legally compelled to do so. Me, I’m suspicious. Even though I offered an article in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, that suggests a rethinking of the mask outside of hospitals – pointing out that it takes a close conversation of five to ten minutes with the same person to possibly catch the bug if they are infected, or an asymptomatic carrier, folk reading my posts just called me a dangerous fool, and never read the article. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372
One of the strange and frighten aspects of the narrative was how quickly the ideas of masks and social distancing appeared. As a careful student of the media-process, the rapid imposition of such rules stood out as odd, to say the least. My memory, as I noticed this, recalled that even before Lee Harvey Oswald was captured, in Asia press releases appeared – with details of who he was – within just 12 hours after the assassination.
The management of public information (the narrative) is an art and science (public relations) that often has as a central purpose masking the truth. Billions of dollars for the making of a new vaccine are involved, and the institutions of Big Pharma are basically conscienceless multinational corporations. It is not in their business model to actually heal.
Another odd event was how fast the twenty minute video of Dr. Judy Mikovits (co-author of Plague of Corruption – Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science) came and went from social media such as YouTube and Facebook – less than ten days by my sense of things.
I had not yet watched it, and was aware mostly of the mass of Facebook posts saying – in essence – that she was a liar, incompetent, and stupid. The quick coming and going of this view intrigued me – as well as the flood of accusations as to her character, given my studies for decades of media processes, so my 11 year old skepticism wanted to know what was the smoking gun that caused such fear among the powerful.
Up to that point of time, I had not noticed so much the fact that these powerful folks were fighting over patent rights to the coming vaccine/s. She outlined it simply, and named some names, having worked with Dr. Fauci at WHO some decades earlier.
It is Dr. Fauci that was the principle source of social distancing and masks – and still is. Fact checkers have established that his epidemiological predictions were outside the norm of others in the field. The principle fact is that a flu season was named by him – and his friends – as a “pandemic”, far before the evidence of such was in (it is now known this was a bad flu season, but no pandemic.)
When Eisenhower gave his farewell address he spoke of another danger, besides the famous military-industrial complex – namely the vast quantities of money flowing into our universities and colleges from corporations, whose agenda was not so much pure research, but ways to take hold of the scientific narrative in support of their products. If you followed the wanted narrative, you got research money.
My older brother, a PhD in microbiology, left his career behind, in part because the department politics was deadly, and the fact that lower schools/colleges were sending to his graduate classes people who did not want to think, and do science, but rather wanted to be taught what to believe so as to be able to pass tests and advance.
I’ve always known that money could buy bent/criminal experts in anything.
So here we are, Saturday Afternoon and the End of the World. Frankenstein, the Wolf-man, and Count Dracula are trying to kill us. Still, we are free not to pay attention, to trust our own instincts and skepticism, and enjoy the show.
It ends, and we go home … right?