February 20, 2021
Once upon a time, when the world was awash in common sense, courage, and camaraderie, there was pleasure to be had in the ordinary interactions of our lives.
A routine trip to Costco could bring joy. “Oh, look! It’s nearly Spring, there are mystery-color iris bulbs in bulk. There are early Easter chocolates. A 50-pound sack of Miracle-Gro, just what I need!”
It’s been so long since I drove out there (all 2.8 miles), an entire housing project has sprung up in a formerly bucolic green Goleta field, winking white Tyvek at me as I drive past, openmouthed.
Today, I’m only going to Costco from necessity. Some necessities are so much less expensive there I cannot bring myself to buy them elsewhere.
In the last near-year I have become so insulated from my former life (let’s call it), I feel like an explorer, a deep sea diver, when I venture beyond the four or five usual stops.
Naively, I was looking forward—a little bit—to visiting Costco. The pandemic rationing and waiting hours just to enter the store are way in the past. It’ll be fun!
Yeah, I know everyone has to wear masks while shopping. I’m also aware of the symbology of the elites forcing this charade on us “for the sake of public health and safety” (wink, wink).
Alas, if you want to buy groceries in California, mask up you must. I can’t speak to the feelings of my fellow humans who are forced to wear masks all day long just to keep a job. I can certainly imagine those feelings might be profane in nature.
The deep-sea feeling intensified when I stood in line to return a purchase from last October. The plexiglass barriers made it nearly impossible to hear the clerk. And I’m irresistibly reminded of an enormous aquarium, the clerks anonymous as giant bipedal fish in their oxygen-depriving masks, voices muffled and hoarse.
I zipped through the lightly populated store, found my necessities, purchased them at the prescription counter, and zipped out.
There was zero pleasure in this trip. It was disturbing and disheartening to see how obedient everyone was.
No one else pulled their masks below their noses in the store (guilty!). No one ripped it off as soon as they exited, or waited until entering the store before self-smothering.
There was only one other person mask-less outside. I’m not sure…maybe we’re supposed to wear them all the time? Maybe we’re supposed to wear TWO of them? Maybe Mr. Newsom decreed all-masks, all-the-time? He probably did. He’s good at following orders from his globalist overlords.
Not that he follows them, himself. The elites, especially such as the elevated governor of a Democratic state like our formerly golden California, have mastered the fine art of hypocrisy to the level of farce.
Masks are for the little people. Social distancing, ditto. We’re above all that.
I’m reminded of a drama originally attributed to seventeenth century author Cyril Tourneur, The Revenger’s Tragedy:
O, think upon the pleasures of the palace!
Securèd ease and state!
The stirring meats
Ready to move out of the dishes, that e’en now
Quicken when they are eaten…
Banquets abroad by torchlight! music! sports!
Nine coaches waiting—hurry, hurry, hurry—
Aye, to the devil…
I’m not sure any of us long for the dubious privileges of the modern-day equivalent of Tourneur’s archaic elites. Do we really want to sup at the French Laundry, à la Newsom, while the masses scrape pennies from beneath the couch cushions to purchase a day-old crust?
Most likely not.
But I wouldn’t turn down a trip to Costco, and mystery iris bulbs to plant and enjoy a few months hence.
I would flourish with the freedom to interact with the world, unimpeded by malicious mandates and absurd, illegal, immoral restrictions.
The soul-crushing everyday realities of masks and plexiglass seem to have been accepted with a generalized shrug by the populace at large. Unless, of course, they are in reality no more complacent than I…
May we all breathe freely, and flourish greatly, very, very soon.