America, the land of the perpetually young, growing old is an
embarrassment and dying is seen as a failure.
Suffering and understanding are deeply connected; death and self-awareness are in league. – Denis de Rougemont
Olivia de Havilland died? What a shame! She was 104 years old… had her whole life behind her. It’s just awful. Such a tragedy.
I know. It’s so sad. And what about that Regis Philbin? 84 years old and poof! Just gone! It’s terrifying. Quick! Close everything NOW!!!! Old people are dying!
And Granny! It was so horrible. She had diabetes, chronic lung infection, pneumonia… and she just died. Can you imagine a woman like that just up and dying?
Flash to small talk: At a wedding party… you meet a young man, full head of hair tight chin under his scruffy beard.
what do you do?” you ask…
“Oh, still in grad school,” you say, “What are your plans for the next decade or so?”
“Well, after I graduate,” comes the answer, “I think I’ll take a trip around the world. Then, look for a job in an emerging tech company. You never know when Google will be on a buying spree.”
Flash to small talk TWO, same party: an older man. The fringe of hair left is deeply gray... eyebags like a shopping trip to Safeway… wisps of gray beard missed in shaving.
grandfather of the bride?” you ask.
He shakes his head. “Of the groom.”
what are your plans for the next decade or so?” you don’t
“I plan to die,” he doesn’t say. “That’s what old people do. We die.”
We have a panic. The government is asking… sometimes demanding… that everyone change their lives to protect the old and the sick. Society upends. There is more sudden poverty than at any time since the great depression. Why? So that old and sick people don’t die.
I’m pushing 80 years old. I’m a high risker. And I’m going to die! You know? That’s what old people do. That’s what EVERYBODY does. You don’t save lives… the best you can do is postpone death. Does this come as a shock to you?
Fuck! I’d know that font anywhere. It’s The Literary Device. Okay, I’ll bite. What the hell do you want?
Where are you going with this? As if I didn’t know. You think, since old people and sick people are going to die anyway, that asking everybody to sacrifice to save them is a worthless sacrifice.
“Worse than worthless,” I answer. “Destructive! We’re harming the many to save those who won’t be saved anyway.”
Think, Mykel... since everyone is going to die anyway, why have lifeguards at beaches… or EMT? You’re not saving anyone, you’re just postponing death.
I say, “what gives you the right to butt in here anyway. You’re
just a literary device… you’re not even human. Second...”
BINGO! That’s exactly what gives me the right. I’m one who WON’T die. Literary devices live forever. That gives me some perspective.
up!” I yell back. “Second, you have a good point. I should have
said that given the way this epidemic goes: You don’t save lives.
the best you can do is postpone death… a little. Is it worth it?”
Who are you to judge?
“I’m Mykel fuckin’ Board. That’s who. I have the same right to give my opinion as anyone else. And I hate to see lives wrecked... people afraid to leave their houses... last chance meetings missed... plans destroyed... kids taught that other humans are dangerous and being too close to them will kill those kids… the idea of social followed immediately by the idea of distancing… We’re destroying ourselves to save people who would die soon anyway.”
Young people get the virus… even kids. It’s not just a the sick and the old disease.
“Neither is the flu, the common cold, or e-coli,” I answer, “But most people get over them. Corona is unpleasant for a while, sometimes needs heroic measures, but more than 90% of the people who get it, get over it. In the meantime, people’s lives are ruined –forever– by the fear of it. They won’t get over it. Future generations are ruined by lack of real schooling, lack of human contact, lack of a social life… except for DISTANCING. A $600 –or Trumpian $400– check is not going to fix that.”
So what do you propose? Overwhelm the US healthcare system? It’s the worst in the so-called developed world. You want to make it impossible to treat any other disease than the pile of COVIDS?
“Ah,” I reply, “you’ve hit the problem. We’re fucked from the start by living in such a primitive country. Worst medical system… except for the rich. And that’s a problem… for once in my life... I don’t have an answer to.”
ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or by email at email@example.com. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available. Send me an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com
Had enough yet? dept: There’s a great story (with an awful headline, cut from the picture below) that just reports and doesn’t take sides. It’s so rare to see any balance from anyone these days.
To mask or not to mask… no conclusions. That’s the way it should be.
→ Bird Flew dept: Meaww.com reports that a British man pleaded guilty to having sex with chickens and having his wife film the act. Rehan Baigalong with his wife, Heema Baig, appeared for a hearing before a judge and pleaded guilty to 11 charges including three of performing an act of penetration on chickens.
Funny, fucking a chicken is a criminal offense, but killing one is not. Values anyone?
→ Swine get it right dept: Meanwhile, the Ripley’s site shows us a flu animal that gets it. There are, evidently, dozens of cases where pigs, farmed for their flesh, EAT the farmers. They do a pretty good job. One family reports a farmer’s remains as “his dentures and a few small body parts-- that’s all.” The article does not say if there are records of pigs fucking humans (though it seems to me I’ve seen the 8mm films). I have no idea if it would be legal or not. But if people aren’t allowed to do it to chickens, you’d expect that pigs wouldn’t be allowed to do it to people. You never know, though. If you do it... send me a picture, will ya?
--See you in hell!
LINK TRADE DEPARTMENT:
I read that the search engines like lots of links... and it's also nice to support my friends and enemies in their blogs. So facebook me or email me if you have a blog, webpage or something else to connect to. I add you. You add me.
Here's a start:
Here’s Richard Goldberg: goldberg.wordpress.com
Poetry and humor fans will like Justin Martin in The Latency
And my friend Mike R has a nice site with recipe hits from the past! (He cooked for me once... great stuff.) Check out Yesterday's Recipes.
And here's one by a member of ANTI-SEEN... a tour diary of sorts.
Andy Shelton has an interesting blog here.
Savage Hippie is a guy who has been YouTubing for a long time. Our opinions largely overlap... but he complains that I'm a Communist. I'm not! I'm a communist.
Chris Stecher publishes a zine called PRECIS. You can see the back issue links there... and he promises a new issue soon.
George Fertakis has a very nice graphics-heavy blog... with music and books featured prominently. If there’s no link here (I can’t find it temporarily), then Google… er… Duckduckgo him for information.
And my long-term pal Sid Yiddish contributes with his Mishegas Master Blog.
are a couple video links.
This from Jon Cox https://squelchchamber1.bandcamp.com/album/down-so-low
And this one from my very long-time friend Roger Armstrong.
Oh yeah, then there’s me. I have a blog of stuff I’ve written mostly from last century. You might enjoy it. Then again, you might not. It’s here.
me know if you have a blog… or a print zine… or a YouTube and
want to be added to the list. You show me yours… you’ve already
seen mine. firstname.lastname@example.org