What If COVID Is The Beginning of the End?

Of course my big disclaimer here is that I am not a doctor and have no science degree. But, I do believe heartily in climate change, and I would wager a guess that the pandemic caused by SARS-COV2 and all of its variants are actually the beginning of massive and catastrophic climate change.

We know that the ability for SARS-COV2 to jump so easily from bats to humans, and to continue to adapt and mutate into variants, was accelerated by climate change. This is a fact.

But what if COVID was actually the climate crisis… kicking off?

The signs are everywhere. From the inability to get the pandemic under control, the constant mutations that are now spitting out at such a speed of rapidity, every day a huge new list is spewed out by the World Health Organization; to the other emerging co-infections that are wreaking havoc around the world (such as the hepatitis that is mysteriously causing liver failure in kids all over the world, many of whom had confirmed cases of recent COVID and adenovirus). COVID is now the most transmissible virus in recorded history, and it became as such in just under two year’s time. Ebola is also an epidemic again, with the second death confirmed today; animals are seeing their own viral outbreaks, including hemorrhagic rabbit disease, and bird flu has been spreading through out North America for a while now.

As if this weren’t enough, today China announced its first confirmed case of H3N8 influenza in a human. This sort of just flew under the radar of the news cycle, but anyone that knows anything about avian influenza knows that this is bad news. There are several types that, if they become more transmissible between humans, will obliterate half the human race. This is not hyperbolic either; at least one avian flu cropping up monthly now has a greater-than 50% mortality rate.

It seems like disease is spreading more far and widely than ever before, and it’s mutating and adapting to be able to jump from animal to human to animal again with increased speed as well. I’ve seen enough documentaries to know that this was to be expected as a piece of the climate changing – our ecosystem is changing, and in many ways falling apart.

But again… what if this isn’t just arbitrary and minor change, but rather the beginning of the catastrophe?

Last week, right before Earth Day, several scientists got a little blurb at the bottom of the news screen for chaining themselves outside their office building to raise attention to the pending doom the world faces if drastic measures are not taken. The United Nations then issued a statement saying we have 36 weeks to reduce carbon emissions from every major carbon emitter in the world; and this doesn’t even take into account the real thing not being discussed: methane from commercial farming. (Why is no one talking about this?) Then, on Earth Day, a Buddhist and climate activist lit himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court over the catastrophe descending upon us all.

And then, everyone just went about their weekends.

But what if these warnings are too late? Obviously they’ve mostly fallen on deaf ears, and the media cannot be bothered to report on them, or even when they do to do so with the urgency of the message contained. Don’t Look Up wasn’t supposed to be a How To manual, but it sure as hell seems that it is being treated as one. And what if we really are too late? Certainly, I’ve seen some scientists on Twitter suggest that at this point, it’s about survival. I know you’ve all seen some of those takes too. When we look at the way our government is handling COVID at this stage (well, all along)… maybe that’s true.

Maybe they even already know.

It’s a grim thought, but when you look at the somewhat-state of nature, post-apocalyptic world we live in today, it’s hard not to see this as the actual turning point. The point from which we realize there is no return. Through the last two years of this pandemic, the world has also seen bizarre weather phenomenon – hurricanes of untold strength, tornadoes where tornadoes typically don’t … land… I’m not suggesting a Biblical apocalypse (though I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if one day we see people shooting up into the sky, should God and the Rapture actually be what’s real).

I’m saying that what I see COVID as now is the beginning of the climate crisis that scientists have been warning us about for years. And just as the COVID variants changed in ways and on a timeline that defied the science as we knew it, the climate crisis and how it will play out has as well.

And it makes sense to me – a non-scientist. In the climate catastrophe, everything we knew about the empirical world changes. The true hubris of modern science leads us to believe we know exactly how and when it will all happen, but the truth is: we don’t. COVID reminds us of that. …that science really doesn’t know until after the fact. After it has data it can test with. Like the way economists don’t know a recession has occurred until after we’ve been in it for several months, couldn’t scientists not know the climate catastrophe has begun until after it’s had a while to observe and gather the data?

This certainly makes sense to me.

People always say “yeah, if we handled COVID this poorly, just think how we’ll handle climate change!” Except COVID is climate change. COVID has been made worse by the organic processes that result of a changing climate; just as the human behaviors that caused the changing climate have fed into the trajectory of the pandemic. But I think it’s time to delineate between climate change, and climate catastrophe. Between the slide to the end, and the end.

What if COVID isn’t the slide to the end? What if COVID is the beginning of the end?

We’ve Been Watching A Lot Of Documentaries Lately…

… and I’m not sure why.

Maybe Netflix is starting to get more lame than usual. I mean they just took Planes, Trains, and Automobiles off the Instant Streaming – just how in the shit am I supposed to watch it at least once a week now?

Really I think it’s that we go in cycles as to what kinds of movies we watch. Sometimes we go for marathon cartoon shows, like the Simpsons. Twenty episodes in one day and all that. Other times we go for scary movies or funny movies. Or new ones.

I should mention that we don’t watch regular television at all, with the exception of sports, so it’s either movies, On Demand, or Netflix…

Or nothing. Often it’s nothing.

ANYWHO, so we’ve been watching a lot of documentaries lately. And I’m not sure why. And all of them have a little bit of weirdness to them.

Here are the three we’ve watched this weekend:

Mansome

My husband and I watched Mansome Saturday night. Of course anything Morgan Spurlock and/or Jason Bateman is going to be a necessary win, though it was a little horrifying in and of itself in content.

I mean it was all about men and their grooming practices. And their balls.

It also prompted me to look up Jason Bateman on Wikipedia. You know, while I was sitting there next to my husband. I wanted to know if Bateman was in fact “happily” married. You know, while I was sitting there next to my husband…

So he is. And I didn’t realize that his older sister was the one that played Malory on Family Ties. No shit, right? Well I clicked on her Wikipedia page and BOY… does she look awful now. The 80s and Family Ties and show business really did a number on her…

Back to Mansome. So the best parts of this film were when they interviewed this total weirdo with a really long, red beard. Which was totally different in color than the hair on his head, I might add. He won some European beard contest – a little weird to travel across the world to participate in, but whatever gets you going.

And I should mention that – sure – he was all up on taking care of his beard, but in the scene that showed him getting in his car we learned that he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about taking care of his car.

I’m saying his car was a total piece of shit. Maybe not relevant, but maybe it is. I mean if a guy is worried so much about his beard but not his mode of transportation…

The other completely off-the-hook part was when they showed the product creator and the focus group for this product called Fresh Balls. Basically it’s a gel that men rub on their junk to stop chafing and “batwings” (which I had no idea existed until watching this highly educational film).

And I suppose close seconds in terms of “greatest parts” of the film were when this totally closeted gay guy has his eyebrows threaded to remove five rogue hairs (he called himself metrosexual … I mean, who does that?); and, when the professional wrestler has his friend shave his ass with an electric razor.

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

This afternoon, my husband decided he was going to force all of us to sit down in front of the television and watch this.

He said it would be an experience. That it would be a musical experience we all should appreciate.

Now I can appreciate the nostalgia of remembering a few of the songs. And I can appreciate the aesthetics of the post-punk, avant garde era that made up the Talking Heads of the 80s.

But after a while it just got old. Very, very old. And could that bass player be any more doped out, in her 80s pantsuit that had its own wings? Obviously not batwings, because she didn’t (I don’t think) have testicles; but wings flapping out the side of her pants that just made me think of the whole batwings thing. Then I laughed out loud and my husband got mad.

Thanks a lot. Bitch.

At a certain point in the whole charade going on in this concert film, the tall, skinny, lanky, wiggly guy that is the lead singer just randomly started running around the stage like a complete moron. I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life – he just started jogging. Then sprinting. Then jogging a little bit more. Then at a point he got on the ground and sang while dry-humping the air. Then he went back on another jog around the stage.

It was just too bizarre for words.

Microcosmos

Finally, this evening, I was bored and we had nothing else to do but vegetate like broccoli. So I decided we would turn on another documentary.

Because you know. The others weren’t enough for the weekend, or anything.

I decided on Microcosmos for no reason other than I was seriously fucking tired of scrolling through the Netflix que. For those of you that do not know of it, this is a French documentary that utilized miniature cameras and specialized microphones to film bugs.

Insects. You get it? Fucking tiny little bugs. Spiders and flies and shit.

Here were my responses:

“Those caterpillars are complete morons.”

“Bees can seriously kiss my ass.”

“Jesus, could those snails suck face any harder? Need to get some Barry White up in there.”

“I think I have eaten one of those beetles on accident.”

“Hey look it’s like the 405 [freeway] only with bugs.”

“What’s so scary about those things is they’re fucking ugly.”

“That’s not a salamander, that’s an underwater dinosaur.”

“Wow look at that bird eat those ants… it’s like a trip to Hometown Buffet!”

“Is it weird this movie is making me hungry?”

So I highly recommend that you guys check out these movies. I’m not sure why. Probably because after all this poking fun and making random commentary I’m afraid of the legal ramifications by the filmmakers. Just kidding, I actually think you should watch them. If anything, for a good laugh.

Now here’s Snail Beauty, or as I like to call it Two Snails Get Busy.

If I Dress Like A Hipster, Will I Like PBR?

I don’t know what’s more disturbing:  the fact that I accidentally got drunk on beer before the afternoon was even over (ewww gross – beer!); or, the fact that it was so easy for me to find clothing and accessories in my house that fit the hipster milieu.

 In any event, for some reason I got this crazy idea that if I surrounded myself with hipster accessories, and even went as far as to dress like one, that I would somehow magically begin to like PBR as well.  I thought this would be the best way to test my hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon.  The only other possibility is that being a hillbilly will influence your actual enjoyment of PBR, and since we have already established that hipsters are just hillbillies in vintage, it seems pointless to test both.  (Not to mention, I would have to dress in overalls and take serial photographs of myself sitting on the toilet:  the former I am unable to do for I own no overalls; the latter I am sure you all do not really want to see…)

Here are the results (you will note I have added the typical, hipster photo effects to get the true feeling that – for this day only – I really became a hipster):

I decided to only sample four beers, because really I hate beer.  PBR was to be included as one of the four; my photographer and beer sampling administer (thanks dad!) chose these:  Tecate, Corona Extra, Coors Light, and PBR

As I said, I surrounded myself with everything-hipster.  That was to test my hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Included in my surroundings, I had:  an unreasonable amount of Apple products, a pile of scarves (ready for wear if needed, despite the fact that it was 90 degrees out), colored sunglasses, a ridiculous hat (the only thing that would have been worse would be a vintage fedora … but the hipsters do love their retarded beanies), and an oversized and unmatched outfit … disturbingly put together from my very own closet.  The drinks were hidden behind a black box and a wall of the extra cans of PBR.

It was rough for me to choke down that beer, but I’ve had enough in my hey day to guess at 75% correctness.  This blogger hasn’t had beer in a long time, though, so obviously I felt a little rusty drinking it.

I got Tecate right!  I’ve had Tecate a lot in my life – and I still do enjoy the taste.

Coors Light was wrong.  I didn’t like it and never have, so it is no wonder I guessed it was Rolling Rock.  I’m not the biggest fan of American beers on the rare occasions that I do drink them, so it is no surprise that I had no clue (really) what I was drinking on the second round.

Obviously a little tipsy at this point, I got Corona Extra correct!  And I’m still a fan …

I was given a few different samples of the Tecate and the Coors Light before we moved on to the PBR, just for the sake of making sure I didn’t figure out what I was drinking.  Obviously the level of hatred I have towards hipsters would have skewed the results; nonetheless, when PBR came up I did guess it correctly and I still hated it.

This leaves us to a few possibilities:

  1. My hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon was just proved wrong.  This is quite obvious.
  2. You could further hypothesize that just surrounding yourself with hipster-esque things does not actually make you be a hipster.  This is a pretty big possibility and is an entire blog altogether, for that would mean that being a hipster is not about the material manifestations of it, but rather an inner state of being.  (I shudder to think that is the case.)
  3. What I really believe this proves is the idea that hipsters will do whatever to conform to the social standards of being a hipster.  It has been cited before on a number of different blogs, websites, and even news articles on Time and various weekly papers.  Hipsters want so badly to be against the grain of social norms that they conform to their own … social norm of (ironic) nonconformity.  
Back to my normal self …
… I am reminded that my real obsession with the hipsters is not that they like certain things or act in a certain way, but that they are complete hypocrites.  They will spend hundreds of dollars on things that look vintage.  They claim a nonconformist attitude by going at great lengths to conform.  They argue for individual rights and respect, while letting their parents pay for everything well into middle age.  They will even go as far as to drink a drink that really does taste like it came from a toilet bowl, merely for the sake of saying “we like cheap.”  But the Pabst Blue Ribbon wasn’t even really that cheap – it was comparable in price to all of the other beers I sampled.  A friend from Chicago even told me yesterday that at bars out there a pint of it will cost you about $6.50 – more than I have ever seen a person pay for a pint of beer.  Hipsters are one of my biggest pet peeves merely because in hoards they are creating even more stupidity and hypocrisy in American society, something I really think we already have enough of.
Special thanks to my dad, Raymond Schmidt, for setting up the beer tasting and taking the photographs.  He’s a writer too … you can find him on Amazon by clicking here.