There’s an old aphorism to the effect that stressful times reveal character the same way that shaking a glass reveals its contents: whatever splashes out is what was inside all along.
That reminds me: I forgot to pour my purely medicinal “writing Scotch.” Let me just take care of that…
And, I’m back. Where was I?
Oh, yeah. Stressful times and shaken glasses.
One virtue of this pandemic is that the reactions to it have revealed a lot about the character of people, in ways large and small. Scammy creeps have exposed their scammy creepiness, by trying to buy up a truckload of masks or ventilators and sell them at huge mark-ups to desperate over-reactors. Desperate over-reactors have desperately over-reacted, dressing themselves in space suits and retreating to their panic rooms to tweet out their last wills and testaments because they woke up with a little throat tickle.
On the bright side, people of strong character have exhibited that, too.
Delivery drivers and restauranteurs and pastors and health care workers have done their jobs, and kept our country running. Closer to home, over the last month my wife has helped to test around 3500 senior citizens for the Wuflu, plant a bunch of flowers in our front yard, and set up a Zoom virtual graduation party for both of our girls that allowed around 40 people from around the country to share in the celebration and give my daughters a great memory, all while managing NOT to pretend to be a Native American (#wemustneverstopmockingher), try to kill me with aquarium cleaner, or launch a profanity-laced tirade blaming Trump because a bunch of godless Chinese communists with bat breath and a ton of frequent flier miles caused a world wide pandemic.
More tellingly, the reaction to the pandemic has also revealed the mindsets of adherents of the two major political positions in this country.
Conservatives almost universally went along with the lockdown initially, because we are way more rational than you’d suspect if you watched several hours a day of MSM conserva-phobia. But we started chafing more quickly, and have been getting ever more froggy about ending the lockdown, because we are stubborn, and skeptical about government, and want to get back to work.
Those qualities are not completely positive. Stubbornness can help you invent WD-40 (after WDs 1-39 didn’t work), but it can also turn you into a leftist activist, trying to make socialism work yet one more time, after a century-plus of gulags and oppression and environmental devastation and 100 million dead. Skepticism about government can make you resist seat belt laws and building codes. Wanting to get back to work can make you jump the gun, and aggravate an old injury, or cause a new one, or potentially infect some vulnerable people.
So we’re not perfect, and what comes out when our glasses are shaken isn’t always pretty.
But over the last 6 weeks, I’ve seen the leftist sippy-cups get jostled, and out has come a virtual Chernobyl chowder of toxic character flaws. Off the top of my head, here are the top 3:
1.Self-aggrandizing virtue signaling joined at the hip with shameless hypocrisy.
One example is petrified block of wood Fredo Cuomo, who broadcast from his basement for weeks, reluctantly calling himself a hero for quarantining himself to protect his family and community. Then he staged a hokey re-emergence, when he was filmed walking up the stairs to once again re-emerge into the world. (The rumor that he saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of idiocy, are as yet unconfirmed.) Then it turned out that he had been out in the world repeatedly during his supposed hibernation, including one incident in which he tried to bully a citizen who confronted him about being outside and not socially distancing, like his governor brother was forcing other New Yorkers to do.
Another example would be Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker — billionaire and “before” picture model for a weight loss product ad campaign — who extended his state’s lockdown until the end of May, insisting that Illinoisans must stay at home for all but “essential” travel or we’re all going to die. When a reporter asked why Pritzker’s wife thereafter left the governor’s mansion in Illinois to go to their palatial $12 million equestrian home in Florida, Pritzker responded that that travel was essential, because their super-expensive horses get very lonely all the way down there in Florida. To prove his point he showed a photo of the horses, all of whom had long faces.
HA! I kill me. And yes, I made that last part up. But his real answer was just as bad. He said, and this time I am not making it up, “My official duties have nothing to do with my family. So, I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate, and I find it reprehensible…”
Yes. SO reprehensible. How dare someone question him, just because he left a press conference forbidding American citizens from leaving their homes and went straight to his own house, where his wife was carried out in a diamond-encrusted sedan chair by four burly Democrat union members (Spoiled Wench Bearers, Local 202) from the mansion to his limo, which drove her to a private jet, which flew her out of state.
One more example: Democrat mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot, who won her office last year because despite not holding office before, she could boast three formidable qualifications: she is black, female and gay. (Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle. I bring that up only because, as I mentioned in an earlier column, the best possible name for a 1970’s cop show would be “Preckwinkle and Lightfoot.” You plop that baby down with Starsky & Hutch as a lead-in and you will own the Tuesday night ratings!) (Also, fun fact: beloved ethnic stereotype “Huggy Bear” from Starsky and Hutch was actually the inspiration for Joe Biden’s totally fictional ethnic nemesis Corn Pop.)
Anyway, if there’s one thing that Lori Lightfoot knows – other than that out there on the streets, you can’t play the game “by the book,” like her stick-in-the-mud partner Preckwinkle – it’s the existential danger posed by allowing Illinoisans to get their hair cut during this Plague Year. In fact, the second leading cause of death in 2020 – just slightly behind “traveling non-essentially”—is unsanctioned hair cutting. So obviously, she vigorously supported Gov. Pritzker’s order closing salons and barbershops.
3…2…1 Annnnnnd, a photo came out showing her getting a haircut during the pandemic.
When someone – probably the same troublemaker who reprehensibly asked Governor Big-and-Tall about his globe-trotting wife – asked Lightfoot about the haircut, she said – and I’m not making this up, “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media, and I’m out in the public eye.” You can Google her pictures, and you will find – how can I put this delicately, especially given my own “face made for radio” looks? – that she was not elected to be just a pretty face. I hope.
Also, her hairstyle is not exactly a challenge to maintain. She’s not 1976 Farrah Fawcett, who needed a team of stylists with hairspray and blow dryers to keep those layered waves of gorgeousness just so (Giggity!) (Full transparency: a 13-year old me had a poster of Farrah – you know the one — on my bedroom door. I stared at it for approximately three hours per day for several months before I realized that she did, in fact, have hair.) (Still… giggity giggity!)
But Lori Lightfoot is no Farrah Fawcett. In oh, so many ways.
Lightfoot has a short, tight, perm! Get an electric trimmer. Set the depth on “3.” Go nuts.
But, apparently not content to leave terrible enough alone, she added, “The woman who cut my hair had a mask and gloves on so we are, I am practicing what I’m preaching.”
NO! No you’re not. You’re preaching, “NO HAIR CUTS FOR YOU!” And you’re practicing, “HAIRCUT FOR ME!” That’s the OPPOSITE of practicing what you preach. That’s pooping on what you preach!
Now give me your badge and your gun, and get out of my office, Lightfoot! You’re on suspension!
Ugh. I got a little carried away there. I started a Top 3 list and only got to 1. So I’ll complete the list in another column in a day or two. Spoiler alert: totalitarian, micro-managing bullying is on the list!
Avenatti/Huggy Bear 2020!