Way back in good ol’ 1999, before Extropy was formed from the ashes of Dreamscape Unlimited, we used to have a sample recording of the William Yeats poem “The Second Coming” which we used in our live set. Sure, it was an illegally acquired sample but we didn’t care… Come and get us Sony! I always loved the poem and it captures the fragility of modernity in a way that few words ever have: “Things fall apart, the center does not hold.”
As someone who has been labeled a modern age “Cassandra” and a purveyor of dystopian musics for two decades, it would be easy for me to say ” I told ya so.”
The current COVID-19 crisis was predictable, but not necessarily preventable. However, the scale and scope of the crisis is being exacerbated by numerous conditions that are a byproduct of the way we have structured our societies.
First – over the last two decades (and even much longer than that), inequality has skyrocketed as an unfettered capitalist system allowed those at the top suck up more and more of the world’s wealth while those at the bottom suffer. In a catastrophe, those at the top are more concerned about self-preservation than anything else, so the rest of us be damned. The elite who knew about the risk the virus presented and did nothing dumped their stocks and warned their friends in advance.
Second – the destruction of habitat around the world and the urbanization of areas previously inhabited by wild animals creates a crucible in which new pathogens and diseases can evolve and mutate and eventually cross over to infect humans. This is just one side effect of our climate crisis which, unchecked will continue to overwhelm our civilization with catastrophe after catastrophe. You already know this. You’ve been bombarded with it constantly. Fires, floods, famines, plagues.
Thirdly – we live in an era of instant communication, where the the proliferation of social “media” and the ease with which false information spreads (like a virus) has made our collective “REALITY” a questionable one. How do you make informed decisions if you can’t be sure what’s true? Those in power who called this a “Hoax” and tried to profit politically from mis-information are desperately trying to walk back what they said, gas lighting all of us in the process.
Fourth – a huge percentage of the human population still believe in religious myths. In America, specifically with regard to Christianity, it creates an environment where believers are easy targets for misinformation, and ripe for con-artists who can “drape themselves in Jesus’ robes” while serving a selfish agenda and doing the exact opposite. Many of these believers are crudely, and intentionally ignorant, while many others are simply the product of an American culture that upholds unquestioned religious freedom over skepticism and scientific accuracy. When ignorance is elevated to discourse, and science is equal to “belief”, stupidity rules.
Lastly… this pandemic has struck during the most dysfunctional, inept, venal, self-interested and completely fucking ignorant administration in US History.
So yeah. I fucking told you so.
And for those of you who choose to disagree, or prefer to let your beliefs or politics or stubborn ignorance blind you to the reality of our collective situation, do me a favor. Take some time out of your quarantine lockdown to read a fucking book and educate yourself because your stupidity and selfishness is putting the entire human race at risk.