Peter Self Isolates and Shares His Thoughts

I am sitting on my battered black Ikea couch, writing this week’s column a). Like so many of you, I am self isolating, driving the Cat nuts, but doing the right thing, at least in my mind. Very few people have any idea just how far this will go, but the ramifications are truly alarming, and only a complete fool would publicly voice their prediction (looking towards Washington D. C., I sadly shake my head.)

At times of crisis, the general populace expects a leader to …well, lead. Regardless of what you may think of Justin Trudeau personally, the simple fact is that he has unveiled a relief package established by his government, providing financial assistance to those who really need it. For their part generally, Canadians have displayed the tolerance and understanding which make me proud to be one. I truly love this country, it is the best country on Earth. Now our hands are not completely clean, there have been incidents of racist graffiti and those dreadful white power groups have endeavoured to spread their verbal sewage. We can not forget the run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer at the local grocery store, or the couple who bought up all the hand sanitizer they could find and scalped it on an online auction site. The absolutely most repugnant couple to me are the pair who gleefully cleaned out a grocery store meat department. In the video I saw, they are openly gloating that they bought all this meat.
Thankfully, people are pushing back against these profiteers. At least one online site closed the account of one of these perpetrators in the U.S., who then had the temerity to complain publicly that he had a giant pile of hand sanitizers and had no idea what to do with them now. This heartrending soul baring was greeted with the mocking contempt that it so richly deserved.
Facebook, of course, has been full of memes, some very good. I have seen several suggesting that people should have more tolerance for refugees, as after all, we recently fought over toilet paper. Of course, the bailouts for big business have come under fire. I saw one which suggested that instead of giving big business a bailout, we should just give them back the taxes they have paid. Brilliant!! There has also been a post going around about Anne Frank and her party hiding for over 700 days in a cramped attic, afraid to make any noise. Today (Wednesday)  I started to see memes of dogs hiding from their owners, afraid to go on yet ANOTHER walk on the same day.
People have been advised to stay inside and go out only when absolutely necessary. While most people are following this dictum, many are not. Look at Toronto, where a crowd gathered to be the first to get a video game. Then there were the spring break crowds at various beaches. Governments have been forced to enact laws prohibiting gatherings of more than a small group of people. Listen, I love liberty as much as the next person, but we are facing a major crisis and Draconian measures have to be imposed, because many people lack self discipline. Others have apparently abandoned the concept of the common good, feeling that their personal freedom is more important. For example, 3 people are suing a state, (Vermont, possibly) over a ban on groups assembling in public during this time. One of them is a former state representative. Hey pal, you serve the public, not the other way around.
Religiously, I am a spiritualist. I have many friends to whom religion is a very vital part of their life, and I applaud them for that. However, when you hear some of the things which televangelists are telling their congregations about this virus, you will wish that you had kept some contempt in reserve. I saw a video in which one told her crowd that she was declaring the virus illegal. Um, it does not quite work like that. Just because you say it does not make it so. Another said that the power of the government ends at the door of the church. Yet another mocked the virus, saying that we live for Christ and if we die, we die for Christ. Sorry, pal, but you do not speak for me. One mentioned that his congregation would receive anointed handkerchiefs to protect them!
How about the hobby shop chain in the U.S. b) whose owner has told his employees to continue to report for work because his wife had a vision from God. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. I will finish this part off by describing a meme I saw a few days ago. It shows Pat Robertson looking at the camera and saying that God had spoken to him the previous night. Then Robertson asks what STFU means.
South of the border we have had the usual chaos which has been the order of the day since Marmalade Mugabe and his grifters have taken over. Some representatives were briefed on the virus and promptly went out and dumped stock. That was their first thought, i.e., how cold they financially benefit from this crisis. Yet people defend them. Barr is looking at suspending some constitutional rights, for example involving detention, because you know, this is a crisis and we all have to work together. (Sure!)
No surprise that companies with ties to the monster are getting juicy contracts, everyone makes money of it, everyone who is in the inner circle, anyway. Remember when he was asked by a reporter what he would say to members of the public who had concerns about  this very real threat. His statesmanlike response was to tell the reporter that he was a bad reporter and then he attacked the media that does not toe his line. What is really sad is that there are so many other glaring examples of his lack of leadership, of concern for his people, like the lieutenant governor of Texas who is on record as saying that old people would die to help the economy get moving again. (Do not forget that Trump squelched news about this virus in an attempt to improve his chances of re election, by the way.).
Donald J Trump does not give a flying fuck about Americans, unless they are white, rich and male. In passing, we are seeing that the real heroes are the truck drivers and cleaners and stock clerks and wait staff and medical staff. It would appear that the CEOs and the CPAs and the hedge fund managers and the pro athletes and most entertainers and celebrities are of limited, if any, value at this time.
Well, enough negativity. While venues are closed, various artists are live streaming their music, reaching out to their market. Someone asked if that might spell the demise of the live show. That is a good question, but I do not think that it will. People are generally gregarious, and in any case, as I always say, a crowd of 75 people can give a band much better real time feedback than 75 views of a you tube video or even a live stream. Museums and art galleries and libraries are making their collections accessible on line.
For my part, I have been watching you tube videos c). I found an interesting series on the English Civil War, one on the War of the Roses and I have enjoyed watching videos of my friend Steve Zaloga, an expert on armour from its very beginnings. Steve is an accomplished plastic modeler, scholar and prolific author. If you are interested in the subject, I suggest that you look him up online. His lecture on “Smashing Hitler’s Panzers” concerns 12th S.S. Panzer Division at the Battle of the Bulge and is available online. I also recommend Peninsula Seniors Out And About, an excellent series of historical lectures about numerous subjects.  And there is always “Aircrew Interview”. I am going out tomorrow to get some groceries d), but other wise am staying in. I am olde and have asthma, so I am not taking any chances. I want to thank everyone who has been in touch with me, thank you all.
In times of trouble, we often sing. Some songs we sing are old favourites, some are hymns. However, some songs are written or adapted at times like this. Randy Rainbow is a great satirical singer e), and my colleague Roxanne Tellier mentioned him and his latest work in her latest column. Check it out.
There is another group called The Parody Project. They do covers, for example, they covered The Sounds Of Silence, rewording it and renaming the tune It Confounds The Science. They also did a song to the tune of The Song Of Roland. e) I gave them a standing ovation just for creativity! Their latest parody is entitled “My Carona”, and the lyrics are by Donald Trump. They take his various and sundry statements and make them rhyme. Beautiful work.
I am writing this with a sore right wrist, but I am giving it the heating pad. I am also listening to Vivaldi now, I started off listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, 1-6, conducted by Claudio Abbado. As I was writing, Pat Blythe’s latest came into my inbox. That reminded me of a video she put on her timeline, which I shared it to mine. I watched it and cried tears of joy. The site is The video is members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra playing from their homes.
Why did I emote so? First off, it was “Ode To Joy”, a beautiful piece from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a piece so famous that it was mentioned in a Beatle’s movie. Secondly, as each instrument joins on, it sounds insignificant at first, but then you hear the sound build and the effect is frankly awesome. Finally, it tangibly demonstrates the adaptability of people. You couldn’t go to see them, so they came into your living room. Yes, a metaphorical “middle finger” to this pestilence, a rallying cry of hope.
Stay safe, my friends.
See you soon.
a) I generally sit on my battered black Ikea couch when I write my column. I just wanted a dramatic opener this week.
b) I will not dignify them by mentioning their name, but they are opposed to LGBT people and birth control as well and, as much as I love plastic model aircraft, they will never get a penny of my money.
c) But not most W.W.II videos as I kept correcting them by yelling at the TV..
d) Including cat treats. I can not forget them.
e) One reason why so many right wing people are against the arts is because they have no sense of humour, in my opinion.



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