Friday, April 17, 2020

Coronavirus Crisis as a Turning Point

As published at Unz Review and TruthSeeker, 4/17/20:

My freshman year in college, I had an English teacher, Stanley Ward, who said, “All writing is about sex or death,” which drew laughs from us idiots, for it sounded like a joke, but if you consider how everything falls within the continuum between the generation of life and its negation, then of course Mr. Ward was right.

Everything is about sex or death, so, for example, a hug, smile, handshake, conversation or just mingling is obviously sex, while a turning away, bad smell, disease, lockdown or absence of information is clearly death.

Though this yin yang tussle between sex and death is constant, one partner may stay on top for an unconscionably long time, which may lead you to conclude that life is basically a feast, with a fabulous spread of food, or it’s more or less a concentration camp, or even hell.

So where do you think we are right now? I’d say we’ve been trending towards death for decades, with the most natural intercourses increasingly out of reach. Even before being ordered to shelter in place, we already practiced solitary confinement, with nearly everyone avoiding a look in the eye or attentive listening like the plague. Even before this social distancing campaign, we were already antisocials, well versed at distancing.

Nothing is tolerable unless it’s filtered through a medium. Sitting together in an ear-splitting bar, the dating couple text each other. Watching a screen in the dark, husband and wife say nothing for an hour or two. At the dinner table, everyone hears his own music while texting manically. Hey, why have anxiety ridden sex when you can just chaturbate?

It’s all good. In Forbes, Bernard Marr cheerfully predicts nine promising outcomes from the coronavirus crisis: “More Contactless Interfaces and Interactions,” “Strengthened Digital Infrastructure,” “Better Monitoring Using IoT and Big Data,” “AI-Enabled Drug Development,” “Telemedicine,” “More Online Shopping,” “Increased Reliance on Robots,” “More Digital Events” and “Rise in Esports.”

Marr delicately leaves out how we’ll all become digital Casanovas, with the more profligate boasting a harem of silicon mistresses. The Pope will have to constantly remind the faithful to stick with just one sex doll, please, until death or the Second Coming.

It’s not all good. In the Wall Street Journal, Henry Kissinger complains, “The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.” No virus is illegal.

The eminence grise forgets to mention the free movement of capital, production and knowledge has left America with thousands of shuttered factories, dead main streets and, now, even a shortage of face masks to help it deter the coronavirus. Kissinger also has nothing to say about our individual immurement.

Borders between countries are awful, but walls around each citizen or Palestinians are more than kosher, so just get used to them.

There is hope. The coronavirus crisis has exposed the relative merits of nations, so the entire world can see, for example, how broken and corrupt the US is, with no leadership to speak of. Dawdling, it failed to prevent needless deaths, then shut down much of the country, bankrupting thousands of businesses and throwing millions out of work. As a fix, it throws mere crumbs at desperate citizens, while bailing out the big banks, again.

Here in South Korea, the government has been decisive and organized, without resorting to a crippling lockdown, so this past Sunday, the ruling party won a landslide victory, from the highest voter turnout in 28 years. Just over a month ago, 1.5 million Koreans signed a petition to impeach President Moon Jae-In, however.

Protests are common here, and riots will erupt, but without the looting often seen in America. During the Gwangju Uprising in 1980, at least 241 civilians were killed, with thousands more wounded. On the government side, 41 died, but 14 soldiers were killed by friendly fire.

Whatever their politics, Koreans don’t have to argue that their unique heritage, history, identity and ancestral land must be fiercely defended, even to death. Unlike in much of the West, nationalism is still the bedrock of Oriental societies. A Korean’s most sacred duty, then, is the maintenance of Korea, as Korea.

In the West, kids are being taught that only reactionary assholes are nationalists. Albert Einstein explains, “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” Yet the genius was a staunch supporter of Zionism, that land grabbing, genocidal and endless war project still going strong. There’s no contradiction, “One can be internationally minded, without renouncing interest in one’s tribal comrades.”

As has been pointed out repeatedly, many prominent Jews have advocated an entirely different set of values and course of actions for you and me, while reserving the most racist and warlike agenda for their “tribal comrades.”

Nationalism is the most natural and inevitable instinct. Nation is derived from the Latin nascor, “to be born.” It’s not synonymous with the state. Native comes from Latin natus, “birth.” To be a nationalist, then, is to love, or at least be protective of, one’s native land. To rail against this requires a late-stage sickness or deep dishonesty, which, unfortunately, many proudly display.

“There comes a time / When we heed a certain call / When the world must come together as one,” sang the germophobic child molester, and since we were the world, we were the children, we swayingly sang along, and that’s great. I’m not arguing against caring about distant peoples. The song was written as a plea for African famine victims.

I’m just pointing out there’s no moral high ground in declaring yourself a global citizen, a concept that’s traceable to an idiosyncratic bum from 24 centuries ago.

Diogenes, “I am a citizen of the world.” Born in Sinope, he died in Corinth, 800 miles away, so that’s some serious trekking for way back then, but the philosopher never left the Greek world. Often begging for food and sleeping in a huge jar at the market, dude was basically a Thoreau without his mom or some land to squat on.

Speaking of the Concordian, here’s some of his daydreaming, “I am refreshed and expanded when the freight train rattles past me, and I smell the stores which go dispensing their odors all the way from Long Wharf to Lake Champlain, reminding me of foreign parts, of coral reefs, and Indian oceans, and tropical climes, and the extent of the globe. I feel more like a citizen of the world at the sight of the palm-leaf which will cover so many flaxen New England heads the next summer.”

Thoreau never left the USA. The truth is, there are no world citizens. None! If displaced, you’re either a tourist, immigrant, refugee or occupier. Everyone belongs to a nation, and native or immigrant, you must protect it, because it’s sheltering you.

Again, I’m talking about the people and land, not the state, especially the American one, for it’s not just thoroughly unrepresentative, but a systematic enemy of its citizens.

An empire does that, wars against tribes, including its own, and globalism is its bible. It sounds good. We’re the world.

Globalism is but a ruthless effort to rebuild the Tower of Babel, and as cookie cutter slaves, we’re supposed to cement brick after brick onto this monstrosity.

Though endlessly preaching diversity, globalists seek to blur, suppress and, ultimately, stamp it out, so that we’ll obey their commands in just a single language.

The coronavirus crisis is a turning point in this escalating war between globalists and us dumb hicks. As we gobble baked beans while sheltering in place, they have a well-mapped future to welcome us back into their new, openly naked death culture.

It will be a world of ubiquitous surveillance, universal snitching, curtailed movement, suffocated speech and enforced, increasingly absurd dogmatism, with a lockdown to be sprung on us at any time, since we already know the drill.

To avoid this fate, we must assert our regional autonomy and resist each diktat. This will take much clarity, composure and courage. We shouldn’t worry about what foreign hicks are up to, but simply band with neighboring hicks, to defend our precious hickdom. We must liberate our home turf first.

The chaotic American response to the coronavirus crisis is actually auspicious, for it shows their evil core is cracking. Fragmentation is our exit.



craig dudley said...

well said.

Linh Dinh said...

At Unz, a reader has just pointed out that Thoreau visited Quebec and wrote about it, A Yankee in Canada. Sorry about the error.

Anonymous said...


OLKA said...

This is perhaps your best diatribe ever. Very good analysis. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Jay Johnston said...

Hey. Good read. I liked as well the previous posts from around the globo. Here waiting on our next extension/retention. Cheers, Jay.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Jay,

I just emailed you the questions, so jump in, man, and tell us what's happening in Spain.


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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, but have returned to Vietnam. I've also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), a novel, Love Like Hate (2010), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), and six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems apparently cancelled by Chax Press from external pressure. I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in Tokyo, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.