To Talk of Many Things… (Vol. #9 – Coronavirus)

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick.
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”

There’s a new resoluteness, a steadfastness, a single-mindedness that is gripping America in the days of virus.

America does not handle prosperity well. It might be said that nobody does. So great a prosperity has made us soft and banal and wicked; single-focused on trivialities and the oh-so-bizarre theories of an elite class gone mad, trapped inside themselves with no way out and only able to scream “help!” up through the funnels, but like a black hole – like a tornado all things were absorbed back in upon itself and compressed into one singularity of bitterness. Escaping from this mess would have been hard.

But suddenly there is a new war to be prosecuted, and America is at her best when rallied together to fight for our way of life. Things that define us, that have always defined us matter again. Borders; it has been comical though painful in its whiplash to see the modern ‘globalist’ pretenders throw up barriers and even swipe the airplanes from the sky in that singular admission, “It is only here, on this patch of earth, that we can affect change. That we can protect ourselves,” and in the process laying bare for the world the differences in societies. China, totalitarian in every way could only do what those who seek power do, lie. And in this great lie, gave the world calamity. There will be a reckoning for that, but that is for another day. Europe, a Europe of ease and welfare aged and soft assuming all its battles had been fought and never again would they see the misery of pestilence and war has been forced to face the fact that history never ends. And in such, the design of the EU is woefully inadequate to address the wars of humanity which rage, whether we like it or not.


There are other things that are returning. Faith; as people see the numbers of dead mount and hear stories of morgues overflowing and hospitals overwhelmed it is only natural to return to that most fundamental of questions, “So this was it? And now what?” Americans had increasingly been flirting with utopia, built off so great a prosperity as we have known that everything seemed possible – and that final day of reckoning? Maybe, just maybe, that too could be postponed indefinitely. Why not? Yet it is back. “Pray,” we hear from our politicians, most often as a means to find ‘clingers’ and convince them they have a powerful ally. This time, when we hear ‘pray’ it rings true.

Civility? Dare we say it? Dare we even think it? It was only oh-so recently that some in government were continuing on their three year mission to upend an election. Today that mission seems silly, what were they so upset about really? Didn’t get their way? The abrogation of a revolution pursued? It is very clear now that these are not the days of revolution. We are in the fight to defend our way of life, laid bare by so great a challenge as is our unseen foe; and that has served as a colossal mirror to remind us of who we are, what we have done, and what we have left to do. Hell even CNN (Cuba News Network as my Florida friends call it); I was watching the White House press conference yesterday with amazement for even the famous acrimoniousness has somehow been tempered and returned to decorum.

America is at her finest when engaged in epic struggles of resistance. Its in our DNA. Sometimes these are foreign wars, WWII comes to might – just-wars that rally the nation. They are a hard sell these days, the wars are, for there is no parity nor are they existential; chasing jihadis around the desert has no sense of urgency nineteen years after the towers fell, long after the war on terror ended (though nobody noticed). But this fight, against a silent and unseen foe? It is clear, it is well defined, and it is one we can win; and build the future again when it is won. But a different nation will rise from this mess, a better one for those who have been marked by personal struggle, have come-face to face with personal loss and have realized that the prosperity is not fore-ordained but is in fact oh-so-ephemeral will return to their taverns and forests and shopping malls with a sense of relief and gratitude. Things really weren’t so bad, were they, before the pestilence?

And gratitude is the antidote for hate; another pernicious virus which will soon also be destroyed in America.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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1 Response to To Talk of Many Things… (Vol. #9 – Coronavirus)

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