Just released yesterday, some fuzzy, trashy glam from Peace De Résistance, a Texas by way of New York jam. It’s a bit of a spin off the usual for this space lately. Most of my retro forays have skipped about the 80s and 90s but this is so 70s it’s wearing flares. Think Lou Reed. Think Bowie. Think Iggy. Think about MacGregor in his natural habitat, perhaps. That time back in high school when he discovered men in mascara and leather and grime and he shook off the influence and dishonesty of flower power and flower people. The allure of the darkness is still there.
The Covid-19 is still with me also, but it’s probably unrealistic to think it would be gone in a few days. The symptoms haven’t been especially horrible, but what that really means is that I’ve always had a high tolerance for pain. There is considerable discomfort but there’s been no point as of yet where it’s seemed dangerous. It’s easy to see where it could be though, so all gratitude for the vaccines. The inflammation is most severe in what feels like very vulnerable parts. Were it a few degrees worse it’s easy to see how respirators would be a necessity. This could shut a person down. No shortage of gratitude here for the medical science, and zero regrets for all the precautions I’ve taken for the last two years. I knew that when it came it would be when I had let my guard down and attended a larger, maskless function.
But as I told the young couple who got married, getting it was inevitable, and given my preferences, better to get it dancing than to get sneezed on by some random schmuck on the train one morning. And speaking of trains, they arrested the man who shot up subway a couple days ago. It seems to me that he wanted to be caught, or was just careless in the way that unhinged people can be. He left his credit card and other identifying info in a bag he dumped as he fled the subway station.
He was indeed a man who struggled with mental health issues and homelessness. He left a rather large digital footprint, the most damning being a Youtube channel that serves as almost an anti-establishment manifesto. He railed continually against racism and racist institutions, and of the failures of the system to properly address mental health and the disenfranchised citizens. The frightening part of all of it is that he isn’t wrong, or rather he didn’t become wrong until he took up arms and started ventilating innocent people. This was a politically motivated act though, and there is no question of that. It sort of reminds me of The Joker:
“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t,” is what Arthur Fleck said.
What I mean by that is that, I’m no less horrified by Tuesday’s events than anyone else is. I may even be more horrified because I do value human life but I value ALL human life. I don’t de-humanize or marginalize people. What I am though is less surprised when these things happen. I believe it can be expected to happen. The only surprise to me is that it doesn’t happen more and I think it’s because these most vulnerable people among us, the mentally unstable, are further destabilized by their own human compassion, or that is until the compassion runs out. And honestly my own compassion runs out for people who’ve reached the point where they could harm others. They cross a line that I truly fear cannot be un-crossed. It’s not difficult to see how they got there, but what do we do with them once they’ve crossed it? Our strategy thus far is similar to the way we address a cancer. We cut it out and kill the cancerous cells but rarely get around to addressing the cause. Hence there isn’t truly a cure for cancer. There’s a process to eliminate it once it’s there but no real cure there. We just keep getting cancer. Similarly we will keep getting Frank R. James. We will keep getting people who’ve been pushed to their limit.
What do you do with this information, if you’re inclined to agree with me? I guess just keep your head low. Be vigilant. And be grateful too, for every minute that you don’t encounter something like this, or something equally more vast in scale than you are. And yes, this random rage out there is bigger than we each are. Just know it’s there and be vigilant, I suppose.
And doubling back to Covid-19, what’s most irksome and a little bit frightening at the moment, is that while it’s not a particularly horrible case, it’s not gotten a tiny bit better. It hasn’t gotten any worse since Monday afternoon, but it’s not gotten any better. it’s a persistent bug.