By Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ December 9, 2020
I’m very interested to see what the word normal means for the people in the US six months from now. Interested is not quite the word because any change carries dread, but that may be simply Trump’s lingering foul miasma. After four years of a narcissistic psychopath in the White House, all words have been corrupted. Everything seems coated with rat poison, and all cupcakes contain razor blades. We know what to expect.
It’s hard to think of something as interesting without a sharp intake of breath and a quick check for an escape route. This is what it now means to be American. We once were ugly and intimidating, but now we are ugly and cringe at the endless hootings of a delusional idiot.
Perhaps in a few months, we will be able to contain our fear and relax in anticipation when someone says, ‘did you hear about . . .?’ The need to brace for something awful in every newscast because Trump and his mini-me followers have done something absurd, disgusting, and vicious is a burden no people should carry. How long until the PTSD wears off?
But what will the new normal be? We, or at least a majority of the semi-educated and aware population, know that it will only vaguely resemble the old normal. That old normal from the distant past five years ago is so dead it is hard to remember.
Many of us, lucky enough to retain safe jobs, homes, and hope while avoiding sickness and death in our families, want nothing to do with that old normal. The ease with which the impossible was done, and we learned how to work from home and rediscover family time (challenging but what isn’t?) and cut our carbon output while not buying worthless stuff is something to be kept.
Despite the old establishment demanding more debt from us and to start buying wildly again, I think the new normal will keep that unsustainable economy on the ropes. Social activities will slowly come back, but who wants back on the hamster wheel we were told was our duty to run?
Part of that new normal will be dealing with a portion of the population desperately pretending that everything should be the same even though nothing is left of that but empty stores and shoddy facsimiles. Of course, the problem population will refuse to accept any reality that isn’t a vast conspiracy.
This stuff is not even funny anymore, so I don’t think there will be comedy routines to help with how to deal with these problems. But I could be wrong. It may be that we, as a population, reestablish control by actively and constantly mocking Trump and his cohort of losers so hard they disappear from public view.
A good example of this courtesy of Spike Dolomite’s Looking Stupid:
“Remember when elections used to happen and then they’d be over and the loser would congratulate the winner and then everyone would get on with their lives? Evidently that’s too much to ask of what’s become the party of stupid fucking violent sore-loser terrorist assholes.” — Jeff Tiedrich
In either case, with mocking humor or not, I suspect it will require a continuation of learning to ignore the problem population while watching carefully to see if they are dangerous today.
The US part of North America has a serious problem with neo-Nazis and white supremacists on top of the old garden variety racists that I grew up with. With Trumpists being amped to extremes by the cancerous growth of conspiracies building, as those things do, from Donald’s simple-minded coup attempt, we can expect to be insecure in many parts of the country.
That is not new, but, given the economic collapse, things will be uglier and scarier in more places. Sadly, I feel that this is accurate and will continue to be part of the new normal.
While Biden and Harris will restore some international standing to the US, it will be slow and disappointing. Endless apologies and attempts to buy back trust rarely achieve their desired goals. Everyone gets tired, and things move from embarrassment to annoyance. I’m afraid there is not enough time to make the necessary obeisances to our allies to restore honor before climate disaster changes dominate the planet. But we will watch the disastrous part of the normal happen anyway.
I have the disturbing feeling that the US will end up very much like Russia. While Putin is dangerous and working hard to gain international leverage, Russia is not the USSR. Scrambling for lost status while you struggle to pay your bills and keep your aging military status symbols from falling apart or blowing up is not a promising normal.
Russia is a lesson stunningly appropriate for the US, who “won” the old cold war. If you do a full, multiyear faceplant, people don’t respect you the same way at all afterward. The fact that Trump could end up in Moscow anyway to stay out of prison would add extra irony to the new normal.
Mapping the new normal and plotting its evolution will be a major activity for the next year or more. The reality will emerge from the fog and miasma of the Trump disaster, but we have no idea how big a fan Biden will have to blow this stink away.