(Reminder to both of our listeners: the podcast begins 20 seconds in. You have to enjoy the intro! And you had better: we paid for the music. And now to this week’s essay…)
It’s not that we don’t have reasons to be angry. Look at any aspect of the US right now — literally, just pick one — and if you have any decency, any moral caliber whatsoever, you have every right to be froth-at-the-mouth furious at the mockery of the American nation we have become, this parlous and pathetic America.
But we do try to keep that anger in check, right? We try to hold tight to what we know and trust remain the good, essential, crystal-core things about America — our historic sense of community, our historic ability to persevere, to rise above, to weather things through. So you listen to the news and you try to tune out the catastrophically murderous, traitorous idiots masquerading around as leaders in the feckless, Russia-controlled White House. And you put on your mask and you sing “Happy Birthday” as you disinfect your hands 75 times a day and you don’t touch your mouth and you don’t touch your nose and you don’t touch your eyes and you dutifully sit there, a couch-potato, mindlessly binge-watching Netflix to take your mind off the death count and then, when you finally, finally venture out into the world in the most cautious, gingerly way — your mask tighter on your face than the dreams of a horny virgin as you stand 10 or 50 feet from any other soul — you might be forgiven for being angry when you suddenly notice (probably Republican) idiots gathering in some public space, whooping it up in major numbers, in the middle of a fucking global pandemic.
People are stupid. And then, people die. And you spent all that precious mental energy in an effort to be safe, to protect other people. That, my friends, can make one angry.
The aforementioned scene, by the way, is described in vivid detail by Elizabeth Burke — to me and to our friend and editor, Michael Houk — on this week’s episode of the Burke’s Law podcast. To be sure, we laughed on this week’s episode as we always do — from my deep reference to former RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and Project Runway survivor Santino Rice, to the case of Katie Miller, Vice President Pence’s press secretary, testing positive for COVID-19 and now being stuck in a closet — which is where, ironically, she first met her husband,
Joseph Goebbels Stephen Miller.
We also talk about why right-wing Trump sycophants, in their wet-market-bat-shit zeal to “open up the country” to more death and dying, feel the laughable need to shlep a rocket launcher into a Subway — where, it turns out, the unprepossessing sandwich preparer was not wearing a mask. All of which recalls that timeless philosophical quandary: Would you rather die from COVID-19 or from having a rocket launcher explode up your ass?
By this time next week, I should note, Pence, along with Mitch McConnell, will be going public with their own, distinctly personal views on the great philosophical quandary that I just mentioned, as I can now reveal — exclusively here on The Clyde Fitch Report — that neither Pence nor McConnell nor most of the members of the Republican party are actual human beings capable of thinking conceptually or of empathy and compassion, but, in fact, unpaid Hollywood extras from the 1980s miniseries V. And yeah, they’re really angry about it.
Oh, and speaking being angry, want to laugh at yet one more thing? Answer this question:
Can you get a test if you want to know whether you’re positive or negative for COVID-19?
Hysterical! Which is why Liz and Michael and I covered, yet again, the monumental and blithering nincompoopery around the government’s attitude toward testing. Program note: Michael unceremoniously edited out “blithering” and “nincompoopery” for concision.
Michael also ended our episode not with a heady quote from James Joyce, like last week, but a reference to, among other people, the French philosopher Michel Foucault. Let’s face it: when you’re angry, only post-structuralism can make you feel so much better.
A sincere note of appreciation to our 1.50 listeners for your un-pairable support. If you enjoy this podcast, please leave us a review and share this episode on social media or wherever humans gather until next year (in Jerusalem). On Twitter, please follow Liz at @burkelawNYC and follow CFR at @TheCFReport. And again: stay safe.