Islamic Republic of Van Nuys

I went to MacLeod for a beer run and encountered this woman shuffling across Victory…hunched…clutching her mask to her ears as though warding off demons…fearfully navigating the sunshine.   This is what we’ve allowed the media to do to us. We veil ourselves as though we were living in Tehran, 1982.   What are we really afraid of?  I don’t think it’s the Wuhan virus. Being Karen-ed by a neighbor, on the other hand, seeking to collect her snitch reward…being ratioed by the Virtue Police on social media…these are our modern terrors.

Trader Joes is one of the few permissible places we are allowed out of doors.  How quickly we have acclimated to lining up like this.   Let’s roll back to February for a moment.  If you could be put in a time machine how confused would you be by our present submission?

It’s nearly May. The dreaded curve is in the rearview mirror. Our zealotry has exceeded any data-driven health concerns.  All is now a public demonstration of obedience to rules handed down by the Clerisy.

I feel I’m being a bit of a bore writing this for the third time. But neither the Mayor nor the Governor have the statutory power to suspend civil liberties. To hear them speak of the conditions which need be met before the economy can resume one is given the impression of a royal personage considering the granting of a favor.

Sweetheart, if you want to wear a mask and confine yourself to your rooms, no one is stopping you.  Which of course you are not doing. Nor are you going without a paycheck while you outline your terms of Our New Normal.  The rest of us, on the other hand, could do with some herd immunity.  You know what else?  We have centuries of good public health policy on our side.

We will regret letting the government bribe us with our own money to not work. Trixie likes a good belly rub, but she’d rather be climbing Runyon.  So would I.   So would you. Even if hiking isn’t your thing, liberty is.

5 thoughts on “Islamic Republic of Van Nuys”

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years. It’s been a guilty pleasure. I look forward to the next one. Your writing and commentary has always been spot on. I’ve lived in the valley off and on since 1965. Mostly San Fernando valley. The 1980s and early 1990s West Hollywood and Venice beach. I now reside in Sherman oaks ( Van Nuys) area. Thank you for your insight with homelessness, the history of the valley, Uber adventures, valley events and local haunts. I as well have a dog and thank you again to you and your wife. A sobering voice in our interesting life.

  2. I’ll offer my Big Picture interpretation of our current circumstances. (You get what you pay for, and my advice is free.)

    1) In 1973 you could not have gotten society to conform to a nation-wide quarantine. Full stop. The youthful rebellious mood of the country simply wouldn’t have obeyed. Only squares would have stayed indoors for months on end. Screw The Man. The disease would have played itself out come what may. A lot of vulnerable people would have died, but the attitude would have been… Well, grandma had one foot on a banana peel anyway.

    Today the cultural pendulum has swung to the other extreme. We aren’t conforming because people in power are overstepping the law in a power grab. We’re conforming because society now wants to be managed by authority. This trend is going to intensify in the years to come as larger problems emerge in the economy, geopolitics, and external reality. People will demand that radical top-down action be taken to fix things. Some people fear Socialism. Others fear fascist theocracy. Americans tend to like a blend so we’ll probably get a little of each. Wrap the UBI checks in a flag and slap a crucifix on it.

    Give it a few more decades and we’ll see a new generation raised in the peace and prosperity that will come after these troubles have been resolved. They’ll throw off the heavy yoke of conformity and chafe against the mores of their elders who fought the war. Rinse. Repeat.

    2) If you could pluck American pioneers from the 1790s or 1830s or 1870s – fresh from clearing a section of rocky forest and plowing fields with an ox – and dropped them down in Van Nuys today what would they see? A bunch of “rebels” and “patriots” kvetching about how they can’t take long walks on the beach or get a cappuccino because of a plague. Is the long line at Trader Joe’s impinging on your personal freedom? Quel dommage. You bougie pansy assed posers.

    1. I fear you may be right about America 2020 wanting to be “managed by authority”. Half of us, anyway. We’ve certainly acclimated to spyware throughout our lives. I’d be much less upset about this if I saw and heard more common-sense resistance. My commentary is intended less at our leaders than it is a call to my fellow citizens to rise from their stony sleep.

  3. I’ve never personally experienced a person who so clearly enjoyed exercising power as Newsom. He is certainly having a more direct effect on everyday lives than that other political office holder everyone carries on about so.

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