A Journal of the Plague Year 2.0 Day 4

8th November 2020

It has come to pass. At 4.30pm yesterday CNN finally announced it would ‘project’ the winner of the US presidential race as Joe Robinette Biden Jnr, 46th President of the United States. Other networks followed shortly after, and Fox News finally caved last. Biden himself found out from his grandkids. It was his third attempt at the office, each try marred by personal tragedy such as the deaths of his wife and son -but it paid through in the end: at the age of 77 he’s the oldest US president yet, and the most popular with the highest amount of votes ever tallied, in his name.

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WELL DONE AMERICA. Thank Fuck. Thank Pizza God. And well done Vice President Kamala Harris too, the highest office a woman has ever held in the country, and a person of colour on top (her father Jamaican and mother Indian). Beau, Doug Emhoff, will be America’s first Second Husband and the first Jewish person in that role. She becomes officially the most powerful woman in US history, though others point out the power behind the throne was often the wife, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and rumoured Hillary Clinton (back when her husband was busy adjusting uniform standards with his protein stains). CNN quipped that the Republicans and their channels will have to learn, ultimately, how to pronounce her name -‘Kommla’ not ‘Kamarla’.

Finally democracy can rehabilitate its own good name after four years in the wilderness, the bit where it went round shitting on everyone and starting fires.

The streets of every major US city celebrated, with CNN’s announcement igniting spontaneous rounds of applause, whooping (what else, where else), car honking and pan banging across the nation. A carnival atmosphere attempted social distancing (face masks, personal bubbles) but soon gave way to crowds marching and dancing in unison while waving banners, state and rainbow flags, the latter increasingly a symbol not just of LGBTQIA support but social diversity and unity.

The new Civil War has not come to pass, though counter protests also took hold, but rather muted given the majority of supporters were either too busy distancing themselves from the loser, watching in dazed silence at the news, or drinking themselves into clifftop oblivion. Trump was busy on a round of lone golf, having thrown in his Belgian lace hanky at the final hour, though he did find time later to continue the claim he’d been the true winner, and been robbed.

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One can imagine The Great Orange Dolphin, swaddled now in silk comforters, a spherical mound beneath the bedcovers but for that cold glow of the phone light, watched by guards as Melania furtively, ecstatically packs her things, whispering febrile Slovene in the dark -the remaining staffers crumpled, heads in hands outside the door. Kayleigh McEnany, mascara dribbling, chain-smoking, calling faintly through the keyhole.

Her view is of a slashed painting of George Washington, golf club imbedded, lording over scattered copies of The Art of the Deal and DVDs of The Apprentice Season 3. Every curtain closed throughout the wing in utter silence, but for one torn and hanging by a thread, the other leading into the huge bundle of Versace bedding. A globe that opens out into a display for alcoholic beverages and discarded Big Macs burns surreally in the corner that no one is bothered or high ranking enough to put out.

And far, far away a loon calls into the night.

Trump looks unlikely to give up from cold dead hands, given that if he ever gets past first stage, he’ll be looking at a beckoning spell in prison, from his incalculable tax-dodging alone. Orange is the new black.

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This is a turning point, a page to be flipped after so much domestic and geopolitical damage. A return to support for the Paris Accord that aims to stem greenhouse gases, to NATO and WHO, battling right now the worst crises since WWII. To a nation riven by racial, religious, generational, political and class divides, between the haves and have-nots, the 1 percenters and The Rest, the urban and rural, the north and South, east and west, natives and non-natives, Black and White and all in between. Diversity is strength in numbers, in duality and pluralism, not diremption trammeled into so many lines through political chicanery for the pathologically selfish and threatened. To climb the ladder then burn it behind you should never become cultural creed.

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Okay, enough soapboxing, we’ll have much more of that in the next few days. The transition period is a whopping ten weeks, and inauguration in January by all counts. For the time being lets hope everyone settles down, puts away their hunting rifles and camo, and concentrate on the task at hand -not just political change but the giant viral cloud threatening the world in the greater scope of things.

Yes, that.

So, MINKS.

Cute little fuckers. Minks apparently are a new biohazard, spreading a fancy mutation that’ll be harder to vaccinate against. Outbreaks earlier in Spain and now Denmark have seen all their captive populations culled by the millions, and a global populace now wobbling about whether a zombie apocalypse might actually manifest, as we all secretly know it’s bound to happen one day (though the WHO did respond in saying it was entirely normal and expected to have differing zoonotic strains).

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It remains to be seen whether our farming and hunting practices require a sea change, increasingly seen in the last new human viruses and global pandemics -SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, MERS, HIV, and Ebola. Due to the size of the human population now, 7.8 billion and counting, we should maybe all just go veggie -the risk is rising alongside every year we grow so exponentially, at 200,000 extra babies each day. The mountains more of meat we will need to feed those lives adds ever more risk -throughout history every time Man gets jiggy with Nature we correlate with a new round of infectious, incurable disease. Such as Bubonic Plague or Smallpox or Spanish Flu (that actually originated in a Kansas farmstead), coming from rats and livestock when we began farming then mass-farming, then industrial farming.

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But then:

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But then

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But then

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Ah, the dichotomy of individualism. We know we shouldn’t do it, we know it even kills other souls without mercy, yet we do it (sorry about that). Democracy or benevolent dictatorship? Anarchy or Facism? Shame culture or guilt culture? I decide, or we decide?

Our world is built on hierarchy, a form we like to think is about efficiency. We just haven’t worked out how the mad scramble to the top is meant to impose order, that the fact no matter where we are in that jungle we will always be in competition, between the winners and losers, and invariably the vast majority will always think themselves the latter. That life will not stop and take a breath (or at least a laboured final few, possibly via an ICU) unless that Hell Is Other People In Competition ever lets up.

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Okay, like I said. I step down from the soapbox, and will myself rummage through the fridge, pausing then nibbling on pieces of packaged death, like any member of a guilt culture is wont to do. Because I’m worth it.

Anyhoo, for what it’s worth, nice one Mr Biden. You big baby squash your facey baby you x. I may now light a candle, and sway in the spirit of collective beatification. So please now, heal the world.

Make it a better place.

For you and for me and the en-tire human race. There are… people dying, if you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me.

Save it for our children ye-ah!

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A Journal of the Plague Year 2.0 Day 3

7th November 2020

So back in 2007 four year old Madeleine McCann disappeared while on holiday with her family, likely abducted or dead. At first a small story it soon ballooned to headline news when the first tentative algorithms of the media world started noticing how much clickbait the horror show was providing. At some point the Daily Express realised it was shifting multiple more copies when it plastered her face on its front page, and to make an easy buck they then devoted a following 82 headlines to her unfortunate demise, regardless of the toll it was having on her family, including pointing the finger at them.

The tabloid circus, rubbing elbows with The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror in a frenzy of photographers, camera-men, well-wishers, trolls, PI’s, PR reps and pushy reporters generally kept up the ante in ever more lurid, sensationalist declarations throughout every leaked/ invented step of the investigation.

Child Goes Missing While On Holiday

Missing Portugal Girl: Evidence Uncovered

Missing Portugal Girl: Suspect Implicated

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese Man Questioned

Madeleine McCann: Suspect Released

Madeleine McCann: The Dog

Madeleine McCann: Car Evidence

Madeleine McCann: Car Evidence and Sniffer Dog Totombo

Madeleine McCann: Totombo Has Mysteriously Disappeared

Madeleine McCann: POLICE ABOUT TO MAKE STATEMENT

Madeleine McCann: KILLER TO BE REVEALED

Madeleine McCann: THE NET CLOSES IN

Madeleine McCann: MOTHER QUESTIONED

Madeleine McCann: PORTUGEEZER FINGERED

Madeleine McCann: WE FIND OUT TOMORROW

Madeleine McCann: WE KNOW WHODUNNIT

MADELEINE MCCANN: LIVE COVERAGE TO START

MADELEINE MCCANN: THE BIG REVEAL WITHIN HOURS

MADELEINE MCCANN: LOOK WE’RE JUST GONNA CALL IT

MADDY MCCANN: LOOK AT THAT – POLICE CLOSING IN

MADDY MCCANN: POLICE CLOSE IN ON PORTUGEEZER

MADDY: WE’RE GONNA REVEAL THE PORTUGEEZER

MADDY: TOTOMBO FOUND

MADS: TOTOMBO’S STORY: REVEALED!

MAD MAD MADSTERS: LIVE COVERAGE TO COME OF POLICE CLOSING IN ON PORTUGEEZER WITH HELICOPTERS AND EVERYTHING AND TOTOMBO SITTING IN FRONT AND IF WE DON’T REVEAL WHO IT IS WE’LL ALL KILL OURSELVES TOMORROW

Erm. BIG TITS BELLA REALITY TV STAR SPOTTED SHOPPING

MADELEINE MCCANN: LITTLE GIRL GOES MISSING ON HOLIDAY

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The paper was later sued by the McCann family for £4million.

Talk about blood from a stone. Well. To segue this slightly unsavoury analogy to today, this is what the mf US election result feels like. It’s Day 5 and counting still, literally. It’s hard to work out why it takes a day to add up 85% of a 140 million strong ballot but 2 days to do the last few percent, even if it’s mail-in and military abroad. On Thursday Nevada’s last county was so slow to the uptake, perhaps through diminishing energy of volunteers, that all staff went home when they found out they were missing a sharpie or something. The local governor went to bed and turned her phone off. You can imagine the 13,000 voice messages the next day from terse officials, Men In Black, internet crazies and local yokels.

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The sheriff apparently left one: ‘Look this here Right Honourable Thelma Louise Stacey, we gonna git a Civil War on our hands if y’all don’t pick the fuck up! Woman ah said you gotta git! Git!‘ He said that, really, by God of journalistic integrity, maybe.

Almost all front pages of major news sites across the world now feature a sliding scale of red and blue, moving inexorably to a midpoint at which first to it wins. It is very, very much like the Grand National, but with trillions at stake, 393 million civilian-held guns and the world’s very best snails to run the course. CNN’s headlines have morphed from one imminent declaration of a win to another for about three days now, as once the very last of Pennsylvania (notably the city of Philadelphia) gets counted it’s an impossibility for the opposition to take the crown.

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The headlines marched on unabated:

Biden Gaining In Pennsylvania

Biden Takes the Lead in Pennslyvania

^I saw this one just after Biden was declared the winner on November 5th by Decision Desk HQ, a data service used by many of the agencies for election data, that tallied up Pennsylvania was won. However the next day there’d been no such declaration in any major sources:

Biden Closing In On Victory

Biden Edges Toward Victory

Biden Nears Victory

Then finally, late at night CNN changed it to:

The World Waits

As if it too was finally getting tired of the shitshow Great Show. ^Just before beddy-byes, yet woke up this morning 8 hours later and still:

Biden Near Victory But Counts Continue

Well sometime today anyhoo. Though they have been calling it for 3 days now and nary a soul has had pattern recognition enough to not stop watching. It has helpfully been punctuated with events, such as the bomb scare, zombie attack and militia arrested heading toward the Philadelphia counting stations, not to mention the protests and celebrations round the country. Twitter is astorm with recrimination, meltdown and public spats, notably from POTUS himself and his followers, some paddling frantically away from the floundering monolith, others shoring up that even if he does lose there’s always the media empire he’ll command from his safe Floridian base of Mar-a-Lago.

Miami-Dade county is where many Latinos (notably Cubans who once fled the Castro regime) surprisingly came out in force to clamour for his support, regardless of his Mexico Wall and public labelling of them as criminals and rapists. The kind who consider themselves the right side of White and the Democrats as dangerously Communist. They tend to be pulled to the front at any media event, so as not to reveal how racist the party really is (the token Blacks are rumoured to be hired stand-ins). Note fella in bottom corner, who may or may not be looking at them as paid impostors, working out how to push them off the stands, or admiring that purdy light fixture behind:

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This it’s said had always been the plan, as hinted at in Bob Woodward’s 2018 exposé Fear: Trump In The White House. -For him to become the next Rupert Murdoch, asquat a huge Fox-like network of right wing media. He was never meant to win the Presidency, but retire safely without the need to you know, be the leader of the Free World and all that, but heckle from the sides and rake in the billions in support. The network in question being the One America News Network (OANN) that peddles batshit conspiracy theories and with him at the helm, and his army of cultists, may make Fox News look like Mother Theresa’s pamphlet on saving foreign kids.

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All this while in Australia former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is back on the ball. He has recently attained 500,000 signatures to investigate by Royal Enquiry the vast power and octopus-like reaches of the Murdoch Empire, that so dominates the country’s (and the world’s) media. It is the largest petition signed in the country’s history.

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It’s also really quite entertaining. Even Greta Thunberg, climate change activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee had something to say, served best cold in waiting a year to reply to the time the Leader of the Free World publicly bullied a 16 year old autistic schoolgirl, drawing her a slew of death threats.

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And Trump’s official spritual advisor, Paula White, appears to be offering another act via a public meltdown in which she raps, speaks in tongues, stakes invisible snakes and calls upon the angels doing the good work in Africa and South America.

Ah Pollyticks. So much to say, so much to exploit, so much to enjoy in this gift that keeps on giving.

In more important news I’ve realised I have a ‘quarantine haircut’. Google it and the usual disasters, mostly involving men, trimmers (or lack of) and the current trend of high fades erupt onto screen. Do please forget about the world and enjoy a light glass of vintage Schadenfreude 2020, before we all you know, fucking self immolate:

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I suspect I now look like that little evil fella in James Bond. He was called Nick Nack btw.

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Oh yes, and there’s a pandemic on. Business as normal and all that. On with the show, yet again.

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