The Four(?) Stooges vs. The Coronavirus?

While the above clip’s total playback time is 17:09, the content needed to compliment my commentary, requires only the opening scene, which concludes at the 5:15 time index.

This past May, Donald J. Trump trotted out his Operation Warp Speed. This undertaking’s goal, if achieved, would expedite the R&D of the vaccine and/or therapeutics required to inhibit / halt the deadly rampage of coronavirus.

While I can set aside partisan politics, long enough, to wish them all well in this endeavor, it is still fair to point out that the time to have engaged Warp Speed had been way back in January of this year.

Had Trump… right from the get-go… expeditiously shut down our homeland… i.e., ordered everyone to immediately hunker down in their homes and mask up in public… he could’ve speedily contained this scourge and, in the process, bought the medical community far more time to “science the shit out of this.” *

Oh, btw, when it comes down to R&D, Warp Speed isn’t always advisable. After all, abiding by the slower paced, more orderly scientific method is how to best avoid making hasty decisions, which can lead to deadly mistakes.

To extend Trump’s Star Trekian-based metaphorical reference, a bit further, it’s also fair to point out that while using Warp Drive did get crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise and other Federation starships out of trouble, fast, that faster than the speed of light velocity, ofttimes, swiftly got them into trouble, too. Beyond that…

• How can we muster even a milligram of trust for the power-hungry, autocratic Trump, who, deep down, knows that his bid for reelection is not the shoo-in he once thought it would be and, consequently, is now heavily into his panic mode.

• What credibility does Donny even have, anymore, when he’s a.k.a. the [1] hardcore science denier, [2] pusher of dangerous drugs (e.g. Hydroxychloroquine) and [3] advocate for frying internal human flesh with UV radiation and injecting FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY, household cleaning products? BTW NEVER, EVER FOLLOW DEADLY ADVICE, SUCH AS THIS!

SIDEBAR: Doper Donny probably doesn’t give a second thought… maybe not even a first… re whatever dope he may be popping, snorting, shooting up and/or shoving up his ass. But, just because Donny duz it, duz not mean that you and I should ever follow that non-leader.

Tying this all into our video’s narrative, if Operation Warp Speed is successful, fourth stooge Donny’s eventual sales pitch is guaranteed to sound similar to snake oil salesman Moe’s spiel. Worse yet, the fake prez’s rush job mentality is bound to prove infectious to his own R&D team, perhaps even compromise their scientific method / lab work… cause it to deteriorate into something resembling that of Larry and Curly (note how their own “R&D” “efforts” devolve into a silly, willy-nilly choice of toxic chemical elements and compounds… i.e., to speed up their desperate search for a cure for Lumbago (the disorder, which their “patient”… the sheriff… suffers from).

So, where does that leave us? Well, having zero confidence in Trump, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that, were The Three Stooges still alive, today, in spite of their frantic antics, they’d still have a far better shot at rapidly stumbling onto a more efficacious coronavirus shot.

As for whatever inoculation, which Fourth Stooge Donny’s Operation Warp Speed personnel may wind up concocting? Well, on the day Team Trump rolls that out, I’ll be thinking more than twice about quickly rolling up my sleeve.

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

* words uttered by astronaut Mark Watney… actor Matt Damon… (from the Sci-Fi film, The Martian).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this seedy scenario…

 

Generally speaking… I believe humankind could be easily heading towards an agribusiness instigated, do-it-yourself disaster.

Let’s now talk specifics… that potential catastrophe involves the lack of seeds within the Fuji, Golden / Red Delicious and Gala apples I’ve been biting into. Since such instances have been so commonplace, it’s unlikely I’ve been purchasing freak of nature fruit.

Beyond that, “The Birds and the Bees” basics do tell us… well duh… seedlessness means no natural propagation of apple trees… and be this situation unique to my homeland or more widespread… as in worldwide… that’s begging for trouble.

I have little doubt this is a premeditated assault against nature perpetrated by… just to name the top two offenders… Monsanto™ and DuPont™. It’s no big secret that, for countless years, they’ve been hellbent on commodifying planet-wide, natural resources… making all of Mother Nature’s seeds THEIR intellectual property… and THEIRS ALONE!

Working to that end… potentially to humanity’s end… we find the genocidal geneticists, in their employ. Mad scientists all, they’ve been… and still are… racking up serious overtime, just to ensure whatever seeds may be found in nature will be sterile. In other words, farmers won’t be able to grow anything unless they plant corporately owned, genetically modified, first generation seeds.

Let’s not mince words…. Eco-terrorists are holding the entire human race hostage… their message… no strike that… their terrorist ultimatum…

Either pay up or starve and drop dead!

Hmm (part 1)… what do you suppose would happen… oh… say… were a hostage taking, private citizen / extortionist to screech out his unreasonable demands? Would we not expect to see a SWAT team swooping down upon the crime scene to restore law and order? To haul in the perpetrator? Would not the tried and convicted person wind up doing some lengthy prison time?

Hmm (part 2)… why is it that in my homeland, hostage taking, corporate citizens / extortionists get off scot-free? How can that possibly be… especially when the US Supreme / Extreme Court recently granted person-hood / citizenship to corporations!

But… to return to this specific, seedy situation… I do suppose we all might survive… i.e., so long as BIG BIZ bastards can maintain the literal and figurative, seedy status quo.

HOWEVER… with THE END one, mere Tweetstorm away… WTF would happen were there a global magnitude, man-made disaster (or even a natural cataclysm), which totally obliterated each and every corporately owned seed repository? Once-upon-a-time, even under the most hostile conditions, resilient Mother Nature… somehow… managed to rally. BUT… would that even be true were we to only find sterile plants in the wild?

Let’s look at this dire, desperate, starvation scenario from a different angle... Heretofore, within the literary world, this becomes the fodder for fictional plots… e.g., the life or death struggles faced down by author Daniel Defoe’s shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe AND author Andy Weir’s marooned on Mars astronaut Mark Watney… two protagonist farmers who (respectively) owed their barley/rice AND potato fed bellies… their very survival… to Mother Nature and not Monsanto™!

 

 

Rising the Phoenix from the Radioactive Ashes?

 

It’d be an understatement to say January 2018’s events had been unnerving. It all started with a Tweet, posted by a cyberbully who, due to his well-known character flaws of self-importance, imprudence, impudence and ignorance, needs no further introduction. Said he…

 

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018”

 

How reckless of “Tweetie” to further engage and enrage his temperamental North Korean nuclear nemesis… particularly considering how their past rounds of infantile squabbling have already left the entire world on the brink of WW-III.

And to what end? I mean, here we witness the so-called prez, perhaps obsessing over not measuring up below his own bloated belly’s bellybutton? Maybe compensating for that shortcoming by boasting, online, about the size of his “nuclear button”?

As if that weren’t already bad enough, on January 13th, Hawaiians faced down what they believed to be a nuclear nightmare-come-true. Indeed, they had (erroneously) received the stark warning that a ballistic missile was already en route, inward bound… that thermonuclear exchange and the annihilation of humanity was imminent.

Then, on January 15th, I had unwittingly exacerbated my own anxieties… i.e., by switching on my FM radio at precisely the wrong moment. It had been quite disconcerting to hear the Emergency Alert System attention signal already blaring away… likely the exact same menacing monotone that had needlessly scared the crap out of my Hawaiian compatriots. My first reaction… “WTF did that numbskull narcissist do now?” Yep, I actually had groaned that aloud.

Of course, in that instance, it had been an actual alert… an AMBER Alert to help track down the whereabouts of a missing, perhaps abducted child.

My nerves, nonetheless, had become a bit frazzled. I was more than ready for some much needed escapism… perhaps courtesy of the Comet TV Network? However, once more, this proved to be ill-timed. I was now watching their feature presentation: Panic In Year Zero… a low budget, post apocalyptic film… a production that would have never won any awards for special effects. BUT it sure as hell did offer up a plausible portrayal of nuclear war’s grotesque side effect… societal breakdown… e.g. the male characters, first, becoming hunter-gatherers and, next… once their testosterone poisoning began kicking in full force… they further devolved into little more than knuckle-draggers… their predominant MO being pillaging, raping and manslaughter.

Then… just about when I thought it was safe to go outside, again, and get on with my life… on January 16th, a totally unexpected flash over my home state lit up my nighttime skies and generated an accompanying, minor, sonic boom… wound up fully backlighting my closed, thickly insulated kitchen and dining room curtains and “rocking” my home’s brick, mortar and drywall. Once more I groaned, aloud, “WTF did that numbskull narcissist do now?”

All the sudden I found myself desperately searching though my brain’s “files” for some “plain vanilla” type explanation… oh… say… thundersnow. However, just as quickly as I had hatched that theory, I had to debunk it. True, there had been a heavy  snowfall on that day… BUT… the extreme cold air mass, which had descended immediately afterwards, certainly would’ve made wintertime lightening… already a meteorological rarity… even more so.

The good news was that night’s 11 o’clock news story, which fully cleared up the mystery… a meteor had plunged to Earth. Yet, I could not help but wonder. Had that rocky space debris’ flight plan, instead, sent it streaking over Washington DC, how would “Prez” Tweetie have reacted / overreacted?

Factoring in his repugnance for intellectuals and all time honored, scientific principles (e.g. recall how he stared… sans eye protection… at 2016’s solar eclipse after being warned not to), it’s easy to see how his response would’ve been to trust his (cheeseburger glutted) gut and “go ballistic”.

The late astronomer / author Carl Sagan postulated along similar lines. From his book, Cosmos… Chapter IV – Heaven and Hell… I’ve condensed his observations from pages 73 – 76 (inclusive)…

 

“In the early morning hours of June 30, 1908, in Central Siberia, a giant fireball was seen moving rapidly across the sky. Where it touched the horizon, an enormous explosion took place. It leveled some 2,000 square kilometers of forest and burned thousands of trees in a flash fire near the impact site. It produced an atmospheric shock wave that twice circled the Earth.

This remarkable occurrence is called the Tunguska Event [and] was probably caused by an icy cometary fragment about a hundred meters across – the size of a football field – weighing a million tons , moving about 30 kilometers per second, 70,000 miles per hour.

If such an impact occurred today it might be mistaken, especially in the panic of the moment, for a nuclear explosion. The cometary impact and fireball would simulate all effects of a one megaton nuclear burst, including the mushroom cloud, with two exceptions: there would be no gamma radiation or radioactive fallout.

Could a rare but natural event… trigger a nuclear war? A strange scenario: A small comet hits the Earth… and the response of our civilization is promptly to self-destruct. It might be a good idea for us to understand comets and collisions and catastrophes a little better than we do… this is a real possibility and underscores the dangers in an age of nuclear weapons of not monitoring impacts from space better than we do.”

 

January’s unsettling events have since compelled me to seriously evaluate how I’d react IF… more likely WHEN… “Tweetie” provokes WW-III. One certainty… we could never expect a “prez”, ignorant enough to use social media for such an antisocial purpose, to ever effectively cope with the resultant nuclear wasteland… and far more importantly, even begin to sense the “survivors'” physical pain, mental anguish and emotional drain. Nope, he could never rise that phoenix from the radioactive ashes.

Under those dire circumstances, the “survivors”, most assuredly, would need flawless leadership… someone possessing the resolve, resourcefulness and reasoning power of Sci-Fi botanist / astronaut, Mark Watney… portrayed by actor Matt Damon… in the Hollywood big screen film, The Martian. To synopsize the plot and Watney’s plight, after winding up marooned on the otherwise barren of life, totally inhospitable Mars, he was left to figure out… every single minute of every single “Sol” (day)… all that he’d need to accomplish to survive. He wound up summing everything up, thusly

 

“So, in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

 

 

So what would the Trumpian response be? Well, once the fallout had settled, the holed up in his underground “prez” would emerge from his lead encased bunker… utterly clueless as to how to cope with an unearthly, uninhabitable Earth. He could never possess even a minuscule fraction of Mark Watney’s textbook knowhow and survivor instincts.

Worse yet, the “prez” would know no real life “Watneys” and even if the scientific community did step forward to offer their advice and services, “Tweetie” would still turn a deaf ear… would denigrate and spurn them. Consequently, the “prez” would preside over his world… no strike that… rule over a shithole nation and planet of his own making. Even far worse than that, he would still expect high praise and applause from countless hordes of beleaguered walking cadavers who’d be sloughing off their burnt flesh, puking their guts out… and dropping dead.

Returning to the here and now… IF… more likely WHEN… our Emergency Alert System starts signaling the end of the world… I’ll be lacing up my Sketchers and jogging, full speed ahead, towards Ground Zero… not away from it. I mean, given the two options of…

A. Existing within Donald Trump’s virtually lifeless, hopeless, burnt to a cinder, irradiated shithole nation and planet.
B. Dying and taking my chances with attaining either eternal life or facing down godforsaken oblivion.

I’d opt-in to choice “B”.

So, my readers, my comment section is the venue to tell the whole world what you’d choose. It’ll only take a few seconds to type in your one character… either your “A” or “B”… response.

Of course, other lengthier comments are also welcome.

 

 

Channeling Crusoe and Watney

 

 

After reading a thought provoking, wonderfully written WordPress essay about our modern, materialistic, currency dependent society (authored by a blogger who I follow and who follows me), I soon realized that we have only ourselves to blame for this state of economic affairs … no strike that… woes.

From my POV, this has occurred because, with each passing generation, we’ve lost our ability to be genuinely rugged, self-sufficient entities. In short… we’ve wimped out!

SPOILER ALERT: For anyone who may’ve not read Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and/or Andy Weir’s “The Martian” / viewed films based on either of these literary works… skip the following paragraph.

Well, I had barely returned to my own website when my mind went into a free-association mode… soon recalling one of my fave, fictional literary works, namely, “Robinson Crusoe”… how the castaway protagonist had eventually wound up successfully conquering a slew of initially insurmountable obstacles, perhaps too well, for, as it turned out, even his remote, tropical island was not immune to excessive progress. I also quickly considered the film, “The Martian” where stranded astronaut-turned-potato-farmer Mark Watney triumphantly faced down the prospects of an even tougher road planet to hoe… as it were.

Well, it was at that juncture that I ear-witnessed my audible long sigh… and began time tripping to the past to create my own fantasyland… Pollyanna-ishly and loosly basing that setting on the birth of a nation… i.e., the nation of my birth.

I found myself envious of my centuries ago compatriots, who had braved the Atlantic Ocean to emigrate, tame and settle our homeland. Imagine how, soon after arriving, they began freely staking out the territory of their own choosing… possessed all the required logging and carpentry skills to build cabins… the hunting / gathering / farming knowhow to live off the land… the hunting / weaving / sewing expertise to produce all the clothes on their backs (the nearby, babbling brooks becoming their washing machines / the wind whistling through the tree branches their clothes dryers)… the range of their long distance “calls” to their neighbors limited to how loudly they could yell.

And then, as each long day’s worth of labors began winding down, all would be stretching, yawning and kicking back to, perhaps, play flutes so skillfully crafted from hollow branches… while watching the orange and red hued, setting sun yielding to the blue, purplish twilight skies… observing all of those shining, sparkling celestial wonders gradually coming into view. The rising, silvery Moon acting as their natural nightlight and the far off, connect-the-dots flickers of light becoming their motion pictures… those images supported by the non-Hollywood, literal, true star power of the universe.

It all sounds so idyllic does it not? Of course, my story does fail to take into account the downside of human nature… i.e., our propensity to provoke needless wars. Indeed, these settlers squatters had ripped off and pissed off the actual property owners… Native Americans. Another long sigh as I lament… could they have not found a way to peacefully co-exist?

Well… I guess I had better hurry to end this in the here and now… lest I get ensnared in my usual literary / blogging trap… start straying into the reality of society’s negative territory.

Oh well… fantasyland was fun while it lasted.