It’s Mourning in America

The Bidens and the Harrises stood in dim light at sunset outside the White House, all wearing black masks, all bowing their heads, surrounded by votive candles, in a show of public mourning for the “500,000 dead” in America from Covid-19. Yes, it was yet another instance of modern sentimental man’s favorite ritual of feelgood self-identification: the moment of silence.

And of course, in the great democratic tradition of Pericles’ Funeral Oration, Joseph the Orator stood up to tell the American people, in full mawkish politician mode, that, “We often hear people described as ordinary Americans. There’s no such thing. There’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.”

Really? All of them were extraordinary? You know that, Joe? And how do you know that, pray tell? And if they were all extraordinary, then does that mean everyone is extraordinary? But without ordinary Americans, and a large majority of them at that, how can we define anyone — let alone everyone — as an extraordinary American? 

Ours is not to reason why, of course. For Biden the Brave is speaking not as a rational being, let alone an extraordinary being, but rather as a member of that immortal class of men, the Supreme Phony-Baloneys. As a lifelong careerist member of government, a perpetual feeder at the public trough, a cynical ratbag prepared to do anything to gain and hold power, Joe Biden does not believe for one second that those five hundred thousand Americans who died of various things in combination with Covid-19, but who have been artificially counted as having died (almost) exclusively of Covid-19, are all extraordinary. In fact, I would venture to guess, given what Biden does for a living, and how long he has been immersed in that inherently corrupting and soul-sapping world, that he cares at least a little less about those five hundred thousand “extraordinary Americans” than does the typical ordinary American.

Everyone knows, deep down, that the Bidens’ and Harrises’ mourning posture, their words of national consolation, and the entire grief-bound display surrounding them, are fake. But to live in modern sentimental reality, we all agree to pretend we do not see the fakery, in exchange for everyone (we hope) agreeing not to point out our own fakery. We all emit our “Oh, dear” sighs of mock sadness and suffering over the deaths of people we do not know, just to feel involved, just to convince ourselves we care, just to imagine we still have souls — and we hope to God no one calls our collective bluff.

By the way, I am waiting for Biden’s moment of silence for all the extraordinary American cancer or heart disease victims, who die in greater numbers every single year than the number of those who have “died of Covid-19” in this one year.

I wish death on no innocent person — though unlike most people these days, I am fully resigned to the fact that death is coming to all of us, without exception. I also have no desire to belittle any person’s death, or the sadness of anyone who has lost a loved one from Covid-19. But I refuse to play the game. I refuse to join the global chorus of mocking and mawkish mourning. I refuse to pretend to selective sadness over the politically designated causes of the year. When politicians tell me what I am supposed to be sad about, and claim to be expressing grief on my behalf, I know I am being manipulated. Because that is all that politicians do. 

When modern politicians — very, very ordinary men — perform and project public sadness and the pain of great loss, they are always really saying the same thing: I want more power.

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