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Security & Public Health Theater, and Rain G-ds


DP Veteran
May 8, 2017
Reaction score
New York City area
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Most of the Covid mitigation measures have been public health theater, see Philadelphia will reinstate its indoor mask mandate as cases rise, and fills an innate human need. In ancient times there were pantheons of G-d's, and fables, myths, and books to go with them. The most famous of these were the Greek myths, and full length books such as the Odyssey and the Iliad. Norse sagas earn honorable mention. The Bible is a hybrid, aching to stretch towards modern ethics (chiefly in Leviticus and Deuteronomy), but with a healthy dose of the supernatural mixed in. While I am a firm believer in my Jewish faith, it takes a healthy suspension of disbelief to take literally certain events. The stories of the giving of the Commandments at Mount Sinai, the parting of the Red Sea, the burning bush and the story of Noah's Ark are but a few of those.

Man, put simply, had a need to understand and attempt to control events before which he was helpless. This included disasters such as massive floods in a desert climate (story of Noah), massive storms at sea (Jonah, and The Odyssey), and lightening storms (the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments). This list of stories of ancient vintage is by no means exhaustive. Ancient man was at the mercy of the elements and knew it. In Medieval times, disasters such as the spread of smallpox and bubonic plague took front and center. There were efforts to blame those catastrophes on disfavored groups such as the Jews. This was strikingly similar to the post-Mao attribution of earthquakes to the "Gang of Four" which included Mao's despised wife.

Modern man believes he can control his environment and is traumatized when he cannot. My childhood in the early 1960's was interspersed with "duck and cover" civil defense drills. Apartment buildings and schools, and office buildings had "fallout shelter" signs. This was pure theater of course. If there were a full-scale nuclear bloodbath there would not have been years of stockpiled food and potable water. Yet it was an effort to make the fear and panic more bearable.

Similarly after the 9-11 attacks we willingly waited, and still wait in long security lines at airports and office buildings, as if that will make us safe from the sick minds that devise such evil attacks. We are generals fighting the last war. Psychology compels us to "do something" even if it is objectively futile. This includes shoe-removal or patting-down grandma at airports.

History is repeating both Biblical and modern events with Covid. A huge plague sweeps the earth, apparently emanating from Chinese labs or wet markets. As if out of nowhere the news gets downright scary; people they know, or people those people know, start sickening and sometimes dying. Most, for reasons we do not know, do just fine. Yet they want to feel virtuous above having taken appropriate action. They gush with internal warm feelings when, for example, Governor Cuomo, in his day, praised "tough" New Yorkers for having "beaten Covid." This continues to persist when, through mutation through variants, the disease degrades to the level of a common cold.

Politicians willingly advocated "Safer at Home", "New York Pause" or other names for lockdowns. If you ask "for how long" they said "however long is needed", which was code for "as long as people will put up with it." Meanwhile the politicians don't, of course, lock down. As London Breed or Lori Lightfoot. They are doing what they enjoy most. People comply because of the inbred need to "take action" or "do something."

Another example is "climate change." We grasp for explanations of devastating meteorological events such a massive hurricanes striking populated areas, or drought-fueled fires. Events such as the St. Croix Hurricane of 1772 (link) (dispute as to whether it was August 31 or September 14), but one way or another paved way for Alexander Hamilton to wind up in New York, and the Year Without Summer of 1816, see 200 years ago, we endured a 'year without a summer', are examples of overwhelming events that occurred long ago, before carbon emissions. Yet we seek to control these events, as if we could.

Basically, this harks back to the worship of the rain gods, Manitou, Great Spirit, Athena, Zeus and their less primitive Abrahamic successors. People feel a need to be in control, even when they are not. Nature is just too overwhelming.
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