The great Hunter S. Thompson famously said “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro…” – without a doubt 2020 has fulfilled the first part of the equation but it remains to be seen where the pro weird ones are. Thus far, most of what I’ve seen have been rank amateurs throwing easily disproven conspiracy theories around and putting on their militia costumes to galavant around pretending to have some sort of power (which they definitely do not have – btw). If anything, the scariest part of 2020 has been how quick American capitalism has been to find profit potential in a pandemic, an economic collapse, the the destruction of democracy. Even the potential of a meteor strike has been capitalized on with t-shirts, stickers, and more.
That’s weird funny, but it’s not weird pro. If you want to see how the weird turn pro – don’t look at America. Look at Europe. Check out this video from Madrid…
Here in Hawaii – with tourism opened up, the attitude towards tourists began with open arms and aloha – but within three days there was some lady from the mainland screaming at a Big Island store owner that she didn’t want to put on a mask (but she still wanted to come in his store which had signs that said masks required and which was following state law as required). There was also an incident in Waikiki where a mainland visitor told a local man who reminded him that masks are mandatory “Why don’t you have the police come and arrest me, you fucking chink.” Seriously…he used a dated racist hate term for Chinese – and I know the guy – he isn’t Chinese – he’s Filipino descent – 3rd or 4th generation American. And now, virtually everyone I talk with has the same question “Why are they here?” It’s just a matter of time before the beat downs start happening again. The limits of aloha may have been exceeded. This is an old video – but this is where it seems to be heading, but with people breaking social distancing norms, not wearing masks, etc. This morning, I watched a big local guy throw stink eye at a tourist woman without a mask who got too close to him – she ignored him and when she got too close he shouted ‘Six-feet!’
Now, the island of Lanai – one of the few places in America where there had been no cases of Covid-19 – has at least three and probably more. It happens that quick. We’ve all mostly taken the lockdowns, the mask mandates and social distancing seriously here to protect our elders and our kids. So people are getting pretty upset to have visitors come and ignore that.
But let’s get back to the weird turning pro. There are going to be some truly bizarre subcultures that will come out of this year. I don’t know what they will be – but they are going to be way cooler than mentally challenged Q-Anon (Wayfair shipping kids in armoire) or idiot Trump boat paraders sinking (look it up). It’s going to be more along the lines of obscure hobbyists finding more time on their hands and nowhere to go. I don’t know what that looks like, but I’ve already written three books this year and am getting ready to write the fourth – imagine if I collaborated with others…and was involved in something more strange than writing…
Finally, I posted my Presidential Debate Bingo Card before the last 2020 Presidential debate. For those of you who didn’t play, there were no clear winners in the Bingo. Here are the final results:
I think what wasn’t said is just as important as what was. These guys have highly paid teams crunching data about voters. The scariest moment of the debate for me was when Dumpster said ‘I think we are going to win the house’ – he said it with the confidence of a con-man and the certitude of a cheat. It’s not time to stop worrying yet.
Anyway…thank you all for the supportive comments and good ideas. Keep them coming. You can just respond to this email and I will get it and please share it around.
Here is some of what I’m reading this week:
How to Form an Affinity Group – An affinity group is a circle of friends who understand themselves as an autonomous political force. The idea is that people who already know and trust each other should work together to respond immediately, intelligently, and flexibly to emerging situations.
Fab Labs – A Fab Lab, or digital fabrication laboratory, is a place to play, to create, to mentor and to invent: a place for learning and innovation.
Fab Labs provide access to the environment, the skills, the materials and the advanced technology to allow anyone anywhere to make (almost) anything.
Shaping the 4th Industrial Revolution – Klaus Schwab is the Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He wrote a book in 2016 called the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which was one ofthe first books to clearly show just how sudden, powerful, and life chainging the technology we see around us every day is. We are in the midst of the most dramatic change our species has ever encountered.