the way i felt when I was 10 or 11 finding out about columbine, or 12 when stranded in manhattan overnight on 9-11; the dominoes were already lined up in the absolute stupidest and most evil way possible, how could anybody express surprise that it was happening like this. the process of the dominoes continuing to fall includes the way certain entities predictably disavow the fact that they were even lined up in the first place. this is all some sort of mistake, some sort of injustice that could have been averted if only… people were more obedient? people weren’t so ‘ignorant’ ? (‘ignorance’ is the most misunderstood quality of any population)
we were promised (we are still being promised) first of all an apprehensible event with discrete limits. we are promised specific dangers, codes, rules, consistent forms, a crisis with horizons forming traceable shapes. we are promised that the plague event is discretely identifiable in its mechanics and its effects, hopefully also its origins. we are promised that the monolithic single plague is upon us, one plague, unifying us, sanctifying the global unit. the crisis we experience together will make us ‘one’.
solidarity is not a dishonest word because of the monolith’s actual ‘exceptions’ and exclusions–if these were somehow filled, in the concept of ‘solidarity’ would still be beyond dishonest, simply because at such a scale it is fundamentally completely meaningless.
are we more unified than we were in relation to death, now that death has sped up a little? even with all the inequalities theoretically ‘filled in’, solidarity on its own is still just absurd.
but the monolithic event we are being told to relate ourselves to in various ways (piety for the sacrifices of others, personal responsibility, social distances, righteous demands for fairness) is like an all-important cardboard cutout floating in a body of water; but it’s the water which is the living part. ‘they have’ the genome, so many patterns, so many ‘cases’ from which to draw data. so much data. one day ‘we’ will know literally everything there is to know about the coronavirus, by which time millions will have died. the information is a moving target. this matters because in the time spent chasing the target, death arrives. when time is of the essence the lens of data is proving itself incapable of grasping the practical reality, the material effects of fragmentation of time itself (and logic itself, reason itself) across the world. the lens of data is just like a kaleidoscope looking at the monolith. The kaleidoscope turns every day, bringing more shiny focal points to the center.
the more objective medical description happens, the less information we have. there is such a saturation of ‘data’ that from day to day in a city with ‘according to some’ the highest death rate in the country, for practical purposes we don’t know what the fuck to do. the obsessive faith in science, in medicine’s holy project of locating The Coronavirus as this event with discrete logically apprehensible effects, literally a Medical identity, has blatantly failed to deliver the associated promise of (state–or anyone’s) significant apprehension of the factors involved in the outcome–or even significantly dent the outcome; let alone control of the outcome
the living chaos that attacks bodies has not been described in usefully legible terms and never ever will be. the more description happens, functionally the less description happens. the more desperately we beg for a central voice, a medical unity, to save us from a sudden torturous death, the more blatantly this impossibility is revealed
as raised spikes of exponential spread bloom across america a kind of relativity of logic itself emerges across regions. what is happening? what do we do?
the crisis, it arrives at a different speed with in fact different consequences, and different methods are even possible, let alone advisable. as a simple example, ‘social distancing’ is a complete unachievable abstraction for actually the majority of the world. the plague event literally has a different existence in different places; the metanarrative of ‘one global crisis’ arguably does more harm than good for many regions. it is literally a different crisis. by now it might even be a significantly genetically different virus. the imperative to understand a situation where i or people in my life have an increased chance of dying a sudden and horrific death in abstracted global terms adds nothing.
beyond a few basic facts, the plague’s functional reality quickly diverges. the ‘rules’ of transmission, treatment and survival become incoherent and contradictory across circumstances. the factors, demographic and environmental and historical factors such as who had access to healthcare for their whole life and who fucking didn’t, are so widely differentiated as to make attempts to compare and analyze and chart, into a comedy.
understanding this, the glut of “real scientific information” and its resultant worthlessness under the circumstances, people should be much less indignant about the existence of conspiracy theories–the obvious syndrome of knowing you’re being lied to outright; shot-in-the-dark conjecture in reaction to visible ideology is as good a method of apprehending a tangible reality as anything else.
it hurts to live in acute fear. it hurts to watch beloved people suffer and brace themselves for a nightmare with no forseeable end. nothing could be worse, though, than to yield to the delusional propaganda of a clearly defined crisis with a single, global medical protocol (the medical is the only discourse that can trump the economy in the contest for the ‘realest real’). not only will this yielding (and internalizing that concept and its implications) not save physical lives, it will leave you defenseless and clueless when what you most need is strength.
it’s true that the world is ‘globalized’ and this cannot be ‘undone’ in the way it was ‘done’, but it’s also true that these existing connections of commerce do not, cannot and will never mean a heroic global coherence in the face of a global mortal threat or frankly anything else. this is one of the reasons why the climate movement is so weak. everyone will never care about ‘everyone’; from city to city we have only the faintest ability to comprehend anything that’s happening to us. in a certain way this should be a source of comfort rather than despair.
“What state would be capable of dissuading and annihilating all terrorism in the bud (Germany)? It would have to arm itself with such terrorism and generalize terror on every level. If this is the price of security, is everybody deep down dreaming of this?” – more from Fatal Strategies