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your mask ennobles me
public health as pretext for hierarchical validation
of all the utterly discredited non-pharmaceutical interventions around covid, perhaps none stands as pervasive in its application and as universal in its failure as masks.
it was a flat out cargo cult belief set from the beginning and the inefficacy of this purported intervention was known and knowable beforehand and was confirmed, again and again, by all the emerging data.
the studies undertaken to “prove” efficacy were shams, lacked control groups, used cherry picked data, fraud, and methodologies so hilariously bad as to call into question the basic competence and honesty of those pushing them. the CDC has been a disgrace.
and yet the intensity of the push for this meaningless mitigation ratcheted ever upward. a certain class of person loved this, demanded this, needed this. no data could dissuade their desire.
even those who gathered the data that proved so helpful in proving this such as emily oster backed away from their own output because it so clearly contradicted the narrative of their tribe. she, an ivy league economics professor, disavowed her own discovery and flipped to team emotion. (another dark day for the gato alma mater)
it was sad to see, but altogether predictable.
masks are signs of subjugation. they dehumanize. they alienate. and this is WHY they are so attractive to so many.
this is why forcing them on kids to dominate them and force them into compliance with state over self or even parents is such a high priority goal for those that have collectivist plans for their futures. it establishes precisely who is in charge.
masks are not about public health.
masks are about hierarchy.
they not only represent a high visibility in-group/out-group tribal marker, but they have wonderous potential as a form of separating the powerful from the powerless, the nobles from the commoners, the dictators from the dictated to.
it has become the opiate of the classes.
perhaps some women are more equal than others?
i suspect that this is why mandating masks is more popular among the well heeled than the working class: the rich and powerful know they will not have to follow these rules in the manner that the grubby commoners shall have to and this frisson of aristocratic privilege thrills them.
i get to take mine off. you do not.
i get to have a face. you do not.
and this is why taking away your choice is so important to them.
this is also why they love making you do this then getting caught not doing it themselves. they do not feel shame. they do not feel hypocrisy. they feel power: the power to flout the very rules they impose and to be free from consequence as they do so. this establishes them as a ruling class possessed of royal prerogative.
i’ve spoken on this before:
and it’s a timeless truth.
and so the exact same people who just imposed this:
are in the same city on the same weekend doing this: (thanks, mayor!)
and so too are all their fancy friends.
your noticing this is not a problem for them. they wanted you to notice.
your anger does not shame them. it elevates them.
because, let’s face it, it’s not like there are going to be consequences…
they are putting you in your place and establishing their primacy over you. we may do this. you may not. your children must be taught to obey us and not you. and they must do as we say, not as we do. we are not like you. we are special.
elites have always sought visible markers to render them distinct from the commoners. in many cultures, it was the right to carry weapons. now it manifests as the weaponization of the prerogative of showing one’s face in public and being free of the capricious rules the bedevil others.
you are veiled. they are free.
they grin like sharks among minnows because they are the only ones with visible teeth.
and it is everywhere. they buy the support of the classes beneath them by offering them some subset of the privileges they posses.
it’s a form of functional feudalism.
and we get this.
imagine what these experiences are teaching children about their place in the world and their relationship to authority figures.
stacey abrams is pro mask and pro vaxx mandate. and yet here she sits, the only one in the photo with a face. she cannot help herself. it’s too delicious. she does not believe a word of her own rules. it did not even occur to her how this might look.
it does not bother the “adults” that this is unfair or flouts “the science’ they so avidly claim as their own. they love that part. it’s a feature, not a bug.
this is their happy place.
and it flows all down the chain into society because so many crave petty perquisites of their own.
can any serious human actually believe in the absurdity of “restaurant physics” as applied to masks?
that once you sit, you can safely unmask and yet, because they are standing, servers and bartenders and busboys alike must remain muzzled? (apparently, covid, like t-rex, can only see you when you move…)
it’s rank absurdity. but it sure does draw quite a bright line on social class, doesn’t it? the proles must protect me and suffer faceless oxygen deprivation, but i owe them no such duty in return.
consider the moral framework here:
if you believe that masks offer source protection, then you are demanding that the staff protect you while refusing to protect them in return. you are also exposing yourself to all the other patrons who are unmasked. these aerosols can hang in the air for WEEKS. why do you trust them and not your waiter? (pro tip: 6 feet of distancing is an entirely made up claim)
if you do not believe that masks offer source protection, then why must they be mandated for others and why can they not make their own choices as you have done?
and if you are really this frightened of a virus, why are you going out to eat at all? why seek to be around strangers, masked and unmasked? why seek to eat food that so many others have so recently touched?
none of it makes any sense whatsoever from an epidemiological or a moral standpoint.
and yet so many demand it so fervently.
what explanation is there beyond hierarchy? you and your peers may sit barefaced and free, but they, the underlings, must obey.
masks are more than a tribal marker. they have become a class marker.
this is on vivid display in puerto rico where we have both a proof of vaccination requirement AND an indoor masking requirement to eat out. every restaurant must demand these things. (you can, of course, remove your mask once you sit.)
but a funny thing happens when you “go upscale.” the nicer the restaurant, the more draconian the enforcement. they WILL stop you at the door and demand compliance. they will not only check your card, but your ID as well to be sure they match. they will demand masking until you get to your table but then instantly cease such demands once you sit.
my theory is that in places where there is a lower socio-economic class gap between staff and customer, owners and staff feel no need to cater to this burgeoning sense of privilege. but go uptown, and this is seen as a way to “keep out the riff raff” yet express privilege once you pass the gatekeeper. (big national chains seem to be an exception and are mostly rabid) but as this gap widens at nicer restaurants, enforcement spikes because it is the upper classes that love these rules. it’s just a form of catering to your customer.
behind the gates of the high end resorts, you will rarely see a mask on a patron. but all the staff are forced to comply.
among my neighbors, many love masks and tut and fret and squall about those who will not wear them. they tried to mandate them in the building common areas, but enough of us laughed at them that it failed. they did manage to force it on the staff though. just more hierarchy.
they demand it of the doormen and movers or workers who come to the building. i need wear no mask, but the guy that fixes my garbage disposal must. (well, until he arrives in my unit and then i tell him to take that silly thing off and he gratefully does)
they cannot bully me because i am of their class. but they can bully him. and they seem to take real joy in it.
and i will never forgive them for it. it’s despicable.
this has been a really jarring lesson for me.
i mean, you can know on some intellectual level that humans crave petty privilege and status markers. it’s on display all around us with brands and lines at cool clubs and restaurants with “tough reservations.” but i did not really understand it at the depth that matters.
i presumed this was about self elevation and while i have little fondness or respect for such, at least it is not sociopathic. it’s just shallow and vain.
but to seek to muzzle people and render them faceless while you are not is not self-elevation, it is the degradation of others to enhance one’s relative status. and that is a different thing altogether. that is not trying to run faster, it’s trying to hamstring the other competitors. that is an attack.
if people want to wear $2000 shoes because it makes them feel special, this seems a harmless conceit. (at least to others) your shoe budget affects me not at all. go nuts. have fun. i hope it brings you joy.
but seeking to suppress me, or if not me, then others who lack my socio-economic, intellectual, and functional defense capabilities is no longer harmless. it’s vicious. it’s repressive. and focusing this on those least able to argue and resist, the children and the working classes makes it all the more so.
know a person’s true character by how they treat those who cannot defend themselves.
noblesse oblige. nobility obligates. it does not entitle. if you think it does, you’re doing it wrong and you deserve what’s coming to you.
there is nothing less attractive than a date that treats the waitstaff badly. it’s a near perfect heuristic for possessing poor character. it’s an outright deal breaker for me. and wow have an awful lot of people shown their true colors on this issue once society said it was OK. they were just waiting for permission.
in a sort of poetic parity, the act of forcing masks onto others removed the masks of those who did the forcing and in so doing revealed the truth of the faces beneath.
and we all saw you.
and we will remember what it said about who you were.