When I first heard the phrase “social distancing,” I laughed.
Man, that was a meeting!
A bunch of people sat in a room and brainstormed that. Maybe they sent it to an ad agency or focus-grouped it. Nothing would surprise me, and frankly, that seems like it would be the most logical thing to do.
“How are we going to sell people on the idea that they should stay away from everyone…
Stop shaking hands…Stop hanging out with their friends and loved ones? Stop trying to get laid…? And at the same time, convince them that they are SAVING THE WORLD?”
I’m not sure who came up with it, but it was a brilliant manipulation. Hat-tip to the Machiavellian creeps who cooked it up.
“Social distancing” is a euphemistic confection that evokes both “social justice” and “social responsibility.” Perhaps it is going too far to call “social distancing” a Trojan horse for socialism…or maybe that’s exactly what it is. To explain the machinations of bloated bureaucracies, I generally tend to prefer desperation, delusion, self-interest and incompetence over conspiracy — but I could be wrong.
When the states issued orders mandating a soft house arrest and the closure of countless businesses, it was called “Shelter In Place” and “Safer at Home” and, weirdly, a “Pause.” I guess you could also call a prison sentence a “pause,” though it wasn’t quite that, so I’ll avoid the gratuitous hyperbole and say it was a little more like parole. On parole, you’re allowed to go to the grocery store and go to work, but there are limits and rules and the promise of freedom is dangled if you follow them. This is, certainly, what the various “phases” of reopening have been and will be like. Businesses and citizens on parole.
The states closed all operations not deemed “essential.” This sent homebound people flocking in comical makeshift headdresses to grocery stores and liquor stores and weed shops and Home Depots and Wal-Marts, which were deemed “essential.” Some people kept working at manufacturing plants and people bought tons of exercise equipment — good for them! — from busy mail order businesses, while many others lost their jobs or were forced to work from home, hunched over laptops in their pajamas.
This became something of a joke. There’s a guy driving a truck around my neighborhood with a decal that says “#ESSENTIALAF.” (That’s Essential As Fuck, if you’re not keeping up with the new lingo.)
On the sensible heels of “social distancing,” hordes of giggly media prostitutes tongued out a new litany of Orwellian control phrases that were enthusiastically repeated by virtue signaling rubes and all of the business owners desperate for a share of their stimulus dollars and unemployment checks.
Car commercials promised new deals “…in these uncertain and unprecedented times…”
All sorts of nauseating feel-good phrases were popularized to comfort citizens as they were being relieved of their freedoms — like “we’re all in this together,” with the implied paranthetical (whether you like it or not). Perky people — who obviously didn’t have anything at all — insisted that “we got this!”
Many of these novel phrases are coping mechanisms, but by far the most insidious is “The New Normal.” So vague and flexible. It soon seemed as though at least a third of the population would accept any new intrusion, regulation or confinement as long as their influencers contentedly repeated that it was “the new normal.”
The lockdown has convinced me that if Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci went on Dr. Oz and told people to eat their own feces — and called this a new SCIENTIFIC, peer-reviewed BREAKTHROUGH in “nutrient recycling” — millions of Americans would post videos of themselves trying it for the first time, and Rachel Ray would be showing us how to make “up-cycled” artisan shit sandwiches.
The words we use tell a story about the way we perceive our world. New phrases are designed to shift thinking and realign reality. Words are power. The Bible said “In the beginning there was the word,” and Nietzsche said that masters were the givers of names. When you repeat their magic words over and over, you help them create their “new normal.”
I’ve been writing about masculinity for many years, and I watched feminists popularize radical anti-masculinity sentiments by engineering catch phrases like this. “Reimagining masculinity” sounds positive and inventive, but the reimagining always means “convince men to behave more like women.” The phrase “masculinity is a mask” really means that all masculine men are inauthentic, hiding behind a mask because they are “afraid” and “fragile.” “Toxic masculinity” was popularized to create a “new normal” that rendered all masculinity — and men who didn’t hate being men — “toxic.” In the 1970s or 80s, they called it “testosterone poisoning.” Same concept, “up-cycled.” Like a shit sandwich.
If you want to maintain control of your own mind, be wary of whose words you repeat. These little catch phrases are scripts. If you don’t want to be an actor in someone else’s play, don’t read their script. Refuse to say, “social distancing,” and “we got this,” and “we’re in this together.” Refuse to participate in the process of manufacturing consent — in creating “the new normal.”
Let their eager slaves be known by their language.
However, if you don’t use their language, understand that it will make them uncomfortable. It will make you an outsider in their Empire of Nothing. Barbarians are people who use a vulgar alien tongue that offends the sensibilities of those who have acclimated to the “new normal.”
And if you refuse to accept the new normal, it will make you one of the new barbarians.