‘Maybe it was the chocolate factory?’

Way back at the end of the bygone year of 2019, probably around November or December, I came across some concerning videos online coming out of the People’s Republic of China. In these videos, person after person was captured on CCTV footage collapsing in the streets for no discernible reason. Not too long after that, the world got the first actual reports about a kind of respiratory flu in Wuhan, China.

In the years that followed, Americans and the rest of the citizens of the world may have forgotten how their leaders and institutions reacted to these developments. Let’s just say there wasn’t a whole lot of concern expressed. In fact, many statements were made about how this outbreak was not going to be an issue for the rest of the planet. In fact, for a while there if you did express concern, you were called a racist or xenophobic. Then, inexplicably, the Chinese government and the rest of the world all but encouraged the spread of the virus out of mainland China by allowing unfettered travel and flights in and out of the country.

By the time world leaders had awoken to the problem “THE SCIENCE”‘s cavalier approach to the virus had created, it was already too late. And yet, “THE SCIENCE” we were told was our only savior. Anyone who questioned the everchanging edicts of the High Priests of “THE SCIENCE” were castigated or cast out, slandered as ignorant anti-science rubes for simply asking why many of the things “THE SCIENCE” was demanding of us didn’t make logical sense half of the time.

But that didn’t matter, we the people were simply herded about and divided into the faithful unquestioning followers of “THE SCIENCE” and those who had the gall to simply ask questions about what we were being asked to do to “FLATTEN THE CURVE” and “SAVE GRANDMA.”

There aren’t enough inches in this humble column to enumerate the litany of draconian and authoritarian institutional excesses of the COVID era. The very rhetoric and policies of most state and local politicians in both parties was by default insipidly servile to the administrative state, rather than to the constituents they represented. People were harassed by law enforcement for simply playing in their own front yards. People were driven out of public spaces for not following every letter of the law prescribed by self-serving hacks like Fauci, even when it was questionable whether these measures succeeded at anything other than injecting derangement into every American mind.

Like all good abusive American households, you either felt the sting of authority’s belt or you fell right in line to avoid getting the strap too. Doesn’t really sound like the utopian land of free and open discourse by any objective measure.

Ultimately, that’s my biggest gripe, the fact that no debate or open forum was allowed to discuss anything related to “THE UNAMED VIRUS OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN” let alone that of the actions of our leaders and institutions in a crisis. Anything that contravened Saint Fauci’s edicts was quickly labeled misinfo or disinfo by so called “fact checkers” and used as the rationale to remove them from online platforms.

To this day, I still get random emails from a website that famously is considered by some to be “The Front Page of the Internet.” These emails are to inform me that I have been summarily restricted from being able to view and participate in certain forums on the site, because I may have said mean things about Saint Fauci or mocked an example of a possessed Covidian still trapped in the hysteria of March, 2020. Whatever the reason, I could only be allowed to participate once again if I plead my case to the moderators that there has been some sort of misunderstanding, or that I have renounced the wrong-think and ideas at issue.

Such is life in venue’s governed by the fragile and the dishonest, the failed sons and daughters of a generation whose highest ambition is to be volunteer internet janitors for corporations being funded by the Saudi Royal Family and the Chinese Communist Party. Which brings us full circle back to the giant panda in the room.

Sometime funny man and veteran propagandist Jon Stewart made a fateful appearance on his apprentice’s late night “comedy show” about a year ago, and it ended up being a little more problematic than the reunion/love fest that was probably scripted. Stewart’s memorable and committed bit was enormously satisfying, as he said out loud what many Americans had not been allowed to consider regarding the origin of the “UNAMED VIRUS OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN” without being ostracized or dismissed as a rube or a wingnut.

While it was surprising to see a figure like Stewart call out the scientific establishment in the way he did, it was still baffling to see the man across from him trying to soften the blows, not to mention the ensuing cavalcade of buffoonery from the propaganda set to explain why their elder statesman had gone off the rails. But then again, Colbert is the guy who unironically ran a musical skit involving dancing syringes and who all but slobbered all over Fauci on a nightly basis.

Between the Twitter Files, Tucker Carlson’s heroic coverage of the reality of January 6th, and the slow trickle of admissions about how wrong COVID authoritarians have proven themselves to be, it is truly astounding to see the peddlers of these many lies cling to the power the lies won them with such conviction. Of the so called “evident truths” that were sheltered from criticism and debate, one by one they are wilting and shrinking at the first drop of light.

For all the faults and foibles of a cable news host on a Murdoch network, Carlson is one of those unique individuals who can count Gen-Z Gender Theorists, Twitter “reply guys,” and the leadership of both parties in Congress amongst his enemies. The pathetic political animals of both parties (our Senator Kevin Cramer included) can shriek and rend their garments like Nosferatu on a Sunday morning all they want over the release of the footage, but in the end, they’re only crying foul because a cable TV host has done what they apparently don’t have the bravery or willingness to do.

All Carlson is doing is providing a side of that story not even some of the defendants were given, which to my knowledge constitutes the most basic of Brady Violations, but, in fairness, I’m no lawyer.

Yet, according to the who’s who of Democrats, Republicans, and Minot’s own Rob Port, Carlson should be tarred and feathered and banned from the airwaves. Their reaction does prove something though — that both parties and even North Dakota’s favorite pundit are more than willing to commandeer the events of that day for the sake of political capital, turn a blind eye while objectivity and justice are gutted from the process and proceeding, and malign anyone who voices anything but the “party” line.

I think their response to these revelations is revealing all in its own way, not that those screeching for the scalps of nonbelievers are capable of seeing it. The only soul searching that should be done is by those who reached for too much, and denied any debate while they did so. Of course, for soul searching to be possible, one has to have one. It’s debatable whether some of these people do in light of how unwilling they are to admit they were wrong.


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