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Maskland Eternal?
Notes on Sedentary Terror and Corporate Social Control: 3/12-15/22 Portland, Oregon
© 2022 James LaFond
Beginning at midnight the 12th, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the Oregon mask mandate was lifted. My conservative friends were thrilled, that a better more accurate version of science was being followed than mask hysteria. They don’t get it. The conservative American mind is even better tuned to NEWSLAW than the progressive mind. No one is easier for the government to dupe and do wrong than the person who somehow believes, against all historical evidence for lo these 5,000 years, that governments serve their subjects.
That is one thread. I am sure that in many places I have stayed that Maskland has receded, that high tide of cuck muzzle hysteria is past. But tides do not pass, they ebb and flow…
The dive bar, strip mall mini-casino and dollar store employees are not masked.
Employees of every other establishment remain masked.
Half of Portlanders go masked outside, alone in their cars, etc.
Banks, pharmacies and coffee shops have increased Maskland signage.
Saturday and Sunday
At the park less than half of those people using the facility were masked. Afterwards, as Portland Joe had promised his oldest son a trip to the comic store, I noticed that all customers were masked and eyed myself and Puddle Jumper, the youngest son, who stamped in sidewalk puddles with elan, with fear and disapproval.
Perhaps much of this is habit after two years behind the mask?
How much of it is fear?
How much is the vestment of the sacred mask a lever of social control, that as the hand of government ceases to work, other hands urgently take hold?
Surely by Monday a clearer view of Maskland’s new borders would be revealed.
The public elementary school children and parents were masked outside.
The catholic middle school students on the playground at recess were unmasked.
I entered the Safeway to use the pharmacy. All employees are masked as are all but one other customer. People regard me with obvious fear. A three-year-old boy in a shopping cart peeps at me from behind his full-face mask and points, “Mommy, the pirate has no mask!”
This child seems to think himself invisible while wearing his mask.
I stepped up to the counter with a masked man behind me. I am used to pharmacy people treating me like trash in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, while they tend to be kind and helpful in Utah and Portland.
Since the mask mandate was over I did not bother reading the numerous signs. The female Asian pharmacist regarded me with dread rolled eyes over her mask.
The sweet American girl greeted me by name, picked up a box of masks and began to explain how medical facilities must forever be mask zones and was offering me one of those masks that actually look like they might work.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I have one here,” and pulled out my disposable mask and placed it on.
On the walk home I passed two unmasked Yetis and a chin-masked Bantu. The elder Yeti looked at the leather jacket given me by my host and said, “Nice jacket.”
The feral Yeti stepped out of my way as the Bantu, taking a break from sweeping the sidewalk in front of his convenience store, a man my age said, “Good day to you kind sir.”
I waved and nodded with a smile and he crooned musically, “Isn’t this nice, we can see each other smile as spring blooms?”
It then occurred that few people know the draconian rules that local municipal government departments, like liquor boards, lottery authorities and health departments employ to control businesses. Does this man wear his mask inside and chin strap it outside in fear of local government ordinance or simply to cater to his fearful clients?
Either means is more effective at mask enforcement than large scale mandates. In the end, a state or federal mandate is enforced by local authorities and by corporations and licensed businesses. It is a simple and functional step to go the Feudal route and transfer the authority for social control to those entities who actually enforce it—to privatize and localize. This I think will make a more tolerable coexistence.
This is congruent with the nature of our new civic religion “medical science” which is less science-based and more deeply faith-based than the rituals and conduct of the catholic school and church across the street following nearly medieval Jesuit doctrine.
As I travel across the country it will be interesting to observe the new and still shifting borders of Maskland as I cross and re-crosss them. Me guess is that the political map would be a fair guide, and that blue zones will fall firmly in Maskland dominion in this patchwork of ideological feudalism. I expect medical and associated facilities—being the seminaries were the prophets and priests of the New Faith and the holy vestments of the Faithful have their origin—to remain bastions of Mask Cultism.
I think back to the skittish personality of that boy at the Safeway, his curiosity bubbling forth around his cloth muzzle, his personalty forged in the crucible of the mask, having lived some 70% of his life among the masked and behind the mask. He has been forever stamped upon his soul with the mark of the mask, branded by a fear to “face” other humans and a dread to breathe the sunbathed air of the planet of his creation.
Consider the blue and red map again, and recall that though most of the space is red that most of the people are blue, and that even in red zones where the Old Faith might reign at large, that the hallowed halls of healing keep to the orthodox creed of the mask; and further, that this is in the season of renewal and hope, and that as the year tilts towards winter and the primordial uneasiness within us over the end of plant growth and the coming of cold takes hold, that the Prophets and their priests will glower forth from their gaslit temples on every screen across creation and chant the dreadful dirge.
And as the sibilant bells of fear toll across the media sphere the tides of Maskland will surge as our seasons of a world regulated now by information rather than creation change.
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