I’ve been alive nor for nearly 70 years. That’s pretty damned lucky, as I see it. I have outlived my three older brothers who died at ages 58, 68 and 69. Young people have a fear of aging. I know I did. But it is not so bad – I rather enjoy it. I am retired now, and busy all day every day with new projects. I rise in the morning knowing that no one on the planet can make any demands of me. That is just pleasant. I wish for all of you that you reach this stage of life, and enjoy it as I am enjoying it.
Physically, I am not a specimen – maybe that is one of the fears of aging. People don’t want to look like this:
Poor Jack. It appears that at a certain point he just gave up. I am surprised he is not wearing sweatpants.
I see that with aging. I attended our fiftieth high school reunion in 2018, and oh my, the blossoming bodies there. There were two girls I had dated back then … phew! Dodged a bullet! The prettiest girl in our class still lit up a room with her smile, but her body was a newer 3X version. It happens, I suppose, maybe beyond control for some.
I will speak only of myself – in 2011 I found that I was gaining weight, something that had never before been a concern. We went to a Chomsky lecture in Boulder, and having procured the last two available seats high in the balcony, I found it difficult to fit my fat ass in between the arms.The next morning I told my wife that changes were in the works, that I was going to lose that extra weight.
I got hold of a book by Gary Taubes called Good Calories Bad Calories. It’s a tome, 640 pages – but that’s me. I read stuff like that. It’s not a diet book. It contains no recipes. It is merely a recitation of the well-known but obfuscated science of nutrition. The changes I needed to make were actually easy to implement, though they sound draconian. I gave up pizza, fruit juice, cookies, donuts, chips, candy, pasta, beer – anything carbohydrate-based. I substituted eggs, meat, cheese, nuts, all fat and protein-based. White wine has but three or four carbs per glass.
In so doing two things happened: One, I was never hungry, and ate regularly without suffering crashes; two, my body changed from a sugar-burning to a fat-burning organism. I was in ketosis (incidentally, the source of the word “Keto” in that diet fad). Within three months I lost 22 pounds. We walked half of the Tour du Mont Blanc that summer, and while I was not in as good shape as I am now, I felt a new lightness. I could even run uphill (my knees, which I messed up by too much jogging, don’t allow flat or downhill running).
Keeping the weight off proved problematic until I understood that I was not to be “on a diet.” I permanently changed the way I eat. I am now at my desired weight as we enter the summer mountain climbing* season.
That’s not why I sat down here. But I’ll make the point anyway – to a large degree we are in charge of our lives, our appearance, our personalities. We are always able to make changes when changes are needed. We have free will. No one can take it away from us.
And that brings me to why I sat down here. The Covid-19 hoax has caused some depression among those of us in the population who can see through it. What power! It creates a sense of helplessness. It also creates some magical thinking, people saying the virus is new and invented and dangerous, a “bioweapon.” It is none of those things. I am convinced it does not even exist.
I have repeatedly told people, even on Facebook before I shut down my account, that the virus made its way to this country by hiding under the on/off button of TV remote controls made in China. Don’t touch that button, you will not get sick. The virus is called “fear.” It is being deliberately spread by the pretty vapid talking heads who read teleprompters on TV screens. That is all it is, an induced panic. Those people are not hired because they are smart or know anything important. They are hired because they are (generally) good looking and project an image of trustworthiness as they tell their lies. They are otherwise very stupid. If that were not the case, their consciences would compel them to choose another line of work.
We cannot help but be affected by the fallout from their lies, market crashes, toilet paper disappearance, a run on hamburger and shut down of gyms and restaurants. That’s beyond our control. But we can just live normal lives. We can ignore their orders about quarantine and gatherings. Our daughter-in-law is under fourteen-day self-quarantine for daring to leave the country and return. I invited her and that whole family here for an ‘illegal’ gathering, and they accepted. If the virus is spread by touching playing cards, we will all soon die.
We have had a heavy snow storm here in the mountains above Denver yesterday and last night. I notice something I’ve not seen in our ten years here – they have not bothered to plow our road. That affects us as it limits our ability to get out and about. But we have petroleum-fueled four-wheel drive vehicles, so I’ll venture out today, if only to visit the grocery store; if only to make the point that I still come and go as I please and do not pay any attention to any edict that is within my control to ignore.
There is pessimism about, as if this pandemic of fear is something new and that the fallout might be permanent. Maybe a thing or two – maybe there will be forced vaccinations, a massive violation of illusory civil liberties. I came of age in the sixties. You want to talk about fear? We kids were put through drills designed to frighten us. We were told that the Russians were going to shoot missiles at us. People put underground shelters in their back yards, complete with guns to murder neighbors who might try to enter during an attack. TV was relatively new, but the Cuban Missile Crisis scared the bejeesus out of us. We wept into our pillows as we heard that JFK was gunned down in broad daylight. Imagine us as kids with all of that weighing us down. All of it fake.
Imagine a six-year-old watching that! It was shameless, but when it comes to State of Fear, they have no conscience. Columbine was a hoax, just like the above video, designed to scare children. Frightened kids become frightened adults. Do you, like me, see fear all about? That fear button can be pressed at any time.
Yikes! That is really scary. Fear works on me too. I am not immune.
Fear is a governing tool. The antidote is simple: Stop being afraid. What can they do? There is a limit to the amount of psychological stress they can impose on the population. Soon enough it breaks people down and manifests in odd forms, family squabbles, public displays of erratic behaviors, loss of interest in the pleasures of life, including eating and sex. Drinking and drug use increases, antidepressants are “over”-used, as if any use is normal behavior. We become less useful as worker bees. They cannot let that happen.
They will ease up soon, and proclaim that all their draconian measures saved us. Stupid people will believe them. Others will internalize doubt, as that doubt is not allowed public expression except among close friends and family. Just as I now know that the Cold War was fake, that there were no missiles or Missile Crisis, that the Soviet Union and United States were best buddies, that JFK went off to live on a Greek island, I cannot say such things in mixed company without producing eye-flashes and mild ostracism. If I keep up, it becomes full and complete ostracism.
This too shall pass. Restaurants and bars and gyms will soon open. Markets will bounce back. People will still watch their TVs. This fascinating phenomenon will repeat where even as we know they lied in the past, future lies will be believed again, and again. That is the power of that hypnotic medium. Thus has it alwasy been.
*We walk up trails to mountain tops. “Mountain climbing” sounds exotic.