Interestin’ times

A quick look at Wikipedia, the go-to for any statistic that doesn’t have to hold up in court, tells us that the combined ‘Combat Casualties in the US Civil War’ was 214,938. Let me make my disclaimer from the outset: This number is probably not accurate and alternate estimates have been put forth. But for the purposes of this piece, I am going with 215,000 as a ballpark, mostly because you can look it up and be assured I have not pulled numbers out of my arse.

Worldometer ( advises us that, at time of writing, there are now approx 220,00 dead in the US from Coronavirus. By itself the number of fatalities is shocking. When compared against Wikipedia’s tally of combat deaths in the US Civil War, the number becomes utterly appalling. COVID has, to my horror, now surpassed the civil war.

Yes, it’s true that countless additional non-combatants and civilians also died in that protracted and gory conflict, which lasted, by the way, four years. Brother clashed with brother and families, as it’s often said, were torn asunder. And it is also true that the US, even by the reckoning of many of its own citizens, is still fighting that war, 160 years later. It was only this very year, 2020, that progress was made toward tearing down the statuary of the military figures who, really, were traitors to the country from which they seceded. This just seems…. inexplicable.

Heaving the stone of history forward another 160 years, and let’s suppose the USA survives as the country with which we are familiar that far into the future, will there be monuments to straggling groups of so-called ‘patriots’? Alabaster bleach bottles on stone IV stands clattering down the burning and barricaded, detritus-filled streets of the insurrection? Their germy mugs defiantly unmasked, exultantly hoisting Old Glory as high as their afflicted bodies will allow? How do you portray pulmonary distress in marble, by the way?

The zeitgeist of the USA, always complex and dynamic, is now beyond any kind of reasonable understanding. Brother fights brother again, but this time over face masks at the grocery store: “I don’t believe in COVID” is a real-life comment, heard constantly. Anyone capable of simple, basic, even childlike ‘if-I’m-good-I’ll-get-ice-cream’ logic feel their jaw hit the floor when hearing such infantile denial. I guess we should reply, “I don’t believe in gravity”, which might have saved us that painful fall off the patio bench when getting cobwebs off the light fixtures.

The world awoke to the realization that it might be in grave danger several years ago. At this particular point in history there is no ‘might‘ about it, unless it’s the craven might of bootlickers that will nihilistically kiss up and kick down, subserviently fulfilling the presidential ‘roid rage du jour.

He won’t take his presidential ball and go home, no, no. Given the opportunity, he will first set fire to your house. He will feel certain that you deserve your misfortune – you did, after all, kick his ball.

I understand history just enough to see its repeating patterns, but I can’t see how to break this one with tranquil equanimity.

What I sense is that really smart, wise, profound people in the world are getting smarter, wiser, more profound…And are fewer in number. But the insipid propagate like ants at a picnic. They are gunning their engines toward oblivion; it’s a death race to Simpletown. Pull out the stops Marge, if we’re gunna croak, don’t believe in death and we’ll be just fine.

We have been cursed to live in interesting times.

Have a great day.

Vince R Ditrich © 2020 :: All Rights Reserved :: Random Note Generator :: A One-Man Magazine ::

Coming Soon :: The Liquor Vicar :: A novel by Vince Ditrich :: Dundurn Press – Toronto

Stats on Combat Deaths / US: