Thursday, September 08, 2022

Propaganda writ large

An advert plays incessantly on the radio telling me that "Wearing a mask is an act of intentional kindness."

An intention cannot be ascribed to an action by a third party. How does the creator of this advert know why I am wearing a mask?

If I go into the supermarket maskless I will be asked to don one or leave. So I take my own. It is an act of resentful compliance. I resent the rule, the enforcer of the rule and worse, myself for complying.

Every time I hear the ad these angry feelings are reinforced.

My strategy for dealing with unwanted emotion is to rationalize. What if the ad said, "Be kind, wear a mask" which at least eliminates the absurd idea that someone else can live in my head and know my thoughts. But what is kind about wearing a mask? I'm not a surgeon. I have no illness and even if I did, isn't sharing germs part of how we have existed together for eons?

Perhaps the rational response is to understand the message in its inversion, "If you don't wear a mask people will think you are cruel and uncaring."

That I think is what's really going on.

We've had five f------g years of this 'be kind' guilt-tripping propaganda shoved down our throats and everywhere you look the results are crippled systems and crippled people.

Now I'm getting confused over what it is to be genuinely kind.  Maskless, I gave a girl some money the other day. Broke my own rule. She said she wanted to get a feed. I checked she had a roof over her head at night and some sort of support system and then gave her $20. Maybe she'll go and buy a bottle of wine or whatever it takes to get off her face but why shouldn't she enjoy a few hours escapism? I'd like a few myself but my meagre daily alcohol ration makes that an impossible option.

Perhaps I should have walked up to this kid and said, "Excuse me. Where is your mask? You do know that it's an act of intentional kindness to wear one, don't you?"