maxbarry.com
Mon 06
Jul
2020

Narrator: They Were Not

Max From March:

But we are kind of all in it together. I have to say, of all the terrible crises to be facing, I do like how this one puts all of humanity on the same side. It’s not people against people, for once. We get to face this one as a species.

WOW is that the most naive thing I ever wrote or what. I mean, probably not; I started this blog when I was 26. But still, that is some real pie-eyed thinking. Yeah, sure, Max, people are going to forget their differences and pull together just because there’s a global health emergency. YOU IDIOT.

I don’t want to overreact, but I do wonder if this proves we’re doomed as a species. I remember sitting in university lectures on how to deceive people for money, i.e. psychology for marketing majors, and wondering where that would end, like what would happen if professional persuasion theory, which deliberately attacks our ability to perceive objective reality, continued to develop. Now I know: people refusing to wear masks in a pandemic as a political statement.

This is my real problem with satire at the moment: I can’t figure out how to make a more extreme version of current reality that’s also kind of fun. Or if not fun, then at least slightly absurd in a way that doesn’t leave you deeply terrified about the future. You don’t want an all-too-believable satire that’s incredibly depressing, is what I’m trying to say. You want a dystopia that’s thought-provoking but also lets you get a good night’s sleep.

For example, if I were writing this situation as a novel, my next step is people start boasting about being infected. As a sign they stood up for their politics, you see. Then they encourage other people to get infected, to prove themselves, and I guess then they go around deliberately trying to spread it. They reposition having the virus as a good thing. Maybe they could have a cool name.

But this is not a fun idea. No no no.

Comments

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heatherly (#6677)

Location: New England, U.S.A.
Quote: "If Plan A fails, remember you still have 25 letters left."
Posted: 107 days ago

Well if I makes you feel any better, I think the PEOPLE of the world as a whole are on the same side. It’s just some of our nations’ leaders, politicians, etc. that are causing division...

Brenda (#7217)

Location: Berowra Bushland
Quote: "entering your world via the book portal is awesome"
Posted: 41 days ago

I like what you wrote and would not judge it as naive it is more a reflection of being an Australian. We have had pandemics in Australia before and because of our island status of seemingly being a long way from anywhere, even when you are in the country, there is a (dare I say) pioneer mentality of help your neighbours in bad times. Recent example the devastating bushfires. The everyday ordinary Aussie dug deep. We thanked our firies for the dangerous work they faced and we shed tears at the devastation. In lockdown the majority rallied with assistance for neighbours and those worse off. A double edged sword is we have people in government who do not know how to gain our trust and we need people in government who know how to gain our trust. My answer would be the women overthrow the government and declare a 'nanny' state to teach everyone how to be grown ups.

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