The Point of Panic is Panic

The more you study the collective global panic as a panic — that is, as the violent discharge of years of accumulated anxiety — the more it makes sense.  Individuals can only avoid reality for so long.

Some of us have been saying “it can’t go on like this” since the late 1970s.  More people got on board in the 1980s, even more in the 1990s, but by then it was already far too late.  Entitlement “reform” is impossible.  You can barely even slow down the leviathan state’s growth, much less stop or reverse it.  But hey, that’s just math, and nobody likes math.  Just keep printing money, selling bonds, putting everything on the plastic.  Gibs, gibs, gibsmedat.  It’ll be fine!!

And then the 2000s happened, as my students would’ve written back in my professin’ days.  Math is hard, therefore easy to ignore, but anyone can see that identity politics is a suicide pact.  And yet, they persisted.  Even people who spent the Clinton years with their heads in the sand regarding the financial system were forced to wonder just what the hell the professorettes and the Human Resources harpies were shrieking about.  No organism in the history of carbon-based life has ever had it better than the average Millennial American woman, but to hear them tell it, they’re practically being dragged into Genghis Khan’s harem by their spiky, cropped, rainbow-dyed hair.  It’s gibbering lunacy….

… but saying it’s gibbering lunacy out loud will get you fired.  Fast forward a few years, and failing to sing the required hosannas on cue will get you fired.  And the hymn book is getting fatter and fatter by the day.  “I am woman, hear me roar!”  You look like a 6’2″ linebacker with a broken razor to me, ma’am, but if that’s how you identify, then by all means, whip out your wang in front of my first graders.  Heck, take them camping with the rest of the Boy Persyn Scouts!  Half my department has already been replaced by slave labor on H1-Bs; the break room smells like dirty diapers and unwashed feet, and it’s even worse when they start cooking lunch.  I can’t afford to lose my job.  Obamacare will cover the kids’ lifetime of therapy bills.

Fast forward to the Kung Flu.  Don’t listen to what the idiots say; listen to what they don’t say, what they can’t say.  Very few people are saying “Trump should’ve done X, Y, and Z,” where X, Y, and Z are real things that could possibly happen on this actual planet of Earth.  Those things go against the catechism, you see.  Witness all the Media goofs who were throwing the term “Chinese coronavirus” around with wild abandon back in January.  Back then, they were sure that Trump would be impeached — yes, they really believed that, with all their hearts and souls — so “Chinese coronavirus” was just a news item, something to generate a few clicks from the hypochondriacs.  They never thought it would become a real issue, because hey, even if it was a lethal pandemic, a Democrat would be President, and so all would be well.  (See also: the constant “everything’s hunky dory!!” coverage of Obama’s various epidemics, including the millions of actual infections, and tens of thousands of actual deaths, from Swine Flu).

The fact that these clowns are now screaming about the awful xenophobic racism of calling it “Chinese coronavirus” doesn’t bother them, the Media clowns, in the slightest.  They’re NPCs; they’re immune to cognitive dissonance.  But out in the real world, people peddling that nonsense are getting ruthlessly mocked on social media.  Indeed, from the social media accounts I can see, which belong to my impeccably normie relatives and their impeccably normie friends, for every Karen freaking out and sanctimoniously hyperventilating, there are two people laughing at her.

There’s a simple psychological explanation for that: Normies have been resigned to the idea that our so-called government is just a collection of dimwitted larcenous fuckups for a long, long time.  See above.  Most normies, both “Left” and “Right,” have been voting for fundamental, sweeping change for decades…. and we never get it.

The last American election that turned on actual issues was 1980.  Ronald Reagan ran an actual campaign, not just a series of “I’m not Jimmy Carter” commercials.  Though that undoubtedly would’ve done the trick, Reagan was a serious man with real ideas about how to approach the issues of his day.  Campaigns since then have fundamentally been about optics.  Bush the Elder ran as Reagan-Lite; his opponent ran as I’m-not-Reagan.  Clinton promised to be a chicken-fried Bush the Elder, which was the one promise he kept in his life.  Dole ran as not-Clinton, Bush the Younger ran as Clinton-with-a-Bible (Gore, of course, ran as Clinton-lite), Kerry ran as not-Bush, Obama ran as not-Bush-plus-black, the less said about McCain and Romney the better, but you get the point.  Your “choices,” Left or Right, were between “this, but more so” and “this, but less so,” with the poles switching with the letter of the empty suit in the White House.

By 2016, the normies had all resigned themselves to their fate.  Nobody was more surprised by Trump’s victory than Trump’s supporters.  “Voting” for Trump wasn’t voting; it was raising a middle finger to the System as a whole.  Not to toot my own horn too much, but I called this early on (no, seriously – check the archives!!).  Political jock-sniffers like Ace of Spades kept bitching that Trump didn’t have any actual positions, and whatever actual positions he made a brief nod to today would be replaced by something completely different tomorrow.  As I pointed out back then, probably ad nauseam, this wasn’t a bug to Trump’s supporters, but a feature.  They didn’t care about policy; they cared about telling the entrenched Elite to go fuck themselves.  That it actually worked, or seemed to, was as much of a shock to them as to the Elite…

…which, of course, sent the Elite completely around the bend, and here we are.  But that’s the thing: The only people who freaked out about Trump are the ones who think voting actually matters, that the American government can and will actually do stuff for the benefit of anyone who isn’t an Acela corridor leech.  Even the majority of Trump’s supporters have cottoned to the fact that he’s mostly hat and very few cattle.  Better him than Hillary, oh Christ yes, but if Hillary’s the bar for gubernatorial competence then please, bring on the Plague.  The real one.  Once again, we suckers voted for change; and once again we got “basically this, but less so.”

Which is why the commonest response to the Kung Flu out in Normie-land is bitter mockery.  The normies mock the idiots who bought crates of toilet paper, and they mock the Karens who are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, screaming that we’re all gonna die.  Maybe so… maybe so, and we’ll die with unwiped asses if so.  But Karen, are you really screaming for the government to do something?  Donald Trump‘s government, the one you were so sure was going to chain you to the oven and force you to have White babies?  The next Karen I hear proclaiming that Hillary Clinton would’ve handled it so much better will be the first one, because not even Karen is that loopy and estrogen-addled.

But Obama, now… that’s a different story.  According to Karen, Obama was competence itself.  Obama would’ve handled it just fine….

I know, I know, but again, this column is about the psychology of dizzy bints.  Normies are reacting to the Kung Flu with bitter mockery and weary resignation, because — see above — we don’t have years of accumulated anxiety about the state of the nation.  We all made our peace with the fact that America’s irreparably fucked some years ago.  We’re stressed, yeah, but it’s normal stress now, just a part of our lives.  Even if we believe that the Kung Flu is the end of the world as we know it (and I for one believe this, though not because OMG we’re all gonna die!), our prevailing emotion is, again, weary resignation.  In a way, it’s kinda liberating.  Ever been the passenger in a car crash?  There’s an eerie calm, almost an elation that comes just before the crunch.  Yeah, it’s coming, and it’s gonna hurt… but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Karen, on the other hand, has all kinds of anxiety built up, because she hasn’t come to that realization yet.  In fact, she’s trying mightily, with all her considerable psychic strength, to avoid an obvious, horrifying conclusion: She’s responsible for all this.  It wasn’t the American people who threw open the borders; it was Karen.  She wanted cheap Chinese shit and “affordable” daycare, and she got it.  It wasn’t the American people who imposed ever-tighter controls on what we can do, say, and think; it was Karen.  She wanted a police state to make sure no one’s feelings ever got hurt, and so now we have to waste umpteen hours of the President’s valuable time upbraiding him for saying “Chinese coronavirus.”  It wasn’t the normies who insisted that Trump waste his time defending himself in kangaroo court while the epidemic proceeded unchecked; it was Karen, because Orange Man said mean things on Twitter.

She’s the one who has been pushing all of this on us for years — more control, more surveillance, mandatory niceness, security at all costs.  She really thought the government could protect us from boo-boos, God help us all, she did.  And now she’s putting all her heart and soul into keeping that from entering her conscious mind.  It’s a helluva trick, but the unconscious is a powerful thing.  If it can give a tough, manly soldier hysterical blindness, it can surely give Karen an excuse to panic-buy toilet paper and shriek on social media about it.

Whatever the virus does or doesn’t do, the Great Freakout ends when Karen finally discharges all that pent-up psychic stress.  I give it another week or two, tops — after all, she’ll have been stuck inside the house with her kids all that time.

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25 thoughts on “The Point of Panic is Panic

  1. WOPR

    The GOPe always makes me laugh when they go on about the Federal budget. First, when in power, they did nothing. Second, every GenX-er who ever went through retirement planning always heard a version of “Social Security will not be there when you retire.” Everyone of us knows that unless we have infected Kung Flu people go around kissing everyone in the nursing homes and their over 60 relatives, the Federal budget is never coming back. So, yeah, ship me my $2K.

    It will be interesting to watch as white women increasingly get the white man treatment.

  2. texinole

    The intentional hysteria is likely due to Wall Street et al not letting a good crisis go to waste, and is great cover for the trillions and trillions already spent and god knows how much to be spent bailing out their latest high risk party.

    The hysterical Karens are essentially LARPing, or Pokemon Go Apocalypse as I like to call it. Though, unlike what you’ve described, my impeccably normie acquaintances are just as likely to freak out as they are to mock they hysteria.

    1. Severian Post author

      Yeah, idiots are gonna be idiots, and most people are idiots. But anyone with anything going on upstairs realizes this whole thing stinks to high heaven. Exhibits A and B: The cute, fresh-scrubbed blonde teenage girl and the Black Honor Student who would’ve been the first in his family to go to college, both tragically killed by coronavirus….

      Wait… you mean that didn’t happen? Are you sure you’re talking about OUR media, the one that can find a cute blonde teenage girl and a Black Honor Student to illustrate literally ANY tragedy? The Media that literally kept a running body count back during Iraq 2.0? That Media? Get outta here.

  3. P_Ang

    Honestly “Karen” isn’t stuck with the kids. In my respective position, “Karen” keeps guilt-tripping the far more fragile grandparents to babysit the screaming, out-of-control lib-raised toddlers (aka the disease-vectors) so she can keep impulse-buying and partying because she’s “forced” to maintain her “essential” twenty hours a week as a psychologist. “Karen” has also tried guilt-tripping other family members, but it only works on the female members of the family, no matter what the political persuasion.
    If you wanted to put an end to the anti-Trump inspired Kung Flu hysteria, simply make it a rule that no woman is allowed to communicate in any form with another woman during any sort of mandated shut-down. The panic would end in less than 48 hours. Like the Men’s Wearhouse guy says…”I guarantee it.”

    1. Pickle Rick

      That’s because Karen’s husband (if Karen isn’t divorced) doesn’t have the balls to tell her to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. Collectively, as a culture, we haven’t done that in a very long time. We need to

      1. Severian Post author

        Don’t worry, y’all. That’s the fiendish genius of this thing (and by fiendish genius I mean utter stupidity) — not even the useless girl governors of our most useless states can pretend that nail salons and pilates classes are “essential businesses.” Karen would love to keep shopping, but she’s not going to get self-actualized at Wal-Mart, for Christ’s sake. The minute she decides she can’t live without a mani/pedi and a touch up on her hairdo, no stupid fucking virus is going to keep her indoors. I give it two weeks, tops.

          1. Vizzini

            [Dr. Rachel] (((Levine))) is one of very few out transgender government officials; the list of trans elected and appointed officials includes the Defense Department’s Amanda Simpson, Virginia State Health Commissioner Marissa (((Levine))) (no relation [no relation my ass, tribes are relations]), and a tiny scattering of people serving on commissions, city councils and committees.

  4. Joseph Moore

    Everybody was Kung Flu Fighting
    Get infected as fast as lightning
    Sure, the numbers are only a little bit frightening
    Fake a crisis, with expert timing.

    The Bay Area counties, one of which I live in, in handing down their ‘social distancing’ ‘shelter in place’ rules last week, specifically banned church services, and specifically exempted homeless encampments. Yes, clean-scrubbed Christians, the people most likely to follow all the laws and emergency measures. gathering for an hour once a week: unacceptable risk! Homeless people, not know for their good hygiene, who interact with many people through social services, panhandling, soup kitchens, etc., who live in their own sewage, as they have for years: totally OK! It would be outrageous to force them, just this once, in the face of most worstest and instantly communicable disease ever known to humankind, to, you know, take a shower, use a restroom and stop camping out in the parks for a few weeks.

    We take these people seriously? (Not us here, but somebody somewhere.)

    1. Severian Post author

      One does begin to suspect that harassing the law-abiding is, in fact, the entire point of the exercise.

      Because that has always worked out so well in the past. No elitist group of clowns who abused their power and laughed while they did it ever came to a bad end. Nope, not ever.

  5. Frip

    Great post. The excursion into past presidents was funny as hell. The whole thing was. I think about what voice is most suited to read Sev’s posts in. I’ve settled on a young Micahael Caine. Heated and on the brink, but still fully in control of his senses, despite the near mania. Caine. Because Caine was great at expressing outrage while staying cool and likable.

    I don’t Caine’s dead or alive. There’s a lot of prime 1960’s-’70s actors like that now. Roger Moore, dead? I think so. Sean Connery? Peter Faulk? Surely dead. But Jewish, so probably still going somehow.

    We’ll all be watching some Netflix in the next few weeks. I recommend Caine’s best flick. Get Carter. From early 70’s.

    On the topic of movies. Remember the feminist/soy meme in the 80’s and 90’s, about how movies need to “stop continuing the falsehood that women scream” in frightening situations. Well, they gave up on that because the reality was just too obvious.

    Check it out. Lots of nothing for half of it, so skip to 0:30.

  6. cheekibreeki2020

    I’ve noticed a lot of people on this side of the right going all in on Flu Extremism in hopes Trump can usher in Cat Fancy America. I’m starting to worry whatever autocratic thing Trump does will get handed off to Biden/Abrams and the Green New Pink Police State.

    It’s like they are so extremely online that they have no answer to Joe Normie, who just lost his job, has a family and a mountain of bills to pay. Any mention of the economy is assumed to be some billionaire smoking dollar bills. It’s insane.

    First time poster long-time lurker.

    1. Severian Post author


      I’ve seen some of that too. It’s hilarious, isn’t it? And I ask the morons in Our Thing who see this as a great opportunity to Cat Fancify America the same question I ask all the Leftists who are screaming for martial law to protect them from the sniffles: You want DONALD FUCKING TRUMP to do that?

      Oh, children… oh my poor sweet demented children.

      That’s the problem with Fuhrers, Vohzds, Great Helmsmen, and Dear Leaders of all sorts: We The People really don’t get to pick. Rule by philosopher-king really is a great system. So is rule by divine right monarch. Hell, communism is a great system… if not for those pesky human beings who keep ruining it. All those systems require humans to become something other than they are in order to sustain those systems, which is why those systems always turn into the closest thing to a police state that contemporary technology will allow.

      But take heart. You nailed their essence — these people are extremely online. The Internet exaggerates the shut ins’ worst tendencies tenfold. Anyone who is in Our Thing is already profoundly alienated from society. We’re literal misfits, and everyone knows the typical misfit’s psychological profile: Suspicion, clannishness, marked tendency towards hysteria and histrionics. Jesus commanded us to be in this world, but not of this world, and like everything else He told us to do, it’s one hell of a trick. But we have to try, because Joe Normie depends on us. I mean that literally.

      Whenever you get too depressed / worked up about Kung Flu, remind yourself that the medium is the message. You’re reading this stuff on the Internet, which means there’s a 99.8% chance it was written by Internet People, for Internet People. Preening, posturing hysterics — whether of the “we’re all gonna die!” or “molon labe, motherfuckers!” variety — are a feature, not a bug, to Internet People. This too shall pass.

      1. WOPR

        My web browser starts with a block of six links to articles everytime. Just the headlines are enough to put me on edge. Something you thought was true is completely wrong. Or, you are doing something the wrong way. Follow these steps to perfection. How white men are the worst or Orange Man Bad. It made me realize what you are talking about here.

  7. Pickle Rick

    Now you made me think of the Big Four of totalitarianism (Mustache Guy, Chef Boyardee, and Revolutionary Goatee and his buddy Bagel Revolutionary Goatee) as internet bloggers in the modern world.

    1. Severian Post author

      Heh. Classic. I wish I had some Photoshop skills. The latter two would’ve killed it as bloggers; the former two would’ve ruled YouTube and Instagram with an iron fist. (I think that TikTok bullshit — 30 second videos!! — would’ve defeated even The Dwarf. Nice to know that our future totalitarianism is going to be so fucking stupid. You’d think it’d be impossible to have a jackbooted goon squad when the goons keep slipping on their own drool, but by God we’re gonna try).

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