I used to suffer from common daily brain fog, but in the last eight months, with the election ramp-up, the Covid viral roller coaster, fires, hurricanes, protests, counter-protests and daily media assault, I’d have to say I’m in permanent shell shock. I can’t find an antidote — no drug of any kind, no shopping therapy (what’s that?), no dining outside with friends, or two-day trip to anywhere. Nothing can shake me out of this slam dunk descent.
I am beginning to think that the actual bombs dropped on WWII London created more of a sense of unity for the nation than today’s hourly media bombshells that have been landing on our psyches. In fact, 2020 is the year of the bombshell. And there is no escaping it. People who say they refuse to listen to TV, read newspapers, check Facebook, or tune in to the radio still suffer. All these eruptions are in the air we breathe. There’s no escape!
Everyone feels it. Look at the cultural diet we have been living on of late: mask mania, Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg’s death and the polarized tumult around her replacement, dementia and incontinence reports, Adderall injections, viral overloads, the whole anti-Trump book publishing industry, economic instability, medical flip flops, etc., etc., etc. This makes the Monica Lewinski scandal and “grab em by the pussy” seem tame. Those were the good old days – a few sexual allegations? Easy peasy. Now we have daily life or death accounts and raging protests. And it all happened so fast.
The anticipation of the first Presidential Debate was actually exciting. It felt like it was going to be bigger and better than any Super Bowl — certainly the ratings would be.
People actually gathering (safely) to watch it; and to “learn” about earpieces and elderly endurance. It was going to be “dinner and a show.” After all, that is what has become of politics — professional wrestling — and we could all make fun of it (like the Oscars!). But that didn’t happen. CNN’s Jake Tapper said post-debate: “It wasn’t a debate. It was a disgrace.” Perhaps the bombshell of bombshells. Worse than Dumb and Dumber.
With no real Presidential winners, instead the public felt like losers — all of us! SNL will have a hard time doing a humorous spin-off of this disaster. It wasn’t funny on any level. So now what?
Are we getting so used to these daily jaw drops that our minds have tuned to a vague sense of flatline to process the perpetual fluctuations? I hear as you get older, you lose the happy hormone serotonin and thus your nervous system tanks and you become agitated and raw — thus the use of SSRI drugs like Prozac and Zoloft that help raise the joy and resilience levels. Our culture is beyond serotonin deficiency as we are now permanently exhausted and joyless.
Someday we will get a Covid vaccine, but what exactly is the PTSD remedy for 2020 Bombshell Syndrome? Some admit their antidepressants aren’t working. A healthy diet of tofu and rice is boring, and how much deep breathing and meditation can you stand? Also, please stop with the Peloton spinning on the road to nowhere. Even pet adoption is now running amuck, since people have found it even more of an obligation than they thought and the “emotional support” rescue services have run out of animals.
Blockbuster slang is seeping into our verbiage. The other day I called my landscaper a “hoax” for not replanting the right tree. I also threatened to “impeach” my dog for his whiny attitude in the car the other day after refusing to settle down. I told my doctor my blood test results were probably “fake news.” What am I saying?
By the way, the rest of the world isn’t doing much better. “Off the rails” seems to be the norm everywhere.
Boris Johnson is getting hit for his troubles with England’s potential lockdown. Then we have the Queen. The Queen — for god sake! Last week Graham Smith, the CEO of The Republic (an anti-monarchy organization) came out with a strong statement saying the public has had it with the royal family; “after Queen Elizabeth dies, the monarchy should not be pursued any further.”
He went on to say “all the Royals should renounce their titles … the handwriting is on the wall. Why don’t they do themselves a favor and say we are not going to pursue this any further.” At least he didn’t call the Queen a clown. Smith went on to say if Charles becomes King, “It could result in a very serious crisis.” Like looting in the streets or statue defilement?
In the meantime, we are left with Meghan and Harry? Who have recently replaced the Kardashians with their $150 million Netflix reality show which will focus on their charitable works. Is this riveting TV? Meghan just announced (in what appears to be a weekly PR appearance) that she has become “a martyr to misinformation” (in other words, another “victim of fake news”).
She insists she doesn’t “pay attention to criticism or flattery,” but spends her time “on Prince Harry and watching our little one grow.” Sure – she’s also busy suing and losing her case against Associated Newspapers for running misinformation about her. “Whatever I say is never controversial.” Then bring back the Kardashians! Who needs to watch this gal and her transplanted husband try to be culturally relevant (and boring) in a bomshelled Los Angeles?
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At least Kylie Jenner showed up last week doing what Jenner/Kardashians do best — getting naked! She posed semi-nude in a bikini urging people to vote.
On the same front, Gwyneth Paltrow posed half naked for her 48th birthday and no one cared — except her daughter Apple Martin, who just tweeted “MOM!” Apparently, Paltrow‘s message was also to vote.
So you see, we are hitting rock bottom with old men politicos screaming at each other and celebrities getting naked to get out the vote. And in the end, everyone looks like attention whores.
Clearly we are at the brink. Meltdowns will become puddles and bombshells will become blips (except for Marilyn Monroe — the original bombshell).
We will become immune to it all. Could that be a good thing?
As Governor Chris Christie said post September 29th debate, “It was all too hot! With all that heat you lose the light!”
So please show me the way home …
Wherever that is.