No Holds Barred: Where do we go from here?!

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Paul Gauguin, Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, 1897-98, oil on canvas, 139.1 x 374.6 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

Thank God we got past all the fake “Ho Ho Ho’s” of Christmas and can now just face the reality of a “how low can you go” New Year.

Look at all the hurdles, the top one being Biden admitting he has no federal solution to Covid:

*Forget theaters and restaurants and gyms and our doctor visits being the “fun” outings. Now the three-hour waits at the rapid, regular, or antigen testing pods. Many don’t like the at-home test kits as they aren’t accurate if you don’t follow the directions to the letter. I remember long ago I had friends who were pregnant despite the negative results of their at-home pregnancy tests. So there!

All coughed up.

*There are rumors that the Pfizer booster doesn’t even last 2 months — while Covid can linger in the body wreaking havoc for six months. Fauci’s answer to all this is a vax passport and perhaps N95 masks are here to stay. We will see if the same can be said for Dr. Fauci.

On the other hand, the CDC has basically given up — shortening the recommended time for isolation and the quarantine period for anyone exposed to COVID-19.

*“Flightmare” (3000 cancelled flights a day over Xmas weekend) is another lingering trend. Cruise ships, however, are back … if you’re into floating petri dishes.

We might get a break by March (or after the Super Bowl surge) but then we get hit with spring break and that takes us to Summer.

Talk about long haul syndrome. Everyone is suffering from surge-roller coaster, whiplash, and “W” curves (forget the stock market and retail mania — they are on their own Covid ride). No wonder people are confused, exhausted, and have given up. Many are just doing their own policing. The recovery choices are grim; from a “soft lockdown” (sounds like erectile dysfunction) to complete isolation, to “Fuck It” and hitting Dubai in a “PJ” (private jet; not pajamas). But remember, you can run but you can’t hide. And then there is the ultimate survival choice; some are purposely exposing themselves to Omicron to further the herd immunity and get their pandemic over with once and for all.

If only we had “Papal” level patience and understanding.

Where is the leadership when you need it? Even the golden oldies like the Queen and the Pope in their year-end addresses couldn’t really give us a new year send-off. The Pope agreed that loneliness and lack of “dialogue” with each other was damaging the world. So, his suggestion was to keep on “talking” rather than shouting down. Nice thought, but I can safely presume that most of us have a less than “Papal” level of patience and understanding on any level.

Then we have the 2021 worn and weary Queen (talk about having a bad year) sitting tall dressed in red, showing true survival amidst the worst turbulence; the death of her beloved Philip, her own lingering health issues, son Andrew’s “entanglements” with Jeffrey Epstein’s underaged sex slaves and Harry and Meghan’s grand slam with Oprah on the monarchy’s racism. Now this had to be THE annus horribilis of all time — and she’s had a few.

But she “showed up” in strength wearing her pearls and sapphire brooch she wore on her honeymoon seated at a desk with only one picture on it — of she and Philip together in 2002 for their 60th wedding anniversary. She also honored “loneliness” as a theme: “Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones … this year I especially understand why.”

Her remarks were simple and traditional, “Sing carols, decorate the tree, give presents, and watch films that we already know the ending.” Nothing earthshaking, but remember she is all we have left of the real “keep strong and carry on” contingent.

Queen Elizabeth II at her annual Christmas broadcast at Windsor Castle. Pool photo by Victoria Jones

The strength of family was her thrust. Ironically, she was unable to see her whole family at Xmas at her usual Sandringham Estate due to Covid precautions. She was at Windsor and Christmas morning an armed intruder entered the castle grounds. He was caught but the Queen herself can’t seem to catch a break. At 95, she has more than earned her “fuck you time,” with some serenity.

And speaking of that, Meghan and Harry posted their first full family Xmas card including Archie and daughter Lilibet. They all appeared the same shade of “pale” and they all seemed to be laughing it up dressed in torn jeans, work shirts, bare feet, and mala bracelets. “Getting down and getting it done” in their 12-million-dollar Santa Barbara mansion. And in case you might have forgotten, they listed the various organizations to whom they gave money “to honor and protect” families. And the kiss off was “from our family to yours — as ever (?) Meghan, Harry, Archie and Lilibet.”

So as the rest of us close out on a disappointing year and struggle with another 12 months of languishing six feet apart, we have Jeff Bezos and his hot gal-pal Laura Sanchez making headlines on Xmas day with their version of a year-end address. The pictures were all taken on his St. Bart’s yacht (with a boatload of pals) and the headline was “From being a monobrowed tech nerd to buff billionaire.”

Now I see where all our Amazon Prime money is going — into Jeff’s steroidal arms and Lauren’s lips and boobs. He was wearing red Hawaiian surfing shorts, bare chest, and a feather medallion. She was on a floaty (with her own enhanced flotation devices), lace bikini, and lots of diamond bracelets and matching enormous earrings. There was a photo cavalcade of them body hugging and lots of rear-deck exposures. “Jeff and Lauren get some PDA time.” They meant Public Displays of Affection. I thought PTSD. Luckily for them, they didn’t seem to mind performing for all the paparazzi. Interesting to think that his former wife Mackenzie Scott get happily married some months ago to high-school science teacher Dan Jewell and they are living quietly in Seattle. Thank God.

But the most recent year-end sign of the times is the sighting of so many people out and about in pajamas — not luxe silk and cashmere sweatsuits. I mean crappy jammies; shopping, pumping gas, in airport lines, at the theaters and restaurants. Have we really “given up” that badly? Have we all become the “People of Walmart” overnight? Just because you lost your office, you lost your closet?

I think we need a dose of Diana Vreeland ASAP to crack the whip on this end of civilization trend:

No matter what — get dressed and show up!

Our mantra for a decent 2022.

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