I went to get my teeth cleaned yesterday. (I was way overdue, I’ve been postponing it for months). My dentist filled me in on the informal intelligence he receives by sampling his clients, as well as his own staff of techs, suppliers and clerical people. Dentists, like barbers, have an uncanny insight into the population. Sure, its not exactly what you’d call a statistically relevant, unbiased census of the tribes; but sometimes you can get some valuable impressions from purely anecdotal data, haphazardly collected.
The Doc tells me there is a vast reservoir of Trumpers out there, and they have remarkably consistent opinions. He runs a very Covid-aware practice, with all the appropriate protocols and procedures to avoid infection, and none of his staff has gotten the virus. Neither have any of his patients, as far as he knows. But he tells me the most common opinion out among the hoi polloi is that there is no virus, that its all a hoax, and that it will all “go away” after the election. He has to constantly ride his staff to take the appropriate safety precautions, and his clients don’t seem to want to take them seriously.
He suspects there is a massive underground campaign on social media to indoctrinate the public that the whole corona virus thing is a manufactured scare from the Deep State and the Democrat Liberal Elites to discredit Trump, and that once Trump defeats them once and for all it will stop. The word on the street is that its all a conspiracy to crash the economy so Trump will lose the election, but the cognoscenti are hip and they will not fall for it.
I don’t think its quite as widespread and entrenched as he says, but I don’t doubt there’s some truth to it. Its just the sort of thing you’d expect from the Q-Anon people and the Putin troll farms. The Doc is a Jew, they’ve seen this all before and although he is younger than me, his historical and cultural radar is just as finely tuned and paranoid as mine. He’s getting the deja fucking vu loud and fucking clear. There is something hauntingly familiar about the Zeitgeist these days, even for those of us experiencing our first Millennium.
Wars and rumors of etc, unrest among the people, plagues, signs and portents, a change in the climate as well as the weather. There are metaphorical comets in the sky, and it feels very apocalyptic these days. The prophets of doom are self-fulfilling.
Has anyone read Jack Vance’s “The Last Castle”?