Apocalypse kabuki

Let’s look beyond the hubris and hypocrisy for a moment.

Nancy Pelosi has made her attempt to put the SalonGate behind her. She says it was a setup, “…and that’s all I’m going to say about that.” So while there is very little in this world more pathetic than the spectacle of an eighty-year-old woman fulminating like a cornered gangster in a 1930s B-movie, there is something else, something of greater interest that I have realized thanks to this episode.

It has connected in my mind with two other political oxymorons from recent years. You see, Nancy has been saying all sorts of apocalyptic things about COVID-19. And there she was, flouncing around a hair salon without a mask, breaking rules that she loudly condemned others for infringing.

It reminded me of old Al Gore.

Al was the former vice president who has made a fabulous fortune saying apocalyptic things. He said back in 2006 that we were at or near peak oil and that from then on we would begin to run out of economically viable oil. He painted a grim picture of what that would mean for “the people” especially “the poor.” 

Mr Gore wanted to enforce all kinds of conservation measures on “the people.” There was talk of living in homes with the thermostat set at 68 or lower, shutting off “unnecessary” lights -- you know, live in the cold and the dark. All the while the average family in America was using less than a twentieth of the energy that Al Gore’s mansion in Tennessee was using, and I bet some of them were still nice and warm and able to walk from one room to another without having to constantly hit two light switches. For all his sanctimony, humbug and self-congratulation he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. If you don’t believe me about the sanctimony part, just read his Nobel speech.

How can you think about Al Gore without thinking about Climate Change? So I was reminded of Barack and Michelle Obama. After Peak Oil was relegated to the trash heap of apocalypses that never posed, it was Global Warming When Global Warming was made to look foolish by the arrival of good data and the debunking of bad data. That apocalypse trans-metamorphosed into Climate Change with its terrifying prospect of the great coastal cities drowning as a result of rising sea levels.

The Obama administration was very alarmed that the climate might change so they enacted many regulations and Presidential Orders to, among other things, stem the supposed rising of the oceans around the world. Then, even as the Trump administration has been dismantling those economy-killing regulations at an alarming pace, the Obamas bought a $12 million estate, right on the water on Martha’s Vineyard! Oh, yes, and by the way, back in 2017, Al Gore bought a nice little ocean view villa in Montecito, California, for almost $9 million.

Whether its doddering old “Marie Antoinette Pelosi” or unspeakably pompous and smug millionaires living by the placid and peaceful seaside, it all began to say one thing to me -- a thing I had not thought of before. The Apocalypse is just kabuki theater for these nabobs of the elite class. That’s not to say that there isn’t a kernel of truth in the concerns that they play on; but they lie and exaggerate and leave out any good news. And for that, they have the chorus and cheering section of the media to verify them too. It's a powerful combination.

They simply do not care if the danger they act out is real, as long as we “the people” get scared into compliance and treat them with the respect and gratitude to which they believe they are entitled. They think of this as leadership. But where are they leading us?

The fact is, they do not care where the kabuki ends. We know for certain that the energy regulations were part of many failures of leadership that made the Obama years a time of hideously slow economic recovery. We are also becoming aware that the lockdowns of 2020 have probably hurt many more people’s lives and prospects than the virus would have done without them. Yet the lockdown talk and apocalyptic fervor continues unabated. Any attempt by to consider ending the lockdowns leads to Twitter and Facebook expulsions, general calumny and even job losses.If you need more proof that all they care about is control, and their own careers (aka re-election and/or advancement) Just look at the end results of all their caterwauling and drumbeating.

It is burning cities all over the United States as I write this. Because the up and coming Apocalypse of the moment is. Systemic Racism. In true apocalyptic fashion, you cannot escape- if you deny being racist it just means you are so much worse that an open racist because you are part of the system. Your life and prospects can be destroyed by it- just try to tell too many people that “all lives matter”. “Marie Antoinette Pelosi,” Joe Biden and the rest of the white supporters of this nasty fiction have no idea where this leads but they kneel and bow to it on every opportunity. Why? Because the Apocalypse is their ticket and they are the kabuki troupe.

They know they are lying to us, frightening, demeaning and intimidating us. Its hard work but they do it with gusto. But then, like any actor in any sort of drama, they tire of the kabuki exertions and deprivations. It’s very hard for anyone to sustain this kind of façade without slipping. In Hollywood and Broadway, it’s called “staying in character.” Out here in America, away from the stage of the kabuki, one of the nicest names we have for it is “being a phony." Perhaps this is why the entertainment elite, they of the aggressively virtuous personae, is so solid and vociferous in support of the kabuki. With the media, they are another drum-beating chorus.

All they care about is their own power, comfort, immunity from real labor and continued dominance. They don’t care how they get it. So if they have to put on a mask and act out an apocalyptic vision on occasion, well, O.K., as long as Nancy can get her hair blown out and Al and Barack can sit by the sea and watch it not rise.

It’s only when you understand that they will blithely do exactly what they have threatened you will kill you, that you can see that they are just putting on a drama: Behind the heavy mask of the kabuki, is the the face of a tyrant.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0. Image enhanced with FotoSketcher.



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