A nation behind masks
Sadly, masks are now ubiquitous. It appears they will often be covering many -- if not most -- people’s faces for the foreseeable future. Here are the Merriam-Webster definitions of mask (noun):
1A) a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise
1B) a grotesque false face worn at carnivals or in rituals
2B) a device usually covering the mouth and nose to facilitate delivery of a gas
Cover, disguise. Grotesque, false. Gas. Conceal, pretense, cloak. What are we covering, disguising, concealing, cloaking? For what pretense? And at what cost are we doing so?
Masks can’t cover up, disguise, or conceal the real, grotesque reasons why we have been forced to wear them. They can’t hide the fact that our rulers and “experts” enjoy the power they have over those they make don them. Nor can they cloak the disdain our rulers and “experts” have for us, as continually proven by their almost universal refusal to wear masks. In the very same places and situations, and at the very same times, that they mandate we wear them. How many elegant soirées have we seen at which maskless Democratic politicians are being feted by uniformly masked servants?
And that is how they think of us. As servants. This is the reverse of what was intended by the Founders. We pay them via our taxes. They are public servants. They are supposed to serve us.
Instead, they wear expensive dresses saying, “Tax the Rich.” Instead, they screw us.
And yet we genuflect to them, don our masks and treat our fellow human beings as if they are nothing more than carriers of disease, bringers of sickness and death. We shy away from social interaction and human touch. Some of our kids wear two diapers, one on their bottoms and one on their faces. Older children are now socially and emotionally stunted, their growth retarded by the masks that make it impossible to discern others’ feelings and harder to hear their words. Are they smiling or frowning?
A younger and much more confident America used to value liberty and freedom over a chance at temporary safety. Yet that America believed life was sacred and that humans were created in the image of God. I doubt God wears a facial mask. Or even practices social distancing.
More than one hundred and twenty-five years ago, the African American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote a well-known poem called We Wear the Mask. It seems quite applicable today.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
To smile, sneer, or frown is not our task. What matters is, we wear the mask!
Graphic credit: Public Domain Vectors public domain