Tuesday, March 31, 2020


DuckDuckGo offers me interesting articles from Medium that I might want to click through to.  This helps me discern which publications consistently put forth cultural sermonising disguised as intellectual discussions.  This is useful, because cleverly crafted titles from The Atlantic keep coming up short. The few I click to turn out to be "Where's the beef?" articles, even when they are not offensively trying to steer me to understand that their culture, their audience, are really the cool kids who should be elected Homecoming Queen, not like those cheerleaders and cute girls that you morons have been falling for. I swear all of the national media is still playing out their frustrations from high school.

Thus it is fairly predictable that the NYT articles are similarly interesting at first but also similarly lightweight.  Almost as predictable as Sam L telling me how irritated he is with them - I can feel his frustration through the interwebs even as I type. One recent article is how Asian-Americans, especially Chinese, are being treated badly by bigoted other Americans during the era of C19.  I made a prediction, and it proved true.  The number of actual incidents was small, and the sample of those interviewed was clearly steered toward "Please! Someone here!  One of you must have experienced some bigoted treatment.  Could you please tell us about that?  Then we can spend the other 47 paragraphs talking about how this is in danger of happening everywhere, and it's all Donald Trump's fault for using the phrase Wuhan Virus, which we ourselves used four weeks ago but have since erased that and now declare to be unbearably bigoted."

Let me tell you what is actually happening up her in New England.  There are no incidents of people making the mildest anti-Asian statements that I have heard.  None.  There may be some, but I have not heard a whisper. I have heard assurances from liberals at work that it is happening everywhere, but nothing that one would er, care to try and bring into court or a debating society as evidence.

I am sure if one scours the comments sections of conservative sites one can find some vile examples, who may even be real people and not trolls or sock puppets, blaming all Chinese people here in America for trying to infect us with their biological warfare. They never show up answering that way in any poll, but I'm sure they are exactly the Deplorables that Hillary Clinton assured us were 50% of her opposition. They're just disguised.  But those who know, like the people at the NYT are sure they are just everywhere.

What is really setting people off is out-of-state license plates. A work crew from NJ that has been here (correction.  It was in Maine) for a month doing interior work on a Lakes Region vacation home had someone fell a tree behind them in the driveway so they couldn't get out and infect the town. The police are still working on this.  Rhode Island has troopers going door-to-door looking for New Yorkers. Cape Cod is petitioning that the only two bridges be closed. Maine is questioning out-of-state people at the border (more likely at the toll booths).  Apparently NH residents are being waved along, but anyone else is being intimidated.

Well, that is ugly.  That is unfair prejudice with more than a whiff of violence and people deserve to be punished for that. We have long been guilty of that and I don't excuse it.  If people look different, especially racially different, that likely intensifies.  But at the moment, if you've got NH plates people will smile and wave whatever race you are, while New York plates might provoke truculent and challenging responses.

Prejudice is the default setting of mankind, but it moves flexibly depending on circumstances. 


james said...

I would be amazed if the N.E. powers-that-be had actually done a statistical analysis of the risks involved in letting New Yorkers retreat there. But stretch your imagination and suppose that they had. Would that policy look different from one based on prejudice?

RichardJohnson said...

Prejudice is the default setting of mankind, but it moves flexibly depending on circumstances.

IMHO,that point of view is one of the big separation points between liberals and not-liberals. Many liberals believe that they are as pure as the driven snow when it comes to prejudices,while the typical non-liberal is full of prejudices.

Here is a good story- which may even be true- about a Rhode Island reaction to the possibility that Noo Yawkuz may be carriers of the Chinese virus.Rhode Island Does Not Welcome You.

I live in RI, and I was walking my dog over the weekend. A car with NY plates stopped and asked me for directions. From a safe distance I gave them instructions, but I said, “When you get there, you might want to put your car in a garage. Our governor has given us permission to hunt Hew Yorkers, and this neighborhood is heavily armed.”

I kept walking, and a few minutes later they stopped me again. “We knew you were joking, but our friends wouldn’t let us in.”

“But at least they didn’t shoot you.”

Donna B. said...

Down South, it's Louisiana plates.

Douglas2 said...

Yet another reason why snowbirds have more incentive to keep their cars registered in FL rather than NY; they are less likely to be stopped at the I10 and I95 checkpoints down there.

I suspect if one's summer home is Newport, the cape, or the Berkshires, it might be cheaper to buy a camp in Maine and have a car registered there rather than pay the annual registration and car insurance in MA or RI. Would Maine license plates be enough to not raise suspicion with the locals?

Sam L. said...

O, wow! I got name checked by AVI!! I am SO PUMPED! I'm SOMEBODY! O! The JOY!! (I'll stop now.)

The town I moved from recently was founded in 1843 (or thereabouts) and has had a goodly number of Chinese for quite some time. Their descendants are all Americans now.

Grim said...

I thought of you today because I went by the post office and found it (a) unusually crowded, and (b) every car in the parking lot had an out-of-state tag. They've all fled who can.

Texan99 said...

I can't get too excited one way or the other about what to call the virus. It seems dumb to pretend it didn't come from Wuhan, or China, but on the other hand that's not really the most important thing about it. For all the fury over furriners and their bat-eating transgressions, I continue to think new diseases can crop up anywhere and don't reflect all that clearly on the morality of the populations nearby. There really is something to the stigma argument.

On the other hand, we called the 1918 flu the Spanish flu, and however silly or unfair the name was, it didn't do lasting damage to Spain. I'm tired of arguing about it.