Subcontinental Divide - 2020

Subcontinental Divide - 2020

The Left-Right Lobe Ideological Labotomy

You know, I’m no Nostradamus. You are reading this piece weeks after something else has happened. For all I know, there may be two presidents and two first ladies all sleeping together in the White House bedroom suite because one guy is sulking, and refuses to leave the sandbox so other kids can play.

None of this matters anymore. There isn’t a law that hasn’t been broken in the past four years, and we are learning that this nation of laws can easily be brought to its knees by a bully with a Twitter account.

I really don’t know if we are just waking up from a flag waving nightmare, or entering another one – if of course the new administration isn’t locked out on January 20, 2021 because some militia groups are surrounding the White House and protecting it from the deep state.

Post-election, I posted a scant photo of Melania on a platform that shall remain unnamed and made a comment. The photo was actually the front page of a tabloid newspaper in 2015, so nothing highly secret. I was immediately thrown out for seven days.

When I appealed and went back and forth with the live or A.I. bots (same thing now) I was thrown out for 30 days.

When I appealed that and said something about the founder’s mom, I was thrown out permanently. That ended my relationship with Facebook, which was a wondrous lonely-hearts club that kept selling me Chinese scams that never arrived because that was the deal – slick video, collect on PayPal, shut it all down, and disappear into China. One billionaire was making the money. I had lost $400 before learning the lesson.

I’ve griped enough about my disdain for the video and music part of human existence, and then I am adding the couple of weeks of solitude from social media to that and thinking, “ Wow, that was relaxing.” I went to a painting class. I worked on my old spare Volvo. I read a couple of books and many great articles. And I thought a lot.

One source of stress was of course the constant barrage of negative corona virus news. I had spent the entire election cycle either attending events with no masks or distancing, or seeing people who didn’t even believe there was a virus.

Almost 10 months out, I am sitting confused and bewildered about the state of this reality. I’m seeing Einstein N95 clad joggers under Carolina blue skies, and not a soul within a quarter mile of them, bounding through parks like lone deer during mating season.

I’m seeing 200-person right wing events where masks weren’t even allowed because they conflicted with the president’s view of the “China Flu.” I’m seeing seniors eating at restaurants and raising their masks to take every bite. I mean, why are they even out eating? It would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.

My favorite evening podcast host has been in quarantine for 11 days now because someone close to the host was diagnosed with Covid. Okay. How hysterical do we need this to be when every tomato you touch at the grocery store, mask or not, could have been sneezed on by a Covid-positive person? And I’m not being judgmental here. This is part of the entire rugged individualism experiment.

And it is failing.

Half this country still thinks that Donald Trump is a savior sent by the divine to save infants from being eaten by Hillary Clinton, who is a witch who needs virgin blood – and by the way operates out of the back of a pizza parlor in the Washington, DC, area. The other half, well, their hosts are isolating, even on Zoom, 11 days out because this demon of a virus could possibly jump through network lines and kill millions. I mean, you feel just fine, but why not milk the virus some more and still get $30,000/episode to have some wine at home.

And there is everything in between. The businesses who weren’t doing much business and Covid gave them a great excuse to get a loan; the employees who weren’t working much who suddenly started getting $600 extra in their unemployment checks—making them richer than they ever were in their working careers.

We played this all like a Wimbledon final on both sides of the net, and seems we landed in a draw with no referee anywhere in sight.

My time in solitary from social media made me think about a lot of this. Like, really?

I mean, on the one side are women against hurting rocks (WAQIR – Women Against Quarrying Innocent Rocks); and on the other, we have heavily-armed militias trying to kidnap, try and execute governors for mandating masks that are drying up the mucous membranes of evangelical women, and depriving their men of oxygen as they eat artery-clogging triple burgers in their pickup trucks.

Truthfully, I’m sick of the whole thing now. My first sanction from Facebook a month back was for using the word “Paki.” I’m Pakistani and used that as sarcasm against racists. Neither the Gen Y robots, nor their bots can pick up humor, sarcasm, or creativity. Human or not, they are now part of a machine. Life is no more about whether you are human or machine.

You are 100 percent a machine, and the Fortune 500 psychological profiles will determine how they will “tax” you to purchase something. This is not complicated. You giggle, you act like the world is your oyster, although you are not Gates, or Bezos, or Zuckerberg—but just smile a lot, and they’ll tell you how easy it is to tap your card, or ApplePay, or OneClick purchase.

Don’t think now. Thinking is bad. Buy. Buy. Buy. And of course, show us your lives. We need more data; and we are listening.

Is Trump 2024 spooking us? Why is half the planet still using the N-Word? Why can Q-Anon shut down Amazon with one Trump tweet and a Sean Hannity segment? There really isn’t any free speech in America. And there is racism in America. And that pandemic is also raging. What are you thinking?


Ahsen Jillani a former editor and publisher, is originally from Islamabad, Pakistan, and now lives in Mint Hill. He owns Must Media, a PR company focusing on both political and corporate clients.

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2020