There are people who in the face of adversity come up. Another one that falls apart. And then there are the people who just come. These months of confinement, pandemic, many doubts and almost no certainty, have reaffirmed us in several things that we suspected regarding the human being. One, no matter what happens, how serious or mundane it is, there will always be someone who will have something to complain about. Two, that no matter how novel and recently unprecedented something is, there will always be someone who already knows a lot about it, who saw it coming. Three, that what is there of mine is still valid for many people. There will always be someone who in pandemic confinement believes that the most important thing is to open the gyms. Or someone who decides to walk around his city with a convertible and a megaphone launching proclamations against the Government. Presidents protesting against themselves. People crying for lobsters not eaten by tourists. This pandemic and this confinement, once again, have shown us that the ingenuity of the human being is often difficult to separate from his stupidity. Here are some examples.
Lord of the megaphone in the back seat
Skipping confinement, dropping slogans and saving yourself the discomfort of a street demonstration or a concentration as cumbersome as a 15-M is possible even if you don’t understand a word of what transverse movement means. Because, is there anything more cross-cutting than releasing your proclamations with a megaphone from the back seat of a convertible Mercedes while the driver drives slowly, respecting all traffic regulations through the center of Santander on the right? The antisystems are the others, of course, although it is difficult to know if this exemplary citizen complains about the Government, about the rise in the price of gasoline or about the municipal regulations that prevent the entry into the cities of vehicles with more than 20 years of antiquity. He, with his, has gone around Spain. And without paying more for road tax.
Death suits you good
In the United States it is difficult to find a unique discourse on how to face the pandemic. The White House has even gone as far as proposing to whiten our immune systems by drinking bleach, but there is still hope. In the paradise of individualism, there are individuals such as the lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder, who changed his toga for the Grim Reaper costume to stroll along the Florida beaches trying to make his countrymen, and also some television reporter, aware of the true reach of the pandemic. People continued to sunbathe on the sand outside the scythe.
Tease yourself for not taking the Capitol
Barber Karl Manke cuts his hair in “Operation Haircut” outside the Michigan State Capitol on May 20, 2020. Photo: .
That all the participants in a peaceful demonstration come to it armed is quite strange and yet possible. This was demonstrated by the Michigan State Barber’s Guild, which on May 20 planted scissors and razors at the ready in front of its Capitol to protest the rigidities of confinement. Right there they began to cut bangs, smooth manes and trim mustaches and beards. All this, of course, with a relaxation of the use of masks, well, let’s see how we fix a knob in another way. There is no better way to skip the narrowness of the rules than bypassing them with the best of hairstyles.
Protesters holding a banner trying to say “I am a free man, I am not a number” in Hyde Park in London on May 16, 2020. Photo: .
The UK always offers interesting banner and dislocated protest options. We only have to remember that memorable visa in one of the anti-Brexit demonstrations that linked the idea of leaving the EU with the moment when Geri Halliwell believed himself so great that he could leave the Spice Girls and start a solo career that he disputed the reign in pop to Madonna herself. Well, then, a little out of tradition and a little out of modernity, a Briton showed up at an anti-confinement rally with one saying: “I’m not a number, I’m a free man.” So far, beyond doubts about the message, the real and the ideal of it, all good. The problem is that the man composed the banner in such a bizarre way that everything but that was read. It was a free number. Or it wasn’t a man. Or was he a number man. Or he was free of something. It is what you have to try to emulate the youngest with their lavish posters when you have passed the rice, and above all, when you should have stayed at home.
Of rifles and vests
I don’t know what it will look like from the inside, but from the outside, dear Americans, it seems that the constitutional right to bear arms has long since got out of hand. Yes, we complain about hunting them here, but that’s a trifle compared to what we see there. For example, these gentlemen who look like they were taken from some post-apocalyptic video game were among the hundreds who took over the Michigan State Capitol while parliamentarians debated whether or not to approve the extension of powers that the governor, from the Democratic party, was asking to fight the covid -19. One of the legislators told, while she published a photo of some guys in the stands of armed guests as if they were hunting deer, that some colleagues had put on their bulletproof vest. Just in case, you know. It is almost more noticeable than that of the guys with rifles than, one: Michigan MPs have bulletproof vests. Two: take them to sessions like someone carrying a lunch box. Three: have to put them on in the middle of the session. Come on, I say.
The right to do push-ups
We had passed the right to do push-ups. Fortunately, these kind citizens of the State of Florida claimed it by doing a few, accompanied by squats and sit-ups, so as not to compensate, in front of a Miami court. Equipped with the flags of rigor and posters on which you could read “Give me profits or give me death” (now, I don’t understand it either) and “We will not comply”, they asked for the immediate opening of the state gyms. Because where it has been seen that the zumba class is not of extreme necessity. What’s next, ban protein shakes?
Bolsonaro, rebel without cause
Jair Bolsonaro greets a girl (out of plane) with a mask in Brasilia on May 12. Photo: .
There is a very specific type of political propaganda that we could define as “wearing shorts.” Or, in the case of Manuel Fraga (illustrious representative of this category), wearing shorts, but in radioactive waters. That is to say, being imperious and bold, brave, reckless. And, like that protester around the Capitol asking to be coughed in the face with an insistence bordering on paraphilia, Jair Bolsonaro’s crowd-potentially-infected baths have something of rebellion and furious vital affirmation. People crowded in where there should be a safe distance. People screaming without a mask so they don’t force you to wear a mask. There he was accompanied by 11 ministers and a crowd of all ages. Bolsonaro picked up two children in his arms. In one of the images, the girl goes without a mask, but the Brazilian president does wear it. The same is that it favors. It would be surreal if it were not dystopian, and it would be dystopian if it were not a tragedy: with almost 30,000 deaths, Brazil is the Latin American country most affected by the pandemic.
The lobster wants you to visit her
A woman holds a banner with the message “Maine Lobsters Need Tourists” at an anti-confinement rally in Augusta, Maine.
On May 14, at an anti-confinement rally in Augusta, Maine (United States), a woman held a banner with the message “Maine Lobsters Need Tourists”. And one imagines that, if lobster had been born, they would rather be rocked by the aqua riot of the farm rather than in a tourist’s lobster roll, and that they would have enough reason to be upset if someone spoke like that on their behalf without asking them first. But there is no need to make blood, because in the end this is an anecdote and our comment, a rhetorical game that confirms that, in the midst of chaos, metonymy arises. What the woman wanted to say – that the Maine tourism sector based on the tasting of its typical dish, lobster, needs tourists to survive – is a very legitimate claim at a time when gastronomy, hospitality and its suppliers are living moments extremely hard due to the paralysis of tourism. Hopefully things will improve and this protester’s restaurant will soon be filled to the brim with tourists and lobsters. Without covid-19, without fear and without risk of contagion, of course.
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