Cosmic Orchid
       curating integrative theatre
Carpe Diem Per Diem
The Politics of Pandemics

An outbreak of 80,000 diagnosed in a country with a population of 1.4 billion? That's .000057 of the population (.0057%.) Is that 5.7/1,000ths of 1 percent?  (Someone with math skills, please help me.  I get punch drunk thinking about basis points of basis points of basis points.)  To put this in perspective, 1% of the population of China is 14,000,000.  Does that shed any light?


Bringing it back to this country, and with the CDC's own statistics, 5-20% of the American population get influenza each year.  Granted the coronavirus is purportedly much more dangerous than the flu but people die of the flu every year.  And I'm not getting into those statistics.


How about these?  Approximately 40,000 people die of gun violence each year in America.  According to a study by NOAA, 240,000 are struck by lightning globally with 24,000 deaths; those numbers are 400 and 40, respectively, for America.  (I'm not suggesting you start obsessing about the flu or lightning striking but you may wish to put the NRA on your radar.)


Let's bring it back to a real travesty.  According to the WHO, as of 2018, 32 million people have died of HIV and 74.9 million have contracted the virus.  (Reduction does not mean eradication.)  Too bad this kind of attention didn’t ensue in 1981.  Oh, that’s right.  Why would it for something called the “gay plague”?  And, after almost forty years, why is it still a pandemic?  Well, the top five countries experiencing AIDS-related mortality are:  South Africa; Mozambique; Nigeria; Indonesia and Kenya.  Need I elaborate?


Now to the financial markets.  First of all, we were extremely overbought, riding on blind momentum, so we were late for the door on a correction.  But seriously?  It's getting stupid now.  By comparison, the market dropped 7.1% the day it reopened after 9/11.  Total for the week was an approximate 14% drop. That's 9/11…9/11 - An unprecedented global act of terrorism!


Are people imagining the demise of the homo sapien - no one left on the planet but one man and one woman - both gay - refusing to procreate for the propagation of the species?  Crazy Hollywood shit!  Do we actually need a catastrophe to wake people up?  There’s so much divisiveness - politically and personally.  Nothing like a global disaster to foster unity.


And for the CDC to announce it's not a question of if but when?  How is this pandemic supposed to sweep America, if you've been quarantining people coming into the country for almost a month?  I have neither the time nor the bandwidth to speculate on their agenda.


I suggest everyone settle down, binge on whatever it is you stream and order some Chinese.  (Yes, I have heard that people are afraid to order Chinese take-out.) SMH


But What If He Didn't Do It?

1.       The evidence points to his guilt. What evidence?


a. For someone who claims not to have/had a drinking problem, he spent an inordinate amount of time, not only on the topic of drinking but specifically, on his fondness for, and frequent indulging in, beer(s)* According to a few news agencies, he mentions it approximately 30 times.


b. His rendition of the social climate in High School/College is in stark contrast with what his peers describe, and to what is logically known to be commonplace in the “Beer(s)” culture.


c. He states: “Sometimes, I had too many beers.” When asked what that meant by the prosecutor (representing the Republican Senators), his response was: “I don’t know.... whatever the chart says.” Without consulting the chart, what would lead him to deduce he had “too many beers”, in the absence of a blackout or of getting sick? He attributed his getting sick to a weak stomach, and not to the beers. He also said he never passed out, but he did fall asleep.


d. His refusal to answer whether he ever had a blackout was trumped only by his rude retort. His response was: “I don’t know. Have you?” After a bit of back and forth, the Senator attempts to confirm his answer, to which he responds: “...Yeah and I’m curious if you have...”. He never fully articulates the answer. He echoes her response of not having a drinking problem with: “Nor do I.”


e. His refusal to answer whether he is Bart O’Kavanaugh is suspect and begs a review of the evidence. He even slips and says: “...I think he picked out names of friends of ours to throw them in as kind of, close to what...for characters in the book...”. Close to what - reality?


Were it merely Judge’s book, one could attribute the character to a wild imagination. However, consider this: Not only does he state in his yearbook entry: “Judge, have you boofed yet?”, Judge’s yearbook entry includes the mirror entry: “Bart, have you boofed yet?” Therefore, it is evident that, at the very least, Judge called him “Bart” long before he ever published his book. This leads to the next point.


f. He describes his relationship with Judge as: “...a friend of ours in High School...” (Who is this mysterious “we” that coincides with the possessive “ours”?) But the mirror yearbook entries support the likelihood of them being very good, if not best friends.


g. His retort to the Senator when he pressed the above (e.) question: “We could sit here and make fun of some guy who has an addiction...” was so off-topic, its purpose could only serve to do just that - steer away from the topic.


h. His referring to Dr. Ford’s experience as “may have had” is both minimizing and disrespectful. Why? His point was - it wasn’t him. So why not say I have no doubt that she “was”.


i. His incessant insistence that he is a proponent for women was overkill. Sorry but thou “doth protest too much, methinks”. Many misogynists hide behind the shield of being empathetic to women’s causes (like a pedophile who works at the local youth center).


j. His inclusion of his high school calendar, as being anything even remotely consistent with something a rational person would consider as evidence, is downright comedic. If I hadn’t seen the actual testimony, I would have thought it originated in the SNL skit.


1.       In the unlikely event that he is innocent, why is he still unfit to sit on the Supreme Court?


a. For a man who has spent his entire career practicing law, I was neither impressed with the content of, nor tolerant of the lengthiness of his opening statement, which was peppered with enough redundancy to choke a moose. It also contained irrelevant information (He wrote it; He showed it to no one.)


b. He displayed bravado & arrogance, weaving in and out of palpable anger, from his opening statement through the lion’s share of the testimony. Why the diatribe - because he was falsely accused? A judicial response would be to temper one’s outrage and channel it into a lucid, eloquent, dignified presentation.


c. His demeanor was far from steady or contained. He lacked composure.  He flipped through pages and drank enormous amounts of water, whilst sniffing incessantly.  He lacked the fundamental ability to follow directions.  He failed to answer yes-or-no questions with a yes or a no.  He answered questions by asking the question back to the person who asked and interrupted when questions were being posed.


d. He lacked humility, repeatedly reciting his own (impertinent) press releases. “I busted my butt...”


e. If he is innocent of the sexual assault but failed to truthfully answer all the questions, failing to provide an accurate representation of his drinking history, he has committed perjury.


All of this collectively amounts to him presenting as an immature, if not irrational man. One would expect a candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court to present an even-tempered reserve and dignity commensurate with the role for which he is being considered. He is expected to show sound judgment, and certainly not to perjury himself.


*Despite his prestigious education (prep school, Ivy League) and high-profile legal/judicial career, the fact that the plural of beer is “beer” continues to allude him. (The only time you add an “s” is if you were quantifying ex. 5 beers) And although it is acceptable to say: “too many beers”, it would be grammatically more effective to say: “too much beer”. 

If you find this confusing, let us use wine, as an example.  Would you say: “I had too much wine” or “I had too many wines”?  That linguistic choice is indicative of someone who is “counting” and is, in and of itself, telling.  It may be the biggest indication of his lack of candor, regarding his drinking.

Mexico Moves to Spain

In a shocking disclosure, Mexico has just announced their intention to defect from North America. "We're pulling up our country, lock stock and barrel, and bringing it back to Spain. Regardless of the tyranny we experienced under their rule, we feel it is the lesser of two evils."


"We could handle the natural disasters, but this incessant talk of wall-building has become intolerable.  We regret that our actions may leave our neighbors to the south in a lurch. But we need to reduce our stress level!"


The continent of South America immediately issued this press release: "We are happy to usher in all the displaced countries – Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama - as their contiguous nature fast-tracks the process.  The application for inclusion is available on our website."  Sources familiar with the situation say that applications from at least three of the displaced nations are already being processed.  


When Spain was contacted for a response to the unprecedented move, they replied:  "Talks are being conducted behind closed doors.  That is all we can say at the moment.  Stay tuned for an official announcement."


One high-ranking Spanish official, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying:  "We've always had a fondness for Mexico.  We can fit them nicely along our northwest border.  It's a daunting task but we're giving them all the support they need."  Concurrently, leaks of an image, depicting the geographic changes, were prolific on social media.


But the move may not go as smoothly as Mexico would like.  One EU official, John B. Little, was quoted as saying:  "First Brexit.  Now Mexicome.  We're not running a flop house here."


North America could not be reached for comment but one source close to the country has expressed anguish:   "Not only are we losing Mexico but seven other countries, as well.  We're a laughing stock - and why?"


Sources have confirmed that a North American email sent to all Mexican officials was found on an embedded server.  The email had no content, other than an ominous you-tube link.  Robust investigative journalism led our research team to identify the content:  a video of Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Stay".


When asked for comment, President Trump replied:  "I don't care where they move.  Mexico still pays for that wall."

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Cosmic Orchid is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Donations for the purposes of 

Cosmic Orchid must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Cosmic Orchid is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Donations for the purposes
of Cosmic Orchid must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.