Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Final Solution: Did #MeToo Presage Coronavirus?

The current pandemic is not the only event which has shaken up the world and left a universe that's vastly changed. Odysseus returns from his exploits unrecognized except by his faithful Argos, but Everyman is now facing a reverse crisis in which the perception of cherished verites is constantly challenged. In neurology there’s a condition called Capgras syndrome where a familiar looking countenance appears to be occupied by an imposter. There’s also prosopagnosia where faces themselves all elude identification. Even before coronavirus cut its path of destruction, sexual politics in the form of the #MeToo movement had produced watersheds in the history of culture, sweeping aside blatant monsters like Harvey Weinstein while at the same time leaving a legacy of destruction on the cultural landscape that blacklisted huge swathes of men whose work or behavior ran afoul of the thought police—among these Garrison Keillor and Ian Buruma of The New York Review of Books who lost his position simply because he allowed a shunned Canadian journalist a platform in which to speak his piece. Alas, social distancing may turn out to be a survival mechanism for those who march to the beat of a different drummer. The pathetic fallacy is a literary device in which nature mirrors the inner soul. The earth was shaking for some people whose careers were already destroyed when coronavirus struck. Without resorting to mysticism, can it be said that the Pandora's box unlocked by MeToo#, the problems of the environment (including green gas warming) and the generalized excesses of modern life all presaged a condition where the planet itself became totally diseased, leaving human society on the verge of collapse?

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