(More or Less)
President Trump’s pitch to the American people seems to be that he isn’t Joe Biden and we all know that that means (do we?) For his part, Biden is building his almost a campaign around a solid platform of “You know I’m not Trump, right?” (we do). Neither seems capable of articulating even moderately complex thought into words well. Someone has to win in November but it’s hard to see how either of these guys are going to throw a wet blanket on the current unpleasantness. Neither man is a leader so much as a symbol. If we’ve learned anything in the last three or four years, symbols are very easy to discard.
The street protests of the spring came off their well-justified point so fast, and were so violent, that its hard to conclude that they weren't fueled at least in part by a general boredom and frustration of the more rigorous lock-down of the early pandemic. The young, out of work, out of school, bored to tears and frustrated as hell with the lock-down found an excuse to get around the quarantine rules and still look righteous. Sort of like a progressive Cochella where indignation and chants replaced a fairly predictable musical line up. Of course, those woke protests aren’t for everyone. The rebel yell set formed their own fun rallies, at first circling each other line rival high school football teams.
And now they are fighting – the street protests have turned into street skirmishes between two very loud but not very brave armies who can’t compromise and won’t think it through.
Like children terrified of the dark, every position of the other side, every creak in the dark, is an ominous signal that the ogre under the bed is about to pounce. And this is where things get really out of hand. With the excemption of an honest to God physcopath, humans tend to recoil from harming other humans. Until we manage to convince ourselves that they aren’t really human. Once the conscious mind accepts that the monster is real and the out-group is, in fact, said monster, then there is little that can be done to change the assumption – baring something very traumatic.
These masks don’t help, nor the fact that we’ve largely been robbed of the summer gatherings where people are forced to be civil and treat each other like humans. We’ve been sitting at home pulling the strangest, most intense feelings out of the cyberspace: Narratives that confirm what we already thing we know beause that makes us feel so damn smart. And now people are getting killed.
HOW TO SURVIVE A GRENADE ATTACK.
Perhaps “attack” is the wrong word. You can be attacked with fists, shillelagh, knife, gun or even unkind words. A grenade attack is less intimate. Really, it’s what we might call “lobbing with intent.” Should someone throw one of these little pineapples of death and chaos your way, you need to know the best way to deal with it.
Understand that you cannot out run flying shrapnel any more than you can out run a bullet or the IRS. Your instinct will be to place as much distance between yourself and the explosive as possible. Which is good thinking, up to a point. While it’s counter-intuitive, you are actually better off not running, but taking the longest flying leap you can. When you hit the ground, stay there and stay flat so that the slicey bits of hot metal go flying over you.
Dive away from the grenade so that your head is a far as possible from the explosion. Obviously, this will place your feet about six feet (give or take) closer to the blast than your head. It won’t do your arches any favors, but you’re are trying to keep yourself alive, not your dreams of running a marathon. Remember to close your feet because no one wants to absorb blast like that in the genitals.
Pull your elbows in close to the torso for an added layer of protection for your vitals. Cover your head and ears with your hands because the blast can, and probably will, rupture your eardrums. Close your eyes for obvious reasons. Less obvious - open your mouth. If your jaws are locked shut the blast very well might cause your lungs to explode. This can cause problems for those of us partial to breathing.
Follow these simple steps and you will likely survive without being too late for dinner.
This helpful PSA has been brought to you by the Burnaby Team