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Is not a river in Egypt...
Am happy to report that life here in Madrid is moving along nicely. Street life is buzzing again, though at a clearly lower frequency. Maybe it’s the masks…everybody wears one especially when in interior spaces. The terraces are full of drinkers and diners with enough space in between to calm that low level anxiety that we all share here…all connected to not wanting to go back to where we were just a few weeks ago. The quarantine was fierce and complete for nearly 3 full months, and no one wants to go through it again. Sports is back…but behind closed doors. My newly adopted club Real Madrid is closing in on a league championship and every match is worth savoring…even with the EA Sports crowd noise and simulated fans in the bleachers… A cup of water to a drowning man. In my little corner of work life, shows have resumed production with some new but not totally onerous protocols, and development on new stuff continues apace. People feel hopeful…why? Yesterday when the US confirmed 65,488 new cases, Spain had 661. You can do the math.
Not that you care, but people here have opinions about the US…Let’s start with the fact that they love America and revel in the world of possibilities that it presents to all. They love our optimism and personal stories of invention and reinvention. They marvel at the size and scope of everything about us from geography to restaurant portion servings. And more to the point, they love us…I have not encountered one “anti-American” attitude about who I am or where I’m from in all of the time I’ve been here…to the contrary in fact. And now that they see what’s going on with the pandemic they are saddened and confused and keep asking me why. They don’t understand how the US could possibly have let this happen. Let’s also state clearly that they have believed that our Celebrity Apprentice President was in their words un payaso naranja, an Orange Clown, from Day 1. Given their own political experiences as well as their exposure to the Lord of Bunga Bunga who presided as President of Italy for several terms, they understand that these bouts of electoral insanity can happen. But, they like me, especially in these times, find the latest offerings of “The Show” somewhat impossible to comprehend.
How about for example, trying to discredit Dr. Fauci, the most important asset we have in combatting the disease and finding the vaccine that can help mitigate it…In the typically clownish manner that these things are done, outright fabrications are supported by statements taken out of context. These things clearly work on social media as click bait to “the Cult” but to professional journalists are laughable, especially when taken in the context of how difficult it is to bring science and the understandable flexibility required to respond to newly revealed facts on the ground to questions about “What’s next?” Then consider that Dr. Fauci’s had to try to walk the line of bringing scientific truth into the Task Force that Celebrity Apprentice President expects to only tell him what he already proclaims to already “know more about than anybody”. And what is it that he already knows? It’s all a hoax! It’s nothing more than the flu, it will magically go away… by Easter! Warm weather will kill it, Clorox is the new penicillin, 99% of the cases are harmless…All of it rooted in denial, because acknowledging the reality of it might result in cancelling his show. So yeah, they’ve seen the show from here and the format isn’t traveling well.
What’s sad is that loyal fans of the show are buying into the pattern of denial that’s at the core of the latest episodes. They won’t wear masks, they go to Covid parties, they congregate without regard for social distancing, all in the name of proving that they’re true believers. For those among you who are of a certain age, there’s a reference to Kool-Aid that starts to come to mind…Bottoms up! And all the while, the Red State map burns an all too brighter shade on the maps that detail new outbreaks.
It’s so ironic that the format for Celebrity Apprentice President is a “reality show”, Unscripted meant to convey to the viewer that it’s not fiction or scripted but rather something that “feels real”. I think the message that most of America is starting to send back is “Get real!”…and the sooner the better. We’re pulling for you.