Yes, I just used a proper name as a verb in that headline. These are weird times.
Part One of “America, the Fyre Festival.”
fyrefestival / fahyuh r fes-tuh-vuh l / • verb: 1 To conjure up a quasi-legal, get-rich-quick scheme that takes advantage of one’s own systemic privilege, fragile ego, and any connections based on arbitrary qualities like gender and skin color usage: Donald Trump might fyrefestival the United States of America, to the point where the country will never recover.
I began writing this blog post on the day that the United States of America surpassed all other countries in recorded cases of coronavirus.
USA! USA! USA!
This week itself brought one piece of shocking news after another.
For starters, the country’s supplies of PPE and respirators—key equipment to help doctors and nurses fight this pandemic—cannot meet the demand. Taking a Fyre Festival-like approach to their job, the current administration thought it would be smart to cut corners and save money by not stockpiling these medical devices and gear.
“Yeah, besides not buying all of that stuff, Mister John Q. Taxpayer, we also saved bigly on monthly rent payments to storage facilities. Only now your local hospital might have to let you die in their hallway because they don’t have the resources to treat you. But think about how much Uncle Sam saved on rent. Who knows…another tax cut for the 1% might be in order…”
On top of the potential for overloading the medical system, we got to learn that some Senators reacted to news of the coming pandemic by selling off stock instead of telling their constituents to prepare.
Also, the American people found out that our nation’s pandemic response protocols got dismantled by the current administration, just because they wanted to spite the black guy who lived in the White House from January of 2009 to January of 2017.
The most disturbing information has been how badly the GOP and the investor class wants the rest of America to risk death in order to save their beloved stock market.
The high-net-worth crowd played their parts in my first, second, and fourth books. It always seemed that they had fascist tendencies and wanted a “socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor” system that killed off their Fox News-watching worshippers early. But after this week…damn.
I think the GOP’s hero is Carter Burke from Aliens. (Carter Burke seems like he would pal around with the organizers of the Fyre Festival, don’t you think? Let’s say that the xenomorph never ate his head—couldn’t you see Burke hanging out with those bros, the group figuring out how to “fuck each other over for goddamn percentages”? Such a great Ripley line.)
I’ve long suspected that the rentier class salivated over the idea of profiteering from working-class folks’ death. They know they are disenfranchising the masses and this fact deep-down bothers them, to the point where they’ve been building bomb shelters while also freaking out about compensation for the poors who would guard their post-apocalyptic fortresses.
Privilege loves the type of toxic positivity shown in the Fyre Festival documentary. Chickenhawks live to play drill sergeant, blindly ordering people to do the unreasonable and not bothering to look at reality. Well-off whites talk endlessly about Darwinism and pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps. Yet it’s always been pretty obvious that this crowd never has any intention of following their own advice. But now they have a lopsided amount of financial power and, as we face this pandemic, they have communicated that they would sacrifice lots of American citizens if doing so added to their wealth.
Though I do have to say that the 1%’s behavior during the Great Recession did inspire a scene in Fearkiller (Volume 1), so I can’t 100% hate the fat-cats. Their disgusting approach to life became a vignette that I like, so it’s somewhat cool.
High-net worth individuals: I hate you less than I should, thanks to my fiction writing. That said, I hate your pathological greed. I hate your fear of knowledge. I hate your insecurities. I hate the fact that your class thinks so many of your fellow Americans are expendable, just because you need bigger yachts and higher-caliber divorce lawyers. I hate the fact that your class is increasingly anti-Semitic, yet also behaves like the worst of the money-grubbing stereotypes. (This topic gets covered in “Bros: America’s new Jews.” Part II. Part III.)
I hate that the fellas who put on the Fyre Festival almost seem competent when compared to the rich fellas who have been put in charge of dealing with this pandemic.
America, the Fyre Festival. To be continued.