Friday, June 4, 2021

TIKKUN OLAM

could I interest you in everything
all of the time?

I just watched Bo Burnham’s Netflix special, Inside. He’s a stand-up comedian, an actor and a musician, and he produced and edited the entire thing inside his house during the pandemic last year. The good thing about him being multi-talented is the songs he performed were super catchy, I looked for them on Spotify but they’re not there yet. Of course there is political commentary, and everything he wrote and performed (to canned laughter that you can see him ostentatiously push a button to play) is relateable. There is a song about the white woman’s Instagram, about Facetiming his mother (“my mother’s covering the camera with her thumb”), sexting. The sexting song is simultaneously embarrassing and also completely understandable. He’s wearing I think just his white undies while singing it. At different points of the special, he is unhinged, derailed, and he both makes fun of it, but also doesn’t. He says, “I... am not.... well.” It’s a very interesting hour, he keeps repeating “does anyone want to joke at a time like this?” We’ve all come to the same conclusion, it’s a terrible time to be alive, there is nothing to laugh at, and still we all try so hard. I don’t know, I think everyone should watch it, because I think shared experiences somehow help the tiniest bit, and then we can all talk about it together, even though really, none of it matters. The show reminded me of Adam, I think Adam thinks of himself as a funny man, and he also plays multiple musical instruments, so I thought of him. However, I am Sarah Mei, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t watch one thing and think of every single person I know and relate everything to them. This means all the people I used to date and used to be friends with.

Recently, I came to terms with the fact that I’m okay with the world and civilisation as we’ve known it, ending. This is me, the girl who has attachment to everything, who has an existential crisis on the weekly. I think things are constantly in flux, and we’ve seen great progress and it’s okay if we die, because everything has to die and end one day. I think what bothers me most is the fact that inequality and injustice are at an all-time high. I hate thinking that while I may not be worried about drinking potable water until the day I die, while I never have to worry about having a warm shelter in place, it is the people with no agency at all, who suffer from all the consequences. It is people born in less fortunate countries (meaning with a history of being exploited by the wealthy nations) who will have no access to water, who will have the most polluted water and air and resources, who will have their infrastructure torn down, who will die in the most anguish, just because in a system like capitalism, people like you and I inherently want more from the earth. The things we want, require land to be forcibly taken, ground to be fracked, trees to be cut, crude oil to be refined, and I don’t think enough “first-world” people really acknowledge this. I hate the imbalance and I wonder, every fucking day, I wonder, if someone could teach billionaires some bit of empathy, to lessen (forget eliminating) their exploitation, if someone could be a Chidi and Eleanor, if someone could turn this from a Bad Place to a semi Medium Place. 

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