Of course we all know that face masks are basically mouth condoms.
It’s just that it’s easier when you can blame hostility towards your kin on something as impersonal as a virus, you’re practically outsourcing your conscience. It eases the burden of filial piety which, let’s face it, makes us all wish we could afford some form of empathy-proof body armor from time to time which concurrently safeguards our delusion of humane integrity or at the very least doesn’t compromise our shot at the moral high-ground. So we mustn’t demonize the ones that so tediously worked on designing and delivering the ambush we’ve set for ourselves, rather our surrepticiously disowned nihilistic fantasies of total control over interpersonal signification. Because *it* never IS what IT IS, that stopped being the case a little over 2 millennia ago.
—Alain Badiou, ‘Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism’ (1997).
However… Hesitancy demands redemption. It’s the totalizing force that inadvertently splices together all of our unacknowledged guilt trips and ramps them up into compliance with justificatory segregation practices. Nature knows this too well, one simply cannot numb out the jeopardy element to playing jeopardy. It’s why so many of us have cynically designated nature as the ultimate fascist; destruction is ineluctable, otherwise organicity’s potential shrivels up and extinguishes, smothered by our reluctance to engage with its dissipative structures. Growth moves elliptically, thrives on divergence, bringing in convergences with previously uncharted aids in symbiotic (re)generation. Social reticence leads the horse into dead waters, but unhinged dynamism in the form of political rage only camouflages that very same terror in the face of overwhelming complexity which unfortunately feeds into our reluctance to progress. And here is exactly where the hobbesian hoards of shadow masters jump in to save the day – by exploiting our egotistic dead-ends as much as theirs, forcing conundrums down our throats, systematically exhausting us in order to extricate themselves from any responsibility of providing a genuinely compassionate response in the face of this ubiquitous absence of coherence.
Therein lies our hopelessness. But just as Agamben once noted: “[H]ope is given to the hopeless. (…) To be contemporary is to respond to the appeal that the darkness of the epoch makes to us.”