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Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Please turn the electricity back off

For a glorious two weeks we were back to chopping wood and reading books by candlelight

T his week I came back out of the medieval world of no electricity. I'd been eating cold tuna fish out of a can for two weeks, with no access to the universe of fake news. I discovered that in my absence the humans have gone insane and the animals are taking over the planet.

Pine needles covered in ice

Close-up of pine tree covered with ice

Mountainous wilderness of trees covered in ice

Trees covered in ice look peaceful, but they are actually noisy

Telephone wires and power lines weighed down by ice

Telephone wires and power lines weighed down by ice

For days it was like a war zone: unseen trees all around me in the darkness cracking as if struck by bombs, workplaces closed, streets blocked by fallen trees, street signal lights all dark and the city silent. It seemed like a premonition of our dismal future.

As my computer slowly file-checked its way back to life and the milk in my fridge slowly thawed out, I discovered that the world had changed. In my absence the word “grandfather” had been decreed “racist” and computer programmers were no longer allowed to tell us to “hit” a key because it is a form of violence. We can't say a computer “hangs” because it is insensitive, racist, and violent. “Abnormal” is ableist and “illegal instruction” is disparaging.

That's just in the computer world. Elsewhere, the Muppets and Doctor Seuss books were now also totally racist and must be burned. There was a big scandal because Trump Jr. called Brian Stelter, who is apparently some sort of newsreader, a “gender neutral potato head.”

Reading all this after two weeks of silence reminded me of the time in college when I had no TV. When I walked around in the city, the sound of sit-coms and game shows and canned laughter from all the apartment buildings was surreal, as if the people were all living in a world that had been artificially created to deprive them of contact with reality. It seemed that they preferred it that way.

After the scammers who offered to haul away my downed trees for an outrageous fee went away, I ordered lots of batteries, all from small businesses—I refuse to buy from a company that represses free speech. One was a thing that can deliver 300 watts of 110 volts AC. Another was a new lead-acid battery for my tire inflator, which crapped out trying to recharge my laptop, which, it turns out, needs 150 watts.

In my absence the world became slightly more insane. The ACLU is now fighting against free speech. The Dems are surrounding the Capitol with barbed wire because they think there is such a thing as a QAnon and there will be a “QAnon insurrection.” And the makers of Oreos have decreed that trans people exist. Very Spockian. Next they'll be telling us they have mass and occupy space.

Maybe the conspiracy theorists are right: electricity interferes with brain function. Even though my phone battery was flat, I'd bet 5G was off too. While those of us without electricity were chopping wood and reading books by candlelight and generally becoming more like Abe Lincoln, those with electricity continued their descent into madness. Please, electric company, turn it back off.

mar 02 2021, 6:28 am

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