These are links to many articles, memes, strikes and songs produced in the wake of and by the pandemic. They have been compiled by Ken Knabb who has kept the Situ flame flickering over many decades.
I. GENERAL OVERVIEWS
Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?
Article by Jeremy Lent, author of The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning.
Ten Premises for a Pandemic
Ten brief theses by Ian Alan Paul.
The Corona Reboot
Another text by the above author, notable for its analysis of the “domesticated/connected” sector and the “mobile/disposable” sector.
Coronavirus Capitalism — And How to Beat It
Short video by Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
The Impossible Has Already Happened: What Coronavirus Can Teach Us About Hope
Article by Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster.
The Coronavirus Is Rewriting Our Imaginations
Article by science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson.
Corona Virus and the Collapse of Our Imagination
Short article by Jonathan Carp.
To Heal from Covid-19, We Must Imagine a Different World
Interview with authors Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin.
Remarks by Raoul Vaneigem, author of The Revolution of Everyday Life.
The Plague and the Wrath
Article by Charles Reeve, author of Le Socialisme Sauvage.
Practicing Anarchy While the State Fiddles
Observations by San Francisco writer Chris Carlsson.
Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting
As noted by several people in this online discussion, this article by Julio Vincent Gambuto reflects some rather naïve notions about capitalism and American society, and its melodramatic narrative is sometimes corny and simplistic. But it has the merit of stressing that the “Great Pause” we are now experiencing is indeed an unprecedented break and opportunity.
The Pandemic Is a Portal
This article by novelist Arundhati Roy is mostly about conditions in India, but its eloquent concluding passage has already been shared and reshared among millions of people:
“Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality,’ trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
II. ECONOMIC ISSUES
III. STRIKES, PROTESTS, MUTUAL AID
IV. OTHER TOPICS
VI. SKITS, SATIRES, CARTOONS, ETC.
World: “There’s no way we can shut everything down in order to lower emissions, slow climate change and protect the environment.”
Mother Nature: “Here’s a virus. Practice.”
Things are not getting worse. They are getting uncovered. We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil.
Also highly contagious is kindness, patience, love, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude. Don’t wait to catch it from others, be the carrier.
Nothing should go back to normal. Normal wasn’t working. If we go back to the way things were, we will have lost the lesson. May we rise up and do better.
May we grow back not to what was but instead toward what we can become.
Normal: Getting dressed in clothes you bought for work then driving through traffic in a car you’re still paying for in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day just so you can afford to sleep there.
The economy isn’t “closed.” Everyone is working diligently homemaking, cooking meals, and taking care of their loved ones. It’s just not valued by economists because it’s normally women’s unpaid labor. Have a great day at work everyone!
The great irony coming out of all this is that the world’s economy is in danger simply because people are only buying what they need. Think about that.
Suddenly the whole nation is depending on the very people they don’t believe should make $15 an hour.
At least once in your life you will need a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, but day after day you will need a farm worker.
People currently in their second or third home want you to get back to your second or third job.
If the economy is crashing because people can’t work, I don’t understand why the entrepreneurs don’t just create more wealth. I’ve been told for years that they are the wealth creators. What’s the matter? Do they need the workers or something?
The number of billionaires pushing for everyone to go back to work early proves one thing and one thing only. They don’t make their money. You do.
Wouldn’t it be crazy if there was a large external shock to our extractive capitalist system that proved without a shadow of a doubt that our entire economy runs on the labor of the working class, not the unseen and immeasurable genius of plucky billionaires?
Isn’t it weird that people living from paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have months’ worth of savings for emergencies while billion-dollar corporations are so poorly managed they’re on the brink of bankruptcy after a week of reduced profits?
GADFE: Grandparents Against Dying For the Economy
Capitalism 1970: “Work hard, you too can be rich.”
Capitalism 1990: “Work hard and a few crumbs will fall down.”
Capitalism 2020: “You should be willing to die in order to save the economy for the top percent.”
Are you guys still all in for this?
Upon closer analysis I have concluded that we are not, in fact, “all in this together.”
We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.
In hindsight, maybe structuring our society so that the greediest, most ruthless, and most shameless self-promoters get to hold all the power and make all the decisions was a mistake.
If you made $180,000 a day since the birth of Christ, Jeff Bezos would still have more money than you.
Have you ever considered the possibility that Jeff Bezos just works 130 billion times harder than you?
Challenge: Try to explain to me how the complex $6 trillion corporate bailout bill was better policy than taking the $6 trillion and simply giving all 157 million American workers $38,000 each?
What’s the difference between a ventilator and a bomb? There’s never any shortage of bombs.
Nancy Pelosi, April 2019: “When most people say they’re for Medicare-for-all, I think they mean health care for all. Let’s see what that means. A lot of people love having their employer-based insurance.” Have you polled the 10 million newly unemployed to see how they like it now, Nancy?
BIDEN: He Won’t Inject You with Bleach.
Do not under any circumstance take a disinfectant if you are currently taking Windex for windmill cancer.
The same people who said they voted for Trump because he says what he means are now telling us he doesn’t mean what he says.
America is the only place I know where you can institute a policy to save lives, watch it work, then have a large portion of the population complain that not enough people died to justify having instituted the policy.
A mob of the MAGA persuasion
Conducted a statehouse invasion.
Though heavily armed,
They parted unharmed,
And that’s how you know they’re Caucasian.
Calm down, everyone. These white dudes are just waving confederate flags, carrying assault weapons, and putting others’ lives at risk protesting their right to eat at Wendy’s . . . it’s not like they’re black athletes peacefully kneeling during a song protesting their right to live.
Folks, I feel we aren’t doing enough to provide our white men with hobbies.
Hell hath no fury like a white person mildly inconvenienced.
During the pandemic Far Right extremists have staged an armed occupation of a state capitol building while Far Left extremists are running food pantries and mutual aid organizations, but in a few months we’ll be hearing how both sides are equally violent.
The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors:
1. How dense the population is.
2. How dense the population is.
Even on Gilligan’s Island they listened to the professor, not the millionaire.
Feels weird having to say this, but if you’re willing to go out and protest for haircuts and Häagen-Daz but not caged migrant children, you’re an enormous dickhead.
Imagine if in London during the Blitz there’d been a whole bunch of people going “I’ll turn on my lights if I feel like it.”
Did you ever notice that the Trump supporters protesting shutdowns aren’t demanding that bookstores and libraries be reopened? Why is that?
The first places open for regular business should be government buildings and offices. If the lawmakers aren’t ready to take those risks then what does that tell you?
They’re taking a “wait and see if you die first” approach.
We isolate now
So when we gather again
No one is missing.
We spent two decades mourning and analyzing and lamenting 3000 people from the September 11 attacks. Now, apparently, 3000 dead people a day is the price of doing business.
In the other timeline, Hillary’s impeachment trial begins today for her shameful handling of the COVID-19 crisis that has left 12 Americans dead.
They want to reopen the economy to save capitalism, because if the government was forced to distribute resources in a way that ensured our survival, they know we would never go back.
Relax. If the pandemic doesn’t kill you, Trump’s 100 environmental rollbacks probably will.
Stock Market: A graph of rich people feelings.
I wish white people protested when a black man is murdered the way they do when they need a haircut.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.’’ (Mark Twain)
“All man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to stay at rest in a room.” (Blaise Pascal, 1670)
One thing this pandemic has made abundantly clear: A whole lot of people simply cannot be alone with themselves. It’s telling.
Yes, lockdown poses its own mental health challenges. But can we please stop pretending that our former world of long working hours, stressful commuting, hectic crowds, shopping centers, infinite choice, mass consumerism, air pollution and 24/7 everything was a mental health utopia?
Alarming Report Suggests Americans Can’t Go Much Longer Without Jobs and Haircuts Before Becoming Hippies.
Marijuana is legal. Haircuts are not. It took fifty years but the hippies have finally won.
Now that I’ve lived through an actual plague, I totally understand why Italian Renaissance paintings are full of naked fat people lying on couches.
Back in my day, you could eat a raw bat without causing a global crisis.
We’re fighting a billion-dollar propaganda industry with memes. How fucking cool is that!
Wear a mask! It’s in the Ten Commandments! Thou shalt not Covid thy neighbor!
Since we’re all going to die, if anyone is secretly in love with me, now is the time to speak up.
It’s amazing how we’re screwing up an apocalypse on “easy” setting. We’re clearly not ready for zombies or aliens.
This lockdown is bringing out our innate creativity. Hard to imagine anything worse.
History essays in 2053: “Explain the use and role of memes as a coping mechanism during the Corona Virus Pandemic of 2020.”
[Kindly doctor examining a little boy] “You’re a goner, Billy, but the economy is gonna be just swell.”
[Book cover with sultry woman] Pam Demic: She’s much worse than the flu! Nothing could flatten her curves!
[Picture of burning house] The fire has passed its peak, you can go back in now.
[Worker looking outside nervously] “Why is going back to work worth dying for?”
[Boss relaxing in easy chair] “Don’t ask me. You’re the one who’s going to be dying.”