Tag Archives: covid 19

Covid Refugee (A Blog Post)

Friends,

Greetings from Chiapas, Mexico. It’s been some 13.5 months since I left Canada in October 2020 and as it stands I’ve no plans to go back. It started with 7 months in Mexico where I more or less kept up the tempo of event-hosting I had started in Canada in summer of 2020, followed by 6 months in the United States, where I found myself a job in the Arizona wine industry. Now it’s back to Mexico to work on my visa application for re-entry into the US, then hopefully a greencard after a time, and citizenship in the longer-term.

I’m done with Canada. It’s (f/c)ucked. In fairness, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on there from the conflicting reports I hear, but having lived there most of my life, certain criticisms seem predictable and plausible—particularly those developments which pertain specifically to public complacency and the citizenry just rolling over to show its/their collective belly. Some people—those I reckon are most like me—tell me it fuckin’ sucks and is sliding further into communism. “Imagine getting out of Russia in 1916…” was a thought that played over and over in my head (for better and worse) during the last six months in the US.

From my series #ShredalSeerRizon; made while in Arizona

Better because it strengthened my resolve to make a clean break.

Worse because living isolated out in the desert as I was, I might have been more susceptible to a general paranoia.

Does it break my heart that I see my country of birth sliding further into communism? Especially since I spent time in the military, etc? Not as much as you might think. I’ve always been drawn to the US; particularly the deserts of the south-west. It always seemed like the place to be for me, and getting caught up in the patriotism of being in the army and then deploying to Afghanistan might have—in retrospect—delayed me from really embracing this goal and pursuing it in earnest.

Even though I don’t feel conflicted about following my heart however, there is still a weird feeling about openly speaking so treasonously. I’m afraid because my best laid plans to obtain residency and then citizenship elsewhere might be for nought and then it will be back to the frozen north for me with egg on my face and nowhere to go. That is my biggest fear in fact—being stuck in Canada.

To be Fair

Canada was a good place to grow up. There are more safety nets there and a general niceness which helps ease one into the real world. I know some friends for example in the States who went through the criminal justice system early on—in some cases upwards of 20 years ago—and they are still feeling the effects of it. Not to say, you can’t get caught in the system in Canada, but for whatever reason I never did, whereas I feel the likelihood would have been higher if I was born in the States.

On the other hand, Canada’s safety nets and collectivist leanings also mean that there is a lower ceiling for what one individual might accomplish—especially one who works in the arts as I have (mostly) have since 2013.

Do I owe Canada anything for the relative safety of my upbringing? Maybe.

If I do, have I already paid it off? I would say most likely.

The only pang of guilt/regret I feel is to the fine men and women I served with. I admire their love for the country. To one comrade (no pun intended) in particular whom I feel most accountable to, I have stated that I feel more loyalty to the US at this point, acknowledging that this might seem like a betrayal. Better to stab someone in the front than in the back right?

Canada has always had problems; Covid has simply thrown them into sharper relief. At the same time, it perhaps also gave me the push I needed.

Thanks for reading.

-Dre

PS Stay tuned for the serialized release of Covid Refugee (The Memoir)

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Rapt

Friends:

I want to present a conspiracy theory which I think has as much merit as anything else I’ve seen on social:

BUT I don’t want to do it to contribute to anxiety (at least not directly) because first of all, it’s a quasi-positive theory; and second, I want to build on it to explore a darker side of something else which we’ve been hearing a lot about, but whose whole picture isn’t discussed.

I’ll get to it:

Assuming that there are strings being pulled at a high level, and that 5G, Covid, Tiger King, et al are smoke and/or mirrors, it occurs to me that the forced quarantine has less to do with safety and more to do with conditioning -priming- people for a post-employment world (PEW). For example, the benefits programs which are being enacted seem like a pilot program for universal basic income (UBI) and even staunch opponents of such government “handouts” are being mollified into accepting it when the stakes are theoretically raised by a plague. Slowly, as we sit at home and begin receiving money, we will become more accepting of the PEW.

One major objection to UBI is where the money for it comes from, however we can’t talk about that without a larger convo about central banking, FRB, fiat currency, etc., and that is beyond the scope of this post.

The second major criticism of UBI is, “What will people do with their time? (Probably become fat, lazy blobs…)” We’re seeing this answer play out now: some are catching up with loved ones, others are developing hobbies, some are venting online (🙋‍♂️), and some are reporting on their neighbours. Most notably, the cream of society is doing what it always does -rising- and, without getting too eschatological, I don’t think we would be speaking too recklessly in comparing this to a rapture of sorts. Some will rise; most will not?

But I digress, because this UBI talk should received as a blessing; our level of technology is poised to displace most workers and this is simply the first flow of that tide. S

o rejoice, right?

Well, here’s where it gets dark: If we do become dependant on governments for payments rather than earning our living, we threaten to atrophy and erode what sense of individual autonomy we still have left. Being financially dependant on an institution makes us much less likely to meaningfully challenge that institution; assuming we aren’t already paralyzed with fear by the thought.

If the hand is feeding us, we can’t bite it, and I think this is an oft-under-appreciated negative externality of UBI. What if we rely on government money and our behaviour is deemed overtly anti-state? Do we get cut off?

It’s possible.

Yet even if you think that overtly anti-state behaviour is worth cutting someone off for, that self-same technological advancement which displaced us from our jobs is also poised to passively track all of our movements, habits and purchases and rate us on an unknown algorithm as the threat we might possibly manifest one day; like boner-killing menage between social-credit, the PATRIOT Act and Minority Report.

We may very well see ourselves get “cut off” for a cumulative set of behaviours which, though innocuous in isolation, together culminate into a problematic profile. Or, if not cut off entirely, then have our wings clipped through travel limitations, higher fees for services, etc. as we see happening more and more in China.

I don’t know what I think about this whole situation but I’ve expressed the following sentiment to close friends and I hope it brings you some comfort: If our situation is shit, then know that it has never not been shit. By that rationale, it’s as good as its ever been and we KNOW it could be so much worse.

When it seems like things “above us” are pushing “down” on u, we must remember that if we are properly oriented (upward) toward our highest ideals obstacles don’t (can’t) come from above -they can only approach from the side. It is only when we take our eyes off that highest value and cower from the lateral threats that they appear to tower over and dominate us. But, if we keep focus upward then we will navigate the vicissitudes of life like we always have: in suffering, in pain, with death, and -if we keep focused upward- maybe with some success.

Don’t be they guy on the bottom. It’s rapture, baby; rise or get risen over.

Best,
-Dre

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