Postcard from the Neanderthals

Photo by Crawford Jolly on Unsplash

The President of the United States called Governors of certain states ‘neanderthals’ for their easement of Pandemic restrictions — face masks, social distancing, indoor dining, crowds etc. — which has decimated the United States to the point that swaths of businesses, jobs, homes and lives have been irretrievably lost. Only 20–20 hindsight can give us the answers we need and as the ‘pandemic’ rages on we’re a long way from looking back. We don’t have the data necessary to judge the governments’ response to this pandemic as for the cause of its abject failure to meet the needs of citizenry, but data isn’t necessary to judge the response as a failure. It doesn’t matter whether a tsunami is caused by an earthquake or an underwater nuclear explosion, what matters is what is left in its wake.

So the point here is to suggest that without data, a dearth of critical information, we can’t know whether it is good or bad to ease the pandemic restrictions that has caused such told and untold damage to the people generally and individually.

Let’s talk about the disparagement calling someone a ‘neanderthal’. Joe Biden called the opening of Texas and Mississippi ‘neanderthal thinking’. Which begs a whole lot of questions with some very unflattering answers.

What is ‘neanderthal thinking’ exactly? One supposes the disparaging remark is meant to signify the brunt of the disparagement is a ‘caveman’. We think of hairy stunted humans a long weekend away from ape-hood. Grunts, not words. Lust not love. Human in DNA only. HINO.

And yes, as Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals mated with each other — how much Neanderthal DNA do you have — the primitive cavemen were so much more than their cartoon representation might suggest.

But, using the disparagement in reverse what is more ‘neanderthal’ than carrying a big stick to bludgeon the world into submission which has been the foreign policy of the United States for a century or more? Indeed what is more ‘neanderthal’ than bombing enemies ‘back to the stone age’ which is a popular thought among the ‘smart money’ who rule the world through the for-profit Military Industrial Complex?

What does Joe Biden mean by talking down to people about their neanderthal thinking when there is no data to support the continued lock-down of society, destruction of livelihoods, the usurpation of democratic power, and the marginalization of critical thinking and common sense. What is more ‘neanderthal thinking’ than panicked reaction of fear and loathing born of ignorance, and defended with zeal against a ‘plague’ with a mortality rate of 0.2%?

Do masks and social distancing work to prevent Covid-19? Sure as they would do with influenza and colds. But colds are colds and the flu is the flu, we don’t destroy civilization for them. We let our natural immune systems fight them off and develop therapies for the particularly at-risk. We understand that we are vulnerable to certain naturally occurring germs and malady, and over millennia have developed immunity to various bugs — indeed data suggests that for some reason the majority of people exposed to the ‘novel’ Covid-19 virus have a natural t-cell immune reaction, or not so novel after all. The destruction to society and livelihood was not caused by the pandemic, but the response to it. For Covid-19, the cure was worse than the disease.

It is not ‘neanderthal thinking’ to oppose neanderthal thinking is it? Or perhaps it is. We actually know so little about the extinct human creature. What we do know is that Homo Sapiens displaced them and quite possibly committed them to genocide. Human thinking. Human thinking which has wrought thousands of years of bloodshed in the name of ‘intelligence.’ Human thinking which allows the 1% to prosper at the expense of billions and billions of their own family. Human thinking which says ‘greed is good’ and ‘might is right’. Doesn’t get anymore ‘neanderthal’ than that.

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Gottlieb is a writer/actor/director. He is the author of the novel The Fourth Wall.

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M. A. Gottlieb

M. A. Gottlieb

Gottlieb is a writer/actor/director. He is the author of the novel The Fourth Wall.

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