I once read that the original formation of life required an almost inconceivable concatenation of events. How fitting then the symmetry in how ours would come to end.
Like the first Ebola patient infected on American soil, the second was in Dallas. So was the third and forth. In each instance, the government issued comforting palliatives of decreasing public effect. The fifth case was in Atlanta. We didn’t hear many pleasant lies after that. From there the proliferation seemed stately, unhurried, almost a disease moving at leisure. A few weeks after Atlanta in Chicago, New York in a month, LA 20 days later. And then an eerie retreat from the news cycle. Almost like a demon rendered hoi polloi through familiarity. Its novelty dissolved, though not its potency. How chaffed must this serpentine virus have been to ignominiously occupy the back pages while still in the virility of its youth.
Yet how much click-bait was there to be dangled reporting on quarantine efforts in big block states? The DC-NYC corridor was vaguely aware of places like Topeka, though most were keen to maintain a strictly platonic relationship with whoever it was that lived there. The Ebola trajectory was still obviously tracked and reported, but the vigor of public hysteria wilted into something approaching resignation. Deaths were tabulated and reported without media frenzy, like traffic fatalities. A no-longer swank task better delegated to the hicks in local news.
But in fairness, the cabinet of current events was growing rather robust.
And though coverage seemed to wane inversely to its proliferation, Ebola’s impact was thorough. While it failed to reach the communicability metrics required to achieve plague-like stature among its pathogen peers, it still forged new mindsets and behaviors. It became rather like an asexual AIDS (though as some unfortunates would come to learn, sex was just as valid a vector). But there was no AZT. No reverse transcriptease inhibitors. There was only an excruciating illness in a segregated hospital ward with no visitors. One emerged from the facility through either a decontamination portal in the front or in a containment capsule in the back. The former to be received by joyous family, the latter by a crematorium.
And while fresh souls weren’t provided by the millions, they were by the tens of thousands. And the effects were egregiously suffered by that most sensitive Soul of all, The Economy. American Airlines was the first carrier to declare bankruptcy (again). Though this time, the board of that company eschewed customary reorganization, and simply, shockingly…liquidated. The few remaining routes that were profitable were sold, and the rest just ceased. Some 50,000 people found themselves within the government’s laughably cooked unemployment statistics. It was difficult to fault the decision. No one wanted to fly large public airlines anymore. Teleconferencing worked well enough, and the beach was a fairly safe drive for vacation.
Brick and mortar retailers were crushed. Those heavily leveraged just shut the doors without a fight. Malls became insect sanctuaries. Equity investors lost everything. Debt holders squabbled in the courts like starving vultures. Few left the skirmishes full. Ironically, it wasn’t all bad for business. People still wanted food, trinkets, and diversions. Those business models premised on home delivery flourished. As did the quacks and charlatans billing Medicaid for immigrant services. There were a great many more of those. Sufferers around the globe flocked to western medicine; the fear of oppression from dwindling white majorities seeming to offer little viscosity to the movement.
And as Ebola took its harsh economic toll, the stock market slide that began after the summer 2014 crest suddenly became a rout. Years of bullish lassitude evaporated in weeks of fear. Without the tailwind of federal reserve money printing panicked sellers swamped those few buyers hoping to pick “bargains.” Venture capital ceased. Start-ups shuttered. Mass lay-offs began–this time unaccompanied by appeals for foreign workers. Perspectives were bleak. But those were the good-old-days, alas.
Because one dreary Wednesday a very large Treasury sell order passed a trader’s desk. And then another. And then, as the youths are prone to say…the shit got real. China, along with its pacified Hong Kong province, and Russia put their US Treasury inventories up for sale. Everything. Approximately a trillion and a half. There was obviously no capable buyer and interest rates spiked instantly in search of a bid. The bear market in equities turned vertical. The federal reserve called an emergency meeting to commence immediate QE (Operation Monetary MOAB) money printing. Have you ever seen $trillion? You would on that day as the FRB began open market purchasing to vacuum up the lake of American debt now drowning world markets. The dollar began to slide immediately. Housing starts in America fell dead as if from a gunshot. One week later Big Macs cost $1 more. Gas was $6/gallon. It didn’t stop there.
And as fates sometimes collude, Ebola and The Economy were’t the only seams unraveling in multi-cult America. The Ferguson protests persisted as a chronic boil. Two more police had been wounded; one mortally. He passed from Earth taking an
UNARMED! heavily armed black criminal with him. Politicians and the media mourned only the latter. And as options were fondled amidst increasing dysfunction, a civilizational path was chosen: retreat. White officers were simply relieved of duty, or reassigned to other jurisdictions. Few were replaced. The town was simply, quietly ceded to its occupants. Ferguson now enjoyed the sovereign chaos it had demanded. As for the whites stranded in the evacuation, most were not subtlety offered the choice so common in tribal conflict: the suitcase or the coffin. And since losing a life’s savings is less than losing a life, they chose the former. And only a generation after being 3/4 white, Ferguson’s ethnic cleansing was complete.
Would that have been that. But it was not. For having established new precedent, and with the media’s encouragement, Fergusons began to emerge from quarantine in parallel with Ebola. New instances occurring each time a youth lost his gun battle with police. Always unarmed, always a good kid, always the same sententious editorials and rhyming reverends demanding more white money and fewer white people. The model persisted because the model worked.
And then the Zebra killings started. Of course the first few dozen were reported as “random violence” and “robberies gone wrong.” A yeoman’s effort at subterfuge. But other scenes were decorated with unmistakable messages of intent. Urban whites began to panic. A near century of “racist” seeming to lose its bite overnight. Sentiments thought extinct began reemerging into open discourse. The acres of multi-racial corporate cube farms became shrouded in sullen silence. Occupants feared for their jobs, their health, and the safety of their families. Of course they also feared publicizing the fury that was so rapidly displacing their facade of tolerance.
And friction was hardly an issue of mere black and white in America 2.0. Arabs, Somalis, Asians, and the various shades of hispanics began to consolidate control over their own burgeoning colonies. Diversity found itself decidedly not on the right side of history, as boundaries were drawn and robustly enforced. Washington became a place very far away. Distrust, disease, violence, and poverty were its fruit. It seems in the end Yeats had been correct: the center could not hold.
And that was how it began.