With shelter-in-place and physical distancing measures for humans extended indefinitely around the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic, statues are celebrating the absence of their fleshy cousins in public places.
Imagine, if you will, an empty town square. A solitary mime stands, within this public space of your imagination, with an expression of unbearable sadness on their face—gesturing to a single teardrop drawn upon their white-painted cheek.
Waiting for a crowd of people that exists only in memory.
As people around the world observe draconian rules of social distancing, millions of starving street artists and live performers around the world are being denied access to those people that acknowledge their performances by awarding them with the crumpled bills and dirty coins in their pockets.
Inevitably, it falls upon forward thinking humanitarians to come up with creative solutions to mitigate the loss of income from their craft. To this, we must ask the question:
Should we enlist mimes, as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, to fashion physical distancing barriers in the air to protect us from people that refuse to obey the invisible defensive perimeters around our bodies?
I submit an unequivocal yes; and these are the reasons why I think mimes can serve a useful function in the larger world outside our sheltered bubbles of social isolation:
Even though mimes are notoriously misunderstood attention seekers that actively try to draw a crowd, they are also masters of building invisible and impenetrable walls in the air that encourage distancing.
Also, mimes are low-risk as transmitters of viruses because they do not speak and, therefore, they do not emit virus-infused micro-droplets from their mouths.
Mimes are very affordable and will not burden tax paying citizens. Furthermore, they can survive on just a few coins tossed into their hats; all the food they need is created out of thin air, so they can subsist solely on coffee and applause. They also provide their own natural face masks.
These are just a handful of reasons why I think that failing to make use of this valuable resource is absolute folly.
For, as we all know—a mime is a terrible thing to waste.
Rocker Tommy Tutone, a 20th century singer who famously sang a pop song about a girl named Jenny Jenny that played incessantly over the airwaves in America and abroad after it was released in 1981, has finally apologized to the woman he infamously doxxed in the early eighties by revealing her phone number to the world back in the olden days before the Internet existed.
Tutone (shown above left with his psychotherapist) admitted that he “may have been a bit of a stalker back in the day” and further admits that he “probably acted inappropriately” with a girl with whom he “had a schoolboy crush on.”
After releasing the hit single inspired by a phone number scrawled on the wall of a men’s room in a cheap bar, the pop star released a video on Music Television, a fledgling new television network which had also launched the career of a new wave band called The Buggles.
“I’ve paid my debt to society,” Tutone says, speaking to me via Skype from the penitentiary where he’s been serving time since he was caught by police, crouching by the window outside of Jenny Jenny’s house and spying on her while she was entertaining another gentleman.
“I can’t wait to get out of prison and show Jenny Jenny I’m a changed man.”
Tutone is up for parole this week and he’s confident he’ll be released by Valentine’s Day of this year. Tommy told me he “planned to rush straight over to her new house with flowers and chocolate.”
I reminded him that he’d gotten rich ruining the reputation of an innocent woman by telling strangers “for a good time call 867-5309” and it wouldn’t be prudent to just show up at her front door.
“Oh, I’ve learned my lesson,” he assured me “and I know it’s maybe not cool to just drop by unannounced, but, hey man, I’ve tried and tried calling her at least a hundred times and it’s weird—I think she might have disconnected her number.”
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When American President Donald Trump announced plans for a Mars mission during his first term I contacted the Martian ambassador to Earth to ask his opinion of the timeline.
“We weren’t expecting you people to visit Mars for at least fifteen years,” the ambassador says via Skype from his space ship in orbit around Earth, clearly annoyed and flustered. “We’re not ready.”
His fellow crew members—a pilot and anthropologist—nod their heads in agreement.
“We can’t yet protect ourselves from your viruses,” says the anthropologist. “And we’re just learning about the effects of Martian viruses and microorganisms on human physiology.”
“We also haven’t received the funding that your leader promised us for the construction of his 200-storey luxury hotel in our capital city,” the pilot adds.
“He’s joking,” the anthropologist says. “Earth people are presently much too xenophobic for a successful first contact. Also, we build our cities underground.”
I ask if they were monitoring the conversation Trump had with astronaut Peggy Whitson earlier this year while she was aboard the International Space Station.
“Actually, we heard about Trump’s plan while listening to NPR over the radio,” the ambassador replies. “My crew prepared a skit for the folks back home. Do you want to see it?”
I nod and the pilot’s skin begins to turn orange as he shapeshifts into a perfect doppelgänger of the current American president.
“Tell me, when are we gonna go to Mars?”
The pilot has expertly nailed an imitation of Alec Baldwin imitating Donald Trump. The anthropologist sighs in the guise of Dr. Whitson.
“You already approved a timeline for the mission to safely launch in 2033.”
“Well, we want to try and do it during my first term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, okay?”
“But, what about the construction of your golf course on the sun?”
“We’ll be doing that at night so nobody gets burned.”
The two Martians shift back to their natural forms and high-six each other while laughing hysterically.
When President Cheeto Benito, The Great White Dope of American nationalists, spoke at the United Nations this week, there was a moment when he turned to the African leaders in the room and said: “In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak.”
True enough. Three and half years ago there was an Ebola epidemic that infected over 25,000 people and killed more than 10,000 in nine African countries. The official declaration of the epidemic came from Guinea in March of 2014 and Nigeria was one of the countries infected. The worst of the devastation was in Sierra Leone and Liberia—and the general consensus among Africans and African supporters abroad was that the response came too little and too late.
And then The Mango Mussolini continued his address to the African contingent with this line of faint praise: “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.” Wait. What?
Did he mean the uranium-rich country of Namibia, located just north of South Africa and circled by Botswana, Zambia, and Angola? If Trump meant to say Namibia, he was probably getting his intel about their health care system from UNICEF, which states that:
“The Namibian government has made significant efforts to address HIV and AIDS, malaria and communicable diseases. Official estimates put per capita health expenditure at $108 in 2010, with significant private and donor spending topping up public health expenditures.”
I’m trying to imagine the thoughts that must have swept through the mind of Hage Geingob, the president of Nambia—I mean, Namibia—as his African compatriots in the room glanced his way to gauge his reaction. Was he preparing himself for the inevitable spotlight that would fall on him and his country in the days following the latest gaffe by President Business?
Unless, maybe—oh, please let it be so—maybe there actually is a Nambia, a plucky little African nation in the universe next door, that has spilled into our consensus reality.
If so, I’ll bet they have great uranium flavored covfefe.
Genre: Reality TV.
Premieres: January 20th, 2017 on ATN (American Television Network).
Premise: An arrogant and narcissistic bully with thinning hair resembling a corn husk and skin the color of orange marmalade capitalizes on his wealth and privilege to buy the American election and becomes President of the United States.
Review: Donald Trump is the epitome of an ugly American—the sort of brash and aggressive vulgarian that leers at the ladies and laughs at his own sexist jokes. A vain, wealthy, privileged, and self-serving man, this Great White Dope of American nationalism seems to be willfully ignorant about the most basic issues a presidential candidate needs to know in order to meaningfully engage in politics. As such, he’s an easy target for too-clever liberals and he’s relentlessly mocked by television talk show hosts like Colbert, Noah, Maher, and Oliver.
And yet, the mockery is appropriate because Trump embodies Martin Luther King’s warning that “nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” He’s a clear and present danger to the world because of his delusion that he possesses the knowledge and intelligence to lead his country.
Meanwhile, we’ve gleefully anointed our new King of Crass, smearing him with a myriad of derogatory names and crowning this Crotch-Fondling Adolf Twitler as the very model of a modern Groepenführer in livid colors of orange supremacy, highlighting his propensity for playing the part of a petty peacock proudly proclaiming his pussy grabbing prowess.
But some of us are complicit in the making and packaging of this low-brow tragicomic political figure of banality and terror—from the media that redundantly remixes and regurgitates the fetid exhalations that issue from his mouth to every person that shares those pieces (disguised as resistance) via the social media landscape. And, if the media is Dr. Frankenstein in this horror show then we are Frankenstein’s hunchbacked servant, co-creating a monsterous slab of rancid meatloaf masquerading as man of the people.
Welcome to the Trumpocalypse.
Cover image used with the permission of the artist, Peter Crompton.