As the Chinese coronavirus shuts down our economy and locks us in our homes, we are discovering stock boys matter and Hollywood celebrities do not.
Out there in the shit, out there in the danger, out there touching countless surfaces that could be infected, out there working punishing hours for low wages are the people we too often overlook and take for granted — even though they are the ones who keep our world turning.
Away from their families, risking illness, America’s farm workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, and delivery people, are holding together the slender thread that keeps our supply chains moving, and those supply chains are the literal difference between civilization and anarchy.
Meanwhile, here’s how America’s elite, America’s royalty, America’s fabulously wealthy and fawned over are “contributing” during these serious and scary times…
— Madonna (@Madonna) March 20, 2020
Oh, and let’s not forget Sean Penn’s deliberate attempt to spread even more anxiety with his Big Thinks about how Trump will use the coronavirus to “exploit the use of the military in some ways” — and those Big Thinks are so important that the oh-so reputable CNN broadcast them during primetime.
But now is the time to stop for a moment and take a good, long look around… To take in the reality of our situation as it stands right now…
All of America’s performers, all of our stars and celebrities are locked down at home. And other than releasing videos that prove just how unimpressive they are without make-up artists and CGI, that prove how tone deaf they are without that Milli Vanilli Magic, we hardly even remember them.
And most of us, after seeing those videos, sure would like to hardly remember them even more.
Yep, right now we are learning that these people do not matter.
Oh, we treat them like they matter. We sure as hell pay them like they matter … but they don’t.
Listen, no one’s a bigger movie fan than yours truly, and I so appreciate how art contributes to the quality of life. But I also have a little perspective about the world.
If these celebrities want to impress me, instead of producing ear-piercing reflections of their incurable narcissism, why don’t they go bag groceries, or deliver meals to the needy and elderly?
If these hacks really want to be as vital as America’s truckers, as the stock boys working third-shift, as the men collecting our garbage, as the women delivering take out, as the Amazon warehouse workers, as our health care workers and law enforcement, why don’t they put on protective gear and spend their days serving the countless homeless who have been camped in squalor right outside their front doors for years?
After all, as we’re seeing in their videos and tweets, it’s not like America’s Idle Royalty have anything better to do… But instead of doing something useful (while the rest of us still have to earn a living), and as if to prove just how goddamned unnecessary they are, they sit in their million-dollar mansions and ask everyone else to imagine how much better life would be without possessions.
Hey, Gal Gadot, why don’t you stick your pretty head out the window of your Personal Screening Room and ask the homeless encampment within shouting distance about their thoughts on possessions?
You know what, though, in the end, none of this will matter…
Because once this is all over, we all know the stupid American pecking order will return; a pecking order where the working class who took all the risks and did all the dangerous grunt work to keep our civilization civilized, will at best be forgotten and taken for granted again, and at worst return to being the only class of people you can safely ridicule … because Orange Man Bad.
And those in Hollywood, who proved to be the most disposable and annoying people in the history of the world, will return to being celebrated and hailed as “brave” for silly fashion choices and standing up for beliefs that carry no social risk whatsoever.
But at least for now, we are rid of them, and at least for now, we are reminded of how unnecessary they are.
The people who matter in this country, who really matter, who will always matter, are not scribblers like myself, and are certainly not the performers in Hollywood and the news media… No, the men and women who matter are the ones with the most difficult, dirty, thankless, and now dangerous jobs in the world. And they get up and do those jobs every single day…
And in doing them, they hold together our civilization.
God bless them all. We can never thank them enough.