Bonus outrage hot take
What does will Smith have to do with bad Covid policy?
So what’s the connection between Will Smith, Chris Rock, and the prevailing Covid narrative? Fake outrage. All of the carrying on about an open handed slap at the Oscar’s reminded me of the hand wringing and pearl clutching we saw at the two year anniversary of the Covid pandemic.
Actual respected global health experts were saying things like, “I never dreamed that governments would choose business interests over human lives.” “I never thought they’d ignore all public health advice.”
Do you actually believe that prattle? I mean, really. Everyone in global health either lived through or studied the HIV epidemic. We have no goddamned business being surprised by government indifference, intransigence, or incompetence.
I think we say that nonsense so we’ll sound like the good guys. To differentiate ourselves from the uncaring masses. We’re not uncaring, we’re shocked and heartbroken!!1!
But you know, we can be raging and heartbroken without being shocked. We can be miserable and devastated that it played out like everyone's worst fear.
And we don’t need to pretend that seeing one grown adult slap another was the worst act of violence we’ve ever seen. I grew up in the 80s. I had friends who were routinely hit by a parent worse than what Chris Rock took. It’s not okay. It’s definitely not okay. It’s not the way a healthy person behaves and it’s not something a healthy society should allow.
But again, it’s not shocking. People do lousy violent things to each other. Governments betray their citizens, adults hurt each other. Poor people and disabled people and people with darker skin bear the brunt of global inequality. Why do we pretend to be surprised when this happens? Can’t we just be really angry that it’s happening again?
It’s horrible. It’s not surprising.