Article Image

IPFS News Link • Media: Radio

Clean vs. Dirty: A Way to Understand Everything

•, BY Jeffrey A. Tucker

It felt like a gentle ooze of news that always came to the proper conclusion at the end of the well-produced bit. 

By proper, I hope you know what I mean. It confirmed the listeners' biases. And everyone knows who they are: wealthy, mostly white professionals in urban centers with high-end salaries to match their educational credentials. Probably 90 percent Biden voters last time and next time, not because he is a great president but rather because he inherits the anti-deplorable mantle of his predecessor nominee. 

NPR was raising money on that particular day, which they do despite the taxpayer subsidies. If you give money, you can get an NPR umbrella or be given a bit of nature trail to adopt or perhaps acquire a coffee mug for your desk to proclaim your loyalties to your co-workers or just reinforce your opinions while eating your breakfast of Whole Foods granola and soy milk. 

The experience happened even as I'm reading, with great joy, Fear of a Microbial Planet by Steve Templeton. The book is about the ubiquity of germs, trillions of them everywhere. They can be a threat but they are mostly our friends. 

Exposure, his thesis goes, is the path to health. Without it we will die. And yet, over the last three years, avoiding exposure has been the main goal of policy and culture throughout the world. "Stop the spread" or "Slow the spread" or "Socially distance" or "Stay home, stay safe" have been entrenched as slogans to govern our lives. 

The phrases still have gravitas. It has been a maniacal fixation on a single pathogen to the exclusion of trillions of others that are truly everywhere in us and around us. It is like going back before the invention of the microscope when we didn't know that every surface of everything is covered in creepy crawling things. We further indulge the completely unscientific fantasy that by doing some hopping-around dance to avoid others, plus covering our face and getting a shot, would keep us forever clean, meaning free of the bad pathogen.