As many are beginning to notice, the number of deaths attributed to the
swine flu in Mexico has been greatly exaggerated. The first
sign that something was amiss should have been the absence of
information on the identities of the deceased. Missing were
the normally present stories on the tragic lives of the
victims. The second sign that something was amiss should have
been the impressively small number of attributed deaths outside of
Mexico. Despite all the hype, we are now finding out that
this strain of swine flu is largely benign. How could such a
small story have enveloped the world and caused global panic?
The only real disaster has been memetic. The virus that
threatens us is not a physical virus, but a memetic virus: the false
rumor of a pandemic.
This false rumor had a start. It began with the Government of
Mexico. The outbreak of a flu no more dangerous than any
other flu was spun into an exaggerated story of biblical
the past weekend, the President Calderón, without consulting
the Mexican Congress, grasped upon this virus and made a decree giving
federal authorities the power to invade homes, quarantine people at
will, and bring the country to a standstill.
His decree was based on a panic intentionally created by the government
itself. Why would Calderón do this?
At this moment, Mexico is in the midst of an existential
crisis. The combined realities of its corrupt government, the
routes of the drug trade, and the neighboring drug market have combined
to give rise to a system of drug cartels that rival the Mexican
Government in economic power as well as raw
firepower. Calderón is losing grip on the
illegal election stole from Lopez Obrador .
This darling of the corrupt Mexican ruling class has little means left
with which to hold his grip upon power. Whether or not it
will work, he seems to have made the decision to exaggerate a health
crisis as a means to consolidate absolute power and to confer upon
himself the powers necessary to stamp out those parts of the drug
oligarchy not under his personal control. Shutting down the
country and gaining access to any and all properties, homes, and
businesses serves this purpose. What will come of this naked
grasp of power it is too soon to know.
Meanwhile, around the world, the "never let a crisis go
unexploited" factions have been having a hay day.
In the United States, the pharmaceutical industries, owned in large
part by friends of the former Bush Regime, are pumping up the media's
drive to scare the hell out of everyone, driving Americans into
hospitals and clinics for an injection of Tamiflu and driving
politicians to call for the immediate stock piling of yet more
Tamiflu. In the Middle East, Islamic Regimes are using the
crisis as an excuse to kill pigs and to point to swine flu as Allah's
wrath upon infidels. Israel, for its part, has been doing its
best to exhibit its ability to control the media by having the name of
the flu changed to something it finds more Kosher:
The Mexican Flu .
Israel has failed to explain how the name "Swine Flu" is any
less offensive as the name "Operation
Cast Lead ."
Racists are having a good time at it as well. Boston's
neo-fascist Jay Severin was
suspended from his job as a radio hate show host for referring to
Mexican immigrants as "criminaliens," "primitives," "leeches," and
"women with mustaches and VD," as well as blaming
these defenseless people for bringing swine flu into the United
States. There seems to be something in panic for everyone.
The only matter left to determine the end of this story is whether or
not Mexico's Calderón will lead the world in a
karaoke rendition of "I started a joke" by the Bee