This morning I read a horrifying story about an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing cult uh I mean group) that had a deadly covid super-spreader event in Las Vegas and lived to brag about it.
(P.S If you don’t have Instagram and want to go in a deep-dive, this Youtuber made a video about it.)
Even though indoor mask mandates were in place in the viral hotspot of Nevada, participants of a god-awful jewelry Gestapo called Paparazzi Accessories (which, fun fact: apparently sell items that contain arsenic, antimony, cadmium, and more cancer-causing materials—fun!) flooded in the thousands to a conference sans-protections and took numerous selfies in jam-packed, sweaty conference rooms showing nothing but their smiles.
Spoiler alert! Dozens of people came home from the Shit Jewelry Inc. conference sick, scores of others took flights while knowingly having 105-degree temperatures (AND took even more selfies and videos on the planes with their masks off—neat!), and now ten human lives (and counting) are over.
If that weren’t Big Time The Worst™ enough, Paparazzi Accessories are telling their cult members uh I mean consultants to NOT tell others they have covid, to keep it on the hush and hush, and to avoid talking about getting it at the conference.
Annnnnnnnnnnd several consultants I mean terrible people have bragged about CONTINUING TO SEND OUT PRODUCT TO CONSUMERS WHILE SICK
Annnnnnnd, lastly, Paparazzi “Boss Babes” in the heights of their manic MLM feverdream are saying that the aftermath of the super-spreader event (y’know, with silly things like devastating sickness, infected family members and potentially countless strangers, and human death) was “totally worth it.”
I..I need to lie down.
I need to disassociate and go to the Secret Garden in my mind where only birds sing and roses bloom.
Look, humankind: I get that this is hard and we want to continue life as usual, but….like…ending the existence of a handful of humans on this mortal coil so you can dance with glowsticks in a Nevada conference room to “Celebrate Good Times” shouldn’t be “worth it” to you.
That makes you a bad person. This isn’t even the Trolly Problem of killing one person to save 5 others. You are literally killing ten people so you can take a brainwashing vacation to the desert where a company that doesn’t care about you encourages you to remain oblivious to pesky things like epidemiology and public health so that you’ll continue to put your (and the world’s) safety at risk in order to sell crappy-ass jewelry to bored suburban house moms in existential crisis.
This past weekend my cousins came to town to visit for a day and I made muffins and the recipe called for a ridiculous amount of crumble. You know, the butter and sugar that goes on top that makes the muffin all crumbly? Yeah, God knows why but this recipe gave measurements that provided me a culinary outcome of 8 blueberry muffins and one metric ton of crumble topping.
Then my cousin-in-law, Elise, said “I love crumble! Can you just make an entire muffin of crumble?”
So we did. (It got a bit burnt. But it was delicious.)
Later, after we talked about a dozen issues from politics to family dynamics to jobs to mental health, we somehow landed on the (aforementioned) Trolly Problem in a conversation about how thinking can be good, but sometimes overthinking just doesn’t do anything but be distracting and self-indulgent.
Sure, it is necessary to ponder critically, but if all our philosophizing doesn’t lead to self-reflection or action, or it just makes us feel sad on the reg, it’s just sort of, well, either selfish or self-punishing.
“I’m tired of philosophy. Plato has been wasting our time for YEARS,” Elise said, and we all laughed.
But, truly? I think the real Trolly Problem is that the people who should be thinking about the Trolly Problem aren’t unconcerned about thinking about things like the Trolly Problem, and the people thinking about the Trolly Problem are already too worried and anxious and probably don’t need to think about the Trolly Problem.
I don’t have a final, really strong takeaway for this ANNIEGRAM. All I can say is, if you’re not worried about how your actions affect others, maybe get a bit worried. And if you’re already sufficiently worried and feeling anxious 24/7, Ignore Plato and eat some crumble.
THREE GOOD THINGS
I made jam for the 3rd summer in a row and for the first time I wasn’t stressed!
Kevin James Thornton’s videos about growing up in a super conservative fundamentalist Christian town have been cracking me up (Please check out “Altar Call,” it’s so good.)