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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are [Bumped]

[Note: Written and published two hours before President Trump opened his press conference by saying: “But through the darkness, we can see those rays of light; we see that tunnel and at the end of that tunnel we see that light.”]

It’s time for somebody to turn on the light at the end of the tunnel because I have had it up to here with “the inside.”

I have struggled to maintain my composure and my facade of good cheer when I am working out in The Yard of the Federal/State exercise program in our self-imposed and, so far, consensual prison. But if California is letting felons out of prison so that they can spread their prison viruses and criminal behavior among us while at the same time checking the homeless into free in fancy hotels, then I need to bust out of this jail if only to stock up on some torches and pitchforks.

I’m not alone.

One of the reasons I did fairly well with magazine and book publishing is that I have always had a good feel for the mood of the American mob. This morning I can feel several hundred million Americans getting fed up to here with this current clown show.

You can feel it too, can’t you? Not your own personal disgust at the revolting developments of the last couple of months, but the disgust of us all. This game of National Hide and Seek Keep Away has gone on long enough and we are ready to hear somebody shout out, “Olly olly oxen free!” If that call doesn’t come very soon we’ll simply come out come out wherever we are in a kind of spontaneous eruption of non-violent (but easily upgraded to violent) flaunting of the law that will dwarf that of all the Civil Rights, Anti-War, Trump Rallies, and Super Bowl Sunday crowds put together.

I’m an old curmudgeon whose whole life before the national self-quarantine was, well, personal self-quarantine, but I still miss people. In this town I don’t know anybody well enough to hang out with them, but I still miss people. I miss wandering into a restaurant and I miss sitting at a bar and watching the populace of this town, from working class to white-collar, out and about and, well, happy. That’s what we had as recently as February; a nation where almost all our people were working, prospering, and — at long last — happy.

Then our happy world was carpet-bombed by a biological “event” which, weaponized or not, was born in China and carried into our land by lax vetting, loose borders, and the desire to save a couple of bucks on cheap crapola and essential medicines. Fine. We’ve known this for years and now we pay the price as all our “savings” by having our crap produced by the slaves of the Chinese Communist Party are drained away into the black hole of trillions in “stimulus” dollars.

The CCP was the Piper and now we have paid. OK, fine. Deal with the CCP later but for now we are more than paid in full. Time to file those bills and get out of the house and into the States United. It’s time to plan those picnics in the park, the grilling of hot dogs and hamburgers, the return of sports and all those small moments that make up a land of happy and prosperous people.

I know the risks. I know that at 73 I could quite well be taken by this CCP monster. I would hate for that to happen since the irony of this bit of writing would intensify even if I am not around to regret it. But I’ve seen and been involved in moments when the prediction of the future brings only sodden embarrassment as my mistaken visions were shown to be false shabby and stupid. I am resigned and inured to that irony. It bothers me not one whit — although dying from the Commie Flu would. That said I also acknowledge that we are all hostages to fortune in every instant from our fortunate birth to our unfortunate demise.

That said I would just, on the day of my supposed death, be just part of a statistic although I would be a death I would not celebrate. I might be taken off but I wouldn’t want to leave. I would still want to be around, once more, people. Not anyone specific mind you but just the normal shoulder brushing, the “Excuse me. Thank you.” of gatherings of crowds or choirs or congregations.

I’ve had it with the inside.

I need to go outside.

I need to go outside with everybody else.

I need it and you need it whether you know it or not.

I’m the last person on earth to admire Barbra Streisand, but on one thing we agree, “People. People who need people…”

The great part of being in self-quarantine is that you don’t have to look your best.

The great thing about breaking out of self-quarantine is you do have to look your best.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are….”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Venlet April 14, 2020, 1:25 PM

    Claire Wolfe once wrote:

    America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we’ve gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent.

    It might be time to come out of that awkward stage.

  • Casey Klahn April 14, 2020, 1:47 PM

    Interesting. I validate your urge to re-enter.

    My friend’s son is on the navy ship in LA with all of the hospital beds (name withheld). He reports too many virus cases on board. OK. I get that. Here’s the part that fries me no end. LA is using the ship for low income and homeless care. These would be the homeless that LA has home grown; their end-product of seamless social monkey-wrenching.

    I say let LA have their fukn homeless and leave the United States Navy the fuckoutofit.

    Perhaps it’s better if I keep to my hovel.

  • ghostsniper April 14, 2020, 1:49 PM

    I haven’t seen any compelling evidence at all that this virus deal was anything but complete fabricated fiction. I still do not have any direct knowledge of anyone inflicted with this fictional fabrication.

    Since a virus cannot be seen with the human eye it must be verified by a trustworthy entity, and speaking only for myself, that leaves out ALL gov’t employees and it’s subcontractors, and associates. IOW, after 65 years of lying to me 1000’s of times, there is absolutely NOTHING this rotten assed gov’t can ever do or say to convince me it isn’t lying again. From Trump down to the dog catcher, they are all lying bastards. fuk em ded

  • KC April 14, 2020, 2:06 PM

    Another part of this frustration is we don’t like being told “no.” We have been told no social life, no work, no Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Remember DeBalsio said he would ban churches forever. Look at the gestapo tactics used on the churches Easter Sunday. Arresting pastors, taking down attendee license plate numbers. This all is a communist dream come true.

  • tscottme April 14, 2020, 2:12 PM

    I’m so old I remember when Americans had the right to assemble.
    I guess now we have the right to assemble Ikea furniture.

  • PA Cat April 14, 2020, 2:13 PM

    This game of National Hide and Seek Keep Away has gone on long enough and we are ready to hear somebody shout out, “Olly olly oxen free!”

    Reminded me of the Kingston Trio’s 1963 version of that song (yes, I’m that old):

    Meanwhile, I hope your feline editor noted that you want us-folks to flout the decrees imposed by our mayors and governors. It’s them-folks who are flaunting their authority.

  • Rick April 14, 2020, 2:19 PM

    Couldn’t agree more. I think we’ve been sold a bill of goods. I don’t believe that social distancing could have reduced the mortality rate from millions down to the thousands. I don’t doubt CV exists but I think it’s less than flu. Based on American figure you can extrapolate that China should have 25, 000,000 cases and 2,500,000 deaths which apparently they don’t.

  • Kristi Seibert April 14, 2020, 3:45 PM

    Aaah, not the Wizard of Oz! Always a little freaked out by that movie.

    Has everyone seen the clip of a surf runner escaping the beach police? Mr. Vanderleun, I’d like you to embed the song from the Dave Clarke Five, “Catch Us If You Can”, and let’s use that as a theme song.

  • Vanderleun April 14, 2020, 4:04 PM

    Kristi : You ask. You get on this lazy self-quarantined afternoon.

  • Rob De Witt April 14, 2020, 4:08 PM

    And by the way, you’re 74; I’ll be 75 on Saturday 4/18.

  • Terry April 14, 2020, 4:55 PM

    I am not dead from or even showing any signs of the deep state/chinaman virus. And, I turned 75 on 4/5. However, I deeply despise any government that shuts down my free choice of doing anything. In my life I have never been so upset with the total sh*t pile of .gov incompetence that is now surfaced for all to see. Pathetic.

  • Charles Harrell April 14, 2020, 5:11 PM

    You guys are running late. June 4th will see 80 fun-filled years gone by for me.

  • Teri Pittman April 14, 2020, 5:31 PM

    I was willing to give them a couple of weeks to “flatten the curve”. And that seemed to help. They came up with some meds to fight it. They got equipment and people in place. Then they moved the goal posts. Now they wanted us to shelter in place until they come up with a vaccine. And seemingly have no clue what that would mean in people’s lives.

    While I am grateful to be able to mourn for my husband, and was already working from home, I’m tired of seeing lives destroyed. I think it’s gone about as far as people are willing to go and it’s time to open it back up.

  • Kristi Seibert April 14, 2020, 6:26 PM

    Thank you! Sometimes,as ye shall ask…

    And to quote from the D.C.x5, “When we’re feeling angry, we will shout with all of our might, Catch Us If You Can.” Don’t they make you think of an American version of the Beatles? Love, love that song.

  • jwm April 14, 2020, 7:04 PM

    This was the first warm sunny day in a few weeks here in So Cal. I went out riding three times today, and I just got back from an early evening cruise on the 1950 Schwinn. Lots of folks are out walking and biking the neighborhood with their kids, and dogs. Almost no masks. The number of masks seems to be a barometer of sanity, or maybe an indicator of how much TV people watch. When I see someone all masked up alone in a car with the windows rolled tight I figure it’s someone who swallows the TV party line. The same with the folks alone on the street, and all masked without any other person within a hundred yards of any direction.
    I contrast this with the local FB page from the town next door to me. There it seems to be a contest to see who can follow the rules the most, and who can tattle on their neighbor, a local business, or just “some guy they saw” who was all not following what the TV told them. “Do what you’re told” seems to be the meme of choice. On the local Next Door I see people advising their neighbors to watch more news so they know what’s going on. It occurs to me that very very few people read anymore. The worthless LA Times looks like a small town throw-away. I don’t see many newspaper stands in front of stores anymore either. Desktop internet is an old fart’s pastime. Most seem to jump from spending their day with their faces shoved into the phone, to vegetating in front of the network feed.


  • rabbit tobacco April 14, 2020, 8:10 PM

    basic zen question:If you do not
    get it from yourself, where will
    you go for it?

  • Susan in Seattle April 14, 2020, 9:30 PM

    Today is my birthday. Thank you for this gift.

  • captflee April 14, 2020, 9:35 PM

    So, displayed my accustomed acumen in choosing as my first venture off my patch of dirt in two weeks a visit to Costco during senior citizen shopping hour, then recalled that the store’s demographics slew Methuselah-ish upon pulling in and observing a robust trade ongoing, I should have slept in and arrived later, after the madding crowd, when one could stroll right in.

    That crowd was better than 50% masked up, with a goodly subset of that gloved. With my wife’s health issues, even a plain vanilla flu might well suffice to end her run, I don’t get to be too cavalier, so I was rocking an N-100 respirator (Trend Stealth, 5 Stars!) which in happier times I wear when butchering wood, and doubled gloves. That get up drew concerned looks back in March. Not today. Every once in a while I would like to be able to tune in on the brainwaves of my fellow citizens, but knowing might well worry me much more, so let’s go with the ignorance is bliss deal for now. It was a compliant bunch.

    Inklings of discontent up to the State Capital, I hear. Folks protesting in a socially distanced manner for the resumption of business were tolerated for a while, then ordered to disperse, with one eventually arrested. TPTB were certainly arguing with a certain rotundity of logic: “Protesting is a non-essential activity.” And to think that our glorious Tar Heel forebears strove so mightily to obtain that Bill of Rights. And the ratchet locks another notch of freedoms lost, not all of which might be returned.

  • Nori April 14, 2020, 10:02 PM

    Your exposition is balm for the weary and hidden soul,Mr.V.

    May I be so bold as to request another theme song?
    The Band’s delightful Johan Sebastian Bach-ish tune, Chest Fever.

  • Matt Bracken April 15, 2020, 4:59 AM

    Where do you live that you are forced to remain inside?
    I miss going to my favorite restaurants too, we all do.
    But that’s not the same as being forced to remain inside.
    We are not the UK or Manhattan, not where I live. (NE Florida)
    AFAIK, you are free to go out walking, biking, or anything else you like.
    Please let us know if the police will fine or arrest you for going outside for a walk.
    If that is literally the case, then I apologize.

  • DWEEZIL THE WEASEL April 15, 2020, 5:29 AM

    Here in Winterfell(aka: North Idaho/Rawles Land) folks are out walking their dogs and playing golf. Kids are out riding their bikes. Plenty of folks in the stores are NOT wearing masks. The Kootenai-Bonner-Benewah Counties are covered by the Panhandle Health District which is reporting about 30 cases but no deaths yet. True to form, these self-serving bureaucrats will not say WHERE these patients acquired their COVID-19 illness. When the first cases were reported, the reference was made that the patients: “…picked them up while travelling.”
    Idahoans will continue to submit to the dictates of the Grinning Idiot Governor and his Dead Elephant Party minions for a little while longer. After the economic tipping point is reached, the statists in Boise will have to loosen things up. The state is losing substantial sales tax revenue. And, to their credit, all of the Orcs and Orcettes did not bust anybody over Easter Sunday for public worship. That is what I like about this state. We’re white, polite, and armed to the teeth. Bleib ubrig.

  • Snakepit Kansas April 15, 2020, 5:30 AM

    I’m in my mid-fifties. I’m just a child here! My wife’s Pekanese is normally a very social dog and loves being around us. After being in the house with the four of us non-stop for four weeks he has gotten to where he goes and hides from time to time.

  • leelu April 15, 2020, 6:23 AM

    The customers at the market where I work seem crankier than they were a couple of weeks ago.

  • John The River April 15, 2020, 6:44 AM

    This is fun, quarantined at home and a windstorm comes along and takes out the Comcast cable; label this two days later.

  • Vanderleun April 15, 2020, 7:17 AM

    Sending out this version of The Band’s Chest Fever to Nori:

  • TwoBuckChuck April 15, 2020, 8:00 AM

    We live right in the heart of Covid country, a nearby suburb of NYC. Despite the scarifying numbers being reported from hereabouts, there is no curfew, no roadblocks, plenty of people out walking, biking, jogging. The relatively sparse traffic is nice, the closed shops and restaurants not so much. There are masks to be seen, but not on everyone by any means. I’m in my 5th week of work-from-home while the Mrs. (an RN) has no choice but to step into the front lines, 12 hours a day, day after day.

    Our kids bolted from NY a few years ago, landing in the Southwest, and boy, are they ever glad they did. Its still marginally sane where they are, but no place in the country is completely immune from the hysteria, it seems. We had no choice but to cancel plans to visit for Easter, not due to fears of catching the virus on a plane but because as New Yorkers, we are viewed as walking plague carriers by the rest of the world.

  • Wait Here Comrade April 15, 2020, 8:08 AM

    In questions of science, the authority
    of a thousand is not worth the humble
    reasoning of a single individual.
    – Galileo Galilei

  • CC April 15, 2020, 8:10 AM

    “US death tool passes Italy!!!”
    US pop. 331 million.
    Italy about 60 million.
    With more 5 times the population, it would be at least statistically improbable, if not impossible. for the US to end up with fewer cases than Italy.
    There are no math classes involved in a journalism degree, are there?

  • tim April 15, 2020, 8:49 AM

    What if we all just stopped complying? I mean, for the vast majority of us, this stay at home is voluntary with little or no repercussions. I’ve yet to see the National Guard barricades, etc. We are the ones who either decide to quarantine or not. What if we all just…said ENOUGH!?

    I realize everyone’s mileage my very but we hold the key to what happens not only in our own homes but outside of it as well. We do have these things called…what were they again…oh yea, RIGHTS!

    What if you, and your co-workers, contacted/emailed or constantly brought up in your virtual meetings to your supervisor/higher up/boss that you ALL want to get back to work? And what if your boss contacted your customers to let them know you’ll be open for business? And on and on…I realize it’s not as simple as that…or maybe it could be. Is it not worth an effort? No? Then go back to watching the Gay Tiger jackwagon.

    What are “they” gonn’a do, arrest/fine, give a stern warning to us all? How about we ignore “them”? They work for us, or did you forget that?

    Maybe we could have a dry run, sort of a sign of solidarity, something like everyone at 5 PM Eastern this Friday just step outside, go for car ride, something, anything to show that we’re ALL freakin’ done. I dunn’o, spit balling here…my two cents..

  • Chris April 15, 2020, 8:54 AM

    We’re all Branch Covidians now

  • Sam L. April 15, 2020, 9:25 AM

    My disgust is with the Dems and their media lap-dogs. Or, is it the media and their Dem lap-dogs?
    Whichever, they’re in cahoots.

  • Harry April 15, 2020, 9:48 AM

    This will be followed by the new Bill of Right: You have the right to do as you’re told.

  • Anne April 15, 2020, 10:10 AM

    We live next to a river. Have seen several blow up rubber boats with three or four guys in them–fishing, and sitting very close to one another (2 feet).

  • Uncle Jefe April 15, 2020, 10:51 AM

    Here in Sonoma County, mask wearing (not really “masks”, our new pandemic coordinator Dr Sundari Mase from the WHO actually says scarves or bandannas) is mandatory as of this Friday.
    This smacks a whole lot more of power than public health…
    “After seeing people were not adhering to her recommendation two weeks ago, Sonoma County’s top public health official on Monday made clear everyone must wear a face covering starting Friday.”
    “Asked if she had the authority, for example, to continue her stay-home order even if Newsom lifted the statewide directive, Mase said: “Yeah, absolutely,”
    Sounds to me like the peons pissed her off, and now she’s going to make them pay.

  • James ONeil April 15, 2020, 11:59 AM

    OK Gerard and you other young whippersnappers, at 81 I still remember what my momma taught me about how to wash my hands and I know enough to give rabid dogs a wide berth.

    I rather suspect you callow youths in your 60s and 70s are in pretty much the same position. The whole idea of stopping the world to protect at us poor risk (old farts, compromised immune systems, etc.) folks, was rather stupid to say the least.

    We can protect ourselves and yep, we’re still gonna die, but the idea of giving up living to keep from dying ranks up there with the top 5 stupidities of this day and age, right along with voting democrat.

    So yes, hell yes, get the world moving again and let everybody that wants to, get back on!

  • Skorpion April 15, 2020, 12:12 PM

    @Uncle Jefe:

    “Sundari Mase.”
    There is NOTHING on Earth as self-righteously spiteful and addicted to control, as a South Asian-American woman with a graduate degree.

  • captflee April 15, 2020, 12:25 PM

    Chris at 0854 for the win! Though it must be said that Harry a couple of hours later was close, very close indeed…

    I read that locally auto traffic is down 35%. My demesne is but a couple of blocks from of one of our main drags, and the noise of traffic wafting through the spring foliage tells me that number may be optimistic. Not that the sound is vexing, unlike the Harriers shooting touch and goes overhead, their thrust nozzles emitting a torrent of ultrasonic energy, to which provocation canines for miles around raise their heads and howwwwwllllll assiduously, my herd included.

    I also hear that trouble is brewing behind closed doors; the justice system has waived cash bail for minor infractions, so the population at the hoosegow had been down to comfortable levels, but here recently domestic violence is filling those empty cells.

  • Nori April 15, 2020, 1:17 PM

    Thank you,Mr V! That version is my favorite. It seems a fitting anthem for the times we’re in; eerie
    organ music and incomprehensible lyrics.

    @Matt:back on April 3rd,a man was paddle boarding in the ocean off Malibu. All by himself,no one else in the water,no one on the beach. He refused to obey the lifeguard who ordered him to shore,so LA Sheriff Patrol boats were called to physically haul him in for violating Gov Gruesome’s stay-at-home diktat. He was charged with a misdemeanor and later released.

    As Chris so eloquently noted above,we’re all Branch Covidians now.

  • Dan Watson April 16, 2020, 12:43 PM

    I agree with Tim. I refuse to comply. And I encourage everyone in my circle to get out and keep living. 2 groups I’m disappointed in are motorcyclists and 2nd amendment loudmouths. Anyone who rides and is afraid of catching the Peking pox is retarded.

  • MHF April 16, 2020, 2:01 PM

    It’s all BS! If you ask “Why has it never been this bad before?” It’s all BS! When I was young, and I include several here, we had polio. Several friends are still affected. But it’s all get Trump BS! It’s all BS!

  • Sarah Rolph April 18, 2020, 8:14 AM

    Here in New England, we love ice cream, and we love our venerable old ice cream stands. One near me, Kimball Farm in Westford, is celebrating 75 years in business. They make their own ice cream, and they also have fun activities like bumper boats, an outdoor grill where you can get burgers, etc. Right now they can’t open up the whole place, of course, but they decided to open the ice-cream stand on schedule at the end of March.

    I went over there this week. The process is perfect, you drive down a long driveway, long enough for lots of cars to wait in; apparently it has been very crowded on the weekends, but when I was there it was a very short wait. At the first stop, kids with paper ice cream menus ask if you need one. Then you get to the next checkpoint and they tell you the drill, wait here until your car is called, then that lady up ahead will tell you where to park, then you stay in your car and she’ll tell you when it’s your turn to go to the window. I only waited a few minutes to park, then another few minutes until it was my turn at the window. The fresh-faced high-school kid who took my order was as cheery as ever — this is one of the great things about going to the ice cream stands here, they are all staffed by cheerful kids who are happy to have jobs. During a normal summer, there are about ten windows open with long lines; right now they have only opened every other window, so not only is nobody in line with you but you’re more than six feet away from the person at the next window. They had a kid on cleanup duty spraying the counter in between each customer. He was really doing it right, spraying, then waiting, then wiping. I complimented him on his process and told him it was great that they could open. He pointed to someone, presumably the manager, and said, Yes, Jill put together a six-page plan and the health department loved it. I reiterated my delight that they had done so, and the youngster agreed that it was nice to have something to provide “a sense of normalcy.”

    Exactly so. I was surprised at how much of a lift it gave me. As you say, we need more of this.

  • Johann Amadeus Metesky April 18, 2020, 11:56 AM

    “I haven’t seen any compelling evidence at all that this virus deal was anything but complete fabricated fiction. I still do not have any direct knowledge of anyone inflicted with this fictional fabrication.”

    I live in suburban Detroit. Two of my neighbors were hospitalized with the CCPneumonia. My daughter’s neighbor had it. Someone else that I know is in critical condition. The neonatologist who took care of my youngest child when she was in NICU died from it. We may have overreacted, and some Dems are acting ghoulishly, but we don’t lose more than 2,000 people a day to the flu, this is a very real public health problem.

  • Johann Amadeus Metesky April 18, 2020, 12:01 PM

    “It’s all BS! If you ask “Why has it never been this bad before?” It’s all BS! When I was young, and I include several here, we had polio. Several friends are still affected. But it’s all get Trump BS! It’s all BS!”

    The worst year for the polio epidemic was 1952. Of the 57,628 reported U.S. cases, there were 3,145 deaths. Over 6,000 people have died in the U.S. in just the past three days (that doesn’t include NYC’s “adjusted” number from 4 days ago).

    I’m a great believer in the power of “and”. This is a real publich health issue and the left is using it to try and get Trump.

  • Tony Noboloney April 18, 2020, 5:46 PM

    By now you must have seen that AMERICAN DIGEST got a plug from ACE OF SPADES blog site. I hope hundreds (thousands?) of new folks follow the link from there and find out just how delightful Gerard Van Der Leun’s blog site is. I thank you for this “Catch me if you can” thread and thank you for the many years of reading & listening pleasure.

  • DagKnead de Plorable April 18, 2020, 7:32 PM

    I found this site through AoS. Very grateful am I. 🙂

  • Susanamantha April 19, 2020, 10:20 AM

    So glad I came followed AoS’ link. I have read Mr. Van der Leun’s comments at Neoneocon’s blog for years and appreciated them. This will be a new stopping point on my days’ touching base with the outside world. Thank you for the maps with the US superimposed on Europe and Italy atop the US. I had checked the areas for the above locations but a picture is worth a thousand words or numbers as they say. Journalists are either stupid or they think we are stupid when they spout headlines meant to alarm us or beat us into submission. At my age, it’ll take more than they’ve got to do that!

    Thanks again.

  • Sarah Hoyt April 19, 2020, 7:58 PM

    I am with you all the way. Olly, olly oxen free.
    Time to stop letting the politicians plan our economy. BEFORE there is famine this fall. Let’s get the hell out and go to work.