Why you're better off rejecting what the mob insists you need

An illustration I made for an upcoming book about the pandemic.

:: See the follow-up post written a month later. ::

This current world is not my home.

It's hard to be in the world and not of it, though. And it's hard not to forget we don't take anything with us, no matter how hard we cling to things of this world.

Luckily, we have had 2020.

This year has been fabulous at helping cut the ties with distractions and all the things we cling to that keep us from seeing what's important.

The pandemic blew our country and culture out of the water. Unrest exploded. Mandates and control came down from governments and corporations. Stability crumbled. Facades fell as leaders and celebrities revealed what they'd do if they had power or attention. Favorite hangouts and social activities ended. Habits and plans and all the things we assumed would be there tomorrow suddenly were not. No more business-as-usual.

1. This is your chance to change habits.

Every day we get a new corporation that announces mask mandates nationally. Costco, Menards, AT&T, Starbucks, Dollar Tree, WalMart*, Sam's, Target, Kohl's, Kroger, Hornbachers, Cashwise (Coburn's), CVS, Best Buy, Panera, McDonald's, Home Depot, Apple Store, Planet Fitness, PetCo, PetSmart, Bath and Body Works**, Zales, Lowes, TJ Maxx, Caribou Coffee, Natural Grocers, Barnes and Noble...that's your list of stores that don't think adult customers can make decisions for themselves, pure and simple. I'll keep adding*** to the list of mindless goose-stepping companies it as it grows. 

I'm pretty sure we all have some habits we want to change, and I bet more than a few readers can identify with my own desire to spend less and save more, cook more at home, use up what I have, be more creative in reusing things instead of throwing them, be less influenced by current entertainment, read and go for walks and make things at home, and get free from the tentacles of modern marketing. 

That list of habits I want to change all have to do with consumption, and the promotion of dissatisfaction. These problems are fed by media, corporations, and celebrities who are intent on maintaining some kind of power and getting your money.

You need our products, our movies, our services because you lack in some area. Everyone else has made our store and products a habit; you're strange and won't be able to speak the cultural language if you don't. You don't have an exciting enough life. Your appearance is wrong. You're a fail when you compare yourself to what we show you. You have guilt about the earth or society because we instilled that in you, so if you buy our product we'll donate to some good cause so your consumerism can also alleviate your guilt without you doing any serious sacrifice.

You're in a meat grinder.

We are always sold products or ideas via the path of dissatisfaction. A content and satisfied person is not easy to market to. So the powers that be try to paint a content person as someone who has no imagination, or is a tool of those in power. If you were tipping towards being content, we want to make sure contentment is seen as ugly, selfish, silly, or pathetic.

But now, thanks to mask mandates and those of use who have the option to refuse to wear them for very good reasons, we get the opportunity to be forced to learn contentment. 

And it's kind of great.

When anger or holding the line you've drawn for yourself is at stake, it is easier to break a habit than at any other time.

2. You must understand that corporations don't care about you.

Between online shopping, and connecting with plenty of local farmers eager to sell eggs, meat, and vegetables (not to mention my own garden and fruit trees), I have no need for corporate America's continued tumble into woke dystopian "we care about you" nonsense. 

I don't know how many times the respons from human doormats, when another store announces forced mask wearing, that they are "so glad to see stores care about people."

Please get this in your head: these corporations don't care about you.

Corporations only care about you as much as a farmer cares about the pigs being fattened for slaughter.

Corporations care about your buying power and your bank account. You are not an individual. You are a demographic to be marketed to. That's it. Don't ever forget that.

That means that corporations forcing you to wear a mask has very little to do with caring about you. It's about liability and appearance.

Corporations don't want to get sued. That's why gyms and such are having you sign a form that says you won't sue them if you get sick. 

Corporations are afraid of the woke and/or nagging mob.They care about their virtue signaling image. If wearing a mask was really so dire and about caring, you wouldn't have Target announcing on July 16 that starting August 1 they'll require masks. If it was urgent, it would start immediately. You wouldn't have Menards selling masks as you came in the door; they'd give them to you.

Get this straight: They care about image, they care about legal liability, they care about what the mob thinks and demands of them. But they don't care about you.

If a corporation cared about you, they would sell you better products that weren't toxic, that didn't hurt American producers, that didn't contribute to trade deficits and decimated manufacturing sectors, and lasted longer than five minutes. They wouldn't sell you cheap calories and watch you get fat and then put magazines with skinny celebrities at the checkout, touting a new diet plan. They would see you as an individual and not force mass mandates on everyone. They would respect the laws of the locality which reflected your elections instead of ruling from on high. 

They only care about your repeated spending. 

You're the animal they're milking, and they need to keep you alive long enough to do it, and distracted enough to not notice what they're doing. That's it.

3. You are allowing corporations unelected rule over people.

For years we put up with these companies supporting garbage causes that are hurting our nation, selling garbage in their stores that are hurting people both in physical health and in mental health, getting tax breaks from local leaders to build their huge stores only to run locally owned businesses out of business, and now--during this waning pandemic (yes, it's more than just about a positive case count, but rate, mortality, demographics, and herd immunity)--enacting nation-wide policies as if they were an overlord federal government deciding what's best for millions of people across vast geographic swaths and different population scenarios.

No thanks.

If our own federal government (rightly) does not enact restrictive mandates but allows the elected leaders of localities to decide, I won't accept anything different from national corporations which often have the profits that exceed some nations' GDP. 

I've never said it isn't a store's right to decide what happens on their private property, but I can certainly refuse to give them money. And if a governor can put out executive orders for everything under the sun but allows corporate America to determine mandates that elected officials refused, then I can refuse to participate in sales tax revenues at a state and local level by simply purchasing less. I don't want to be cynical and think that some leaders are quietly applauding (or encouraging) corporations for doing this so they can avoid voter push-back if they'd done it on their own, but it's hard not to notice the crickets when corporations do this. At the very least, governors could do like the governor of Georgia and put out an executive order that forbade cities and counties from mask mandates to give a hint of their stance.

Huge corporations have so much massive control, impact, and financial pull that they can (and do) influence elections and societal trends by their big budget ad campaigns, lobbying, sneaky algorithms, and political donations. It is sickening to watch people applaud them as they push mandates through as if they were "keeping us safe!" and it wasn't instead a form of control that we have no opportunity to vote on other than with our dollar.

4. You are misunderstanding the refusal to wear masks.

Mainly, from what I've experienced, the assumption is that people who don't wear masks are just stupid and uneducated. They don't care, they're mindless Republicans -- all the usual garbage.

I try not to get upset (failing often) because there is a real fear at work in people that they're hiding behind other kinds of emotions. I think this says it better, regarding the real infection that masks are being worn for:

The mask has become more than just a mask, particularly for those of us who will not wear them. I understand that many don't understand. They are programmed differently (but they definitely are programmed).

This was part of a comment I left recently when a young person was making jokes about those of us who refuse to wear them:

I thought the younger generations were so woke. Turns out, they're asleep.

So for people making jokes about those who refuse to comply, laughing about how they won't have any stores to shop in, laughing that corporations are snowballing more and more mandates into forcing behavior on people who have made a different decision: be careful. The joke may be on you in not too short of a time.

Corporations have learned how much power they have over massive groups of people, with our without a government mandate. The retail asociation couldn't get the federal government to mandate masks across the nation, so they did it their own way. Imagine if they all banded together (as they are doing now) and demanded that you have proof of particular vaccinations to enter their store, deny entrance of certain political persuasions, wear a particular shirt in support of some cause during a particular month to enter their store, controlled what you could say or write online (bingo)--it's an endless list. Corporate America has massive power and control over people, far more than our own government in many ways.

We let them. 

They have the addicts all lined up. They just wave the drugs around to get the people to comply if they want the drugs.

As many far-left folks have learned (e.g. J. K. Rowling), you might be skipping along with the mob for a while thinking everything is grand until suddenly they go further than you're willing and you are now on the receiving end of the beating stick. It might be mandated masks now, but tell me, do you think they'll stop? Or will they creep forward into another area of seemingly innocuous requirement?

You know, like WalMart saying that due to the coin shortage, you should use credit or debit cards. And, conveniently, if you're like 20 million poor or minority Americans without access to banking who often shop there, you can take your cash over to the customer service counter, get a WalMart debit card loaded (for a slight fee), and then use that to buy. You pay a fee to use the card, so you are allowed to buy their stuff.

Do you like that scenario? Extrapolate what that looks like, when a corporation is so large they are first meddling in your personal health decisions and then almost behaving like your bank. Understand that when you don't use cash, someone somewhere is paying a fee just to transact the money. Every transaction has a sneaky extra person, holding out their hand for some money simply because you used their system to transfer the money.

Wear the mask, keep your cash. Dummy.

5. Always refuse to wear a symbol in order to be allowed to buy and sell.

"Requiring a mask is just like no shirt, no shoes, no service."

Are you sure?

Because no shirt, no shoes, no service doesn't generally lead to security guards, trespass charges, fines, or even arrest. No shirt, no shoes, no service wasn't tied to a mass media campaign of bizarre data twisting, scare tactics, politics, and a massive economic crash. No shirt, no shoes, no service wasn't ever equated with whether or not you were a good or caring or smart person or not. No shirt, no shoes, no service wasn't about your health status or demanded to know your health history. No shirt, no shoes, no service didn't have the hint that maybe at some point these corporations might take it the next step and demand proof of vaccination or something similar before you can buy from them.

It's not like no shirt, no shoes, no service. This is different. The message has been, right out of the gate, about symbolism. "Wear this mask as a symbol of caring and respect, and if you don't, you can't buy or sell." 

Wear this symbol to buy and sell. Let me reiterate this clearly:

"Wear this symbolic item in order to buy and sell, or get fined, arrested, or trespassed."

I'm not going to point you to anything in history. You think about that on your own. 

A mask isn't about science. There are plenty of sources (from doctors and experts) who talk about studies that show masks don't help with colds or flu, and that social distancing is better than a mask as long as clearly symptomatic people stay home. The question is up in the air and with a plummeting death rate, we are harassing and fining citizens for no real reason.

But try to tell the mask-defenders such things, and it comes down to the classic "trust the experts but not those experts."

Almost from the get-go, mask wearing has been speculative conjecture and, more often, touted as a sign of respect, caring, and being a good person (see every post I've written on masks for links and screenshots of this as proof). This is clearly manipulative behavior, and some of you amazingly can't see it! You have corporations and government officials ordering you, at threat of fine or censure, to wear something that they themselves equate and acknowledge IS A SYMBOL

Some of you are busy online promoting this blatantly, that mask wearing is a sign of caring, and I am completely disgusted by your behavior and have an ever-lessening opinion of your ability to resist being controlled. Some of you simply haven't heard anything negative about mask wearing and don't know that there's plenty to question not only their efficacy, but also the risk they pose to healthy people.

But it's the ones who are not even bothered by masks being purely symbolic. They just get a warm fuzzy when everyone around them is visually obeying and being compliant and doing what the government has said is "safe."

"Shop somewhere else, then," these little cherries chime in, gleeful that this is happening. "If the employees have to, so do the customers."

Easy fix: don't make the employees wear them, either. 

In my online lurking and comment mining for screenshots, I see more employees thrilled that customers have to wear masks not because it's safer, but because they're annoyed they have to wear them and want everyone to feel the pain. Loose and sagging bandanas and scarves, soggy and damp doing little to stop any droplets once they get to that point, acne-causing bacteria farms, ill-fitting masks almost always pulled beneath the nose and sometimes the mouth. The whole thing is an unhealthy disgusting joke.

6. Don't you cry when more brick-and-mortar stores close up shop.

The solution for the mob is to push those of us who won't wear them into some far-off place, kind of like what we did with smokers when we forced them into alleys and 30 miles away from any entrance. We determine who is undesirable, and we put them elsewhere.

"No one is forcing you to wear a mask," this gal writes. "Shop online or somewhere that doesn't require a mask."

Guess what? We will. Permanently.

You can break old habits, but you do it by making new ones. My shopping habits, after five months of weirdness, have already significantly changed. The more stores mandate masks, the fewer I patronize. New habits, locked in. No need to go back to the old ones.

So we will shop somewhere else, likely online, ever more so as you all clap and laugh as each day two or three more stores announce the policy making it harder to shop anywhere. 

"Ha ha! You're going to run out of places to shop!" they chortle in the comments. "What are you going to do then?! Ha ha!"

Don't you dare bitch in December about "shopping local" or bemoan more brick-and-mortars closing due to online shopping. Don't talk to me about the shrinking economy because people just started buying less and saving more. From here on, I'll respond with "did you support mask mandates and dismiss those of us who didn't? Then this is partly your fault."

You and those stores, you did it. 

You told us to get out of the store, to go elsewhere, or just do without. So we did. You seem to think people don't have a last straw, or the ability to walk away and not look back, because maybe you can't take your eyes of that bag of drugs the corporation is waving at you. 

You're wrong. Some of us do. We're cutting up cards, cancelling memberships, and ending consumer business relationships we'd had for decades with these corporations.

And if there ever was a year for it, this is it. If you're part of a business association or a Chamber of Commerce and aren't cautioning your members about mask madates or are even cheering them, enjoy this new shift to even more online shopping.

7. Before you lecture me, consider your own shopping cart.

I know the mask crowd seems to think they are the healthy ones. The more I read as weeks go on, the less I think so for the actual data on masks and oxygen levels in people. But putting that aside, you're living in a glass house throwing stones.

If you are so unhealthy you think a mask will protect you, too late. And if you are healthy and into eating right, you have little faith in your belief in good nutrition if you think a mask is necessary in the face of this virus.

Wearing a mask isn't the healthier decision.

As I noted when I saw the above graphic, and alluded to in my earlier post about the failure of public health, as I did the last bit of shopping in a store (as in, LAST, turning in the membership, never going back, a store in the midst of a remodel in which they put their produce section in a smaller cooler area thereby making it impossible to social distance but, you know, they care), I looked at the carts of people wearing masks. They were stacked high with chips, pop, boxed meals...and hardly any fresh fruit or vegetables. Most were paler than me, having gotten very little sun. 

"People in this world have lost their minds," I later wrote. "It's like they're trying to cross a bridge across a canyon on a government-built rope bridge made by the lowest bidder when God gave them wings."

Your immune system, unless you've destroyed it with crap food and an unhealthy lifestyle, can handle quite a bit. But right now, it's kind of like when Obamacare rolled in. Before Obamacare, I had great insurance I could pay for, because I was in a healthy pool of people. After, when there were no such pools, my insurance went sky high and I couldn't afford it because I had to the pay the price for all the unhealthy lives of others.

That's what this mask mandate comes down to: wrap everyone up because of the sickest person in the room, instead of protecting the sickest person elsewhere.

If you eat crap and don't get out in the sun and don't consider supplements and don't even mildly exercise, I shouldn't have to wear a mask for your broken immune system. And if you have a disease that makes you susceptible, it should be you who is at home not at the stores, ordering online, not the healthy people who could be out getting exposed and helping us get to herd immunity faster.

8. You should realize that walking away is empowering.

The mob that wants to control you always looks the strongest, but you start picking them off one by one and you'll discover they're mostly made of weak snivelers looking for someone to lead them, to tell them what to do, and how to think. Anyone who has walked away from the mob is building strength every single day.

I don't need any of those corporations. I don't need to go to their store. I'm not even going to order and have their store deliver it. I won't give them one bloody dollar of mine again. 

There is nothing they offer that I cannot live without. Initial feelings of inconvenience or the off-putting sensation of changing a habit are not signs of dying due to a lack of access to what they are selling. It is simply the discomfort that comes with retraining your brain. And with their national mandates, they are helping me break consumer habits I should have long ago broken.

That's empowering. 

That's taking back your personal power of making decisions instead of mindlessly shopping in the same stores led through the aisles and swayed to buy things you don't really want or need, cheap junk you throw in a year. You can decide to have fun with family and friends in less expensive and simpler ways with what you have, where you are.

This year I've had the pleasure of using up more and more things around the house, including art supplies. Instead of going out so much, I've read books and practiced the piano and violin more. I've gotten a chance to exercise the "we can reuse or remake this" muscles my parents and grandparents modeled for me. I'm busy making Christmas gifts right now.

When the overlords of consumerism decide to exert more overt control, kudos to those who shed the lable of being a consumer and instead become a contributor, caretaker, or creator. I feel pity for those who not only strap on the next corporate consumer requirement, but join in the chorus of demanding it of others, so they can keep on consuming.

If you've refused to comply at any point, either in action or at least in your heart (because you're in a state where you'll get fined without a mask and don't have other shopping options), I think you know what I'm talking about. The luster of marketed consumerism is quickly lost when you are slapped for stepping outside of the mob and suggesting they rethink where they're headed even as they continue on their merry way.

Being that outsider is a very good place to be.

The right things have lost their luster.

I look around the world and am glad, as a believer in Jesus Christ, that this current world is not my home. I am also very glad at how easily this year made that more clear. Like no other time than this year have I looked around the world and thought "yeah, God, I'm ready any time, there's nothing here I wouldn't happily give up." I'm glad I'm getting the smallest of pictures of what it looks like where you have to wear an outward symbol before you're allowed to buy and sell.

If we'd been hanging onto the world with a tight grip, unable to let go of our plans and our hopes and our dreams and our desires and our expectations, 2020 did an excellent job of shattering it all. I'm not fixated on trips or things to buy or entertainment to pursue. I'm pretty happy and content with what I have at home, and staying fairly local. Camping in the Dakotas definitely tops the cancelled trip to Philadelphia that was planned in May. An evening bike ride, working on a painting, practicing music, sewing, or working in the garden is much more fun (and healthy) than going to Barnes and Noble every Friday night.

Keep forcing mask mandates. Keep making it easier to walk away. Keep helping me save my money. Keep helping me reject your marketing or celebrity influence. Keep helping me tune out government recommendations for health. I appreciate it.

Because I will be free, and I will not wear a mask.

Not because I think there is no virus. Not because I think it's a hoax. Not because I don't think I could get sick or die. Not because I don't know any better and you just have to school my ignorance. Not because I don't care.

It is my decision.

I read, researched, looked at data, considered, and decided. I weighed the risks, assessed my own health history, and decided. 

You can say I'm stupid, I am uncaring, or that I am every bad word you have in the book.

You wear your mask and protect yourself. I choose not to wear one.

It is my decision.

I will not. If you force me, you'll get a returned symbolic gesture.

9. Yes, there's action you can take right now.

Habits change with action.

So far, I've cancelled two membership cards for these corporations, one of which I held for 15 years (Starbucks) and the other for about 20 years (Barnes and Noble). I will continue doing this as corporations mandate masks each day. A friend has also cancelled some memberships and even sent back rebate cards. Others have gone into the store and cut their store credit card up at the customer service desk. I encourage you all to do this. I would love to hear more stories from those who do if you want to leave them in the comments section.

But what else? It has to be more than just cutting up cards.

Watch this video and listen to a medical doctor who has experience dealing with these cases plainly explain what's going on, and also talk about the use of masks. It is worth your time.

Start gathering info about the stores, restaurants, and other places in town that do not require masks for employees or customers, and are instead letting them choose. Patronize them regularly, and quietly spread the word to like-minded friends (quietly, so the cancel mob doesn't ruin them online). These are likely going to be very locally owned, and that's a solid win for everyone. Vote for liberty with your dollar.

Plant a garden, even if it's just a little something in a pot on your deck. You can at least start growing your own food, even if it's just a few herbs. Only purchase groceries from stores that don't demand masks. Don't even order pickup or delivery from stores that do. Look to alternative methods of getting your food that are healthier, such as Azure Standard. I might even call a local grocery store and ask now if they intend to mandate masks, as I would like to begin planning other food options if they do.

Skip all the excessive doctors visits for every little thing. Stop obeying every public health mantra that comes down the pipe from the accepted experts every time without thinking and considering for yourself. You don't need 42 prescriptions. You don't need chemicals and drugs and disinfectants and barriers to stay healthy. Most of us simply need to eat better, get more vitamins, move your body, and get out in the sun. Begin reading about your immune system, gut bacteria, and inflammation. Read about fasting. Slowly adjust how you eat. This isn't about getting skinny, but about getting healthy.

Avoid every event that requires a mask. Make your own events. If you have some friends (as I experienced) who balk at being close due to the pandemic fear, you'll find you'll connect with new friends and move on.

Barter and swap and share and lend. If the federal government allows states and stores to not allow you to use cash, use no money at all.

Connect to farmers and producers. Join online groups that help you do it. You can find North Dakota producers online (here also). Find people who are making breads and other homemade items using the cottage food industries option or professional kitchens. Learn to bake. It's not hard. You can do it.

Make your own gifts and artsy items. I think of the artsy things I've purchased at Target and other stores. Why? I'm a friggin' art major. I can make my own stuff. I don't need them.

This is the key: You can step outside of what society has restricted you to. 

You don't have to be how they say you should be. You don't have to buy what they say you should buy. You don't have to watch what they say you should watch.

When people make a joke about you in person or online, saying "oh, what, are you never going to shop at WalMart or Target again?" you can say "Yes. That's exactly what I'm going to do." There are others like you who might not speak up, but feel the same.

You can change. Change your habits. Change how you think. Change what you do. Change what you buy. Change where you buy. Change how you spend your free time. Change what you eat. You can.

The people in this country are ripe to be picked by any leader or movement, as has been clearly seen. The right pressure (social, peer, discontentment, fear, repetitive media) is enough. "Promise me I'll be safe, I'll have my job, I'll have some money, that you won't reject me from the group, that I won't have to stand alone, and I'll follow you anywhere and mock those who will not!"

Wear a mask, do not wear a mask. You make your own choice. I don't understand why people want to be told what to do, and I definitely don't understand people who insist that others must be forced to comply with their level of comfort and fear. Yet I'm fine if you make your own choice and just let me be.

But I'm not going to play the game. Laugh all you want. I'm not the sucker in this, believe me.


* If WalMart is going to require face coverings, could they also require other body coverings? Because I'm done with the shorty shorts and butt biscuits and too-tight pants tugged way low and flaps and boobs hanging out all over the place. 

** To be fair, you probably should wear some kind of breathing apparatus in Bath and Body Works because if you're like me, you get a headache in there after 15 minutes.

***WalMart employee policy posted online said they won't enforce policy if you refuse. I called Natural Grocers and the fellow said they "require" them but wouldn't kick you out if you weren't wearing them. I'm guessing reports of people fighting and even shooting over stores attempts to enforce the policy have something to do with it. If you're chicken enough to put out a policy you won't enforce, you get no respect from me. You'll take the freedom of choice from people officially, and only allow them to keep it with an in-your-face fight. Your weak policy doesn't change that you don't get my money anymore. What's getting funny is they are almost all announcing July 20th as the date to enforce masks. Must be a magical WuFlu day! I'm sure there's total "science" behind their decision. Corporations are a spineless sniveling entity. When the pendulum starts swinging, they all hop on board. Guess what? I WILL NOT COMPLY.


UPDATE: Read the follow-up post about Caribou Coffee.

UPDATE 2, JULY 9, 2020: Family and friends are messenging fast and furious, and we're coming up with some good alternative solutions in avoiding EVERY store listed, and changing how we live. Not going to be easy at first, but it will be MUCH BETTER in the long run. These are exciting times, and I look forward to the positive changes I'll have made by rejecting these giant goose-stepping corporations.