An Aussie in America Part 2

June 29th, 2020An Aussie in America Part 2

I was already overdue for a haircut in late March, when California issued its first coronavirus shutdown orders.

I was already overdue for a haircut in late March, when California issued its first coronavirus shutdown orders. Unlike the august proprietor of this esteemed journal currently in your possession, I have no desire to be able to wear my hair in a ponytail or – saints preserve – a man-bun, but it’s now well into June and my hair is longer than it’s been since I was 19 and decided to give the “hippy” look a try.

I just don’t fancy the idea of allowing a scissors-wielding someone to hover centimetres from my face, mask or no mask. So, the hair now hangs over my collar and curls into my ears and tickles like crazy!

Speaking of crazy, I think I’m heading in that direction.

Here in Calabama …

In many ways the US Civil War, which began in 1861, didn’t end in 1865 as the history books say. Much the same as that war pitted the north, in blue, and the south, in grey, today the political landscape is divided into red states and blue states – red denoting conservative Republican and blue indicating liberal, progressive Democrat.

California, with its entertainment industries in the Los Angeles region, and technology businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, is generally considered a Blue stronghold state.

The reality, however, is that outside of those two centres of culture and art, much of California glows bright Red, much the same as the nation’s poorest, most regressive state, Alabama. Hence, Calabama.

As it turns out, the town in which I live is pure Red Calabama.

California’s leader, Gavin Newsom, is a progressive liberal and was the first governor in the US to issue lock-down orders when COVID-19 hit. Much as it was in Victoria with Daniel Andrews, Newsom’s fast action kept infection and death rates relatively low and allowed the healthcare system time to prepare.

But then President Trump undid much of that good work by browbeating state governors into easing restrictions and going back to business as usual far too soon.

With the result that – much as it is in Victoria – California is being slammed with a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

Acting quickly again, Governor Newsom issued orders making it mandatory for face coverings to be worn in public spaces.

Here in Calabama, the response has been predictable. In the local newspaper, a devoted supporter of all things Trump and conservative, readers commenting on news stories about the mask order are outraged at what they see as a gross and blatant attack on their constitutional rights as freedom-loving Americans.

“I will not comply to the dictator!!!!” cries one respondent.

Another sees the dead hand of the deep state in the Governor’s action: “Maybe because people are on to the Bullshit!! It’s not about F…ing Safety..

Tell me this isn’t Political..


The Government is trying to divide Americans”.

One commentator has some trouble with his keyboard and language skills but ignores his ignorance in order to make his feelings known: “I think its halarious government sucks terrible way of showing and tbrowing around there power.”

A group of Calabama patriots has responded by launching a movement to have the Governor removed from office for his shameful abuse of power.

At hastily erected tables outside stores around town, shoppers are invited to sign petitions calling for Newsom’s sacking. They can also buy Trump 2020 presidential campaign hats.

Knowing it is a mistake, but feeling a dizzying rush of blood to the brain after many weeks of self-isolating, I engaged the online commentariat, hoping to catch the general mood of the masses and engage them in dialog, even if I don’t share their sentiments.

“Right on!” I wrote. “With fake social justice protests, the most corrupt federal government in US history, hospitals overwhelmed by people pretending to have some jumped-up flu, rampant unemployment caused by the fake news media, but what really really pisses me off is being told to wear face covering at Walmart. Newsom gotta go! Right on!”

My rants attracted one response: “Jeff Glorfeld did someone pee in your cereal?”

I think I’ll go back to quarantine in private.

– Jeff Glorfeld

Jeff, who held a number of editorial positions at the The Age, and was a regular editorial contributor for The Local, lived in Wheatsheaf for 17 plus years before returning to California, with wife Carol, in 2018 to be with family. Along with having ink in his veins, Jeff is a dyed-in-the-wool St Kilda supporter.

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