Recently I was in a meeting with a potential client, and we ended up talking about what makes a person “essential.” It is an interesting question. As a writer and editor, I am so far down on the list of being considered essential it isn’t even funny.
Not that writers or editors can’t be considered essential. However, I am not an honored reporter or work for a huge publishing house. Still the idea intrigued me. Who gets to decided which person is essential or not? What is the criteria? Why?
It made me think about the time when the secret presidential bunker under Mount Weather in my own home county was discovered by accident. A plane crash actually. In 1974 a jet crashed into the side of a mountain in the Blue Ridge mountains and unearthed a concrete wall. A concrete wall where one shouldn’t be.
This led to the discovery that a secret emergency facility had been prepared for the president to go to in case of – what? Nuclear war? The apocalypse? The coming 80’s? Whatever the real reason for the facility, it was no longer a secret.
My question is in the event of such a catastrophic event, why would we try to save the president? Would we need him or her to rebuild the country? Most of the ones we’ve had can’t take care of what we have now, so why should we try to save them? Can you honestly say any of them were actually looking out for Americans or were they simply looking out for their place as president for the next four years?
Powerful men and women rarely get their power the nice way. Nice guys finish last – remember.
In 1992 it was made public there was a facility under the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia designed to house the entire Congress in the case of emergency. The entire Congress. The entire thing was built on the concept that if the world collapsed, we would still have our way of government preserved and America would continue.
Really? A horde of lawyers who rarely look out for anyone other than themselves. It is an unfortunate fact that those who go on to become congressman or senators who place others first rarely survive for long. I have stated it many times, give me an old fashion crook like Huey Long or Spiro T. Agnew. These men were thieves. They made no real attempts to hide it. They did however make a real political promise. One you could believe in. If they were allowed to skim a little off the top, and I mean less than ten percent, then their states and their constituents would be taken care of. A promise both men kept.
To decide who is essential is an interesting concept. Decide who gets to live is even harder. There are scores of movies and books written around disasters. Global killers. I have enjoyed all of them. Yet they provide a peek into who would be considered essential enough to be saved.
Take the Greenbrier Hotel. A haven for the congress. There are 541 total elected officials including 100 senators, 435 congressmen, 5 delegates and 1 commissioner. There were 1100 beds assigned to specific people at this facility for fifty years or more. These people of course would have their aides with them but what about their families? The numbers don’t work for family members. They are not essential.
You know who would be essential in this scenario to keep the group of lawyers taken care of? Plumbers, cooks, electricians, computer specialists, cooks, laundry personnel, hair stylists and barbers. But how many? And who decides which ones and how many it takes to support the entire congress until it is safe to come out? Is the congress really more important than the ones who were chosen to keep them fed?
It’s a hard fact. The rich and powerful will be saved. Look at Kylie Jenner. She would have a place on the boat in the movie 2012. She became a billionaire at the age of 22. She has been on TV since she was 10. She gets paid a fortune for the Americanized drama they sell. Makes more off selling bling. Sadly, young girls idolize her. Look pretty, act badly, and make money. Have others wipe your butt for you.
Yet, I have no doubt she would have her own private suite complete with people assigned to serve her wishes on a ship for survivors.
Again, where are the welders? The painters? The botanists? The short order cooks? The cleaners? The list of essential people goes on and on and yet, when it comes down to deciding who stays, the only ones to make the cut are the ones considered essential to the upkeep of the rich and powerful.
Me? I don’t stand a chance. Me and mine would never get a phone call or be placed on the essential list. I have been a firefighter, yet I am older now. No one wants an old firefighter. I have been a welder, but once the ships are built, I wouldn’t be asked to stay. I know a dozen trades, can run major projects, can handle damage control issues, and make sure the trash gets taken out. Yet, I am not on the essential list. Nor is my wife. We will never be. Nor would we ever leave one another for an essential list. We go as a couple. Enough said.
I wonder, in this day and age, is a tattoo artist considered essential? A botanist? An Uber driver? A funeral home director? Again, who is essential to our survival both in the age of Covid and in case the world becomes a place for dinosaurs once more? Who decides? There is only one more question you need to ask.
Are you considered essential?
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief of The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.