kick-me
Todd Hayen

Remember the ugly prank taping a sheet of paper on a nerd’s back (or on the back of some other vulnerable innocent) that said KICK ME? Maybe you are from a generation where teenagers didn’t do such things.

I never liked the idea because I was of the type that would get such a sign pinned on my back (I never actually did, thank god, but I wouldn’t put it past those bastards to do such a thing). This poor sap would walk down the hall at school accompanied by a barrage of laughter and snickers.

A few brazen jerks would actually kick him; with the victim unawares of his attraction to abuse until he figured out he had a sign pinned to his back.

I saw some lone masked dude walking down the street the other day, and as he passed me I was compelled to kick him in the butt. Now I am on the other side of that boot—a bully, angry, for whatever psychological reason, with a guy wearing the “kick me” sign, not on his back, but on his face.

It has come to that. At least for me.

At first the masks were frightening, then they were a means showing the mask-less as the “evil and selfish ones,” and as a result of that label, ostracized. Now, to me at least, they are a mark of stupidity, mindlessness, and yes, selfishness as well. People should be smarter than this. It is interesting how the tide has turned; those still wearing the masks are the science deniers now, not us.

“Kick me,” the mask screams out, “I am a dolt.”

Why can’t I just let it go? We live in a free society (well, that is debatable), why can’t I just be fine with people choosing to wear masks? Is it really any different than someone deciding to wear a coat in May because they are irrationally afraid of catching a cold? Yes, actually it is.

First of all, wearing a mask when there are a gazillion studies saying it does nothing to prevent viral infection, is indeed a sign of ignorance. As such we find ourselves surrounded by quite a few ignorant people (I don’t know about where you live, but masks are still a very prominent piece of apparel in Canada.)

Being surrounded by ignorant people is rather disturbing. Of course, if they weren’t wearing a mask as it was during non-Covid times they would still be ignorant, we just wouldn’t know it. I think one thing that makes people like me jumpy is realizing how many really ignorant people make up the population.

But isn’t that jumping to conclusions? What is it that makes people uncomfortable with any sort of “different” person?—nerd, socially dysfunctional, autistic, black, indigenous?

Exactly.

I am the bigot here, not the guy with the mask. But there is more to it than being ignorant, stupid, or just weird—if even that bigoted profiling is correct (maybe they are wearing a mask due to large particulate pollution they are avoiding breathing in, or maybe the mask is a fashion statement…maybe…)

I believe there is a social responsibility to keep our humanity intact. And I believe complying with a lying authority, and through that compliance causing damage to the very essence of being a human being, is shirking that responsibility.

This isn’t a matter of choice as if the mask is indeed a fashion statement or a personal choice afforded us as free citizens in a free society. In fact, it is quite the opposite. People who wear masks because the government has falsely terrified them into wearing one is not a free choice, it is coerced compliance, plain and simple. If people knew there was no danger in going bare faced, they would not wear a mask.

Why is this an assault to humanity? Human beings, in order to properly socialize, need cues from facial expressions. We have all heard the stories and history of masks used to further punish prisoners. The Internet is littered with photos of prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay with masks. It is common knowledge that not only does wearing masks block social cues, it is also humiliating and soul killing.

As a psychologist I am keenly aware of these dehumanizing effects. The consequences are subtle, but can be devastating. We see these horrible results primarily with children who are in the process of developing their social skills and interhuman relationships. Scientific reports are showing huge drops in IQ with children who were born during the Covid “pandemic,” as well as those navigating through it.

This is most likely due to a lot of things, not the least wearing masks all day during school.

School time is where one of the most important aspects of a child’s education takes place: how to be a human being amongst other human beings. Their young brains have been imprinted with an intense fear of just being in the world. The, constant wearing, and seeing others wearing, these masks are a clear trigger for this distrust and fear of life in general.

They will not get over this, as many people imagine. It is imprinted for life. This laisser-faire treatment of children is probably the biggest reason why I want to kick that mask wearing fool in the butt.

This is why mask wearing is not just a personal choice, it is a disrespect for humanity, and is an assault to anyone who sees the writing on the wall and who understands that all of this is engineered to break us down through hate, anger, and impatience. Wearing a mask these days is a tacit agreement with the wanton destruction of humanity. Yes, it is that serious.

So I am the bully, but I think I have better reason to be a bully than the playground bullies of our childhood. My anger is founded in reality and the confrontation of a very real danger. The masked folks are indeed leading us all to the gas chamber.

They need to wake up and take responsibility for our children’s safety and healthy development, as well as the health and well being of the others they share this planet with and stop tearing up the very fabric of our humanity. It is more than just a mask.

Todd Hayen is a registered psychotherapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in depth psychotherapy and an MA in Consciousness Studies. He specializes in Jungian, archetypal, psychology. Todd also writes for his own substack, which you can read here

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