The Delta variant is out of control and has 300 times the viral load of the original coronavirus strain. Another lockdown is unlikely, but now is the time to live life and live it large, lest we have to isolate again for this seemingly-endless flu season. This is a battle-cry and a call to arms for more autumnal parties. In the spirit of peace and play, all you will need is a baseball bat, brick, razor-blade, hypodermic needle and two tealights.
First, the bat and brick. You can now hire a private room for half an hour and smash up electrical equipment. It’s an opportunity to take out pent-up emotions that have built up over a year of slow Zoom connections, technological frustrations, social deprivation and lockdown loneliness. The “Rage Rooms” are growing in popularity, and with a bit of spiritual imagination you might even convince yourself that you are visiting a yoga studio. The 1800-year-old Bhagavad Gita begins its first yogic lesson with family members fighting one another on the battlefield, putting Warrior Pose into action. This all sounds a bit like dystopian horror-thriller movie “The Purge,” where Americans are legally allowed to attack one another for one night each year. Los Angeles-based company Rage Grounds even offers mobile units where they can bring the insanity to your home or business for a team-building event or party. In no way does this new preoccupation hint toward a society in moral decline, one step away from gladiator matches. It sounds like the perfect activity for your next bar mitzvah celebration, synagogue fundraiser or children’s birthday party as a great way to promote peace-loving values.
The razor-blade is for a sartorial purpose. The “lockdown beard” outbreak has become a thing of the past, and men’s hairdressing salons have seen a rise in bookings for clean shaves. “Hipster vs Chassid” memes, where you would see a bohemian beard alongside that of a religious Jew and have to guess which is which, are phasing out. There’s no need to take an electric shaver along to your local Chabad House, since kabbalah sees the man’s beard as a conduit for channeling holiness. Still, if you’re in the mood for a clean shave just make sure you don’t accidentally take a baseball bat and bricks along to your appointment at Supercuts.
Jewish law faces a dilemma about space travel; if you observe Shabbat in space, what time do you light your Shabbat candles?
Next, the tealights. Jewish law faces a dilemma about space travel; if you observe Shabbat in space, what time do you light your Shabbat candles? As it happens, it’s generally not a good idea to light fires on a spacecraft. One halachic (Jewish legal) answer is to keep the Sabbath like you would in the Arctic Circle during the months where the sun never sets, and take the timing from the nearest city where the sun goes down. There was a recent problem on the International Space Station, which is a very safe place apart from air leaks, cracks and a malfunction in July that accidentally fired up thrusters on Russia’s Nauka module, causing the entire space station to tilt and destabilize the ISS. Astronauts smelled burning plastic, although it was only triggered by recharging batteries. So, if you hop aboard a SpaceX flight to spend the weekend orbiting earth, it’s best to take a pair of electric tealights in place of your usual Shabbat candles.
Finally, the hypodermic needles. They aren’t intended to get you high, but they are to get you by. President Biden has just mandated that every government worker must be vaccinated, signing another executive order that removes choice from every employee with no choice to opt-out. I have friends who avoid the vaccines due to fertility concerns, and others who just want to see the long-term impacts. Others are concerned about the microchip theory that digital tracking devices are being injected, even though they happily carry cellphones that track their every step, location, social media post, sms message and telephone calls. Personally I’m happy to get my third, fourth and fifth booster shots, bare my naked arm and get injected like an Olympic weightlifter on steroids.
Winter is coming, and just like the words sung by Alexander Hamilton, I’m not throwing away my shot.
Marcus J Freed is an actor, writer and marketing consultant. www.marcusjfreed.com @marcusjfreed