A “New Norm” from Out of the Storm

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Normalcy verses Normality

What is normalcy? What is normality? What exactly is normal? Who decides what is normal? This is a sidebar conversation that is gaining traction after being germinated. The media says our daily routine or normal lives have been changed forever. Is this so?

Voices on the left have begun talking about and calling for a “New Norm.” The left feels the anachronistic and selfish ways of how we have conducted ourselves are dead and/or dying. The time is now to change society as they prefer it for the better (what ‘better’?) and to establish new rules of behavior to eschew our collective bad behavior from the past.

But who’s vision is this New Norm? Elitists and social engineers have been banging away at this for the last five decades. Public school education has been sabotaged. So, the left wants to take advantage of a worldwide pandemic to institute these disordered changes that they believe need to transpire? Kinda haughty, no?

It’s pie in the sky if you think people are going to change voluntarily. The bloody French Revolution of July 1789 is a good example where beheading became the new norm of public punishment. The violent Red Revolution in Russia during October 1917 is another example where murder became the new norm with mass executions.

Compulsion for Obedience

Communism, totalitarianism or authoritarianism – no matter how you wish to label it – attempts to institute “new norms” to control society, to compel citizens to obey a new severe civil code, to change their religion or abandon their religion; it’s never a pretty picture being held captive at the end of the barrel of a gun.

Presently, Americans have been imperiled into disregarding their jobs and disremembering their income, having to wear face masks and hand gloves. They are being compelled to remain in their domiciles for two months now, threatened with arrest if they choose to partake in fellowship and worship. People are not being permitted to gather at funerals to bury their loved ones, and are limited in their forays while trudging outside in the real world. Kinda scary, no?

This “New Norm” is 1000% unacceptable. Americans do not have to settle for this unpleasant mode of subsistence. Citizens have been all too compliant in accepting and performing these new codes of human behavior; but for how long? No riots, no looting, no public displays of demonstration have emerged in defiance as yet, thankfully.

But this new norm narrative is out there. Visionaries portend a prescription to repair the shortcomings within a society. Asylums are brimming with visionaries who want to share their brand of utopianism with a disinterested populace. Raise your hand if you wish to assent and comply with a new norm order? It’s doubtful there will be any takers.

Evasiveness as Policy

In a brief score, Americans have experienced the destruction of the NYC World Trade Towers in September 2001, SARS in 2003, the global Depression of 2009, and now this global pandemic Wuhan virus hysteria. Neither the media nor the government seems to be able to identify how and where this invisible scourge originated. From a bat or in a lab? The general public at large has been unable to obtain a straight answer.

Last century, the two major cataclysmic events were World War 1 and the Great Depression. Our modern world was shaped by these two upheavals that created havoc across the globe. The Atomic Bomb deserves Honorable Mention. Nobody remembers the Spanish Flu of 1918. An online article claims President Trump’s grandfather was a victim of the epidemic.

The global conditions that exist today are creating an undercurrent of unrest similar to that which erupted in the 1930’s with the Great Depression. That economic meltdown gave rise to fascism, communism, famine, and warfare. So far, 2020 has not been a harbinger of doom triggering a massive collapse in our common social structure.

Uptown is Upside-down

Anthropology is fascinating. Searchers continue to discover lost cities covered by the jungle, lost cities submerged under water, lost cities buried under levels of dirt or lost cities hidden within overgrowth. Remnants of the Wild American West still stand as ghost towns. This is modern adventure if you get the chance to visit any of these societal relics and ruins of the past.

As it is, Baltimore City is lost. The city lost its way decades ago. The last Republican mayor was Theodore McKeldin, elected in 1963. Urban Renewal was underway. City skywalks were erected in downtown Baltimore. Well, today all of those skywalks have been dismantled. McKeldin Fountain itself was demolished! Baltimore is not user friendly to its primary opposition.

So, let’s take a glance toward the neighborhoods surrounding the Uptown Subway Station next to Madison Park. Anybody wanna place a wager that the interim mayor has not taken a stroll through these heavily littered streets in wonderful Charm City of late? You would not know there is a pandemic raging with social distancing prescribed as a precaution.

The people congregating and traversing this public transit vicinity wouldn’t even bother to scoff at the concept of a “New Norm”. This conversation does not reach them. This concept is utterly foreign to them. It is the well-meaning social engineers who will attempt to introduce this new norm change – whatever this may entail.

The westside of Baltimore is riddled with homeless people wandering the streets aimlessly. There are drug addicts meandering in search of their next fix, and prostitutes skulking the larger thoroughfares seeking a mobile monetary score on four wheels. Drug dealers infest the region plying their poison upon neighbors who should be enhanced by opportunities and not parasites.

You cannot drive more than four blocks in any direction without encountering a lookout perched on a corner at an intersection calling out “Rock! Rock!” Dealers are peddling drugs in the largest open-air drug market in the Mid Atlantic region. Yes, the police huddle together in this area in small cells, but they have been given orders to stand down and permit petty crimes to carry on undisrupted.

Mobtown in Maryland History

“Give them the space to destroy” is an infamous prophecy uttered in April 2015. Baltimore has had a series of riots during its ignoble history. The first was in 1812 when angry citizens burned out a newspaper publisher. In April 1861, blood stained the streets of Baltimore as Union soldiers marched along Pratt Street in a prelude to the Civil War.

The riots in April 1968 reconstituted the city into two Baltimores that people quietly whisper about. With Baltimore’s homicide rate cresting at an all-time high since 2015, maybe the powers that bent should rechristen the name of the city as Baltimorgue?

True story: two open-air market drug deals in broad daylight on a street in Uptown transpired less than six feet apart. I witnessed this and was tempted to dial 911 to complain and report this criminal incident. My friend seated next to me just rolled her eyes. She had asked me to drive her to a corner store in her neighborhood when I saw this common occurrence go down.

Open Air Drug Markets Rule

Open-Air Drug Market is not the phrase anybody wants to hear when describing the Uptown subway transit district. My friend says they conduct drug deals right out in the open in front of loitering officers. There is a tent erected to obstruct drug deals from the police presence buzzing overhead in the sky. Police cameras have not perfected X-ray vision as yet.

Change is not likely coming to Uptown. Change will not impact Pennsylvania Avenue. Change is the last thing anyone is going to find in Baltimore City. You would have to be ingesting whatever is being sold on the streets in this neighborhood to believe change is gonna happen here at all.

During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, nine deaths by handguns occurred across the city. President Trump put in a holiday appearance at Fort McHenry to honor our military heroes after being chastised by the mayor for scheduling a visit to this All-American City or the City That Reads, depending on which fancy moniker you prefer.

Meet the New Norm, same as the Old Norm? No thank you, I will live my life as I choose unencumbered by somebody else’s laundry list of do’s and don’ts conjured up out of thin air by strangers who are convinced they know how I should live my life better than my own judgment. Millions of people have been killed by hanging, the guillotine, firing squads, mass ovens, the electric chair and lethal injection. What’ll they think of next?

Author Profile

Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman is a Columnist for NRN. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tilghman earned a Master of Arts degree in verbal and visual communications in December 2002. He has hosted a weekly radio program since June 2010. He has been a contributing Reporter to the Northern News since July 2013, which publishes weekly in Carroll County. Tilghman has written for two collegiate campus newspapers and published several independent newsletters.