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Squid Stewart 

Squid Game reveals that some people are deceptively sinister

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If you're watching Squid Game on Netflix—and who isn't?—then you know that titular game is organized and played by people who are blatantly more sinister than others. Squid Game reveals that some people are deceptively sinister, while others are merely cautiously sinister. Other characters are fearfully good people but who still resort to being less than their better selves if the situation merits so. In such situations, those persons resort to cheating, avarice, betrayal, lying, stealing, bullying, kowtowing, harming, killing and cowardice.

Only a handful of Squid Game characters embrace virtuous human traits. Fewer still evoke warmth or sympathy. Most characters in Squid Game quite fairly summarize nearly all of the bad traits of the human race. That doesn't even count the despicable sadists who manage and supervise the squid game itself via complicity, greed or overgrown ego. Eventually those evil clusters are eliminated from the game until only the luckiest, most crooked, least liked and most ambitious of the original 456 participants remain.

There could only be one character who was the worst of the worst, the lowest of the low, the most conniving of connivers, the most brazen of the craven. I'm not normally one to spoil the ending of a good movie or drama, so suffice it to say that when Squid Game is reduced to defining the most sinister of all its characters, it is not an easy choice given all the options. However, the award for the worst Squid Game persona, bar none, is the most foul of all: Rep. Chris Stewart.

Yeah, that Chris. The guy who reps my gerrymandered Salt Lake City district in the U.S. House of Representatives. The former Air Force brat. That's the extent of his resume, by the way.

He's the squid gamer who has been on the public dole his entire adult life, taking full advantage of every social benefit our government offers, but who wants to keep socialism all to his greedy little self. He's also the fellow who shamelessly takes positions on nearly nothing that matters but who follows along with the obedience of a border collie. He's known to flip-flop on all matters, and he's equally known to talk tough but never to back it up. He's the fellow who "inadvertently" let slip—through a side door—disruptive members of his party into the first round of Donald Trump's impeachment hearings.

I'm pretty sure Stewart wouldn't last to the end in a real squid game—he'd be eaten alive by Cho Sang-Woo or Jang Deo-Su. However, in real life, he's just like them. Note his most recent act of spineless deception last week, when he announced on Facebook—so Chris of him—that he was boycotting the Utah Jazz because of a policy that only persons willing to prove vaccination against COVID-19 would be allowed to watch games in Vivint Arena.

There's been plenty written and said about Stewart this past week that I needn't pile on, but it is a tad weary for a fellow who has never worked for or managed a private company in his life to stand so tall against one. The Utah Jazz have every right to set rules of behavior in their arena, same as how the church that Stewart attends sets rules for entry into its temples.

Given the vitriol that flew his way after his announcement, you'd think Stewart might have gotten the message, but that's not the game. Squid Game is the game. Stewart knows that he wasn't speaking to the saner faction of the Utah health community, nor to most Utah Jazz fans—he was pandering to his base.

I'm just a gerrymandered fraction of his district. He will not suffer many lost votes by ripping the Utah Jazz, which play non-Squid games in his district. Real downtowners support downtown. Pretty simple. It makes you wonder, then, what exactly does matter to Chris Stewart, per the COVID pandemic, and does he care about anyone in his district at all? Sure, sure, he's been vaccinated and, equally, he claims to encourage persons to "get jabbed" as they say down in Sevier County. He encourages mildly, though, and certainly not in such a deliberate way that it has any effect.

You know that's true because while Stewart is boldly standing for his personal freedoms at that gray mass at 301 S. West Temple, the "anti jabbers" down in Sevier County comprise the second-worst county in Utah for COVID deaths per 100,000, at 116 (according to the most recent update from The New York Times coronavirus tracker). The fully vaccinated rate in Sevier County is 34%. Looks like those Fish Lake lunkers down in Sevier are safe for another year—I'm boycotting!

As COVID knows no boundaries, and as COVID now flourishes in rural America, it's hardly a surprise that other counties in Stewart's district dominate the Top 10 of cases per 100,000, hospitalizations per 100,000 and the category of least vaccinated counties, with eight of Stewart's constituent counties among the lowest 10 vaccinated in Utah. Juab County is but 29% vaccinated (Utah's statewide average is 52%). Softly Facebooking support of vaccinations while also popping off loudly about meaningless boycotts is a Squid Game ruse. He doesn't care who dies so long as it isn't him.

And yes, they're dying. Utah has four congressional districts with somewhat equal populations within each. But Stewart's district (allocating one third of Salt Lake County to him and one half of Juab County) accounts for about 37% of Utah's COVID deaths, nowhere near the cynical betting line of 25%. Maybe he can Facebook a sympathy note to the five reported COVID deaths in his district today (Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021).

Stewart is killing it. He'd be a master at Squid Game. CW

Send comments to john@cityweekly.net.

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About The Author

John Saltas

John Saltas

Bio:
John Saltas is a lamb eating, Bingham Canyon native, City Weekly feller who'd rather be in Greece.

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