Podcast host Joe Rogan joined the chorus of those lamenting the death of New York City and parts of Los Angeles due to the COVID-19 lockdowns that crippled businesses and quality of life beyond repair.
During an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” last Friday, Rogan lamented about the people fleeing New York City and others in droves, likening them to a “sinking ship.”
“[Cities] can be irreversibly fucked, like I think some of our cities are right now. I think there’s some there’s some sections in LA, I don’t know how the f**k they’re gonna bounce back. You drive down the street and you see everything boarded up. You go, ‘How does this come back? How long does it take?” Rogan said. “A lot of people are moving out. People are moving out. You get the sense like it’s an abandoned ship, like it’s a sinking ship. And then people don’t want to invest money in it. They don’t know what to do. They’re not sure if they should stay. They start looking at other states where things are open, ‘Maybe we should just move. Maybe we should forget about this business and start fresh in Florida or move to Texas or whatever.’”
Dave Chappelle, a D.C.-born stage star who now lives in Ohio, replied: “I can’t imagine New York City not coming back from this. … It’ll be a new normal, though.”
Dave Chappelle said that COVID “punched us square in our American identity” as individualists and that Americans no longer trust the governing institutions.
“At the core of all of this — what you call ‘weirdness’ — is these profound trust issues,” he said. “These people that hoarded toilet paper and went and bought bullets out. None of these things are good signs. I think that something about the nature of COVID punched us square in our American identity. We’re individualists. The mask and all these things — I don’t think are actually oppressive — but I can see why Americans would feel they are, because they don’t trust the messenger, anymore.”
“We need to be able to trust the institution. So now you’ll hear Americans say shit like, ‘They should fix this. They should fix that,’ but in reality the idea is we are they, and nobody feels that way,” Chappelle said.
In 2020, a blog post from former hedge fund manager and comedy club owner James Altucher declaring that “NYC Is Dead Forever” went viral, prompting severe backlash from die-hard New Yorkers like Jerry Seinfeld. Altucher’s biggest argument for the death of New York is the arrival of competent and steady bandwidth allowing for people to work remotely from anywhere in the country that they chose.
“In 2008, average bandwidth speeds were 3 megabits per second. That’s not enough for a Zoom meeting with reliable video quality. Now, it’s over 20 megabits per second. That’s more than enough for high-quality video,” argued Altucher. “There’s a before and after. BEFORE: no remote work. AFTER: everyone can remote work.”
“The difference: bandwidth got faster. And that’s basically it,” he continued. “People have left New York City and have moved completely into virtual worlds. The Time Life building doesn’t need to fill up again. Wall Street can now stretch across every street instead of just being one building in Manhattan.”
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has also been sounding the alarm about the potential death of New York City due to the lockdowns.