A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
I’ve remained largely silent about COVID-19/Coronavirus and related controversies for many reasons, the most significant of which is both sides usually make some valid points and it’d be futile for me to make anyone angry. The virus is undoubtedly very real, but I also believe it has been overhyped by the media. I’m not sure whether wearing a mask helps all that much, but it does seem like a rather minor ask if in fact it does some good. On the other hand, I understand the thought process about government overreach & infringement of rights. There is no question that it’s a slippery slope, and we seem to be at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. We began to open things up again only to see the number of positive cases spike. Having said that, I’m pretty sure we achieved the goal of “flattening the curve”, and continue to believe that the casualty rate is extremely small…the vast majority of people who contract the virus recover just fine in a couple of weeks. Of course the media will always focus on the saddest outcomes, and in our humanity we understandably don’t want to see one single death that may have been prevented. People are worried about jobs, closure of small businesses, & the economy, but those things feel inconsequential when compared to human life. I don’t know the right answers to any of it, which is why I choose not to involve myself in pointless social media scrums. I have friends with a variety of opinions who I respect & admire, and the truth is that all of this is new for us. We’re just doing the best we can trying to navigate choppy waters while maintaining some semblance of normalcy, and I am willing to extend a certain level of mercy in the midst of it.
I recently watched Hamilton, and it lives up to the hype. It’s a unique spin on history, with fantastic performances and beguiling music. Kudos to the folks at Disney+ and whoever else was involved in bringing the show into our homes.
Five months ago, in the last episode of PoP, I touched on loneliness & communication, and right now that all feels a little bit prescient. I currently find myself going thru another medical crisis, residing somewhere awful and too far from home. I might be here for months, which would be somewhat more tolerable if people who allegedly care about me actually showed it. I told myself the ordeal would be easier this time with smart phones, texting, Facebook Messenger, etc., but to be honest a little over a month into it I can count on one hand the number of folks outside my immediate family who have made any kind of genuine effort to stay in touch. And no, “Get Well” greeting cards don’t count…they’re lazy & outdated. Look, I don’t want pity, and I don’t expect anyone to put their lives on hold for me. Is it difficult to look at social media and see everyone else out enjoying their lives, having fun, going places, and basking in the beautiful sunshine?? Well…yeah, but that’s nobody’s fault. I don’t want anyone else to be miserable. Mark Twain once said “the best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up”, and I understand the sentiment…but I’m not there yet. One of my favorite movies is Field of Dreams, and near the end of that film the main character says “I did it all. I did what they told me, and not once did I ask what’s in it for me! But now I’m asking what’s in it for me?”. That’s where I am right now. Eventually I’ll physically heal, but I think the mental & emotional scars may last a lot longer, and I’ll remember just how few people reached out, although perhaps my loneliness isn’t necessarily a product of where I am physically afterall.
A few thoughts about #BlackLivesMatter…..
- I have…evolved…on my opinion of the retort #AllLivesMatter. I get it. I understand that such a reply comes across as dismissive. I saw several very good explanations online that clarified it quite well, my favorite being the idea of going to a doctor for a broken arm and they say “all bones matter”. Well, yeah…of course all bones matter, but right now can we focus on the one that’s hurting. Point taken.
- Having said that, I am not in favor of looting, rioting, & criminal behavior. I feel like there are a lot of well-intentioned people in the #BlackLivesMatter movement whose legit concerns have been hijacked by people just looking to cause chaos & score free stuff, and that’s a shame.
- While what happened to George Floyd (which sparked all of this insanity) is undeniably tragic, I think political commentator Candace Owens made a salient point: Floyd is probably the wrong person for African-Americans to make a martyr for their genuine issues. I’m not saying his death was right, and I have no doubt justice will be served. However, putting a career criminal who didn’t exactly represent his race all that well on a pedestal seems like it hurts the cause rather than helps it. I was personally offended watching “Reverend” Al Sharpton & thousands of others turn Floyd’s funeral into a televised spectacle, having personally known other families who weren’t allowed to have any kind of visitation after their loved ones recently passed.
- Speaking of double standards, it also upsets me tremendously that most Americans are expected to practice “social distancing”, aren’t allowed to gather at churches, ballgames, or movie theaters without restrictions, and are constantly admonished about wearing a mask, but “protesters” get a free pass. The hypocrisy is staggering.
- I’m not a fan of removing monuments & statues, but I am open-minded enough to have an intelligent discussion about it. You honestly have a real opportunity to change my perspective in some cases. However, what I’ll never agree with is the mob mentality of a bunch of people deciding to get together in the dark of night and deface or destroy such structures. Let’s move thru the proper channels and have the citizenry decide each situation in their own town. That’s democracy, and it can be beautiful. When statues of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, & Frederick Douglass are defaced it lends credence to the idea that all of this isn’t really about black lives anymore.