So today marks nine months that I’ve been working from home. It’s probably about the same for some others out there as well. That third week in march is when (some of) the country really started shutting down. I didn’t think I’d still be doing these quarterly “work from home” selfies for so long. Now I’d say there’s a pretty fair chance there will at least be a March 2021 edition as well. It no longer feels odd, and that worries me.
I’ve created something pretty cool over these nine months (hint: it’s not a child)but I can’t share it just yet. Soon…
So for Thanksgiving (U.S., observed), I:
- Tried unsuccessfully to sleep late.
- Texted greetings to several friends.
- Finally ponied up for a full paid subscription to Newspapers.com since there’s a sale and it will have tremendous benefit to my research (and it’s cheaper and more useful than Hulu or Netflix).
- Made disparaging comments about Lutheran sushi egged on by Andrew Turnbull.
- Went for a drive downtown and in the surrounding area and took pictures.
- Spent some quality time with Perry Mason (on DVD rather than on the aforementioned Hulu or Netflix).
- Did a load of laundry.
- Killed off some leftovers.
- Tugged the turkey for a bit (inside joke).
- Did not resent for a single moment the fact that lining up to get into Walmart later tonight would not be an option.
- Considered (and then thought better of) trying to fix my bathroom sink.
It was actually just the day I needed.
Ten years ago this month, it felt like my life was falling apart.
Thirty-eight years ago tonight: my first airshift on @ was heard by maybe six people, starting as it did after a baseball game that ran way overtime. HIghlights included “Mesopotamia” by the B-52s, “From the Air” by Laurie Anderson, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles.
I was all of 17 years old.
The number one record in the county that week was “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. I sometimes feel like my whole adult life has been a reaction to that unfortunate fact.
Eight or nine years ago I had the opportunity to leave this country and emigrate to Canada. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t do it. In recent weeks, I’ve questioned that decision more than I ever really thought I would.
I don’t really think America is “more” racist or divided than we were a few years ago. We were always in pretty bad shape on that front. The current culture, fronted by a “leader” whose primary goal seems to be in to inflame these divisions, has just made them more apparent to more people, because it’s now more socially acceptable to openly display that bigotry, ignorance, disregard for democracy, and disdain for verifiable facts than it was before. It’s really scary and it’s really sad.
Call me an eternal optimist, but I still believe that it will eventually get better. I just think it’s going to take a lot longer for that to happen after the past few years. I’m less sure that I’m going to see it happen before my time on the planet is done. And I really don’t have any idea what to do about it in a world where reasonable discourse no longer seems an option, where scientific fact is ignored, where peaceful protesters are “unpatriotic traitors,” and where any reporting that questions the ruling regime is “fake news.”
I just have a feeling a lot more people are going to be speaking the language of the unheard in the near future, because a lot of people see it as the only way to make other people listen in this environment. They may be right. I’m not going to presume to make that call myself.
And yeah, I know these words are not really helpful either, but I had to get it off my chest anyway.