Somewhere along the line we became lazy, our real world transforming into a living, breathing caricature of how the rest of the world once saw us, just a short time ago. We became fat. We became complacent. We did not really work, or struggle, like the all the other great bootstrapy generations before us because we always figured that there would be time for that nonsense later.
We thought there would be time to finally grow up. Time to figure it all out. Time to wrap our heads around the workings of this selfishly twisted world in all its polluted convenience. And then, before we knew it, a scary little virus appeared and we had suddenly run all out of later. And maybe quite possibly time.
We were just tossed headlong into the whirlwind of panicked adulting, with all its complications and social distancing. We became isolated in gently ordered fashion, each of us retreating to the supposed safety of our homes to hunker down and ride out the invisibly invading storm. We are forced to entertain and enlighten ourselves inside our little bubbles of uniqueness as the days drag on and the hours creep by as rhythmically as a scarce ventilator’s mechanical squeeze.
It seems like the whole of the internet is mirroring our experiences right back into our faces. Some people are making new music and they share it freely with the world. Others, they string together clever words in an attempt to reassure us, to inform us, or to get us questioning why it even had to happen in the first place.
There are endlessly evolving streams of memes, and clips of video, and compactly convenient gify animations. Collectively, they run the whole gauntlet of our current human condition- some are clever, some make us laugh. Some are just insensitive and come across as insulting. Some try to frighten us into their creator’s way of thinking. And, some try scamming us out of what little money we do have left after the panic buying frenzies finally abated.
And still, the pandemic grinds endlessly on, insatiable in it interference. And it’s probably going to get worse before it ever gets better. It seems to just drag on and on in a never-ending series of news flash updates and constantly revised government protocols blinking and screaming on our screens.
The infection count climbs higher every day. The curve is ever growing. But some day, the wave will break. Some day, the numbers will tumble and the pendulum will swing back the other way. Back to sanity. Back to togetherness. Back to humanity.
In the meantime, I can only hope that the music keeps playing. And that the words keep flowing. I would willing go hungry for a few days if it meant that there was more lasting art in the world- because we need it now more than ever before.
And, I’m not entirely sure that a world without art, or love, or simple human compassion and thoughtfulness, is even worth saving.