An Attempt Not to Say What's Already Been Said

March 15, 2020

Well. Here we are.

 

Before I venture towards humor or sarcasm or otherwise... 

May I say that this is a time to be generous & kind. To your friends. To your family. To your neighbors, colleagues & yes, even strangers. Check on people. Ask. Even if you're pretty sure they're perfectly fine- it means something. I'm talking about blood relatives with vastly different political loyalties. I'm talking about that friend that didn't ask you to be in the wedding party. I'm talking about in-laws, that long-winded frequent passerby you dodge & the guy next door that doesn't stop his dog from sh*tting on your lawn. I'm talking about the exhausted, but somehow-not-jaded Target cashier with the glittery green eyeliner & shamrock earrings named Patty who refuses to let all this stop her from looking festive in the days leading up to the holiday she is named after. I'm talking about the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, the incarcerated, the disadvantaged & the overwhelmed. If you need to go to a medical facility, imagine what the people who work there are facing every day (& were even before this all began). Be patient. Remind yourself that everyone is in survival mode right now. And though I personally doubt it will end in the post-apocalyptic war & famine that far too many have prepared for... remember that if & when supplies run out, we will only have each other to lean on anyway. Now is not the time to make enemies. Take a cue from the singing Italians.

 

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I couldn't help but giggle to myself when my husband & I were, & I stress calmly, stocking up on some groceries yesterday because I remembered that about 6 months ago people were desperate to find White Claw.

 

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Let's not forget that in the midst of all this chaos, confusion & concern that #metoo has not been for nothing. Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted criminal with a prison sentence. This is a significant victory against sexual violence, abuse of power & the refusal to listen to, believe, or accept the bitter truth that no one wants to acknowledge. Point- not all the news is bad these days.

 

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And now for a few topical TV & movie recommendations:

 

Outbreak & Contagion are sure feeling the love, huh? If you aren't in a state of complete panic or sorrow, I actually do recommend watching them right now. I feel these movies, however accurate or inaccurate they may be, are important. For safety & educational purposes as well as entertainment. Example: I am about 10x more likely to heed warnings voiced by Dustin Hoffman (especially if he owns more than one Saint Bernard) in a crisis. The man knows how to deliver a compelling, thought-provoking, integrity-inducing, get-your-ass-in-gear speech when it comes to defending knowledge, fact &, in the case of Raymond Babbitt, the need for maple syrup with your pancakes. Additionally (again, however accurate or inaccurate), all the science that goes into figuring out how to combat a deadly virus is, frankly, fascinating (so long as it's watered down enough for me to understand). You can read statistics all day long, but why not watch actors in a CDC-replica laboratory conduct experiments & look through microscopes so you can get a taste of what goes on in the real one? Especially if the dialogue snaps harder than a rubber band (which it does in the case of a very young & ginger Kevin Spacey).

 

Jezebel is mostly a movie that wants to be Gone With the Wind. You have the same cunning Southern belle competing for a man she doesn't deserve. What makes it different is the setting. Switch out the American Civil War for a yellow fever epidemic in 1852 New Orleans. Say what you will about this, ahem, Oscar-winning film- I'll defend it. Watching a perfectly healthy & youthful Bette Davis allow herself to be (literally) carted away to a quarantine island with the gravely ill Henry Fonda she still loves, but has lost her chance to have is quite moving. If you want a romantic option, this may do for you.

 

I'll admit I'm 100% biased when it come to The X-Files. Surely, it will come as no surprise that I mention The X-Files: Fight the Future. If you forgot how great this movie is, I suggest you revisit pronto. And if you've had no previous affiliation with the series... well, why not start now? Aliens using human hosts as a breeding ground for colonization! Tanker trucks transporting virus-infected bees! A vending machine bomb! Martin Laundau! Mulder almost kissing Scully! Antarctica! Need I say more? Is my enthusiasm contagious?

 

Special mention also to "Ice" (X-Files Season 1, Episode 8). This one actually involves a parasite, not a virus, BUT, imagine anything that would infect your brain & make you go on a murderous rampage in, yes, once again, the Arctic! One of the better early episodes in my opinion. It features a scene where Mulder & Scully turn on each other in a moment of mutual paranoia. Oh, the early bonding moments between those two (sigh).

 

Lastly (pun intended), there's Last Man on Earth. This show depicts the aftermath of complete global devastation- a situation far worse than what we will likely ever experience (JUST to note) & how Will Forte's refreshingly zany character Phil "Tandy" Miller adapts. There's the bliss & hilarity of the freedom brought on by the absence of laws, scrutiny or monetary value, paired with the challenges of a world without plumbing, electricity, doctors or human companionship. I won't spoil the show by adding any more, but if you need something with a bit of silliness, this should do nicely.

 

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Take care, be well & stay safe out there.

 

 

 

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