Wednesday, February 24, 2021

No pictures tell a story

I had occasion to look back at photos from 2010 to see who was at a particular party I attended.  While there I swiped through my other photos of that year — most I haven’t looked at in a decade.  Memories came back (mostly good), but the thing that struck me was how much I had done during that one random year.  And nothing spectacular.  I won my Nobel Peace Prize a different year.  But it was a year filled with travel, family gatherings, milestones, sightseeing, meeting with friends, ballgames, concerts, restaurants, theatres, rehearsals, writing rooms, TV tapings, improv shows, holiday events, weekly visits to the gym, pretty much everything but a selfie.  

And then I thought about last year.  I did none of that.   Went nowhere, saw no one.  Nobody did.  For the world this has been a lost year.  My photos are very few from 2020, most of them screenshots.  This will go down as the period in our lives of the least nostalgia.  No one will want to relive these “good old days.”

You live long enough you’re going to face some crises.  Wars, the Depression, natural disasters, pandemics.   And as tough as this has been, it’s still only a year and hopefully over by the end of this year.  Wars and Depressions have lasted longer.  

But my point is, to return to all those things we’ve missed, we’ve got to all, collectively, do the things that will get us there.  Get the vaccines when you’re eligible.  It won't result in chips inserted into your brain. Wear masks.  It's not denying your First Amendment rights.  You can still say stupid things with a mask on. Social Distance.  Wash your hands.  Stay out of Mosh Pits.  We know a lot more about the virus than we did a year ago.  We also have an administration that sincerely cares about you and your welfare.  Listen to the experts.  Follow their advice.  They won’t tell you to drink bleach.  Scientists know things.  Their warning on climate change -- ask someone from Texas if he now thinks that's just a hoax. 

These are all a small price to pay to remain healthy and be able to take pictures you’ll actually want to see again in the future. 


slgc said...


Joey said...


SummitCityScribe said...

Well said, Ken, as always.

Someone recently pointed out on Twitter that the people who say getting a Covid vaccination will implant a tracking chip in their brains are making those claims on smartphones they carry with them everywhere——which ARE tracking devices.

To quote another internet wag, the first rule of the Dunning-Krueger club is you don't know you're in the Dunning-Kruger club.

Troy McClure said...

Actually, some Texans DO think it's a hoax. They say President Biden created the freezing weather.

Biden Derangement Syndrome is real.

Curt Alliaume said...

Thanks. Good post.

Mike Doran said...

An idle thought has been recurring to me lately ...

Back when I was a baseball fan (before the turn of this century), I had a whole lot of books full of random facts and oddities from the Game's history - many in list form.

In the early 20th Century, many ballplayers and others in the sport took their own lives, for various reasons (both related and unrelated to their careers).

I don't have these books any more; if I had them still, I could give you a count.
But it did seem that quite a few of the baseball suicides of that era had the same method:
Drinking bleach.
The lists never got more specific about the details; apparently, this was a favored method for offing oneself on a road trip (hotel kitchens were usually well-stocked back then).
But that was, as they say, A Different Time ...
Mr. Trump never impressed me as a student of Baseball History (or any other kind of history, comes to that), but his unique theories of the possible therapeutic use of Clorox are still of interest in some quarters, and so I bring it up here.

(Do you believe the story about how someone handed Mr. Trump a baseball, and he spent the rest of the day trying to open it?)

RyderDA said...

My 2020 photos are of hiking or skiing, both of which remain permissible where I am, and are the two things I normally do. Many of my hikes are closer to home. What's missing is "vacations". No Maui, no Africa (both of which were supposed to happen). The last time I was more than 100 km away from home is 16 months ago. Still, I live in a place where people vacation, so it's not all bad.

Jeffrey Graebner said...

I literally started 2020 on-board a cruise ship. My family did the New Year's cruise on the Disney Magic and then spent the rest of the first week of January at Walt Disney World. Looking back, January and February also included live theater, a few movies in theaters, quite a few dinners out, trips to the gym, Saturday mornings at my son's youth bowling league, etc.
Not to mention my usual commute to the office. And then, by mid-March, it all just stopped. All that really feels further in the past than just 1 year.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

What I will remember from last year is the solidarity of my neighbors on my small street; during the first lockdown, as the weather warmed, they took to sitting in front of their houses, given the street a social feel like the old US south, so there was always someone to wave at or chat to from a distance. The local shop worked their butts off making sure we all had whatever we needed. After a while, I enlisted a friend who likes to walk for twice-weekly outings, many of which have been six to eight miles of local sights. Most recently, I've been reconnecting with folk music friends I haven't seen for decades through weekly online singarounds. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do these things, and I know that; but they are why I can't regard last year as "lost"; rather "paused".


Call Me Mike said...

Amen, Ken.

I'm just thankful that WW2 was fought when it was fought, because I have my doubts about people today being able to win it. Oh, no doubt the brave people in the military would win it. It's the people on the home front who would worry me. I mean, can you imagine loud protests and extended hissy fits over gas rationing, scrap drives, and air raid blackouts? How about "Meatless Tuesdays"? Yeah, that was a thing during the Depression.

I'm sure the so-called Greatest Generation had its fair share of selfish jerks and conspiracy nuts, but it seems like even they would have the self-awareness to realize that wearing a mask is not a yoke around your neck. You know, like the people who knew something about real yokes - the farmers who lived through the Dust Bowl. Go back and look at the photos of the dust storms. Look closely at those people. They're wearing MASKS.

Tudor Queen said...

I have only one thing to say about this essay.

Thank you, Ken Levine.

Rob Sisco said...


Troy McClure said...

The Frasier revival has officially got the greenlight.

It's coming from writers who worked on How I Met Your Mother and Life in Pieces.


Louis Castaing said...

Will you be involved in the Fraiser reboot?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

So it's going to be like a tribute band?


MikeN said...

Ken, you complained of WandaVision's lack of comedy, despite being listed as mystery, drama.

Perhaps this is the reason:

While it's from The Babylon Bee, the warning label is real. Disney said comedy used to be more culturally acceptable. What says you?

Jeffrey Graebner said...

The content warning on a few episodes of The Muppet Show does not match what that parody site says. It certainly doesn't say that "comedy used to be more culturally acceptable." Here's the actual text:

"This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe."

Stu R said...

Well said Ken. I already was working from a home and not much a sort that went out. But I do miss watching my grandson playing soccer and football. Also attending mass with a full church and choir.
Wendy Grossman nailed it about living on a small street. My daughter and my grandchildren live on a cul-de-sac...same thing happened. Many a night was filled with neighbors chatting and kids playing...all safely. The only positive glimmer from this horrific disease is that the kids on her street were pushed outside from video games. My grandson has 6 friends he would have never met. It really was like the old south.