Minneapolis, United States
In the brief moment that Thanos snapped his fingers to bring the demise of the Avengers in Endgame, is how quickly the social activities dissolved. Many of us hoped this year would be the year; a year for expansion of travelling and seeing different sights. A year which might have seen us take more advantage to see each other face to face. Maybe your docket was filled with essential concerts and festivals you were going to see, or trips you were planning on taking.
It’s all gone. Granted, our health is tantamount, and it’s for the best. One can’t help what would happen. Perhaps that’s why we are staying inside. This is the time the world has provided us; an opportunity to reflect and slow down, no matter how hastily we need the world and its wonders to reopen.
We shared the years
We shared each day…
But soon the world
Had it’s evil way…
I’m going through changes
I’m going through changes
In my life…
–Charles Bradley “Changes”
Home feels like many things. On the one hand, home can be a sanctuary, a respite from the hectic movement of the city. On the other hand, it can lull one into a false sense of security. In a lot of ways, the stability of home can make one feel immune to the ills of the outside suffering in the world. A lot of times, our idea of home can seem constant, but throw something like uncertainty into that picture, and the idea of home can be rocked at its foundations.
I want to devise a virus
To bring dire straits to your environment
Crush your corporations with a mild touch
Trash your whole computer systems
And revert you to papyrus
I want to devise a virus
Strong enough to cause blackouts
In every single metropolis
Cause they don’t wanna unify us
So fuck it, total anarchy
And can’t nobody stop this…
–Deltron 3030 “Virus”
2016 seemed like such an eternity ago. Hell, by that measure, February 2020 almost seemed like ages ago. We’ve already been through by most accounts a stressful four years. Every day is filled with something new; a new way of doing things, a newfound scandal, a new thing being said that almost seems like history repeating itself. A history that is set in the past for a reason. We’re all tired. Tired of what’s being said, tired of the extremes, tired of being stuck with the same options as before. It’s an overwhelming mess.
We tried to say goodbye to a world knowing what was laying ahead for us, knowing we’re fighting an ideological battle, with neither alternative serving our way. An old but reliable and stable clunker, that is resistant to change for the longest time, until it is rewired properly to adapt to the new world, or a downward spiral that bends and dodges the old ways set forth to keep balances in check, and seeks to have us belting out something like R.E.M’s “It’s The End of the World As We Known It,” although with little fanfare, and a ton more concern.
So what do we do? We’re trying to trudge through sound medical advice that shifts depending on how much more it spreads, and the ghostly gasps and throes of capitalism trying to save itself from itself. Small businesses shuddering, jobs eliminated or furloughed longing for either a better tomorrow, or a return to the world as it once was.
Rooted in the purposes and the prose
We hope whatever grows
Mirrors all the seeds you ever sowed
So when the time comes
And your vines run
And your mind numbs
They will define sums
In the divine sun
That’s filling my lungs…
It’s difficult to speak on next steps or where we go from here. Another country is about to undergo yet another election with even more dire stakes as the last one. A virus has not only humans enveloped in its path of destruction, it’s also ceasing dream businesses and ways of life as we know it. In the yin to the yang, it is also causing the environment to revert back to pre-crisis conditions, an environment that no longer sees oil as a precious commodity, but sees the earth as something that should live on. Maybe that’s speaking too hopefully, since we haven’t reverted back to normal, but we’re even unsure if that normal will return, or if it’s another evolution to a new normal, one that sees more of a balance between work and home life, .
We all are being murdered by a similar process
Whether you work at the candy store or slave at the office
The purpose of our life is just to serve the economy
They misinform our minds to paint a picture of harmony
But if you’re listening, you know that shit’s out of tune
‘Cause the function of our life is just to work and consume
Fuck reaching out to help the next, there ain’t any room
Just close your eyes and block your ears and march to your doom…
Can’t you see that I’m busy, jerk?
Don’t dare approach me with busy work
Take another step and get hurt…
Everything inside of me is about to erupt
‘Cause a righteous individual dislikes the corrupt
–Mr. Lif “Live From the Plantation”
Right now, there are tons more questions, than answers. Should you see the other side of this pandemic world we live in right now, where do we go from here? If we do survive, is it back to the ways of yore with the snap of a finger and the invention of a therapeutic or vaccine? We’re left with so many questions, with zero immediate answers. Whatever that change may be, I hope you walk out with that change and exercise it to its fullest extent when you see the other side of this pandemic, and the altered realities it presents. Whether it’s a new normal, or returning back to normalcy, or a sense of normalcy, rest assured that there is no normal, and it can change.