Back in my day, children wandered out of their bedroom on Saturday mornings while their parents hid under the covers, behind closed bedroom doors in attempts to get a few more minutes of precious sleep.
We shuffled in our PJs to the living room to sit in front of the TV to watch a thing called “Saturday Morning Cartoons.” Bugs Bunny, Wylie Coyote, and the occasional Justice League are the ones I remember the most. There were not very many episodes or they were all so similar that it felt like watching the same thing over and over. But what details can I recall? Not a lot. To be fair, it was all pretty mindless; not unlike watching YouTube videos of people playing Minecraft, which is where the children of America now wander to.
There is one bit that sticks out in my mind, all these years later. An episode of looney tunes where some character was sniffing out and following tracks. The type of tracks changed from one clip to the next. There were rabbit tracks, fox tracks, and then.. train tracks.
I can’t remember what happened when the character found the source of the train tracks. Did he have a fatal run-in with the train? That would be brutal. But no more brutal that good ole Wylie falling off a cliff over and over and over, sometimes involving an anvil falling too. No wonder we’re all so disturbed.
No wonder we’re all so fascinated by dystopian fiction and so easily desensitized when it comes to a life threatening virus. We should be terrified, but we’re not. Instead we risk our lives daily by getting takeout and sending our kids off to school and having meetups with friends.
In March everything started to shut down. And we held our breath listening to the news as reports of rising death tolls across the globe were reported daily. Each day brought some new horrific tale of hospitals out of equipment and rooms and beds and dead bodies piled into vehicles en route to places they could be taken care of.
It’s someone’s job to take care of the dead. That’s got to be a horrible life. Gruesome. One would have to be desensitized beyond repair in order to handle that.
By May I was crying daily listening to the things Alexa was relaying in my daily flash briefing. I stopped listening for a while.
People were mad scrambling for supplies and the country literally ran out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I will admit, while I didn’t try to stockpile these things, we did our fair share of gathering food enough for several months in isolation. We still have the majority of that fat-stacked in the high cabinets of our laundry room. None of it expires for over a year, so it will not go to waste.
I think modern programming has romanticized the end of the world. Stockpile your food, and guns and ammo, and medicine and you’ll be winning in the end. Never mind your neighbor, who can’t see so good anymore and sits most nice days, in his garage, dozing off.
Never mind your mother’s husband with Parkinson’s who was moved to a home this week because your mom can’t physically take care of him anymore.
Never mind that guy standing in the median with a “please help, god bless” sign as you wait for the light to turn green, nervous and avoiding eye contact.
Just never mind.
And what about this winding track of thought? It will all be ok as long as you don’t follow me into the dark tunnel ahead like that one hound.
By the way, I looked up that episode of bugs bunny. It’s 6 minutes 44 seconds long, called “Foxy by Proxy”, and not quite how I remembered it (big surprise). The dumb hound does get convinced by Bugs that he’s actually supposed to be catching a train. He does run into the tunnel and does not get injured when he “catches” the train, the rest of the pack of hounds falls off a cliff, and Bugs Bunny get’s his tail cut off in the end. Amazing that a person can find almost anything online. Saturday morning cartoons for all to sustain us through these end times.
I suppose it’s time for me to get to work (whatever that means now).
Peace and Love,