Pandemic ennui

So clearly the last eleven months or whatever have sucked. But for most of that time, I have mostly been able to keep my chin up. I tried not to think too far ahead, not to wonder how long the pandemic would be squatting on our lives. I tried not to think too hard about what might have been, how my sons’ school years would have been better, my job would have been better, how Shanon would have been able to see her friends more.

And I’ve been pretty fortunate up to this point. Shanon and I both got sick with something covid-like back in May, but nobody went to the hospital. I can work at home. As usual, it’s advantageous to be white. Etc.

But, my friends, this whole pandemic existence is wearing on me, as I am sure it is wearing on you. My older son’s first year of college has been sub-optimal. My younger son’s sophomore year of high school has been completely obliterated and I fear he’s significantly depressed.

Slightly paradoxically I feel like my anger, irritation, ennui has only worsened since the announcement of the vaccines. One the vaccines were available I started to actually try and envision going back to normal. And that was a big mistake.

I mean, six months ago I might have thought, “once the vaccines have been available for a few months maybe we won’t have to wear masks everywhere anymore.” Instead this shit is trending:

My fucking mask needs a fucking mask.

Watching

Freaks and Geeks streaming on Hulu. Shanon and I watched this when it first aired, but we were apparently the only ones so it went the way of My So Called Life and Firefly. This show has such a good cast, such good writing, and I laugh at basically every other line. You might have to be a white, middle-class, suburban, Gen-Xer to love the show, but I am and I do.

Listening

Arlo Parks’ Caroline is my first favorite new song of 2021. Eugene is at least as good.

Reading

Bring the War Home:The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (2018) by Kathleen Belew. Having read this book, it’s no surprise to me that military veterans and active-duty members were overrepresented in the Capitol insurrection. Belew charts out the history of white power and militia movements from the late 1960s, when participants justified their ideology and action as a continuation of the war against communism they’d fought in Vietnam, through the 1980s turn to anti-state revolutionary violence, ending with veteran Timothy McVeigh and his bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. Compelling and pretty readable.