There’s this great line in Seinfeld (okay, there were lots of them, but this one suits today’s topic) when Jerry sees George’s Dad in his neigbourhood. He says that “it’s just so out of context.” That’s how I felt today, and honestly, for big chunks of the year.
Today, on a Wednesday afternoon, I watched the Steelers play football. It was a fine game and all, but it was just so out of context. It reminds me of watching hockey in the afternoon. I know that it’s common south of the border, but it doesn’t really make sense to me. When the game is over, there’s just so much time left in the day.
I understand the reasoning for the scheduling. I look at it as very symbolic of the year we have had. Things haven’t been the same in so many areas. They call it the new normal, but it’s only normal if it feels normal. No. This is something different.
I have managed to roll with most of the punches. I have adjusted to working from home. My students have adjusted to getting digital copies of things. I’ve probably saved hundreds of trees this year. I’ve adjusted to not going to the movies while still looking forward to the time I can do that again. There is something about having to follow a movie in a crowd that makes it resonate so much more than watching it at home on a small screen.
I have no idea which things have changed for good and which things will go back to the way they were before. It doesn’t really matter. We will adapt to whatever happens. The only thing that makes these changes so different from the regular evolution of ideas and things is that this was abrupt and it had one cause. Where Netflix or Spotify can be noted for changing our ideas of streaming entertainment. Where an idea for instant reply can be noted for changing the way we view sports. Where a retail idea can change the way we shop. With these we have different causes.
We’re lining up outside grocery stores to go in. We’re checking out our own stuff. We’re wondering what’s safe to touch and what isn’t. We’re not just checking for our wallet and keys, but our masks and hand sanitizer before we leave the house. It’s all just so out of context.